It looks the same as the now-discontinued LED Cinema Display, but Apple’s brand-new Thunderbolt Display (27-inch) ($999) has a whole new set of tricks up its sleeve. Rocking the same huge, beautiful screen as its predecessor, it’s the perfect desktop enhancement for your MacBook, especially the MacBook Air. The under-the-hood changes bring it up to speed with the latest Mac computers, too.
In addition to the I/O features found on the previous model—integrated speakers and three USB ports—Apple has added a few new goodies. Now there’s a FireWire 800 port, and an Ethernet port—two features that are perfect for Air users—next to a brand-new Thunderbolt port. This means you can daisy-chain multiple displays or devices to a 15- or 17-inch MacBook Pro. The FaceTime camera has been updated too, now with HD (720p) resolution. We liked the prior version’s cord, and now it’s even simpler: one cable splits off with a Magsafe Power Adapter, and a second is for Thunderbolt and all of the other I/O connections—there’s no need for a separate USB connector any more. It’s another step in the right direction.