REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Apple27" Thunderbolt Display
 
4.6

(based on 104 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (82)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (83)
  • Easy to set up (78)
  • Vivid colors (77)
  • Adjustable (24)
  • Lightweight (12)

Cons

  • Poor adjustability (6)

Best Uses

  • Hooked to A laptop (58)
  • Home computer (39)
  • Multimedia (39)
  • Gaming (14)
  • Office (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Quality oriented (84), Budget shopper (8), Tech savvy (4)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (48), Business (45)
    • Computer Platform:
    • Mac (95)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent display, but not perfect

I purchased this last week, and I must say I'm quite impressed. I am replacing a 2011 21.5" iMac with a combination of the 27" Thunderbolt display and my 2012...Read complete review

I purchased this last week, and I must say I'm quite impressed. I am replacing a 2011 21.5" iMac with a combination of the 27" Thunderbolt display and my 2012 15" Retina display Macbook Pro. I can't quite give it a 5 star rating because of 2 reasons -- I knocked off 1/2 star for lack of USB 3.0 support, and the 1/2 a star for the glossy screen.

Yes, it's a little glossy, but no glossier than my 2011 iMac which it replaced. The glare is not really a major problem for me -- BUT, it does knock off about half of a star because of it. Sometime soon, hopefully, when the supply of the 27" iMac displays meets the demand, Apple will most likely upgrade the Thunderbolt display with a display similar to that of the new iMac which is claimed to reduce glare by up to 75%. If the glossy display is a problem for you, I would not recommend that you purchase this display and wait for an updated model.

No USB 3.0 support isn't really a big deal for me, because if I don't really transfer large amounts of data through USB anymore. That's what thunderbolt is for. But, If the display did have USB 3.0 support, it would be a really great feature.

The other thing people complain about with this display is lack of a power switch. As for me, I actually LOVE that it does not have a power switch. The thing I hated about my iMac the most is that I had to reach behind the unit to power it on. With this, I simply leave it plugged in. When I want to use the display, I connect the mag-safe cable and thunderbolt cable to my retina Macbook, and it automatically turns on.

The mag-safe connector on the TB display is the old Mag-safe 1.0 style connector. However, Apple was nice enough to provide the magsafe 2.0 adapter. So, I can use this display with both my 2011 Macbook Air and my 2012 Retina Macbook Pro.

Also worth noting is that the mag-safe and thunderbolt cable connectors extend from a single non-removeable cable on the back of the display. The cable splits in 2 about 12" from the end of the cable. This is a nice feature, because it keeps the cabling neat, but still allows me to connect the power and thunderbolt cables to my 2011 Macbook Air, which has the Mag-safe Cable Port and Thunderbolt ports on opposite sides of the computer.

Keep in mind that when connecting a Mac with lower resolution (like my 11" Macbook Air, the resolution of the display will only match the resolution of the laptop. So, you only get to take advantage of the 2560 * 1440 display if you are connecting a computer capable of displaying 2560 * 1440.

As far as daisy chaining thunderbolt devices, I have successfully daisy chained 4 Thunderbolt devices, (all I have) from the computer, and was able to access All of the devices at the same time. This is my setup:

Retina Macbook -- TB Display -- Drobo Mini -- Drobo 5D -- Seagate GoFlex 3.5" Thunderbolt adapter with 2 TB Hard Drive -- Seagate 2.5" GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter with 128 GB SSD.

The interesting thing I found about this setup is that the last device in the chain was not running from an AC adapter like the others. It was running from the power coming through the thunderbolt cable.

As with most external displays in OS X, the display can be used as a second screen and it's arrangement can be to the left, right, top or bottom of the display depending on the user's personal setup; or it can be used as a mirrored display. The display operates both with the laptop open or closed. The computer can be put to sleep and woken up while in the laptop is in the closed position. The computer can be powered off by while the computer is closed, but can only be powered on by opening the laptop and pressing the power button. When used as a second screen, keep in mind that 10.7 and 10.8 cause the second screen to go blank as soon as the first screen opens in full screen mode. This is a flaw in the operating system, not the display.

All in all, An excellent display. Yes, it's expensive, and no, it's not perfect, but the bottom line is I feel it's money well spent.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nice but buggy

The monitor is very nice, but many people are having problems with these displays. Mine worked for about a month but usb ports were very slow. Also a few times I had connectivity...Read complete review

The monitor is very nice, but many people are having problems with these displays. Mine worked for about a month but usb ports were very slow. Also a few times I had connectivity issues that require a computer reboot. However most of the time the monitor worked well with the computer. But then a few days ago it stopped working. Now is completely dead. Perhaps I just got a defective item. My advice is to research the other people's experience (apple support site is good for that) before buying.

Reviewed by 104 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sharp Vivid Display

By Dcritic

from Truckee, CA

About Me Quality Oriented

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Adjustable
  • Easy To Set Up
  • Sharp Image
  • Vivid Colors

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Hooked To A Laptop

    Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

    Great for processing/editing photographs in Photoshop and Lightroom.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
    • Computer Platform:
    • Mac

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Great Monitor

    By LAJayhawk

    from Los Angeles, CA

    About Me Quality Oriented

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Set Up
    • Sharp Image
    • Vivid Colors

    Cons

    • Less Flexible Than Others

    Best Uses

    • Home Computer
    • Hooked To A Laptop
    • Multimedia

    Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

    Functionally it works flawlessly with a MacBook. Images look excellent with no dead pixels. Price is high, but worth it if you have a Mac.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
    • Computer Platform:
    • Mac

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Great Monitor - One Major Flaw (For Me)

    By Ozric Tentacle

    from Fort Collins, CO

    About Me Quality Oriented

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Sharp Image
    • Vivid Colors

    Cons

    • Bootcamp Issues

    Best Uses

      Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

      This is a great monitor, if a little old. The quality of the screen is amazing with colours that pop out at you. I thoroughly enjoyed the two days I had with them (I had ordered two to go with my mid-2014 MacBook Pro).

      Of disappointment was the fact that the USB ports were only 2.0 and not 3.0 rendering them fairly useless as far as extending the MacBook Pro's ports. I'm sure if the rumoured 4K version will upgrade those.

      The biggest issue for me - and the reason I returned both monitors - is that I am constantly going between OS X and Windows (via Bootcamp) and it turns out that under Windows it is utterly impossible to have two Thunderbolt monitors connected and active at the same time. Windows only sees one of them no matter what amount of port arranging you do (both direct; daisy-chained). This was a major failing for me and thus rendered them next to useless - or at least not up to the task at hand. Had there been any way to easily connect and use both, I would probably have kept them.

      • Primary use:
      • Business
      • Computer Platform:
      • Mac

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Expensive, but worth it

      By Martin

      from Chattanooga, TN

      About Me Quality Oriented

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Adjustable
      • Easy To Set Up
      • Fast Throughput
      • Sharp Image
      • Vivid Colors

      Cons

      • Price

      Best Uses

      • Editing
      • Hooked To A Laptop

      Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

      I'm using the Thunderbolt display together with my Macbook Pro mainly for complex editing work in the field of Near Eastern archaeology and the quality is outstanding. I run various devices through the display and the speed is impressive. Definitely worth the high price-tag.

      • Primary use:
      • Business
      • Computer Platform:
      • Mac

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      4.0

      Excellent display; so-so dock

      By wmkphoto

      from Chicagoland area

      About Me Quality Oriented

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Set Up
      • Lightweight

      Cons

      • Usb 2 Ports Really

      Best Uses

        Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

        The display is excellent. Good color, detail and easy on my eyes for editing photos. Calibrates easy although mine didn't need any out of the box. I love the size, weight and construction. The docking function is a half hearted attempt though. I love the FW800 port, but two USB 2 ports? Not USB 3? Just shows Apple design is far from perfect. I use the USB 2 ports for my Wacom Tablet but still plug my USB 3 card reader into my laptop. While i'm complaining how about one more Thunderbolt port? I find the ethernet port useless so that spot could be used.
        A nice piece of gear and matches to my MacBook Pro perfect. Looks good. Just needs a sprinkling of up to date tech.

        • Primary use:
        • Business
        • Computer Platform:
        • Mac

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        5.0

        Thunderbolt Display

        By Whiterider

        from Tn

        Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

        Beautiful. View the Hubble telescope on this!

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        5.0

        Love it so much, I bought 2!

        By olivay

        from austin, texas

        About Me Quality Oriented

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Adjustable
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Sharp Image
        • Vivid Colors

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Home Computer

          Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

          I split time in two places - I missed my apple display so much that i bought a second one for my other location. It's clear and large - easy to set up. Apple products are really worth the extra money in my eyes - and B&H offers the best price out there for a new display.

          • Primary use:
          • Business
          • Computer Platform:
          • Mac

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Amazing product

          By Mary

          from Brooklyn, NY

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

          Couldn't be better. I tried this monitor after trying a few standard monitor solutions to needing a thunderbolt connection. Not to be compared. If you have a mac and can afford this pricey monitor, you'll feel grateful for it's native features, sleek design and useful ports.

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent Monitor

          By Uncle Donald

          from St. Joseph

          About Me Quality Oriented

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Set Up
          • Sharp Image
          • Vivid Colors

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Hooked To A Laptop
            • Multimedia

            Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

            Using with Macbook Pro for desktop operation. Had to get adapter to be able to use Magsafe power connector to connect to Macbook.

            • Primary use:
            • Business
            • Computer Platform:
            • Mac

            Share this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Amazing display!

            By alkolpanim

            from los angeles, CA

            About Me Quality Oriented

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Set Up
            • Sharp Image
            • Vivid Colors

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gaming
              • Home Computer
              • Hooked To A Laptop
              • Multimedia

              Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

              My Thunderbolt Display is absolutely amazing! I couldn't do my work without one.

              • Primary use:
              • Business
              • Computer Platform:
              • Mac

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Superb monitor for medical images

              By Tiffany

              from Morgantown, WV

              About Me Quality Oriented

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Sharp Image
              • Vivid Colors

              Cons

              • No height adjustment

              Best Uses

                Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                The monitor is being used to display high resolution microscope slides and medical images. The clarity and color definition are superb and provide great improvement in a demanding application over a standard monitor. The built-in USB, Firewire, and ethernet connections are very helpful when connecting to a laptop rather than hooking/unhooking all of these. The additional pixels over a 24 inch are very helpful when you can't attach two monitors.

                • Primary use:
                • Business
                • Computer Platform:
                • Mac

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                4.0

                REVIEW_NUMBER_FIELD

                By Ben

                from Texas

                About Me Quality Oriented

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Sharp Image
                • Stylish Hardware
                • Vivid Colors

                Cons

                • Cost

                Best Uses

                • Gaming
                • Home Computer
                • Hooked To A Laptop
                • Multimedia

                Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                I connect this screen up to my mac book for a bigger display when I'm at home. The display is gorgeous - crisp dispay, vibrant colours and natural looking motion on the display. The monitor itself is similar to a lot of apple products - it looks stylish and well constructed.
                The only complaints that I have with the monitor are A) It's Apple and the price tag reflects that... but it's usually worth the price. B) You are locked into using the display with thunderbolt capable computers... unless you bought some sort of USB to thunderbolt adapter.

                • Primary use:
                • Personal
                • Computer Platform:
                • Mac

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                worked as described

                By Joe

                from Jacksonville NC

                About Me Value Oriented

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Set Up
                • Lightweight
                • Sharp Image
                • Vivid Colors

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Computer

                  Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                  Plug it in, plug it to the man and it works, plain and simple as that. 2 monitors is much easier.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal
                  • Computer Platform:
                  • Mac

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great Monitor

                  By MVP

                  from West Michigan

                  About Me Quality Oriented

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Multimedia

                      Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                      This monitor is used for photo and video editing, and I love the vivid colors.

                      • Primary use:
                      • Business
                      • Computer Platform:
                      • Mac

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Mixed Emotion

                      By brandonblakemusic

                      from texas

                      About Me Quality Oriented

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                            I am using this as an extension for my Macbook Pro. As a film composer on a limited budget, I wanted to add screens to my Macbook Pro rather than buy a MacPro with 3 screens. The solution was adding a screen that I could daisy chain another monitor from.

                            The screen is brilliant and sharp and huge!! I love the extra real estate this thing brings.

                            The only thing I don't like is that it turns out that it doesn't work for what I bought it for. All the sales pages say you can daisy chain 6 devices, but it turns out you can chain ANY other device except a screen. It's greatly disappointing and the sales pages are misleading. It leaves me needing to buy another TB display or an intermediary device like a hard drive or TB hub. Not what I was expecting.

                            All in all, I would make the decision again though. Its a great screen with only 1 cable to plug into the laptop. Just need to figure out how to get the 3rd screen working.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Business
                            • Computer Platform:
                            • Mac

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                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Outstanding - receivedwell ahead of time

                            By Prem

                            from Newton, MA

                            About Me Value Oriented

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Adjustable
                            • Easy To Set Up
                            • Lightweight
                            • Sharp Image
                            • Vivid Colors

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Hooked To A Laptop

                              Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                              I received it well ahead of time. Excellent packing. No complaints whatsoever

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal
                              • Computer Platform:
                              • Mac

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Very good.

                              By HN

                              from Milpitas CA

                              Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                              Very good product for photo. I love it

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              exactly as advertised

                              By Tom P.

                              from Round Lake, IL

                              About Me Quality Oriented

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Set Up
                              • Sharp Image
                              • Vivid Colors

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Multimedia

                                Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                                What can I say. It is big, beautiful and has microphone, speakers, camera... far more then just a monitor.

                                • Primary use:
                                • Personal
                                • Computer Platform:
                                • Mac

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                                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                I didn't want to get rid of my 30"

                                By Tom STL

                                from St Louis, MO

                                About Me Quality Oriented

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Set Up
                                • Sharp Image
                                • Vivid Colors

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Photography Video

                                  Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                                  As a photographer my display in important to me. The 27" blows the doors of my old 30" Apple display

                                  • Primary use:
                                  • Business
                                  • Computer Platform:
                                  • Mac

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                                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  expensive, but every penny works

                                  By Alex Ray

                                  from Santa Clara, CA

                                  About Me Quality Oriented

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Beautiful picture
                                  • Easy To Set Up
                                  • Sharp Image
                                  • Vivid Colors

                                  Cons

                                  • Price
                                  • Usb 2
                                  • Usb 20

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Gaming
                                  • Home Computer
                                  • Hooked To A Laptop
                                  • Multimedia

                                  Comments about Apple 27" Thunderbolt Display:

                                  I changed monitor DELL to Apple.
                                  As the picture on the DELL did not like me and very tired eyes. Now I am happy.
                                  Beautiful dock for my MacBook Pro Retina.

                                  • Primary use:
                                  • Personal
                                  • Computer Platform:
                                  • Mac

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