How the new Mac Studio fills a crucial gap in Apple’s desktop lineup




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Apple’s Mac Studio slots into an under serviced user-base. Here’s how the new computer fills a gap that Apple’s had in its product lineup for 15 years.

This new headless Mac — one that lacks a built-in display — joins an increasingly powerful Mac lineup. Here’s why we think it was a necessary addition and why we’re so excited about its arrival.

A hole in Apple’s lineup

Apple has had a glaring hole in its Mac lineup for some time now that lacks the granularity as Apple’s other product lines.

If you turn to the desktop lineup, your options are more limited. You have a choice between the Mac mini — currently only available with the M1 chip or a lone Intel option, the M1-based 24-inch iMac, or the Mac Pro.

There used to be a massive hole in this lineup with a big gap between price points and performance. The hole was more apparent if you look solely at headless Macs with only the $699 Mac mini and $5,999 Mac Pro as the options.

Mac Studio with the Studio Display

Mac Studio with the Studio Display

Buying a Mac without a built-in display gives users much more control. Rather than being stuck with the built-in panel, users can choose what resolution and refresh rate they want to pay for, what stand to use, what brand, what finish, or fulfill any color calibration requirements they may have.

This also helps long-term. Should you upgrade your Mac or should the Mac keel over, the Mac can be replaced independently of the display. The converse also holds true should the display break or warrant an upgrade.

There’s certainly a case to be made for Apple to add a new 27-inch iMac to its lineup, but it wouldn’t have met the need of many users that the Mac Studio caters to.

And, it’s not clear if that form-factor is ever returning. We’ll see.

Performance, ports, and price

The Mac Pro comes to market with a healthy array of ports, performance, and price.

A Mac Studio can be purchased for $1,999 with a capable M1…

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