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Apple unveils first Thunderbolt display for $999

The 27-inch display is designed for Mac notebooks. It includes a host of extras, including a Gigabit Ethernet port, three USB 2.0 ports, and more.

Apple's Thunderbolt display, connected to a Mac.
Apple's Thunderbolt display connected to a Mac notebook.

Apple has unveiled what it calls the "world's first Thunderbolt display."

As one might expect, the 27-inch display allows users to connect their Macs via Thunderbolt. According to Apple, the display is designed for Mac notebook users who want a larger screen and extra ports to connect to additional peripherals.

The Thunderbolt-equipped display comes with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 178-degree viewing angle. Its built-in camera allows users to engage in HD FaceTime video conferencing. The display also comes with a 2.1-speaker audio system built-in and a MagSafe charger to power up the Mac notebooks. Three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, and a Gigabit Ethernet port are also included. According to Apple, users will be able to daisy-chain up to five other Thunderbolt devices with the display.

Last week, MacRumors discovered images of a Thunderbolt-equipped display, leading to speculation that Apple would be launching the product sooner rather than later. Those images depict the Thunderbolt display Apple unveiled today.

Thunderbolt has been sweeping across the Mac line. The technology, developed by Intel, allows for simultaneous data and video throughput with the ultimate goal of simplifying connections to external devices.

"Thunderbolt I/O technology gives you two channels on the same connector with 10 Gbps of throughput in both directions," Apple writes on its Thunderbolt page. "That makes Thunderbolt ultrafast and ultraflexible. You can move data to and from peripherals up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0 and up to 12 times faster than with FireWire 800. You also have more than enough bandwidth to daisy-chain multiple high-speed devices without using a hub or switch."

For all that functionality, the Thunderbolt display isn't coming cheap. According to Apple, it plans to launch the display "within the next 60 days" for $999.

Update at 6:44 a.m. to include more details.