The Apple iMac 24 is among the best desktop computers you can buy. And while I loved the old 27-inch version, which was discontinued in 2022, I’m still not sad about it going. That’s because there’s a far better solution for Mac users that want a big screen.
The Apple Studio display is a 27-inch 5K display, much like the former iMac 27. This is brighter though, with 600 nits brightness, and has improved audio, in the form of a six-speaker Spatial Audio compatible set-up and three-mic array for input. It also has a much improved 12MP webcam, with a wide 122-degree field of view, and Centre Stage, to keep you well framed in the shot.
The biggest advantage to the Studio display is that there’s no Mac built-in. Instead, you can hook up a MacBook Pro, the hugely powerful Mac Studio or my choice of the Mac mini. The benefit of having the display and the computer separate is that when it comes to upgrading your system, you don’t need to replace all that glass too.
The Mac mini sits neatly under the Studio display, hardly taking up any additional desk space. The current flagship M2 Pro Mac mini starts from £1399. If you were to buy an equivalent spec of iMac 27, you would be adding at least £1000 to that. And while you might want to upgrade your Mac mini every couple of years, your display is probably good for at least double that.
All-in-one systems are handy for smaller screens, like the 24-inch iMac but those that want bigger displays are much better off with separates. Much like in the world of audio, it’s always those individual devices that offer the best performance, and allow you to upgrade piece by piece.
So while some users are sad that we may never see another iMac 27, I believe the combination of Apple Studio display and Mac mini is a far more sensible choice. For me, it’s the perfect work-from-home set-up, and if you work a mix of home and office, you can just plug your laptop into the Studio display. Plus, if you need more screen space, you can extend your display between the two – and even add an iPad, using Universal Control.