The Apple Thunderbolt Display is a flat panel computer monitor sold by Apple Inc., introduced on July 20, 2011. It and the older Apple LED Cinema Display are the only two models of display currently sold by Apple, sharing identical components for the display portion of the product. New to the Thunderbolt Display is the switch from Mini DisplayPort and USB to a single Thunderbolt connection for data transfer between computer and display. The increased throughput from switching to Thunderbolt enables inclusion of a Gigabit Ethernet port and a FireWire 800 port on the display. Older model Macs with Mini DisplayPort, including all Macs introduced in 2010, are incompatible with the Thunderbolt Display.
Like its LED Cinema Display predecessor, the resolution of the 27-inch model is 2560 pixels × 1440 pixels, and follows a 16:9aspect ratio. It is made with aluminium and glass, having a similar appearance to the current ranges of iMac and MacBook Pro unibody designs. The display features a built-in 720pFaceTime HD camera (replacing the iSight in the previous model), microphone, and stereo speaker system with subwoofer (2.1 channel). An octopus cable combining Thunderbolt and MagSafe is permanently attached to the back of the display for data input and charging laptops, respectively. There is also a separate Thunderbolt port, a FireWire 800 port, three USB 2.0 ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.
The Thunderbolt port allows for the possibility of daisy chaining Thunderbolt Displays from a supported Mac, or connecting other devices that have Thunderbolt ports, such as external hard drives and video capture devices.
Apple has released Rev B of the Thunderbolt Display, model MC914LL/B, which includes a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 adaptor to the charging cable built into the display.
Apple Thunderbolt Displays, like the video input on Thunderbolt iMacs, drop compatibility with all previous standards, including VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort. As such, they cannot be connected to computers lacking a Thunderbolt port, including pre-2011 Macs and the vast majority of PCs.