Thank you to all the readers of the Japanese version of Engadget for your patronage.
Of course, I shared my true intentions in all media, but I think that the manuscript for Engadget was the most unpretentious. Looking back, it may have been such an approach that it was a very rare place where diverse opinions gathered for the same product, and it was a place to foster culture beyond the press. I can do it.
It’s very painful to say goodbye to all of you, but with a short deadline, the latest Apple devices, Mac Studio and Studio Display, and the blackened Magic Keyboard, including a little Mirai’s story. I would like to share some of them.
First, let’s talk about two of Apple’s most recent products, Mac Studio and Studio Display.
Introducing Mac Studio
This product called Mac Studio is only available in a lineup with two chips, M1 Max and M1 Ultra. The M1 Max overlaps with the MacBook Pro, but the M1 Pro wasn’t available. Curiously, the M1 Pro is now a dedicated chip for the MacBook Pro.
M1 Ultra is unique in that it uses a connector called UltraFusion that was already prepared in M1 Max, connects two M1 Max at a transfer rate of 2.5TB / s, and acts as “one chip”. No software or app optimization is required, just the best performance.
Another interesting part of Apple is that it takes care of app developers using these fairly classic techniques. Apple has already experienced three transitions, PowerPC, Intel, and Apple Silicon, and I think that it will continue to develop chips with such consideration in the future. increase.
On the front of the Mac mini’s heightened housing, there are two USB-C ports for the M1 Max model, two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports for the M1 Ultra model, an SDXC card reader, and a port on the back. Are arranged in large numbers. As a thermal design, we adopted a mechanism that sucks in from the bottom and puts it out on the back. The M1 Ultra, which generates a lot of heat, uses a copper heatsink, which weighs 900g more than the M1 Max model, which uses an aluminum heatsink.
The design of the housing is so simple that this introduction is enough. If you connect a display to this with USB-C or Thunderbolt and prepare a keyboard and mouse with Bluetooth, you can start using it as a computer immediately.
Why the M1 Ultra isn’t so regrettable
Even with the introduction of this product, I personally maintain the conclusion that “Apple Silicon generation computers will continue to be the right choice for notebooks.”
I’m not saying that I chose the 14-inch MacBook Pro that appeared in October 2021 and I’m disappointed because the desktop is later (although it’s about 1mm).
This depends on your work style. I use my Mac in three “work places”: home, college, and on the go. Of course, if you have machines in various places, it is enough to carry an iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, but surprisingly, at the university, you can use the Mac in laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms, and even in different places.
As a result, “one main machine that can be carried anywhere” is the optimal solution, and it is not necessary to place an independent computer in each place, but peripheral devices such as a display that connects the main machine.
In that sense, I would like to get about two Studio Displays this time and deploy them at home and at the university, but the price of about 200,000 yen makes that difficult. I’d like to put it at home, but I’ll talk about that later.
Who needs the performance of the M1 Ultra? There is a problem. If you post the score of Geekbench 5 for reference, the CPU was around 24000 for multi-core and the GPU was around 103500 for Metal. CPU is 3 times that of M1 and 2 times that of M1 Pro / M1 Max. The GPU is 5 times the M1 ratio, 2.5 times the M1 Pro ratio, and 1.5 times the M1 Max ratio.
In a demo, Apple is a creative pro, running around tens of GB of graphics projects, smoothly seeking and playing 18 4K ProRes videos side by side, and playing music projects with over 400 tracks. I was reproducing the site. On the flip side, the M1 Ultra’s Mac Studio is for those who do that much.
What’s more, it was the MacBook Pro with M1 Max that was demoed at about half the scale mentioned above, so how many people would edit nine 4K videos at the same time? When it comes to that, even the M1 Max Mac Stduio is too over-engineered for most people.
By all means, the M1 has a strong image of the MacBook Air that can be obtained in the low 100,000 yen range, so the more models above come out, the more I get the impression that the specifications are low, but with Premiere and Final Cut Pro 4K video As long as I work on editing, I can use it without any stress, so I think that the conclusion that the MacBook Air is high enough will probably continue for the next five years or so.
Unique Studio Display
This time, Studio Display that appeared with Mac Studio. This is truly unique. Just about half a year ago, the author, who was seriously worried about the 27-inch monitor, thinks it’s too late!
In Japan, the price is about 200,000 yen, and it is equipped with a webcam compatible with the center frame. A high-quality speaker that also supports spatial audio, further tuned from the iMac, the combination of A13 Bionic and iOS that controls these is a luxury.
It is possible to improve these qualities by software update, so I would like it to be compatible with Hey Siri alone or to be able to play Apple Music, but it is difficult because Wi-Fi is not included.
Even after subtracting this display, webcams and speakers, A13 Bionic, etc., it still has a very unique part as a product. As mentioned above, while considering a 27-inch monitor, I couldn’t find a product equivalent to Studio Display as the specifications of the display itself.
The 27-inch monitor is a rather major size, but full HD and 4K are the mainstream, and the only 5K resolution product was the monitor sold by LG at the Apple Store.
Also, including this LG monitor, it is difficult to find a product with a brightness exceeding 400 nits. Certainly, there was a product called 600 Nito on the LG panel, but the inventory was not stable and I gave up getting it.
The 27-inch, 5K resolution, and 600-nit specs alone make it hard to choose, and you can see that the display with a webcam and speakers is very unique.
The appeal of Mac Studio footprints
I usually mount LG’s 27-inch 4K display on my desk with a monitor arm and connect it to the MacBook Pro 14-inch I brought back with a single cable. The performance is sufficient, and as mentioned above, the movement between mobile and desktop is smooth, and it is a perfect style.
However, when comparing my style with Mac Studio combined with Studio Display, the area occupied on the desk is quite different. Again, the MacBook Pro insists on a 14-inch bottom area on the desk unless it fits in a vertical stand.
The reason why the vertical stand is difficult is that if you stand with the lid closed, there is a problem that there is no webcam when you join a web conference. After all, the lid has to be opened, and it is inevitable to occupy a bottom area of 14 inches. In that respect, with the advent of Studio Display, even if the MacBook Pro is installed closed in a vertical stand, it is possible to properly participate in a web conference within reach of the itchy place.
However, if you have it as a desktop, Mac Studio will also help minimize the footprint. The height of less than 20 cm and the height of less than 10 cm fits under the normal stand of Studio Display, and even a narrow desk with a width of 70 cm and a depth of 40 cm can be installed with a keyboard and mouse.
The compactness of Mac Studio makes it attractive if you use it as a fixed desktop.
Transfer plan from 27-inch iMac
He mentioned that the Mac Pro will be unveiled at another time. Therefore, Mac Studio is a suggestion for users who are using the higher-end models of the Mac mini, iMac 27-inch, iMac Pro, and existing Mac Pro desktop models.
With the introduction of Studio Display, I also see that it is highly likely that we will no longer make a 27-inch integrated desktop. Get them separately and keep using the display while updating your Mac. Therefore, it will be equipped with A13 Bionic and iOS to prepare for future software enhancements. This kind of thought can be seen through.
However, Mac Studio + Studio Display is only one suggestion, the main machine part can be a combination of MacBook Pro and Mac mini, and the integrated iMac is also an option. The idea is to choose a combination of main machine and display according to the application and required performance. Four patterns are envisioned, including the iMac.
If so, I have to point out that the lineup is halfway. The higher-end models of the Mac mini are still Intel chips, and the integrated 24-inch iMac is only available in the M1 model. If Mac Studio is a lineup from the M1 Max, you should have a higher-end model that will list the M1 Pro on the Mac mini and iMac.
Personally, I think that some people may feel that the M1 Pro-equipped models of Mac mini and iMac are quite good, and I feel that it is a line that I would like to see in the future.
Think again, computer Mirai
Introduced with Mac Studio, the iPad Air has an M1 chip. This was quite a surprise. Like the iPad mini, I thought it would have the same A15 Bionic as the latest iPhone, but it’s actually the same M1 as the iPad Pro.
When that happens, what do you do with the iPad Pro? The problem comes out. It is not a good idea to install the M1 Pro with the same product name and chip name from the viewpoint of power saving. In that case, it can be considered that this M1 iPad Air was the preparation for the iPad Pro to be equipped with the M2 chip that will appear in 2022.
The M1 appeared in the fall of 2020, so it’s about time two years have passed. It’s a slow pace for chip renewal, but the MacBook Air with the M1 isn’t out of date yet. Its battery life, which is so good that humans break first, and its ability to handle most processing, including 4K video, are alive and well.
Therefore, even if M2 comes out, there is no need to hurry to dispose of the machine equipped with M1 type chips. In the first place, the M2 is aimed at 5nm +, which is an evolved version of the 5nm process, and it is said that it is possible to realize a slight improvement in processing performance and a large reduction in power consumption without changing the design.
In addition, TSMC, which is in charge of manufacturing Apple Silicon, plans to miniaturize to 4nm and 3nm. If you plan to renew the product once every two years, you can think that at the chip level, you are on the path to upgrade the product while changing the chips of the M series until the next 6 years or so.
On top of that, we should reconsider, for example, six years later, will the same computing environment continue as it is now? Is the problem.
Of course, for business, education, or creators, it is natural to assume that existing work methods and production methods will continue to remain. But when I look at more advanced computing, I’m not very confident about whether I’m still worried about the computer display that sits on my desk, or if the performance of the computer alone or the battery is still being discussed. ..
I wasn’t in time for the Engadget article, but soon I’ll receive AR glasses (or sunglasses with a display) called Nreal Air. Just put on your sunglasses and you’ll see a 100-inch high-definition screen in front of you, eliminating the need to consider a 27-inch monitor on your desk.
I’m thinking of combining this with the iPad Air + Magic Keyboard with M1 to enjoy work and entertainment on the move. When that happens, the iPad, which is always connected to communication and supports both touch and keyboard operations, will become more competitive than a Mac with a large screen, and the value of having the M1 installed in it will increase. May grow larger. The challenge now is to find a slightly jerky USB-C cable that connects your face to your iPad.
Apple, which has purely developed some fixed computing, and a new company that challenges unprecedented devices and interfaces like external stimuli. As a result, Apple will find the “right answer”, achieve this with huge financial and organizational power, and increase corporate value. On the other hand, I think that such excellent devices from Apple are one piece that creates the prerequisites for opening up new computing.
In the future, I would like to continue to pursue this area while deepening the perspective of preparing for Mirai. We look forward to working with our readers and Engadgets somewhere again.