Apple’s $1,999 Mac Studio hits store shelves on Friday, alongside the $1,599 Studio Monitor.
I’ve been testing it for the past several days.
It’s a pricey computer, and most users don’t need its full power.
But it fills a hole in Apple’s desktop lineup for creative pros who are charging the computer to their company, or for people who want the fastest Mac available and don’t care how much it costs.
Apple’s new Mac Studio computer goes on sale on Friday. I’ve been testing it for over a week, and it’s a good pick for video and photo professionals for whom cost is no issue and who want a Mac desktop that will be able to handle anything thrown at it for years. But, with a starting price of $1,999 that doesn’t include a screen, it’s not the computer for people who just want to browse the web and watch Netflix. They’re better served by the $699 Mac Mini.
The Mac Studio comes as Apple’s Mac business soars thanks to Apple’s powerful M1 chips. Mac sales were up 23% in 2021, to $35 billion, for example, and 36% from 2019, the year before Apple started its transition away from Intel.
I tested the Mac Studio with Apple’s new 27-inch $1,599 Studio Display, which also goes on sale Friday. It’s the first consumer-oriented screen from Apple since the Thunderbolt Display, which was introduced in 2011 and discontinued in 2016. And, combined, you can think of the Studio Display and the Mac Studio as a replacement for the iMac Pro, which Apple stopped selling last year.
The Mac Studio has an excellent, compact design. It’s focused on practicality with plenty of ports to plug anything in. It’s shaped like an aluminum brick, measuring about 8 inches per side and 4 inches tall, elegantly elevated a few millimeters off the desktop for ventilation. I tested the model with Apple’s M1 Max chip, the second-fastest processor Apple makes.
Unlike Apple’s laptops before last year’s models, it has plenty of practical ports: two USB-C ports and a reader for SD memory cards like cameras use on the front, and four USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, and an Ethernet and HDMI port on the back. Most people will be able to connect anything to it without a dongle.