Apple-branded desktop monitor Thunderbolt Display is now available. In the wake of Apple’s rollout of its newest MacBook Air laptops and Mac minis, and the launch of Apple OS X Lion, Cupertino has also debuted its first Thunderbolt Display, the first to include a Thunderbolt port.

Although a mere upgrade from the latest LED Cinema Display, the new Thunderbolt Display deserves a great deal of attention, as it is the first of its kind to feature Thunderbolt I/O technology.

An Intel-developed standard, Thunderbolt uses Apple’s own Mini DisplayPort connector and features two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each.

Each Thunderbolt port delivers PCI Express directly to external peripherals, supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays, and works with existing HDMI, DVI and VGA adapters.

The display retains its predecessor’s 16:9 aspect ratio and edge-to-edge glass design, and uses IPS technology to provide a high-quality viewing experience across an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle.

A built-in FaceTime HD video camera allows for some “crisp video conferencing,” and the display is also equipped with a 2.1 speaker system, an integrated MagSafe charger (for Mac notebooks), three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one Gigabit Ethernet port (in addition to Thunderbolt).

Apple doesn’t forget to mention that its new Thunderbolt Display includes an ambient light sensor which automatically adjusts the display brightness based on external lighting conditions.

This also helps the hardware consume only as much juice as necessary to run optimally.

“The Apple Thunderbolt Display is the ultimate docking station for your Mac notebook,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing.

“With just one cable, users can dock with their new display and connect to high performance peripherals, network connections and audio devices,” added Schiller.

Unlike all the new products announced today, the Thunderbolt Display is not immediately available, but it will be in the next 60 days, Apple said.

When it’s out, customers will be able to purchase one for $999.

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