Why Mac Studio looks odd, and what Apple should have done instead

Why Mac Studio looks odd, and what Apple should have done instead


Here's how Apple should have made Mac Studio’s front ports
This isn’t what the Mac Studio looks like. But it should be.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Mac Studio looks just a bit… off. It’s the three front-facing ports. They aren‘t arranged like they should be. The SD card slot makes a horizontal line, but the two USB-C ports are vertical.

It’s an unusual miss for a company that’s typically obsessed with tiny design details.

Port placement makes Mac Studio look odd

Surely the designers for the Mac Studio explored what the desktop computer would look like with the ports arranged in different ways. That’s why it’s so odd that they chose an arrangement that looks just slightly wrong.

It’s the sort of thing that once you see it you can’t unsee it.

Port placement makes Mac Studio look odd
See how much better Mac Studio would look with the USB-C ports arranged horizontally?
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Of course, the USB-C ports function just as well when placed horizontally as they would vertically. The only difference is esthetics.

But Apple cares a lot about design. The grill on the back of the Mac Studio needed to let cooling air flow through has 2,000 holes each of which was drilled at a specific angle.

And that’s a detail no one will ever see. The catawampus USB-C ports are the front of the computer. Apple won‘t even put ports on the front of the Mac mini, probably because they’d break up the smooth perfection of the design.

With that in mind, perhaps we should be happy Apple was willing to put the dual USB-C ports and the SD card slot on the front of the Mac Studio at all. It could have made us reach behind for all of them just so the front of the computer would remain unblemished.

No. Just… no.
Do. Not. Do. This.
Image: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

But no… that’s something Jony Ive would have done when he was head of Apple design. With him gone, the company clearly considers functionality as important as esthetics. And the Mac Studio is a balance of powerful functionality and beautiful design. Even if it does look slightly off.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.