Last year Apple released their new 24 inch iMac with the fantastically fast and energy efficient M1 chip… the worst chip they were ever destined to release.
Along with this announcement they promised a new 27 inch (or rumoured 30 inch) iMac with the same M1 chip. This was something that, as James May might put it, made me fizzy.
Fast forward 6 months or so and the 27 inch iMac is dead. It is an exMac.
And I am not happy about it. I am not happy for me and I am not happy for all those that just like bigger screens. I am especially not happy because the alternatives are about as appealing as hosting the Oscars without an armed escort.
Let me explain.
I am currently sitting in front of a 2015 INTEL iMac with a 27 inch screen. Attached alongside is an Apple 27 inch Cinema display. Happy days.
Once you have two screens I am afraid there is no going back.
Now that Apple have killed the 27 inch iMac my only option, should I wish to stick with the all in one form factor with the second monitor attached, is to get the 24 inch iMac and plug that into my 27 inch display.
Sadly, this combination is the digital equivalent to Laurel and Hardy.
One glimmer of hope is to dispense with the iMac and replace it with a Mac Mini. This little beast has an M1 chip and goes like stink. However it, for reasons that escape me, cannot (officially) have to two Mini displays attached at the same time, meaning that using Apple legacy monitors is out of the question.
I can plug in one monitor into the USBC port and then the second in the HMDI port but this some dodgy adapter from some place in the Middle East and with the language barrier and lack to clear instruction I don’t know if I am buying a piece of tech or a pair of shoes.
Of course I could always rid myself of my perfectly functional monitors and buy two of the new Studio Displays at a whopping $ 2500 each… taking the whole setup to about $7000.
Ridiculous and daylight robbery especially when you consider I could – if Apple hadn’t killed the 27 inch iMac – get everything I need for half of that.
True, I have other options but they include using none Apple monitors on this theoretical Mac Mini but I’d rather not do that. I like the design and the features of my Apple gear. And, just by the way, I shouldn’t have to. Similarly I could ditch the two monitor thing and just plug in one of the old Cinema displays but again, I shouldn’t have to take that step back.
Rant over. Big sigh.
Now, what about these new monitors and the new Mac Studio!?
For starters the monitors and gorgeous.
The Studio display is a 27inch 5K monitor (which is in itself a rare thing) that has reasonable built in 6 speaker sound system and a 12 MP camera. That will set you back $2499.
The Pro Display XDR is a whopping 32 inches and has a mind blowing 6k display but doesn’t include the speakers or camera for a knee trembling $8499.
I cannot help but think that both these monitors and made for the professional in mind, the kind that wouldn’t think twice about dropping that kind of cash on the table and would see it as an investment rather than an expense.
The kind of person that would also need (and I do mean actually need) to buy the new Mac Studio.
Now this is a beast. This is an awesome little box that comes with, in my opinion, some aesthetic issues.
Firstly, it is butt ugly. It looks like a Mac Mini with water retention sporting a forehead larger than Frankenstein’s monster.
However, beneath this face only a Samsung Designer could love, lies the M1 Max or the the very latest and mind blowing, M1 Ultra.
With a 20 Core CPU and up to 64 Core GPU this will handle any graphics and design job anyone outside of NASA might want to throw at it.
Personally, this is the kind of desktop that could tap SkyNet on the shoulder and ask it to holds its beer.
The M1 Max chipped Mac Studio is $3,099 and the Ultra version starts at $6,099. Neither of these price tags are excessive when you consider what they can do in such a small package.
What is more, they would handle two displays without any issue and I considered spending the money on what is definitely an over the top answer to my upgrade issue.
Then I thought I may as well bury myself in the backyard and save my wife the trouble. After all, she has a bad back.
By the way, I have a whole heap of Will Smith DVDs going cheap if you are interested.