Apple has now unveiled the M1 Ultra, which bonds two M1 Max chips together for double the performance. To hold the M1 Ultra—or a less expensive M1 Max—Apple introduced an entirely new Mac that looks like an inflated Mac mini. The Mac Studio has the same 7.7-inch (19.7 cm) square outline, but is more than twice as tall, clocking in at 3.7 inches (9.5 cm) high. Much of that vertical space is occupied by cooling fans, but Apple says the Mac Studio makes minimal noise.
Because of Apple’s focus on creative professionals, the Mac Studio offers a solid set of ports. On the back, it has four Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 10-gigabit Ethernet port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 is built in, as is Bluetooth 5.0. For ease of access, Apple finally put ports on the front. The M1 Max model features two USB-C ports, whereas the M1 Ultra model offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports. Both provide an SDXC card slot.
To address the Mac Studio’s lack of a screen, Apple introduced the 27-inch Studio Display. There are three stand options: a 30º tilt default, a VESA mount adapter, or a tilt- and height-adjustable stand for $400 more. The Studio Display offers one Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to a Mac—complete with 96-watt charging—and three USB-C ports for connecting peripherals. The Studio Display uses an A13 Bionic chip to power a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide camera, a three-mic array, and a high-fidelity six-speaker system.
The Mac Studio essentially replaces the 27 inch iMac in the lineup, with or without the Studio Display. For creative professionals, the Mac Studio is desktop to buy, especially without an M1-based Mac Pro available. Apple says the Mac Pro is the last Mac to bring into the fold.