Those longstanding rumors of a ‘headless’ Mac between the Mac mini M1 and Mac Pro might be gathering steam. 9to5Mac sources claim Apple has been developing a “Mac Studio” desktop based on the Mac mini, but with considerably more power — think of it as a replacement for the higher-spec Intel Mac mini lingering in the company’s lineup. A base version would reportedly use the M1 Max processor from the late 2021 MacBook Pro, while a higher configuration would rely on a new, still more powerful chip.
Accordingly, rumors of a more affordable Apple monitor are afoot. 9to5‘s insiders also claim the company is working on an “Apple Studio Display” with a 7K resolution. That’s not as ambitious as some 8K monitors, but it would make the 6K Pro Display XDR seem slightly outdated. A report from 2021 suggested the new monitor would use the A13 chip from the iPhone 11 to offload some processing tasks, including AI, but it’s not clear if that part or a newer CPU is still present. The size is an unknown, too, although a higher resolution hints at a screen larger than the Pro Display XDR’s 32 inches.
It’s not certain when the Mac Studio or the Studio Display would arrive. Apple is holding its Peek Performance event on March 8th, but there are no guarantees you’ll see either device so soon. The company might wait until its annual developer conference (typically in early June), for instance.
The larger question might revolve around the exact role of the Mac Studio. Will it simply represent an upgraded Mac mini, or will it be positioned as a “mini Mac Pro” aimed at creatives who don’t need the modularity of a full tower? There’s also the matter of permanence. Apple introduced the iMac Pro in 2017 as a stopgap before the new Mac Pro arrived, and axed the all-in-one in March 2021. A Mac Studio could be a permanent fixture in the product line, but it could also serve as a temporary solution for pros who want a fast desktop but can’t afford to wait until the launch of a Mac Pro with an Apple processor inside.