According to MacRumors, the Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt Display is now shipping to stores. So what, you might ask. A new display is shipping. Big deal. Well, in this case it is much more than just another great looking Apple display. It has something new that no other display has — the Thunderbolt port.
When Apple announced the Thunderbolt connection standard would be included on their new Laptops, most consumers said, great now I have to worry about another connection standard? On the other hand, many professionals in graphic design and video sat up a little and said, “wow!”
Shortly after that Apple came out with its first display that used the standard. The standard allows you to daisy chain all sorts of things together through that one little port, and it all happens with speeds approaching the PCI bus in a Mac Pro! But the 27-inch display can be the answer to a lot of usage scenarios out there.
There is a move to more portable machines. I know I have an iMac at the office, but I would love to have just a laptop again. Well, now I can thanks to the 27-inch Thunderbolt display. The display has two connections for your laptop, a MagSafe Power tap for your laptop and the Thunderbolt connector. But, where the power lies is in the display.
On the back of the display you get three USB ports, a FireWire 800 Port, a Thunderbolt pass through and a Gigabit Ethernet connection! So with two cables I can connect to a desktop full of peripherals at full speed! So as an example, I could take my 17-inch MacBook Pro with an i7 processor and hook it up to this display and have external storage and a high speed network connection, and if I get a new Thunderbolt enabled video capture device I have a complete video edit suite, with one connection. Pretty amazing!
So, now that they are shipping, if you are considering a desktop iMac, you might want to take a moment and consider the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display and a MacBook Pro to get all the benefits of a desktop but with the added portability.