The tech-savvy handymen over at iFixit broke into the new 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display - if meticulous dis-assembly constitutes 'breaking in.'
The sleek design of the product includes a limited number of backside ports, including three powered USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Thunderbolt port, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The display, which is mostly unchanged from the previously released Apple Cinema Display, utilizes the same screen as Dell's competing UltraSharp U2711 27-inch monitor. The only difference is that the Dell offers a matte screen while the Thunderbird does not, something Apple fans may find disappointing.
However, unlike the Dell product, the Thunderbolt includes all manner of hardware under the hood that makes it less of a simple monitor and almost - if not precisely - a PC. The new display's complexity stems from the fact that it connects to your system via the Thunderbolt interface, a joint Intel-Apple project that debuted on the MacBook Pro line in February of this year. Unlike a typical display, this one includes an impressive range of machinery geared towards helping Thunderbolt chug along.
The primary logic board boasts no less than 13 silicon chips, a 250-watt power supply, 49 watt 2.1 speaker-sound system, including a miniature subwoofer, and a built-in digital camera with the ability to record video up to 720p and support widescreen 16 x 9 aspect ratios. The whole operation produces so much heat that a fan has been included in the set-up - an unusual addition for a display.
The Thunderbolt display is being enthusiastically received by customers, but potential buyers should be aware that the new monitor will not be powered by pre-2011 Macs.
View the entire teardown and images here.