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Thunderbolt Display: Past its shelf life

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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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