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Apple's Thunderbolt Display to Receive Redesign Next?

Related: Apple, Thunderbolt
Apple's Thunderbolt Display to Receive Redesign Next?

Apple Insider reports today that Amazon, MacMall and J&R are now all out of stock on Apple's popular Thunderbolt display, which is usually a sign that an updated product is coming as inventory thins out. It's been expected since the release of the new MagSafe2 connector, and then doubly expected after the refresh of the iMac that included thinner, glare reducing screens that the Thunderbolt Display would be next.

The current 27-inch glossy widescreen display features a cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio and an astonishing 2560-by-1440 resolution. The Thunderbolt Display looks great from any seat in the house, thanks to a premium display technology called in-plane switching (IPS). IPS delivers a bright picture with excellent color consistency, even if you're viewing the display from the side.

The new iMac display is not set behind the cover glass - it's right up against it. The LCD itself is 5 mm thinner than before, and we used an advanced process called full lamination to eliminate a 2-mm gap between the LCD and the glass, something that has never been done on a display this large. Although it may not seem like much, those few millimeters are enough to make images look as if they're leaping off the glass.

Full lamination has a second major benefit: It eliminates the reflection of light off the LCD panel and off the back of the display's cover glass. But we also figured out how to reduce reflection off the front of the glass without compromising color quality. Instead of applying an antireflective coating to the glass in a conventional way, we adapted a process used on smaller surfaces like camera lenses and fighter pilots' helmets. It's called plasma deposition, and it involves coating the glass with layers of silicon dioxide and niobium pentoxide so precise and so thin they're measured in atoms. The result: an astounding 75 percent reduction in reflectivity - and vibrant, accurate colors.

None of these innovations would matter much if the iMac display didn't deliver vivid, true-to-life color. Which is why we put every single display through an exacting color-calibration process using three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers: one to measure gamma, one to measure white point, and one to check the work of the other two. This equipment is tuned to meet color standards recognized around the world for precision and accuracy.

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