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Apple Thunderbolt Display inventory dwindles, may hint at upcoming redesign

post #1 of 94
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A number of resellers have run dry of Apple Thunderbolt Display inventory, suggesting the 27-inch monitor may be due for an upgrade, perhaps with a thinner design that takes cues from the latest iMacs.

Thunderbolt Display


As of Monday, major resellers Amazon, MacMall, and J&R are all out of stock of the Thunderbolt Display. Stock-outs are often one of the first signs of a forthcoming upgrade to Apple hardware.

At the very least, the Thunderbolt Display is in need of an upgrade to its MagSafe cable. Apple currently ships a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter with every Thunderbolt Display to allow compatibility with the latest MacBooks.

But the Thunderbolt Display and its predecessor, the Cinema Display, have historically borrowed LCD technology from Apple's all-in-one iMac lineup. And the iMac was recently redesigned with a reengineered display panel that is thinner and reduces glare by 75 percent.

Miroslav Djuric, chief information architect with the repair wizards at iFixit, noted to AppleInsider that the current-generation Thunderbolt display employs the same screen as the previous generation of 27-inch iMacs: an LG-built TFT active-matrix LCD panel.

"Think of the Thunderbolt display as an iMac minus the computing hardware," Djuric explained.

If that trend were to continue, an updated Thunderbolt Display would include a thinner LCD panel, and likely an overall thinner design. Apple's new 21.5-inch iMac actually has the same LCD as its predecessor, but the panel is 5 millimeters thinner, suggesting the same components have been squeezed into a smaller space.

Apple also made its new iMacs thinner by fusing the LCD to the front glass. Djuric said he expects that design decision to also be utilized in a next-generation Apple Thunderbolt Display.

However, if Apple is planning to bring the new iMac panel design to a refreshed Thunderbolt Display accessory, the new big-screen monitor's arrival may not be imminent because of potential production issues.

Thunderbolt Display


Apple's new 27-inch iMac remains in short supply because of apparent production issues associated with the display. Until those issues are worked out, Apple may not have enough panels to also provide for a new 27-inch Thunderbolt Display.

One report last week claimed that Apple and LG have only been able to produce about 100,000 27-inch iMacs per month. Apple's online store continues to advertise that new orders of the 27-inch iMac ship in three to four weeks.

Analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities was first to reveal in August that Apple was planning to use a new screen lamination process in its redesigned iMacs. Kuo also noted that manufacturing of the panels would be difficult.

Another possible upgrade for the Thunderbolt Display could be its ports: The current model features three USB 2.0 ports, but Apple began offering faster USB 3.0 connectivity on its 2012 Macs, including the redesigned iMac. USB 3 offers transfer rates up to 5 Gbps, compared to just 480 Mbps for USB 2.

Thunderbolt Display


The Apple Thunderbolt Display was released in July of 2011, making it the world's first display compatible with Apple's high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology. In addition to the aforementioned MagSafe charging cable and three USB 2.0 ports, the 27-inch screen includes a FaceTime HD video camera, 2.1 speaker system, one FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt devices.

Apple also still continues to sell the previous-generation 27-inch LED Cinema Display for older Macs that have a Mini DisplayPort instead of the newer Thunderbolt port. Both the LED Cinema Display and the Thunderbolt Display are sold for $999.
post #2 of 94
Make it happen.

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post #3 of 94
I'm expecting an update ATD matching the iMac look and removing FireWire, new AirPort routers that support 802.11ac with other goodies added, and a new Mac Pro or Mac Pro replacement also removing FireWire.

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post #4 of 94
Make it happen at a lower price. The TB display is way over priced even if you consider the TB hub.
post #5 of 94

Less reflections (as on the iMacs), USB 3 and a MagSafe 2 cable (the MagSafe 1:2 adapter is the worst one Apple has ever made) and it's a buy... thinner or not. Would appreciate if they would keep FW though... still have 8 FW HDDs and a FW audio interface sitting around.

 

Once they are at it, still waiting for that backlit wireless keyboard (has never been rumored, but one can try)...

post #6 of 94

NO NO! same design as an iMac p+but but a 680m inside that thing along with fiber TB cables!!

post #7 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm expecting an update ATD matching the iMac look and removing FireWire, new AirPort routers that support 802.11ac with other goodies added, and a new Mac Pro or Mac Pro replacement also removing FireWire.

Would be quite soon for the new Mac Pro, as Tim said 'sometime next year'. But sure, could happen. FireWire out is indeed likely, but tell me, what was the reason again for not to include USB3? I think it is CPU related, but can't remember the reason for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Make it happen at a lower price. The TB display is way over priced even if you consider the TB hub.

Overpriced? The 27" is $999. The 30" was $ 1799..."In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary... come again?" (BrickTop in Snatch)
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post #8 of 94

Cook said sometime later next year.  EP v2 Xeons aren't due until the third quarter, so most likely that's when the new Mac Pros will roll out.  

post #9 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Overpriced? The 27" is $999. The 30" was $ 1799..."In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary... come again?" (BrickTop in Snatch)

 

Believe it or not, the price of tech outside the Apple world does fall over time.

post #10 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

...but tell me, what was the reason again for not to include USB3? I think it is CPU related, but can't remember the reason for it.Snatch)

I'm not aware of any such limitation. I fully expect USB 3.0.

However, now that you mention it Thunderbolt as a maximum throughput of 10Gbps in each direction. Can you have USB 3.0 on that plus the other data?

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post #11 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Make it happen at a lower price. The TB display is way over priced even if you consider the TB hub.

There's not a lot like it that's so much cheaper.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007617+600012694+600060968&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&IsNodeId=1&Subcategory=20&description=&hisInDesc=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&AdvancedSearch=1&srchInDesc=

All spec'd with LED backlight.

None of these have built-in camera/mic, not a big deal to me, but it is an extra feature. Not all of these have a speaker built-in either. I doubt the competitors have metal shells.

All in all, the Apple monitor seems reasonably competitive for what it has.
post #12 of 94
Yeah, I'd love to buy this display, except that I feel I'm bending over to be raped if I do. I bought a 26.5" HP display instead, which has very nice specs. Was it AS nice as the thunderbolt display? Of course not. But at $250 vs $999, its just an insane difference. Apple needs to drop this at least $300 to $699 or lower, which would still be overpriced, but at least not stratospherically so. They'd sell alot more.
post #13 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm not aware of any such limitation. I fully expect USB 3.0.

However, now that you mention it Thunderbolt as a maximum throughput of 10Gbps in each direction. Can you have USB 3.0 on that plus the other data?

FW800 + gigabitE + audio + webcam + 5Gbps USB should fit pretty well in the 10Gbps channel at max without crowding each other out. The display would get the other 10Gbps TB channel.

I wouldn't expect each USB port to have its own dedicated 5GB channel.
post #14 of 94

I'm in need of an external monitor refresh (currently have a Dell 20" FP2007 that has a bad power supply).  I've been considering the Dell U2713H (the equivalent to the current Apple TB Display).  However, there are limitations in max resolutions that I think I've sorted through with a little research.  It currently sells for $799 on sale with a 3 year warranty.  It's regular price is $999...but I think that's just because it's predecessor (the U2711) was CNet's top pick for best monitor.  The U2713H is every bit as good as the current TB display (if not better) save for one advantage...it has I/O ports to boot and has Manual switching between I/Os.  A huge advantage.

 

I am strongly considering the current TB display also to match all my other Apple HW.  However, I need a display that can handle a Mac and a PC (at the same time) and the current TB display is incompatible with  PCs. A huge oversight on Apple's part if you ask me.  Not to mention there is no way to switch between computers even if they are both Macs.  A friend of mine just got the U2713H and loves it...mainly for the reason that he needs to plug-in a Mac Mini and his MBP both at the same time.

 

I really hope Apple addresses these major oversights in the next re-design of the TB display.  If they do...I'll be first in line.

post #15 of 94
Cue the 'apple is cutting their display business to make room for the REAL Apple TV'

Which I think might not be totally false. It is possible they could add additional sizes with the HDMI, refresh rates etc to use the Cinema Display as a TV monitor with a blu-ray, Xbox, Apple TV etc.
post #16 of 94

I just have a few 1920x1080 displays that I use. I'm considering getting a 2560x1440 display, so that I could view Apple's stock falling in extra high def and from nearly all viewing angles.

post #17 of 94

Give me 175 to 200 PPI and I will upgrade.  After seeing the 4K 30" and 32" monitors at CES...

 

I WANT ONE!!!! Need? No.  Want? Yes.  The text and images at my normal working distance were like fine quality print.  And the Sharp IGZO displays... Ahhhhhhhwhhhhh. Yummy.  Rich natural colors (not the gooney colors of OLED).  Crisp beyond anything I have seen.  A bit low on the brightness but stunning.

post #18 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yeah, I'd love to buy this display, except that I feel I'm bending over to be raped if I do. I bought a 26.5" HP display instead, which has very nice specs. Was it AS nice as the thunderbolt display? Of course not. But at $250 vs $999, its just an insane difference. Apple needs to drop this at least $300 to $699 or lower, which would still be overpriced, but at least not stratospherically so. They'd sell alot more.

At $250, I would guess you have a TN display instead of IPS. It's also 1080p rather than 1440p. In a plastic shell. I don't think you're the target market here.
post #19 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Yeah, I'd love to buy this display, except that I feel I'm bending over to be raped if I do. I bought a 26.5" HP display instead, which has very nice specs. Was it AS nice as the thunderbolt display? Of course not. But at $250 vs $999, its just an insane difference. Apple needs to drop this at least $300 to $699 or lower, which would still be overpriced, but at least not stratospherically so. They'd sell alot more.

This looks like a great deal for $180 (in stock) if you want a 23" IPS display. 2mm border, too.

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post #20 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


This looks like a great deal for $180 (in stock) if you want a 23" IPS display. 2mm border, too.

The border thing is a bit deceptive.

 

When looking at the outside box, it seems as if there's virtually no border at all.

 

 

 

But when firing up the display, you see that there is a border there. Granted, it's not very large, but it's not the same impression that somebody gets just from seeing the outside box, and it certainly looks like that it's more than 2 mm.

 

post #21 of 94

I was one of the people that scoffed at the release of the Thunderbolt display. I can't stand glossy, and felt it was overpriced as well. After factoring in the TB hub and the nice panel, I felt it wasn't as bad after all. After spending about five months on one, I can say I actually do enjoy it and feel it was a good investment. The gloss really needs to be improved though. I used to run midnight in Xcode, and have since reverted back to default. White backgrounds don't glare as much as black / dark backgrounds. That helped with glare quite a bit. I also set up my desk facing the window so sun light won't directly hit the monitor. Again, if they can improve the glare like they did with the MBP Retina, I may buy another one and run dual Thunderbolt Displays. 

 

 

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post #22 of 94
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

Those look like different models (sizes). Are they?

 

If not, that looks like an easy lawsuit. I don't mean in the size portrayed on the box, but in that the box does not show the size therein. Maybe their larger model (as on the box) doesn't have a border, but this smaller one does.

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post #23 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Those look like different models (sizes). Are they?

 

If not, that looks like an easy lawsuit. I don't mean in the size portrayed on the box, but in that the box does not show the size therein. Maybe their larger model (as on the box) doesn't have a border, but this smaller one does.

 

The link was from Anandtech, and it takes you to an unboxing page, so I do believe that the monitor which I posted came from the box which I posted. I don't read any crazy Asian languages, so I'm not able to decipher what is written on that page.

 

http://t17.techbang.com/topics/17294-new-equipment-company-aoc-i2367fh-super-eye-right-out-of-the-box

post #24 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Those look like different models (sizes). Are they?

If not, that looks like an easy lawsuit. I don't mean in the size portrayed on the box, but in that the box does not show the size therein. Maybe their larger model (as on the box) doesn't have a border, but this smaller one does.

Besides who cowers at a 23" display? It might be plausible if the screen showed his wife staring at him.
post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


This looks like a great deal for $180 (in stock) if you want a 23" IPS display. 2mm border, too.

I use their E2460 now, picking it up as a replacement for one in our cutting room. Figured it was "good enough" for the use, but have been pretty impressed with it. It's a surprisingly good display considering I'd spent less than $150 on it. I'd buy AOC again and may consider the one you linked for one of the RIP-stations that could use a new monitor. 

 

Thanks Soli!

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post #26 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Besides who cowers at a 23" display? It might be plausible if the screen showed his wife staring at him.

Even the aspect ratio looks wrong. Except for the silvery bar the bottom nothing about the two displays look the same to me.


edit: This on-screen controls look very nice for an inexpensive display. In fact, the whole unboxing Apple][ linked to makes this looks like a high-quality product I'd expect for at least double the price.


Edited by SolipsismX - 1/14/13 at 10:23am

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post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

I was one of the people that scoffed at the release of the Thunderbolt display. I can't stand glossy, and felt it was overpriced as well. After factoring in the TB hub and the nice panel, I felt it wasn't as bad after all. After spending about five months on one, I can say I actually do enjoy it and feel it was a good investment. The gloss really needs to be improved though. I used to run midnight in Xcode, and have since reverted back to default. White backgrounds don't glare as much as black / dark backgrounds. That helped with glare quite a bit. I also set up my desk facing the window so sun light won't directly hit the monitor. Again, if they can improve the glare like they did with the MBP Retina, I may buy another one and run dual Thunderbolt Displays. 

One of the big changes between the previous iMac and the current one is that they went to a design without a gap between the LCD and the glass - which cuts down on reflections by about 75%. I would expect them to do the same thing with the next version of their display.
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post #28 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Even the aspect ratio looks wrong. Except for the silvery bar the bottom nothing about the two displays look the same to me.


edit: This on-screen controls look very nice for an inexpensive display. In fact, the whole unboxing Apple][ linked to makes this looks like a high-quality product I'd expect for at least double the price.

 

Yes, it does look like a very inexpensive display and a good value for the money. IPS is so much better than crap TN, IMO. Hopefully they make larger than 23", as that is a bit on the small side for many people. A 27" would be nice.

post #29 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/155451/apple-thunderbolt-display-inventory-dwindles-may-hint-at-upcoming-redesign#post_2258586"]
Yes, it does look like a very inexpensive display and a good value for the money. IPS is so much better than crap TN, IMO. Hopefully they make larger than 23", as that is a bit on the small side for many people. A 27" would be nice.

The IPS displays at the 27" size have been lowering in price over the past year. AnandTech has reviewed many of them. None as nice as the AOC here but if you don't care about that you can get one that's a fraction of what Apple charges. I recall one they bought which allowed them to pay extra to get one with no dead pixels in it, if that tells you anything about the level of quality one is dealing with. Apple also calibrates their displays fairly well at the factory which I don't think many vendors will do.


edit: There we go: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5885/the-achieva-shimian-qh270-a-350-27inch-wqhd-sips-display

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post #30 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


The IPS displays at the 27" size have been lowering in price over the past year. AnandTech has reviewed many of them. None as nice as the AOC here but if you don't care about that you can get one that's a fraction of what Apple charges. I recall one they bought which allowed them to pay extra to get one with no dead pixels in it, if that tells you anything about the level of quality one is dealing with. Apple also calibrates their displays fairly well at the factory which I don't think many vendors will do.


edit: There we go: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5885/the-achieva-shimian-qh270-a-350-27inch-wqhd-sips-display

Great, thanks for the link, I've bookmarked it.

 

I've been wanting to get a 27" 2560x1440 IPS display for a while now, but was unwilling to pay the premium that most displays like that cost. I'm not a graphic designer or photographer that's looking for the world's best or most accurate display, I just want more pixels on my display.

post #31 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

 

That doesn't look that bad, but damn I would have to pull those stickers/badges off of the lower left the second that thing came out of the box. Put that crap on the back, or just on the box. 

post #32 of 94
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post
That doesn't look that bad, but damn I would have to pull those stickers/badges off of the lower left the second that thing came out of the box. Put that crap on the back, or just on the box. 

 

Stickers on the product (the SHIPPING product, not just store displays!) is, to me, an offense almost on the level of outright design theft, but for an entirely different reason. 

 

I mean… do you not care about your product? Plastering specs all over it like that matters, shoving supported formats and the logos for such and such in strips, the Intel sticker, the FORCED Windows sticker, the EnergyStar sticker…


I don't even like the "screen on" stickers on iDevices, but Apple otherwise doesn't fall for that crap.

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post #33 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Stickers on the product (the SHIPPING product, not just store displays!) is, to me, an offense almost on the level of outright design theft, but for an entirely different reason. 

 

I mean… do you not care about your product? Plastering specs all over it like that matters, shoving supported formats and the logos for such and such in strips, the Intel sticker, the FORCED Windows sticker, the EnergyStar sticker…


I don't even like the "screen on" stickers on iDevices, but Apple otherwise doesn't fall for that crap.

 

PC laptops look horrible to begin with, but they look even more ridiculous with all of those crappy stickers plastered everywhere. And many people don't even remove the stickers. That shows you the mentality of the average PC user. They just don't care, they're like a bunch of slobs. And don't even get me started on the off-center trackpad. 

post #34 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I'm in need of an external monitor refresh (currently have a Dell 20" FP2007 that has a bad power supply).  I've been considering the Dell U2713H (the equivalent to the current Apple TB Display).  However, there are limitations in max resolutions that I think I've sorted through with a little research.  It currently sells for $799 on sale with a 3 year warranty.  It's regular price is $999...but I think that's just because it's predecessor (the U2711) was CNet's top pick for best monitor.  The U2713H is every bit as good as the current TB display (if not better) save for one advantage...it has I/O ports to boot and has Manual switching between I/Os.  A huge advantage.

 

I am strongly considering the current TB display also to match all my other Apple HW.  However, I need a display that can handle a Mac and a PC (at the same time) and the current TB display is incompatible with  PCs. A huge oversight on Apple's part if you ask me.  Not to mention there is no way to switch between computers even if they are both Macs.  A friend of mine just got the U2713H and loves it...mainly for the reason that he needs to plug-in a Mac Mini and his MBP both at the same time.

 

I really hope Apple addresses these major oversights in the next re-design of the TB display.  If they do...I'll be first in line.

 

I cannot see Apple catering for people who need to use their monitor with a PC or adding dual inputs - they just won't see these as major oversights.

 

Sounds like you need to go the Dell route, but at least you will get a 3 year warranty and not a single stuck pixel - unlike Apple who insist on several pixels clustered together before they will exchange the panel. 


Edited by ScartArt - 1/14/13 at 11:47am
post #35 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

And don't even get me started on the off-center trackpad. 

 

I thought I was the only one! That and track pads that don't have a ridge or texture change where they end and turn into palm rest.

post #36 of 94
It's obviously because Thunderbolt is a complete failure, and the world is turning to USB 3.0 /s

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post #37 of 94

I really want to upgrade my 30" cinema display where are the big 30" stylish monitors apple?  Two 30" thunderbolt displays daisy chained to my mac book pro is what I want.

post #38 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Make it happen at a lower price. The TB display is way over priced even if you consider the TB hub.


Hells yeah.  I say 36" - 8K  Res  - 9 mm thick  - super low glare - three fiber TB ports - 3 USB 3 -  FW 800 - 1.44 floppy drive -  and a jar of unicorn tears.

 

And $500 sounds about right (with all cables included), right? 

 

:-)

PS: On a serious note, once (if) PC makers start releasing TB-equipped PC's, would they NOT work with the existing (or upcoming) Apple TB monitor??

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post #39 of 94

If it's as thin as the new iMacs (which it should be), I'd consider one for my office. First the 11" MBA then maybe the monitor.

 

I love the Apple BT keyboards and trackpad.

 

Even though the set up would have an extra wire on the desk compared to the 27" iMac (which is a big deal for me), it would be less one "device" to have to keep updated and sync'd.

post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A number of resellers have run dry of Apple Thunderbolt Display inventory, suggesting the 27-inch monitor may be due for an upgrade, perhaps with a thinner design that takes cues from the latest iMacs. ...

 

To me, this is only interesting if they are actually going to go back to making the bigger sizes.  27" just doesn't cut it once you are used to the older, bigger ones.  

 

It would also be nice to go back to a more rational aspect ratio like 16:10 but that will probably never happen now.  

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