Can you close your mac laptop while using the display?

Apple Thunderbolt Display (27" flat panel)

Apple Thunderbolt Display (27" flat panel)

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1 Answer from the Community

  • Short answer is yes. But you can also use it as an extended display or duplex display. It's pretty much like any other additional display unit except a few surprising differences, as noted below:

    1. There is very little external control. So adjusting the screen's parameters (mainly brightness) is via the System Preferences Panel.
    2. The display actually detects power usage when the thunderbolt port is connected. After this, you can connect a usb cable to one of the three ports at the back to do pretty much anything such as charging a USB modem, charging your iPhone or connecting a USB printer. Even after you disconnect the thunderbolt cable, the units continue to charge. So it's a great overnight charger for my iPhone.
    3. You cannot switch of the thunderbolt display, even under system preferences -- easy to ignore if you just limit your mouse movements to your laptop's screen real estate, but it's easy to slip the mouse across to your thunderbolt display accidentally (which is annoying)
    4. The speakers are at the bottom of the thunderbolt display whilst the camera and the microphone is at the top front and top edge respectively. This means when you're skyping, you look like you're being a snob as you tend to move your mouse towards the location of the microphone for better sound recording quality. I found the microphone's location is not very effective (based on feedback from listeners on the other side).
    5. Apparently, some people have reported that the audio settings plays up sometimes, so make sure you go to "Sound" under System Preferences first to select the input and output to the USB Thunderbolt display, which is described as "Display Audio" under Type: USB.

    Hope that helps.