The Apple Studio Display is fascinating but with some frustrations

There are many users of Apple products who have been waiting for a little over half a decade for the possibility of Apple launching a new independent screen to use with their equipment and that does not cost a million.

According to this, all eyes were on Apple’s “Peek Performance” event to see what the news would be like. Finally, the company not only introduced its first new monitor since 2011’s Thunderbolt Display, but evoked nostalgia with the name Studio Display.

Looking back, Apple last used the Studio Display name in 1999 with the iconic 17-inch Apple Studio Display ADC. Created for the Power Mac G4 and Power Mac G4 Cube, it had an Apple proprietary display connector that was not on any other Mac.

The new StudioDisplay from Apple isn’t that limited, but from the name to the aesthetics, it’s clearly meant to be a companion to the MacStudioor at least, a Mac without a camera.

With or without Mac Studio, the Studio Display should be the answer to the wish list of many fans of the company. And in many ways, it is: a massive 27-inch 5K display.

In addition, it integrates a 12 MP ultra-wide camera, six-speaker sound system compatible with Spacial Audio, studio-quality microphones, three USB C ports and an optional tilt and height adjustment base with the adjustable stand.

At its core, it packs a pretty impressive feature set with a price tag that ranges from €1,779 with standard glass finishes to €2,029 for the nano-textured glass model.

in the first reviews of the Apple Studio Display we have been able to find conflicting positions. Some complain about the quality of the camera, while other specialists point to the lack of OLED, HDR and ProMotion, as well as the slippery rubber pads.

They all agree on the same point, which is still an overpriced product when compared to other Mac-compatible monitor options on the market, especially if you’ve already invested in a macmini or in a MacStudio.

But what makes the Studio Display such a frustrating product isn’t Zoom’s call quality or hefty price tag. It’s more the fact that Apple has seemingly gone out of its way to give us everything and anything we really want.

An iPhone inside

We’ve learned a lot about Studio Display since it began shipping last Friday. We already knew that it had an A13 Bionic processor inside, but now we know that it also has 64GB of storage (although it only uses 2GB).

also run iOS 15.4 and will presumably also receive regular iOS updates, just like any other device. That’s a lot of processing power inside for a display and a fascinating piece of technology.

While almost all monitors have a chip inside them, most have neither a CPU nor a GPU, certainly not one as powerful as is the case here with the A13 Bionic.

It’s not entirely clear why Apple needs such processing power inside the Studio Display, but it’s at least in part to handle Center State, Spatial Audio, and the Siri personal assistant.

What’s frustrating is that seeing all this potential, we wonder how much more the Studio Display product could have been. After the presentation, my colleague Jason Cross floated the idea that it could be a smart TV that works with Apple TV.

Now that we know its internal components, we think that it could be perfectly. There is more than enough storage inside the Studio Display to host the app AppleTVand with what is a basic 9th generation iPad motherboard, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi could have been included.

The possibilities of an independent screen with the innards of an iPhone are quite remarkable, but the Studio Display seems that it will not take advantage of it. A 12 MP camera with Center Stage is a very nice thing, but it’s not a deal breaker for your purchase.

Neither is Spatial Audio, or the ability to handle Siri. However, if we could install apps on the Studio Display and run them independently of a Mac, it would be a display worth paying the price for.

good but not great

Most of the reviews I’ve read were about the design of the Studio Display, and certainly the finishes are much better than dozens of cheap plastic displays out there today.

There is nothing that catches the eye of Apple, apart from the logo located on the back. The bezels and frames could be slimmer, the stand could be slimmer, and the cable management could be sleeker.

It’s not ugly, but it’s not flashy either, especially when you think back and remember its namesake. More than 20 years after Apple stopped selling it, the 17-inch ADC Studio Display is still a work of art that makes you stop when you see it. This latest model, not so much.

Apple ADC Studio Display from the year 1999

So while we got what we wanted with Studio Display, we were also left wanting more. There was a time when an Apple Studio Display or Cinema Display represented the best you could buy.

In the case of the new Studio Display, we can only say that it is a good product but without more. Take a look at the article on the best monitors and screens for mac.

It is an article published in the sister magazine, Macworld US.