Big surprise here, eh? These new displays were leaked by Apple itself a few days back but the company finally made them public alongside the new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and OS X Lion. The most important change, besides the inclusion of the Thunderbolt port of course, is they’re now called the Apple Thunderbolt Display. Gone is the Cinema part of the name that was part of Apple display tradition for so many years. Let’s pause for a second out of respect.
The 16:9 displays use IPS panels that feature a 178 degree viewing angle. There’s a built-in FaceTime HD camera, 2.1 speaker system, and integrated MagSafe charger for easy Mac notebook charging. The display works as a sort of Thunderbolt hub with three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and an additional Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining five additional Thunderbolt device. How awesome is that!
These new features turn the display into more than just a monitor. The Apple Thunderbolt Display is a docking station of sorts thanks to the high-speed, 10Gbps Thunderbolt port that feeds all the interconnects on the new monitor. Just plug in a Thunderbolt MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or Mac Mini and the display becomes a full extension of the computer, adding functionality and ports.
The Thunderbolt display will be available ”with the next 60 days” at a MSRP of $999. It of course requires a Mac with a Thunderbolt port.