Thursday, July 28, 2011

Apple's $1000 docking station

Anyone can sell a laptop docking station for $1000.

Only Apple can make something that seems almost worth it ...

Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch) - Apple Store (U.S.)

With just one cable, connect any Thunderbolt-enabled Mac and get 27 inches of high-resolution screen space, high-quality audio, a FaceTime HD camera, FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet ports — and a Thunderbolt port you can use to daisy-chain additional high-performance peripherals such as hard drives and video capture devices...

... The Thunderbolt Display includes a MagSafe connector that powers and charges your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. The connector sits on your desk, ready and waiting. No need to unwind the cord to the power adapter that came with your notebook. Leave it exactly where it is, in your bag.

Yes, it's insane.

And yet ...

If I wanted the best of all worlds, and I was single, the combination of an 11" MacBook Air and the Thunderbolt display would almost make sense. Hang storage and peripherals off the display, plug in power and Thunderbolt cable, and the MacBook Air becomes a serious iMac contender. Disconnect and travel with an ultraportable.

A 27" iMac is $1,700. An 11" MacBook Air is $1,200. Together they come to almost $2,900. The MacBook Air and the Thunderbolt Display together are "only" $2,000. Really, cheap by comparison.

Heavens, but Apple is Satanic.

PS. Anyone remember the Powerbook Duo? Aka MacBook Air 1.0, but with 3 much cheaper docking station options.


Martin said...

One major caveat: Glossy screen!

And the cable should be longer … and please add the price for 'Apple Care'.

JGF said...

Did you buy one?!

I usually forego Apple Care since Amex will extend warranty.

Martin said...

An Apple display? No, I don't buy glossy screens, I spend too many hours with computers to ignore ergonomics.

Apple Care? Yes, I always buy Apple Care and I actually need it for most Apple products.

I don't use 'insurances' and other services offered by credit card companies. The main problem is that such services are usually limited to credit card payments while I often pay by debit card or on account.

How can Amex extend Apple's warranty anyway? Do you send your Apple hardware to Amex for repair? Does it work like an insurance, i.e., you get an Apple quote for your repair and Amex approve and pay?

JGF said...

In my experience AMEX either covers the repair, or they have me send them the device and they credit the original cost.

Actually, they often don't bother with me sending the device. So it's a bit of an honor system.

I think they've stopped doing this, so I'm probably grandfathered in. I buy most online/computer things with AMEX because I like their security systems.

In the US there's no direct cost to using some cards (AMEX, my VISA) as long as you pay bills on time. The vendors pay the fees and spread it across all consumers. Those who pay cash or debit are kind of getting it in the teeth (I get cash back and REI credits as well as free transactions).

This may all change of course ...