Without a shadow of a doubt, even before anyone can start using (or reviewing in this case) the Mac Studio and the Studio Display, there is a sense of awe and wide-eyed glee that is hard to contain. From the promise of speed to the experience of unboxing the individual components, Apple has ensured that when you bring home one of these computers, it’s almost like reliving all the great visuals you may have seen in the keynote.
Mac Studio + Studio Display review
(Mac Studio + Studio Display + Magic Keyboard + Magic Trackpad + Magic Mouse)
But of course, in the overall scheme of things, these trivialities don’t matter, do they? The showstopper here is, of course, the M1 Max chip that lurks inside the dense Mac Studio. It ushers in a whole new era of Mac computing that promises to change the way professionals manage their workflows. Add the 27in Studio Display, and it all makes for a delicious looking desktop that is true to Apple’s ethos. Simple, yet powerful.
If you’re upgrading from an M1, the differences will show themselves more readily with GPU intensive tasks like exporting a batch of ARW files or rendering a 4K video file. For most tasks, an everyday MacBook Air M1 won’t be far off, so preempting your power requirement is critical before falling for the bait.
What it lacks in curves though, it makes up for in brains. Armed with an A13 Bionic chip, it manages to make the six-speaker system sound wider, crisper and punchier than anything we have heard from a monitor this thin. It also supports Spatial Audio and though the actual benefits of immersive audio are impossible to appreciate when the speakers are firing downwards onto your desk, the sound has clarity and depth that could ward off that separate desktop speaker purchase. Unless you want to use a DAW to mix hip/hop or house music.
The Studio Display also gets an all-new 12MP camera setup, which thanks to that A13 SoC, now supports CentreStage so it tracks your face if you’re distracted by items around your Zoom call. The resolution is better than previous iterations, and with a recent update, it manages exposure levels for the background pretty well. It’s not the best out there with low-light noise and general lack of crispness (compared to the iMac 24), but it is an improvement. The three-mic array captures OK-ish sound, so there’s no reason to fall for the “studio quality” jargon here, but use the magic “Hey Siri” words and it will now also respond to your mundane requests.
The Mac Studio + Studio Display outshines everything else in power and performance, but not in specs sometimes. A true powerhouse that will be a trailblazer.
|Resolution:||5120 x 2880|
|Processor:||Apple M1 Max|
|Connectivity:||Thunderbolt x 4, 10GB Ethernet, USB-A x 2, USB-C x 2, SDXC, HDMI, 3.5mm|
|Dimensions (WHD):||7.7 x 3.7 x 7.7in|