Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying

Started May 8, 2013 | Discussions
Jayfire124
Junior MemberPosts: 25Gear list
Like?
Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
May 8, 2013

I recently purchased a 2012 Thunderbolt equipped Mac Mini and had it upgraded with a 240 Gb SSD in addition to the internal hard drive. I was looking forward to getting the 27" Thunderbolt diaplay to pair it to. I finely got the money together and bought one yesterday and had to wait til last night to set it up.
WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT !!!!!
I was taken aback when viewing it alongside my 2008 iMac 24". The 'whites' on my iMac were truly "white" as opposed to the blue hue on the new 'expensive' Thunderbolt Display. I got up this morning and switched everything back on to re evaluate what I had seen last night. On closer inspection and viewing the Mac Rumours front page, the blue tint at the top remained blue all the way from the top to bottom rather than fading to white. I then opened the Apple.Com page and could clearly see that the left hand side of the display had a serious blue hint which went to "white ish" on the far right of the screen.
I packaged it back up and returned it to the apple reseller who promptly took it to the engineers upstairs behind locked doors. Whilst I walked around the store I checked the other Displays that were 'on display' and noticed that the other 2 Thunderbolt Displays were not much better. I then glanced at the new iMac and was immediately blown away at how amazing the screen looked. The "whites' were truly "white' and their was not a hint of blue or a different hue anywhere around the screen. I fell in love with the new iMac and realised what a mistake I may have made by not just purchasing the 27" iMac in the first place.
The sales assistant shortly returned and confirmed that there was something wrong with the brand new out of the box display and offered me a refund which I took. In no time I was grabbing the attention of the other sales assistants who were almost agreeing with my findings re the Thunderbolt displays not being as good as the new iMacs and witnessing the poor light and saturation qualities of the Thunderbolt display.
So what to do know....await a new batch of Thunderbolts and try again, sell my new Mac Mini and buy an iMac, buy a Dell Monitor (although I truly want gloss believe it or not!!!)
OR
Buy a second hand 2011 27" iMac and use it as a display through the Thunderbolt ports ??? 
Anyone feel like I do re the Thunderbolt display and have suffered the same issues ??? Any thoughts ??
Anyone using a 2012 Mac Mini with a 2011 iMac as a Display? Would like to know your experiences with this.??

 Jayfire124's gear list:Jayfire124's gear list
Canon EOS 5D
Tom_N
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,057
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to Jayfire124, May 8, 2013

I would have expected the main differences to be as follows:

24-inch iMac - Matte IPS screen; lower resolution than the others.

27-inch iMac (2012) - Glossy IPS screen, reduced reflectivity compared to 2009 - 2011 iMac screens, 27-inch Apple Cinema Display screen, and 27-inch Thunderbolt screen

27-inch Thunderbolt Display - Glossy IPS screen comparable to 2009-2011 27-inch iMac screens.  (I don't recall any "blue tint" complaints about the iMacs, though there were some "yellow tint" ones.)

Note that there is a significant difference in the construction of the 2011 and 2012 iMac screens, so your in-store impressions of the 2012 iMac (esp. re: gloss) may not carry over to the 2011 one.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jayfire124
Junior MemberPosts: 25Gear list
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to Tom_N, May 8, 2013

Tom_N wrote:

I would have expected the main differences to be as follows:

24-inch iMac - Matte IPS screen; lower resolution than the others.

27-inch iMac (2012) - Glossy IPS screen, reduced reflectivity compared to 2009 - 2011 iMac screens, 27-inch Apple Cinema Display screen, and 27-inch Thunderbolt screen

27-inch Thunderbolt Display - Glossy IPS screen comparable to 2009-2011 27-inch iMac screens.  (I don't recall any "blue tint" complaints about the iMacs, though there were some "yellow tint" ones.)

Note that there is a significant difference in the construction of the 2011 and 2012 iMac screens, so your in-store impressions of the 2012 iMac (esp. re: gloss) may not carry over to the 2011 one.

Thanks Tom for your response. I think that the point I am trying to make is that I use my Macs mostly for Lightroom, mail and web surfing but for my girlfriend to look up from the sofa and say "why is your new screen blue", there has to be a problem believe me. My iMac 24" is the glossy screen, not matte and I know when "white is white". I was shocked to just look on another forum site for someone to comment that the, quote "Apple Thunderbolt Display (ATD) Calibration sucks-it is too blue". I whole heartedly agree-Buyer Beware.

I would not say that the ATD is an iMac without the PC/OS etc.. For readers of this thread just go into a store to see for yourself.

 Jayfire124's gear list:Jayfire124's gear list
Canon EOS 5D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TeleView
Forum MemberPosts: 54
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to Jayfire124, May 10, 2013

Its funny how a poster here said the iMac 24" was a lower resolution display.

That is not quite accurate. Sure, there are less pixels.

But ... the 24" displays larger text. Its actually much easier on the eyes.

Windows allows one to vary the text size. Its very difficult to do on the Mac, and cause major problems (using Unix commands).

I tried a 27" screen on my Power Mac, and did not like it.

I ended up buying a ColorEdge CG243W Eizo monitor - a 24" one. Its even better than the iMac 24" display.

If you like a 24", stick with it. You can buy a good quality Dell 24" monitor, although they are not much cheaper than the top 27" dell monitor. But that is for a reason - they work really well. Eizo ones are better, but the choice is complex, as there are many, and some are costly.

With the savings you'll make over the Apple (and buy the Dell when its on special), you can buy a calibration device. And if you print, a ColorMunki. That way, you'll have a better system than you'd have had IMO, from buying the Apple Thunderbolt solution.

Of course, you could always sell your Mac Mini and just buy the latest iMac. When the new iMacs' prices drop, and well then, you won't have lost any money at all. You could buy a refurb.

Then again, you could buy a used or refurb Mac Pro, and enjoy the capacity and reliability.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
uniball
Contributing MemberPosts: 615
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to Tom_N, May 11, 2013

Tom_N wrote:

I would have expected the main differences to be as follows:

24-inch iMac - Matte IPS screen; lower resolution than the others.

27-inch iMac (2012) - Glossy IPS screen, reduced reflectivity compared to 2009 - 2011 iMac screens, 27-inch Apple Cinema Display screen, and 27-inch Thunderbolt screen

27-inch Thunderbolt Display - Glossy IPS screen comparable to 2009-2011 27-inch iMac screens.  (I don't recall any "blue tint" complaints about the iMacs, though there were some "yellow tint" ones.)

Note that there is a significant difference in the construction of the 2011 and 2012 iMac screens, so your in-store impressions of the 2012 iMac (esp. re: gloss) may not carry over to the 2011 one.

The 24" is neither matte nor IPS. It's glossy and TFT.

Don't know about the others.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TeleView
Forum MemberPosts: 54
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to uniball, May 11, 2013

uniball wrote:

.

The 24" is neither matte nor IPS. It's glossy and TFT.

Don't know about the others.

You're both right and wrong.

The white polycarbonate 24" iMacs were matte screens, and IMO, fabulous displays.

The silver aluminium ones that followed in 2007/8 were gloss. But those were IPS, and they rivalled high end displays that cost as much, but were only displays.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tom_N
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,057
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to TeleView, May 11, 2013

TeleView wrote:

If you like a 24", stick with it. You can buy a good quality Dell 24" monitor, although they are not much cheaper than the top 27" dell monitor. But that is for a reason - they work really well. Eizo ones are better, but the choice is complex, as there are many, and some are costly.

There are also some NEC monitors that are top-notch.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
rddelliott
Regular MemberPosts: 246Gear list
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to TeleView, May 11, 2013

Is your display calibrated?  My 27 in Thunderbolt display with the Mini is neutral after calibration and my prints closely match my screen.

-- hide signature --

rddelliott

 rddelliott's gear list:rddelliott's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Jayfire124
Junior MemberPosts: 25Gear list
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to rddelliott, May 11, 2013

rddelliott wrote:

Is your display calibrated?  My 27 in Thunderbolt display with the Mini is neutral after calibration and my prints closely match my screen.

-- hide signature --

rddelliott

The apple engineers took it behind closed doors and tried to calibrate it so I am told by the Apple staff. They then had to concede that there was a fault with the display. The displays in the store didn't look a lot better to be honest. Other forums have said that the Thunderbolt Display calibration presents a blue hue in general. Not good !!!!

Any other gloss displays recommended ???? Or shall I wait for a new stock to be delivered and try another ???

Thanks all for your responses.

 Jayfire124's gear list:Jayfire124's gear list
Canon EOS 5D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
rddelliott
Regular MemberPosts: 246Gear list
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to Jayfire124, May 12, 2013

When you say behind closed doors, I would get suspicious.  Apple has a system to calibrate by sight which depends on individual input not a electronic system with software to create a profile such a i1, Spyder, Colormunki etc. Unless one of this type of system and software was used, the calibration is suspect at best.  When I first received my monitor, there was a huge change from how it arrived and what the screen looked like after the i1calibration.

-- hide signature --

rddelliott

 rddelliott's gear list:rddelliott's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
uniball
Contributing MemberPosts: 615
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to TeleView, May 12, 2013

TeleView wrote:

You're both right and wrong.

The white polycarbonate 24" iMacs were matte screens, and IMO, fabulous displays.

The silver aluminium ones that followed in 2007/8 were gloss. But those were IPS, and they rivalled high end displays that cost as much, but were only displays.

The OP has a 2008 model.  From Apple's web site:  24-inch (viewable) glossy widescreen TFT active-matrix LCD, 1920 by 1200 pixels, millions of colors.  To my knowledge, having owned a 2008 and 2009, Apple never made an IPS 24" display for the iMac in prior or subsequent years.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Howard Moftich
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,867
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to uniball, May 12, 2013

the early 2009 iMac 24" is IPS (currently owned)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac_%28Intel-based%29#Aluminum_iMac

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tom_N
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,057
Like?
Re: Thunderbolt Display Poor Quality/Compare with iMac before buying
In reply to uniball, May 13, 2013

uniball wrote:

The OP has a 2008 model.  From Apple's web site:  24-inch (viewable) glossy widescreen TFT active-matrix LCD, 1920 by 1200 pixels, millions of colors.  To my knowledge, having owned a 2008 and 2009, Apple never made an IPS 24" display for the iMac in prior or subsequent years.

The earliest 24" iMac was the 2006 "white slab" iMac.  There was also a 2007 "aluminum" model.  I believe these Macs had IPS screens, and that some of the 20" iMacs had IPS screens.  The first "entry-level" 20" iMac did not.

DPReview Mac Talk - August 2007 - New iMac screen not only Glossy, it is low end TN LCD

Starting in late 2009, Apple dropped 20" and 24" screens for 21.5" and 27" ones.  So after 2009 there were no 24" IPS iMac screens because there were no 24" iMac screens, period.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads