Apple has delivered the product that so many Mac users have been crying out for. The Apple Studio Display is a 27-inch 5K display that makes the perfect partner for your MacBook Pro. At the Apple event today, the display was launched alongside the new Mac Studio, a desktop machine not much bigger than the Mac Mini that outstrips even the flagship Mac Pro. While I'm sure the Mac Studio will be a huge success, the display is likely to get even more attention.
I love having the portability of a laptop. The majority of my time these days is spent in my home office, I love the fact that I can take that same machine with me wherever I go – either to the office, a press event or just when traveling. When I'm at home I connect my MacBook Pro up to an external display and use the 13-inch screen of my laptop as a second screen.
Up until today, the only option from Apple for that external display was a five grand Pro Display XDR, which as lovely as it is, was way out of my budget. Yes, the Studio Display costs almost the same as the entry-level iMac 27 (which is now officially discontinued) but it's at least more realistic.
The specs on the new Studio Display are impressive, and this is more than just a dumb monitor. The aluminum enclosure includes a 30-degree tilt stand and there's an option to add a tilt and height adjustment bracket with a counterbalance for easy adjustment. There's also a VESA adaptor if you want to wall mount it or attach to monitor poles.
The screen itself is 14.7 million pixels, making it a 5K display and has 600 nits of brightness. It includes Apple's True Tone for ambient light adjustment and you can upgrade to the nano texture coating, as you could on the iMac 27 and the Pro Display. Unfortunately for gamers, the Studio Display only has a 60Hz refresh rate though.
There's actually an A13 chip inside the monitor which allows it to provide features that many monitors don't. It houses a 12MP ultra-wide array camera above the display, which includes Center Stage, for tracking during video calls. There's also a three-mic array and a six speaker sound system.
On the rear of the Studio Display are three USB-C ports and a Thunderbolt port with 96W upstream that can provide power for your MacBook Pro. According to the specs, it is compatible with 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros from 2016 and newer, as well as the more recent 14 and 16-inch models, the MacBook Air and Mac Mini from 2018 or later, provided they are running MacOS Monterey 12.3 as a minimum.
It's a small thing, but Apple also announced new black versions of its Magic keyboard, mouse and trackpad to go with the new Studio range, and those who like a color curated workspace will be happy to hear it (as I currently glare at my lone white mouse in an otherwise black and silver set up).
Priced at $1599 / £1499 / AU$2499, it's fair to say that you can get a 27-inch monitor for your MacBook Pro for much less, but if you want a complete Apple set up this is a great-looking option. Especially with the added ports and features it gives you. Buying it together with the Mac Studio would be my perfect setup but perhaps I'll need to save up a little longer for that.
The Studio Display is available to pre-order from Friday and ships from March 18.