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Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/A (NEWEST VERSION)

Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/A (NEWEST VERSION)

  • 27-inch IPS display with LED backlighting
  • Thunderbolt and MagSafe All-in-One Cable Connectors
  • 2560 x 1440 Resolution; 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet port, FireWire 800 port, Thunderbolt port

With built-in Thunderbolt technology-the fastest, most flexible I/O ever-the 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display can do things other displays simply can’t. Of course, it delivers a brilliant viewing experience. But connect it to any Thunderbolt-enabled Mac and it becomes a plug-and-play hub for everything you do. Features include a high-resolution 2560 x 1440-pixel LED-backlit display, a FaceTime HD camera, high-quality audio, three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and

List Price: $ 999.00

Price: $ 929.00

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3 Responses to “Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/A (NEWEST VERSION)”

  1. Hankk says:
    58 of 60 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Beautiful, well-designed — and how to reduce the glare, September 22, 2011
    Hankk (Boulder, CO) –

    This review is from: Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/A (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    I pre-ordered this and received mine two days ago. A few comments:

    o The quality of the display itself is simply *perfect*. It’s sharp, bright, and super-responsive. The colors only shift very slightly when the screen is tilted.

    o The real estate here is *massive*. It’s a world of difference from my 24″ low-end Acer display. Keep in mind that when you’re running it at the highest resolution (which most people will!), your menu bar and other parts of the OS X system will look a fair bit smaller than they do on other displays. Those parts of OS X are a fixed pixel size… so smaller pixels means they’ll be smaller on the screen, and there’s no simple way to enlarge them.

    o Using it with Aperture in full-screen mode: it’s only now that I really see how sharp photos out of my camera are. There’s more pixels than I had before, and the pixels are sharper, and both of these help to make photos look amazing.

    o I used my Huey Pro to calibrate it out of the box. The before and after calibration profiles are virtually identical — that is, colors are perfect, with no adjustment needed.

    o The display has a Thunderbolt port on the back. You can use this to daisychain additional Thunderbolt displays, if you have an extra $1K to spend. But you can *not* plug a regular DVI monitor into this port, even with a DVI-to-Thunderbolt adapter. The second screen is dark. The manual confirms that this doesn’t work.

    o The power, USB hub, speakers, camera, etc. just work so easily to dock my laptop too. It’s all automatic and easy, and *everything* except for power goes through the Thunderbolt cable. So nice! (Kind of weird though that the power cable comes out at 90 degrees, while the Thunderbolt cable comes straight out.)

    o The speakers sound very full… in fact, a little bit *too* much bass and a bit tubby. Could be because I’m used to listening to everything through my laptop’s tinny speakers.

    o One moderately annoying thing: when the computer is not outputting any audio, the monitor’s audio circuit is entirely off. But when it needs to play any sound (new mail chime, etc.), you can hear the audio amplifiers turn on (click), play the sound, and then there’s about 15 seconds of very quiet static / white noise before the amplifiers turn off (click) and go back to silence. This is exactly how the Mac’s internal speakers work, and perhaps all computer speaker systems. The noise is not very loud at all. But in a quiet house, I notice it. If it was there all the time, it’d be less annoying than how it pulses on and off, like it does now. Turning the volume down doesn’t make any difference.

    o There’s a very, very faint buzzing sound that comes from the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Sounds like a transformer. It’s not audible if my laptop’s fan is running. It is goes away if the brightness is turned down below 50% or so. It’s very faint — I only hear it if it’s totally quiet. Much quieter than the amplifier noise above. Also, apparently there is a fan inside, but I’ve never once heard it.

    o The glare from the glass front panel is fairly annoying. The glare is actually worse on the black bezel than the main display: reflections against a black background are a lot easier to see than against the white. On the screen itself, especially on light-colored app windows, the glare’s not bad. (My office has indirect light from the outside right behind me.)

    Still, I soon removed the glass panel and bezel from the display entirely. This improves the glare situation *immensely*. The large piece of glass is held on to the front by strong magnets, but you can remove it by carefully putting a couple of fingernails under the edge, and pulling it off toward the front. Or use suction cups (google around for info). No adhesive, no screws — just magnets, and it’ll come off easily. This will then expose the actual LCD panel itself. The panel is still quite reflective (it has a glossy finish), but then there’s just one layer of glass to reflect, rather than two, so you get half the glare or less, plus no multiple-reflections. It also gets rid of *all* of the reflections from the bezel of course — which were more annoying to me than on the display itself. There are then some magnets and screws and other hardware exposed, but so be it. I’ve seen others who have custom-fit a matte bezel to cover the innards up again. With the inner panel exposed you need to be careful about not dinging it accidentally.

    But seriously Apple, please offer this in a non-glare version! The matte screen on my MacBook Pro is great to read all day, so I know you know how to do it!

    p.s. A thousand bucks for a monitor? Seems like a lot, but I figure I’ll get at least five years out of this, which is less than a buck a day.

    ** Update: After two months of using it, it’s still fabulous. The glare is less annoying than it was at…

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  2. Glenn R. Howes says:
    67 of 72 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Expensive and Worth It For Some, October 18, 2011
    Glenn R. Howes (Nashua, NH) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/A (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    This is a great monitor, easily the best I’ve ever used. It’s also an expensive monitor, easily the most expensive I’ve ever owned. Why I bought it came down to needs and wants.

    I needed a large monitor because it’s become harder and harder to do my job–Mac and iPhone programming–on my 13 inch MacBook Pro screen. The new version of Apple’s Xcode is just screen hungry, and I’ve drifted into doing most of my development at my desk using an external monitor. This is a shame, but while I can’t control Xcode’s interface, I can try to make my working life pleasant. I want to make life at my desk so enjoyable I’ll spend time there working and not finding ways to waste time. Thus, I was willing to spend for marginal improvements.

    All 27 inch displays are not made alike. The most popular 27 inch LCD monitor on Amazon at this writing is the ViewSonic VA2702W which bills itself as a full HD 1920×1080 (2.0 Megapixels, 82 pixels per inch display, at less then a third the price of this Thunderbolt display. 1080p is fine and even excessive on a TV you’d be watching video on from 10 feet away, but in terms of using as a computer monitor from two feet away where you spend the day reading 9 point text, the 2560 x 1440 3.7 Megapixels, 109 ppi) of this display makes a whole lot more sense. Coincidentally, I was sent for review an HP 2711x which is a 27 inch 1080p monitor, and while decent enough for what it is, I would not want to use it as my primary work monitor, text is blocky and web pages and source listings show less readable content, and off-angle viewing is unattractive. The cheaper monitor is basically just a TV, except without a remote–although it’s possible people with vision impairments might prefer the larger screen elements.

    There are a few competing 27 inch 2560 x 1440 monitors sold here on Amazon. The NEC PA271w-bk is even more expensive and is aimed at the professional photography market, the Dell U2711 is cheaper but has a lot of complaints about text output, and there are several others, so the Thunderbolt display is price competitive with other largish monitors with the same resolution; they all are pretty expensive.

    Also this is an IPS display, the same technology used in the iPad to allow viewing over a wide range of angles, other display technology will lose their color saturation when not looking at dead straight into the monitor. It’s gorgeous. Gorgeous but tends to have a lot of glare, so I carefully angle it away from room lights.

    I carry a 13 inch MacBook Pro, and I’m transitioning my wife to using a new MacBook Air. Both devices have Thunderbolt ports, so attaching our laptops to the display involves inserting two cables: the Magsafe power cable and the Thunderbolt cable. The MacBook Pro has the advantage of having both ports on the left side, the Air has one on either side. I’m much more likely to use my desk environment if I’m not pulling off USB and Firewire cables, and pinching Ethernet cables in addition to power and display. The Air, in particular, which has limited ports becomes something akin to a “real” computer when attached to this display–it is sweet having a real Ethernet port automatically connect especially when using the display for streaming video. There are Thunderbolt hubs that 3rd parties have announced, but having the hub integrated into the monitor is preferable. The Thunderbolt Display is not compelling for users of desktop Macs, as they will already have ports and will not need to be unhooked frequently.

    My MacBook Pro has plenty of ports, so the Thunderbolt Display is more of a convenience but the MacBook Air needs ports to function effectively as a desktop replacement. If I’m going to attach external hard drives, I’m not going to use USB 2.0 when I have Firewire 800 available. Which brings up an oddity. The USB ports on the Thunderbolt display are USB 2.0, which makes them almost born obsolete. I understand that neither Intel (inventor of Thunderbolt) nor Apple cares for USB 3.0, but it seems as though there would be adequate bandwidth to provide at least one, even if it would be very non-Apple-like to have different flavors of USB on the same computer.

    Once attached, the Air becomes a competitive desktop, with its i7 (or i5) processor and speedy SSD paired with a huge display and adequate port selection. It’s…

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  3. Lon J. Seidman "lon401" says:
    19 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Crystal Clear Image Quality but lousy audio and tons of glare, October 3, 2011
    Lon J. Seidman “lon401″ (CT) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/A (NEWEST VERSION) (Personal Computers)

    My reason for purchasing this display was the image quality which is definitely worth every one of the 5 stars I’m rating it.

    Like all Apple products the Thunderbolt display is exceptionally well built and designed, offering the same display components as the beautiful 27″ iMac. There was absolutely zero configuration required beyond adjusting the brightness to my liking using the Mac OS X control panel. Once I plugged Thunderbolt cable into my Mac everything sprang to life, including all of the ports on the back. My Mac works great with the lid closed and it fits nicely underneath the display. It will turn itself on as soon as the cable connects. The display also includes a power cable for Macbooks.

    The Thunderbolt Display is not for everyone, however. Here are a few cautions you should know about prior to purchasing:

    1. Most important: **This display is only for very recent Macs that are equipped with a thunderbolt connection** If you don’t have a thunderbolt port on your Mac it will not work! Note that the connector looks identical to the mini-display port that can be found on most modern Macs, so it’s very important that you confirm first that your machine does indeed have a Thunderbolt connection. It will not work with anything else, including PCs.

    2. The display is very, very glossy and will give off a ton of glare if any light is within line of sight to the display. It looks and operates beautifully in my home office but your mileage may vary significantly.

    3. Despite Apple’s claims of exceptional audio quality, the onboard speakers are not much better than the cheap pair that came with your Dell 15 years ago. Don’t buy it for the audio quality.

    I’m happy to answer questions in the comments!

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