Hey, maybe you can afford a ‘Mini Pro Display XDR’ with your Mac Studio [Setups]


It may be small, but it's a Liquid Retina XDR Display.
It may be small, but it's a Liquid Retina XDR Display.
Photo: Tom@bytereview@Twitter

Anyone who buys a desktop Mac or wants a desktop feel using their MacBook is going to need a decent-sized external display. And wouldn’t it be grand if we all had $5,000 to spend on an Apple Pro Display XDR? Well, we don’t. In fact, scratching together enough cash to buy a new, more-affordable Studio Display can feel like a stretch for many folks.

The owner of today’s featured computer setup figured out a clever way to run a brilliant Liquid Retina XDR Display at much less cost with their new Mac Studio. What’s the catch? Well, it’s only a 12.9-inch display. Because it’s an iPad.

This post contains affiliate links. Cult of Mac may earn a commission when you use our links to buy items.

Thank you, Sidecar: A 12.9-inch iPad Pro can give you a ‘Mini Pro Display XDR’ with your desktop Mac

Tom, the person behind the setup, produces “aesthetic tech videos” for Byte Review on YouTube. He put his compact Mac Studio-based rig out in a tweet saying, tongue in cheek,”Mac Studio with Mini Pro Display XDR.”

There is no such “mini” product in Apple’s display lineup, of course. But there is a Liquid Retina XDR Display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. And that’s not to be mistaken for the regular Liquid Retina display on other devices.

One commenter was so surprised by the image they thought it wasn’t even real, but more of a fantasy about something to come.

“These renders are always cool until the products are real and then a mile long of complains [sic]  follows up,” they said.

“It’s not a render,” someone quickly corrected, succinctly describing the situation. “It’s just a 12-inch iPad Pro on a stand using Sidecar to display the Mac Studio.”

And it’s true. Just run Sidecar to use your iPad along with your Mac, even if you’re just using it to be the only display. Nothing wrong with that, really.

It’s a beautiful display. The Liquid Retina XDR Display’s mini LED backlighting system fits about 10,000 tiny lights behind the screen and manages 2732 x 2048 pixel resolution with a pixel density of 249 ppi. It hits about 1,000 nits of brightness across the screen and maxes out at 1,600 nits. That’s bright. You can read that screen out in the sunlight.

“Took me a few minutes to figure that one out, kinda embarrassed it broke my brain,” said another onlooker.

“Woah. It’s the Apple Cash register!” quipped another, commenting on the little setup’s general appearance. “Haha but seriously cool set up.”

Tom agreed, it does resemble a cash register. “It does look like that 🤣. A darn expensive one too,” he said.

NuPhy wireless mechanical keyboard

Complementing the tight little workstation is a NuPhy Studio Air60 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard. Featuring a 60% layout, it’s ultra-slim — perfect for a setup in a small space.

The nifty little keeb claims to have the world’s thinnest PBT spherical keycap, plus low-latency 2.4g wireless connection and hot-swappable keys for easy customization.

“With the NuFolio V2, the Air60 is undoubtedly the best iPad Keyboard, supporting the iPad while giving you the best typing experience on iPad,” Nuphy’s website claims.

Find the spare setup’s gear below.

Shop these items now:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.


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.