• 3.0 out of 5 stars

    The 27" Thunderbolt Display should come with a pair of glasses

    This is my first Mac after a lifetime of PC. I'm getting the hang of it, but that's not the point of this review.

    I decided to buy a Mac and bought the best one I could. As a PC user, I've ALWAYS heard that Macs are more expensive because they come with everything, so I was a little surprised to learn it didn't even come with a basic word processor. REALLY?? Two grand later and I have to buy a friggin' Word Processor???

    This display is beautiful. What isn't so beautiful is that fact that the resolution of the display minimizes the font size to about .2. Almost microscopic, but not quite. How did the guys that make the "best computers in the world" miss the fact that you can't SEE a word on this???

    I'm generously giving this 3 stars, but I've only had it two days.

    3 of 23 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    need improvement

    1. USB 3.0
    2. Magsafe 2
    3. built-in more powerful display card; so that all MacBook can maintain light-weight and long battery life; yet become a real desktop when using as a desktop.

    22 of 29 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Nice, but expensive, glossy and terrible connectivity.

    Just got this display in a new company, one for the office, one for home. After a few days have some thoughts...

    Working on it is awesome, colors are bright, everything is sharp, etc. Unless it's exposed to the daylight :( It's sooo glossy. I've heard there's a new model coming better in that respect, but this one is GLOSSY! This makes working on it really hard at times.

    Another thing is connectivity. Can't connect my older MacBook Pro, just because it doesn't have a Thunderbolt display? No HDMI, so can't connect my Apple TV? No AirPlay? I mean, for a $999 device, it's crazy - only one form of input?

    Additional ports are quite handy, but somehow, whenever my Retina MacBook goes to sleep (in clamshell mode), the keyboard stops responding. Have to reconnect the cable in the back - somewhat annoying, but can't be 100% sure if it's the display or something else.

    Wish Apple tried harder - this could be awesome.

    48 of 51 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great Display with limited Ports

    There's only three USB ports on this "ultimate docking station".

    9 of 17 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    It would be perfekt if...

    I've had my display soon for a week, and I am quite content with it. It is quality all through. There is however one problem. My display won't wake up with my MBP. The display stays in sleep mode.

    I was in contact with apple support regarding this and got the answer that it is a known bug. The work-around is that i have to pull out the thunderbolt cord from the MBP and put it in again. Then the screen wakes up again. That is HIGHLY annoying. Until apple fixes that issue I will have to keep on doing that.

    219 of 250 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Standby Issues and Fatal Crash

    After about a month the display crashed and would not wake from standby or turn on after a reboot. Prior to the crash, I experienced USB and network issues similar to those mentioned in a previous post and wonder whether I got a lemon or there is a more serious problem with the display. An Apple Genius could not get the monitor to reboot and suggested that it might be a faulty logic board or power supply issue. I purchased a new display along with an extended warranty from the Apple store and returned the broken one to Amazon, which said the display was back ordered for another 6 weeks. Its a nice display but it shouldn't crash after a month.

    50 of 65 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    It's mostly good...

    The display is amazing! Graphics are unbelievable crisp, the colors are awesome!

    The glare issue is pretty bad... you really need to be strategic where you place it to avoid reflection... also it can be pretty intense sitting too close to it all day... need a good 2' deep desk to really be at a comfortable distance.

    58 of 70 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Love the display, but issues with USB and ethernet

    Great display, love it. The reason I decided on this display was the ease of connecting all my devices at my desk to the back. I.e. like a docking station concept. However....
    When the display goes to sleep (while I sleep), I loose USB and ethernet when it wakes up. There are many users with this problem, so some patience might be required if you plan to use the ports on the back! I am going to call Apple Support, etc...

    So, 5 starts for style and quality of the display, and 1 start for stability of the connected devices. I'll rate this in the middle.

    52 of 59 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Nice But Not Enough Pixels

    Okay, this is a great display. And okay, it has more then ample pixels for most people. But, for developers and designers creating stuff for the new 2012 iPad, using this display requires either zooming back or panning to create native art. Obviously, less than ideal and not what you're looking for when you're shopping for a mega-display. Hopefully, Apple has something new waiting in the wings, but until they release that phantom, this is their best offering for us and it fails a bit.

    40 of 53 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Sharp display, but unacceptable glare/reflection.

    First let me say it really is a beautiful display, the thing is very sharp and colors are noticeably more rich than other LCDs. However, there's just way too much glare even in a moderately lit office environment to use it comfortably for long periods of time. After just a couple of hours of looking at it, my eyes get sore and I have headaches by the end of the day.

    I tried a 3M privacy/anti-glare filter, which quickly eliminated the eye strain and headaches, but it makes the display look absolutely horrible, worse than some bargain bin LCD. The screen is just too big for a filter; while looking at the center of the screen, several inches of the edges are blurred without moving my head.

    Also I've had problems with the Ethernet over Thunderbolt to my MBP that others have reported in forums. I connect/disconnect my laptop several times a day for meetings and eventually the MBP doesn't see Ethernet link anymore unless I reboot (some device enumeration issue?).

    I really want to like this display. I understand the color and sharpness may be a function of the glass, but there needs to be a better medium. What's the point of a great display if you can't look at it?

    50 of 53 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Looks good, but has design flaws

    Don't hope to use this monitor as a 'docking station' for your thunderbolt-equipped MBA or MBP; there's no microphone, headphone, or SD-card reader built in. A pity - could have made a fantastic home-base for the mobile crowd. Seems silly, to have lowered the bar, all for the sake of shaving a few dollars off the bottom line.

    29 of 57 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Good display but this is not a docking station

    The quality of the picture is excellent in a dark room, but the screen is too glossy to be used near a window. I wished I could have used this display as a docking station but unfortunately, the Ethernet connexion only works if you boot your laptop with the display connected. It does not work if you just wake up the computer and then plug the display.

    61 of 67 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Major design flaw

    The 27" Thunderbolt is one inch shorter than the iMac 27", so the displays don't line up correctly. How on earth does an aesthetically sophisticated company like Apple allow this to happen?

    I hope they get someone to make a one-inch platform that I can put under the Thunderbolt in order to line them up. I refuse to clutter my desk by putting a book under the monitor.

    Also, Lion doesn't appear to allow me to use the speakers from both monitors in stereo fashion. Basically, I have to get the sound out of one or the other -- which doesn't line up with the visuals. I'll have to purchase external speakers in order for this to make any sense.

    These are simple things that Apple could have easily thought through, and can easily fix.

    111 of 135 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Nice hardware, Software need serious work.

    Good stuff first:
    • The display quality is terrific.
    • Only need two cables going into my laptop now (thunderbolt & power).
    • No more external power brick for the display (compared to Apple's older displays).
    • Built-in mag-safe connector means I can keep my laptop's charger in its bag.
    • I think the speakers sound pretty good.

    Bad stuff:
    With my laptop lid closed, it's impossible to wake the computer from sleep with a wired keyboard, without doing a hard restart. Which means, if I want to use this display and not lose all my work, I can't put the computer to sleep, ever. This should be fixable with a software/firmware update.

    86 of 93 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Nice idea, but somewhat lacking in execution.

    This is the first Apple product I'm not willing to give a five star rating, as Apple's subcontractor seems to have some serious quality control issues.

    The good part: The display looks stunning and matches all my other Apple gear, as well as acting as a docking station. Being able to connect my 2011 MacBook Pro with just two cables, hooking everything else up to the display, is great.

    The bad part is quality of the screen itself, though. I'm now on my third! Apple Store replaced the first one during the remorse period, due to a hot pixel. The replacement was worse however, having a couple of dead pixels, what appeared to be some sort of dust or debris within the panel, as well as poor backlighting in general, and particularly poor and non-uniform backlighting along the lower edge of the screen. The current one has a funny smell, that I'm hoping will go away, and what seems to be some smudges or fingerprints within the panel or behind the front glass at the lower part of the display. However, as it is only visible against a solid background, and the panel has no pixel errors and the backlighting is much better, I will keep it. I am sure Apple Store would exchange it if I complained though, they've been very understanding and helpful so far, it's just such a hassle and I'm afraid I might get an inferior one instead.

    The Verdict: If you get a perfect sample, this is a great product, but be prepared not to. Apple Store's customer service has been great, though.

    46 of 50 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great picture, terrible sound

    Bought for my 2011 11" MacBook Air as a replacement for an old 21" Cinema Display. It's perfect for the job: with just the Thunderbolt and MagSafe connectors plugged in, I have my whole desktop set up. A *lot* less wiring than my old display, and a relief to not have an external PSU again.

    I'd planned to get rid of my (bottom-end) Bose speakers since the display has built-in sound but I'm now having second thoughts: it sounds *terrible*. Tinny and hollow; well below Apple quality. The in-store unit I tried was much the same too, so I don't think I have a bad unit. Not sure what to do now: the Thunderbolt display takes up so much desk space that I don't have room for speakers, and even if I did, there's no audio out on the display itself so it'd be a third cable to have to worry about each time I dock and undock.

    39 of 43 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Great piece of equipment, has a few issues

    I purchased this to extend the desktop of my 13" MBP (a great little laptop incidentally). The monitor detects automatically and I get the brilliant display, which matches up with my MBP's display wonderfully in terms of color and temp. But, the audio which is supposed to automatically pipe into the monitors speakers almost never actually does. I have to reboot with the monitor attached for it to recognize. I've also noticed that the external hard drives that I have attached to the firewire 800 port don't mount either.

    I'll agree with the issue of integration with Lion's full screen mode. You throw iPhoto or any other app into full screen and depending on the program, sometimes it goes into full screen in my laptop, sometimes in the monitor. You'd think that it would automatically go into full screen into the display that the app window is in but it doesn't. Then to top it off the other monitor goes gray with the pattern of the sign in screen. So rather than being able to work full screen on one screen and being able to have say your mail and browser apps open in the 2nd, you basically end up with just one screen. A big screen but just one screen. This is very much a software and not a hardware issue as the screen itself is beautiful and does what it should do, which is display my information.

    I don't have an iMac but I did notice the issue with the height of the monitor. Why would they make the 27" display a couple of inches shorter than the current 27" iMac? That makes no sense at all. Unless it's a harbinger of the 27" refresh it's a pretty glaring oversight. If the refresh is the same size as the current display then I guess that'll explain it. As it stands there is a company that sells a pretty nifty shelf that gets the 2 within mm of one another and provides a shelf to store your keyboard and an integrated usb hub. An option for those considering the purchase to match up with their iMacs.

    63 of 72 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Dual display bugs and poor design choices mar an otherwise amazing product


    • This display provides real dual display functionality for laptops for the first time in Apple history. This has allowed me to ditch my Mac Pro and consolidate to a single machine. I cannot say how amazing that has been.
    • The Thunderbolt ports do not appear to be a bottleneck for connected devices. I have seen no slowdowns from chaining the displays.
    • The screen has fairly accurate color representation, an even backlight and good brightness variation for different environments.


    • A dual display setup is very buggy. Dual display support under Lion is abysmal, but I have tried to not reflect that in my judgement of this product. When reconnecting the laptop, the displays often "forget" arrangement, desktop backgrounds and which one is the primary. This is a major annoyance and actually makes me not want to disconnect the laptop because I'll have to spend 2 min resetting things when I get back. It doesn't "just work" and it needs to be fixed quickly.
    • It's not just glossy, it's practically a mirror finish. I have used several 30" displays from other vendors and while the matte finish wasn't as attractive while off, they worked a lot better while on. Any amount of sunlight causes severe issues with reflections. You must be very careful where you place the displays. I understand the aesthetic, but not at the expense of usability. I would very much like to see a matte option.

    I personally wouldn't buy these displays if they weren't the only ones that allowed for chaining. That being said, they do (generally) perform as promised.

    Fixing reconnection bugs would bump my review to a solid 4 stars. A matte option would make it 5 (and cause me to upgrade).

    285 of 320 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Won't work with non-thunderbolt display

    I would've given this display a 5 start if it wasn't for this problem. I have an 24 inch samsung LCD that uses DVI, it works when I hook it up direct with my 2011 MBP via a mini display port to DVI adaptor, but if I plug it into the thunderbolt port on the back of the new thunderbolt display, the monitor won't be recognized. I thought it would work fine since it is the same thunderbolt port, but for some reason it doesn't.

    So, if you want to buy this monitor and also wants to use your old non-thunderbolt monitor, be ware of this problem. I hope they come up with some kind of update or adaptor soon.

    Other than that, the display itself is great, the picture quality is superb, and the glossy screen doesn't bug me that much even in the bright room. Audio is also decent, good enough for day to day use.

    66 of 93 people found this useful

  • 3.0 out of 5 stars

    Low USB bus power

    I've had this for a few weeks now. Mostly it rocks; somehow my macbook pro seems faster when it's connected.

    Something I noticed recently has me scratching my head. I got a wired keyboard to attach to it and the ports on the side of the keyboard are not powered. Very lame. At first I thought, hey it's my notebook, of course Apple didn't design it to power a desk full of accessories. Then I remembered that the USB controller is in the display completely independent of the laptop and Apple has engineered in not enough power for the wired keyboard to act as a USB hub. I'd expect some problems with 1.0, but leaving out enough bus power is rude.

    104 of 124 people found this useful