Apple's Studio Display has an A13 CPU, runs iOS and has 64 gigabytes of mostly unused storage

Originally published at: Apple's Studio Display has an A13 CPU, runs iOS and has 64 gigabytes of mostly unused storage | Boing Boing


I can live without that.

sent from my iPhone


without touch…


This product is a real baffler. I can see why (if you’re Apple) sticking an iPhone’s brain in there might be the easiest way to do all the webcam image-processing. But why for it need 64GB of storage? It’s not on the SoC, you’re shelling out extra cash for those flash chips.

And the consensus seems to be that both the camera and the “center stage” software are bad, too. Even if they can be fixed in software (…), why do I need that on a desktop monitor which has a fixed relationship to my head? Plus, regardless of the technical considerations, telling everyone you put an iPhone in there is just begging them to ask why it can’t do Face ID.

I paid a lot for the last monitor they made, because it is worth a lot to have a good monitor that works as a docking station. But this is much more expensive than that was, and it’s no bigger, and oh yeah, I’ve since learned that docking with Macbooks is not problem-free even if you do buy their solution.

They should have been able to knock it out of the park with this. Instead it seems like they’ve aimed for a more premium thing than it needed to be, and failed to stick the landing.


Incredibly giant extremely weird iPhone.



without the phone


Nobody uses the phone anyway, grandpa!


webcomic name


It is possible these SOC units are faulty in some way but good enough to drive the screen. Not every wafer comes out perfect. Plenty of AMD and Intel chips that would normally become top-end CPU’s , except they maybe skipped a step and you end up with less cache or smaller data bus/address capability.

Go bake some chocolate chip cookies, leave out the chips in some… still a good cookie.


It also has a weird, proprietary, user non-removable mains power cable, apparently because Apple are too stubborn in their ‘quest for ultimate thinness’ to leave room for a safety standards compliant connector.


Yeesh. I’d have hoped that single-mindedness would have left along with Jony Ive, but I guess not.

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Apple tends to do it’s own flash controller, and they have very specific demands on flash (and other chips) implementing various things (like actual documented timings on RAM). So it may be as simple as Apple not feeling like the time spent to qualify a 16G or 8G flash part is worth it, or as complex as none of the actual smaller flash parts they attempted to qualify either passed testing, or the manufacturers were not willing to agree to supply the parts at Apple’s price point with Apple’s spec sheet, and Apple’s “and you pay us this much if you fail” riders.

For sure, although the reviews are more mixed on the center stage, some reviewers liked it, others showed times it got stuff wrong and would have been better as a fixed view. The poor quality images have been noted by basically all reviews, which seriously makes me wonder why Apple didn’t slip the product review and launch dates, or the whole thing including the announcement.

Yeahhhhh, I mean I guess center stage is more premium then it needs to be, after all the whole MacBook line (at least currently) doesn’t have that. I’m not sure any other thing it does (or tries to do) is too premium though. Monitors are expected to have web cams now, right? Apple’s monitors have for decades been a “one plug for power and display” thing, and I think USB as well, although the last time around USB was slow enough that that was basically keyboards, mice, and maybe audio output…

So just a little more premium then it needed to be, and it fell over both on some of the things it didn’t need, and some it really did… (maybe/maybe not correctable in both cases?)

Giant Weird iPad is the name of my all-piccolo Ramones cover band.

Or it was, until the cease-and-desist.


Put it this way: my current setup consists of a pretty good monitor with pixels too small for me to see from where I am, a goodish webcam and a USB 3 hub. The screen is 32 inches, and I have a bunch more ports and a KVM switch and a ring light, and the whole lot cost less than half as much as a Studio Display. Actually much less, since the matt option is an extra $300 on the Studio Display.

I’m not saying a 27” monitor is inherently overpriced at $1,900, but the question should be “do I really need the very best?”, not “can I put up with the compromises?”

And yet it still couldn’t eke out HDR, greater than 60fps, or have a decent webcam. What a waste.

And you can’t remove or change the stand. If you buy one with a stand and decide you want to wall mount it later, too bad. Or if you buy the wall mount version and decide you want to use a stand, sucks to be you. These are just baffling design decisions.

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FWIW, the price on this is really good, by Apple monitor standards. I know, that’s not a “high” bar but for perspective, I paid $1800 for a refurbished 30” Cinema Display in 2009 and I felt glad to get that price at the time. Those things were bonkers expensive, but also incredible monitors by any measure (especially inches) at the time. $1600 now for a way better display with some snazzy extra features (that may or may not be great) sounds pretty good to me right now. Certainly way more appealing than the beastly $5000 monitor with a $1600 stand they announced last time they did a new monitor.


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