Thunderbolt Display: Past its shelf life

Posted on by Mike Evans


Among the many Apple products not mentioned at Monday's Keynote were external displays. The current 27in Thunderbolt Cinema Display is past its shelf life primarily because it offers only USB 2 sockets. It is no longer, as Apple claim in the online store, "the ultimate docking station." I am in the market for an upgrade because my existing 24in display is now over five years old. It is still working perfectly but it is pre-Thunderbolt. However, I am not about to get out my credit card and give Apple £899 for a device that I am convinced will be updated soon.

With the new Mac Pro arriving later this year there will be a real need for a complementary external display. I feel sure Apple will not ship the Mac Pro until they have a display they can be proud of, one that can indeed be described as the ultimate dock.

At the very least, I expect a new 27in display, thin like the current iMacs and with USB 3.0 sockets. But, with renewed emphasis on the Pro and the demand for multi-screen computing, it would not be surprising to see the size increased to 30in with, perhaps, a reintroduction of the older 24in size at a cheaper price.

If we are lucky, though, the new Cinema Display could feature a 4K display. It would be much more expensive than the existing model so I imagine Apple would continue to list a lower-resolution device at the same £899 price as the current screen.

If you are about to buy a Cinema Display, it's a good idea to hold off until the end of summer.

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