Lord help me, I'd buy this Apple display for my MacBook Pro no matter the price

Apple's coming back to the consumer monitor market with iMac-inspired displays, but don't expect a budget bargain

Apple iMac
(Image credit: Apple)

The best monitor for MacBook Pro is currently made by Dell, but it seems that Apple is working on its own displays: according to MacRumors, Apple is planning to re-enter the consumer display market it exited back in 2016. And it's planning to do that with two models, one 24-inch and one 27-inch, based on the 24-inch iMac 2021 and the 27-inch iMac 2022 respectively.

I love the look of the 24-inch iMac 2021, so the prospect of an official Apple display for my M1 MacBook Pro (2020) is very appealing. But I bet I can't afford it.

The price (probably) isn't right

It's tempting to do some basic Apple maths here: one iMac less all the computer gubbins means it'll cost a fraction of the £1,249 the entry level iMac 24 costs. But of course, it's not quite that simple: displays are pretty complex too. They're hubs with their own processing, not just panels with a plug.

Apple's last consumer display was the Thunderbolt Display, which launched ten years ago for £899; the entry-level iMac at the time was £999. That display was a 27-inch, though, so a better comparison would be the 27-inch iMac. That cost £1,399.

Siri tells me that the price of the display works out as 71% of the price of the iMac it's derived from. If the 2022 Apple display is priced similarly, you'd be looking at just under £899 for the 24-inch and a good bit more for the 27-inch. And if you look at our best monitors for MacBook Pro guide, you'll see that you can get really great monitors for an awful lot less without compromising on utility or image quality.

I've no doubt that Apple's consumer displays will be beautiful, and magical, and all the other superlatives we'll hear at the launch. But this is one area where I don't think I'll want to pay the Apple premium.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).