Apple Just Discontinued Thunderbolt Display, Try These Four Great Alternatives
Apple recently discontinued its Thunderbolt standalone display , which sucks because it was one of our favorites . To soothe the wound, here are some of the best monitors we’ve found to replace Apple’s long-gone display, most of which offer similar features without a price tag.
What we liked about the old Thunderbolt display
The old Thunderbolt display had a lot, so we wanted to find replacements that offer some of the same benefits as the Apple monitor. Here are some of the criteria we looked at when choosing:
- 27+ inch display : Thunderbolt display didn’t save on screen real estate . We were looking for monitors that were no smaller than the Apple model.
- Built-in speakers: You may prefer to use your own separate speakers, but having a pair built into the monitor can be convenient and reduce clutter.
- Additional ports and a USB hub: The existing Thunderbolt display had a selection of ports, so you could directly plug in peripherals and remove cables that ran behind your desk. Any replacements for it should also offer similar connectivity options.
- 2560 x 1440 (or 4K) screen resolution: While many iMacs have Retina screens, the Thunderbolt display never went beyond 2560 x 1440. We’ve included a few 1440 displays below, but we’ve also included some forward-looking 4K models if you want to be on the cutting edge … Not every Mac supports 4K output yet, so check this list to see if you can handle that before buying a 4K display.
- Cheaper price tag: While many people were willing to shell out $ 1,000 for Apple’s 27-inch display, no one wants to spend the extra money if they don’t need it. Ideally, the replacement monitor should have most of the benefits, such as a Thunderbolt display. no more than half the cost.
Unfortunately, finding one display that has all of these features in one is not an easy task. For now, you can still buy what’s left of Apple’s Thunderbolt Display , but once it’s gone, it’s gone. Instead, there are several smart alternatives.
Dell UltraSharp U2715H has excellent image quality and USB hub
Dell UltraSharp U2715H ($ 499) includes a 2560 x 1440 LED display in a 27 ” bezel. Wirecutter rated it the best 27- inch monitor in our testing. It comes with 2 HDMI ports, 1 Mini DisplayPort, and a 5-port USB 3.0 hub, including one that supports battery charging for your mobile devices. The display also comes with an adjustable stand that allows you to position the monitor just the way you want it. It doesn’t have MagSafe connections like the Apple Thunderbolt display (which makes sense since MagSafe is proprietary), and it also doesn’t have built-in speakers. These minor differences aside, the U2715H is the closest thing you can get to an older Thunderbolt display, and for half the price.
Dell Ultra HD P2715Q Goes 4K
If you’re ready to upgrade to 4K, the Dell Ultra HD 4K P2715Q ($ 499) is a clear step up from the U2715H. First, they currently have the same price tag on Amazon (although Dell’s own site lists the P2715Q for $ 929 ), so the only reason not to choose the 4K option is if your hardware can’t support it. This monitor also features the same five-port USB 3.0 hub, including one for charging the batteries, so you won’t lose any bells and whistles when trading. You can also check out the P2415Q, which is only 24 inches in size , but at $ 374, it’s a super cheap way to get into 4K gaming.
ASUS PB278Q has an IPS display and built-in 3W speakers.
If you are critical color accuracy, you have to like the ASUS PB278Q (387 US dollars). This monitor has a 27-inch PLS / IPS panel with 2560 x 1440 resolution and supports HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, and Dual-Link DVI inputs. AnandTech praised it for its good contrast ratio and sRGB accuracy . It also comes with two built-in 3W speakers, which won’t necessarily impress audiophiles, but if you want a monitor that doesn’t need separate speakers, this is a handy addition.
BenQ GW2765HT High Quality Blue Light Filtering Budget Monitor
If you’d rather save money than buy a ton of options, and if your computer doesn’t support 4K, the BenQ GW2765HT ($ 350) is one of the cheapest alternatives we’ve found. It features a 27-inch 2560×1440 display and a set of built-in speakers. BenQ also allows you to directly adjust the blue light level on your monitor to reduce eye fatigue. For f.lux users or those who wear computer glasses , this built-in feature may be useful.
All of these monitors are great, and they all cost hundreds of dollars less than Apple’s discontinued Thunderbolt display. You can also check out our roundup of the best budget computer monitors and the best 4K computer monitors if you’re looking to expand a bit.