New Studio Display gives LG 4K monitor the boot [Setups] | Cult of Mac

New Studio Display gives LG 4K monitor the boot [Setups]

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Another satisfied customer: New Studio Display pairs with an M1 MacBook Air and a homemade keyboard.
Another satisfied customer: New Studio Display pairs with an M1 MacBook Air (not shown) and a homemade keyboard.
Photo: Asleep_Painting6103

Another week, another bunch of new Studio Displays shipped. They’re cropping up in Setups far and wide as replacements for until-recently-good-enough 4K monitors by the likes of LG and Dell.

Today’s featured M1 MacBook Air setup runs a new Studio Display in place of a 4K LG screen. And for input devices, the user opts for a Magic Trackpad over a mouse, using it with a pretty nifty homemade mechanical keyboard.

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5K Studio Display with ‘fine’ webcam and ‘excellent’ sound takes over for LG 4K monitor

Redditor Asleep_Painting6103 (“A.P.”) showcased the workstation in a post entitled, “Studio Display and MacBook Air M1 setup.”

You can’t see the M1 MacBook Air in the photo, though, because it’s hidden.

“There’s a small Ikea cabinet under the desk, and the MBA sits on top of that out of the way,” A.P. told a commenter who was looking for just such an arrangement, given their large display and cluttered desk.

A.P. described the workstation as “a new setup for 2022.”

“After using an LG 4K display for a while, my Studio Display finally turned up,” they said. “Very happy with it.”

Like several setups we’ve seen with new 5K Studio Displays usurping 4K monitors by LG and others, A.P. seems content with the $1,600 screen.

And that’s despite what others have called shortcomings. Even in A.P.’s post, a commenter said they skipped purchasing a Studio Display based on “kind of thick” bezels and a “middling” webcam for the price.

A.P. disagreed.

Praise for webcam, sound and stock stand

“Love it so far. I don’t mind the bezels, and I never use the webcam (I use the MacBook in laptop mode at a different desk for meetings). That said, from the tests I’ve done the webcam actually looks fine – it’s probably better than the Air’s built-in webcam!”

Given the Studio Display webcam’s specs and recent software tweaks by Apple to improve it, it probably is better than the laptop’s. It has a 12MP Ultra-Wide camera with Center Stage and a three-mic array. And the display also features a six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio.

A.P. went on to say “the screen quality is superb and sound is excellent. It’s pretty much the display I’ve been looking for all these years.”

They even praised the stock stand that some have said isn’t good enough without an upgrade.

“I’ll also note that, despite the amount of noise I’ve seen online about ‘you MUST get the height-adjustable stand’, the default option is actually the perfect ergonomic height for me and my specific setup. The fact that I use an adjustable standing desk probably helps (and that I’m not a tall person).”

‘Pretty good’ BenQ Halo monitor light

On top of the display A.P. mounts a BenQ Halo monitor light, one of the nicer ones, with front and back lighting and a smart wireless controller. It goes for about $179.

“It’s pretty good!” they said. “A lot more elegant than the mess of bias backlighting strips I was using before. The controller is fussy, though, and I wish the light both had more power in general (it’s a little weak) and provided a greater spread at the rear. Solid 4/5 stars and would buy again.”

They added they see “zero glare on any part of the screen” from the BenQ, which is “very good at only directing light onto the desk.”

Notably, it’s designed with a weighted clip to fit curved monitors, as well.

The owner put this mechanical keyboard together from scratch.
The owner put this mechanical keyboard together from scratch.
Photo: Asleep_Painting6103@Reddit.com

Homemade mechanical keyboard

A.P.’s setup is also notable for its “homemade” mechanical keyboard, freshly assembled from separate parts.

Calling it “nothing enormously fancy,” they said the keeb uses a 60% Tofu60 aluminum case with foam for sound dampening, a DZ60 PCB (circuit board) and Gateron Ink Black Silent switches.

It also features “Keebcats ‘Scout’ keyboard plate, which lets me use both British ISO layout and my preferred arrow-key layout (VIM-style) and Drop Extended 2048 MT3-profile key caps for those vintage Macintosh vibes,” A.P. said.

Magic Trackpad 2, HomePod mini, MagSafe charging

Rounding out the gear, A.P. relies on a Magic Trackpad 2 as an input device rather than a mouse.

Sound in the room comes courtesy of a HomePod mini.

And an iPhone 13 Pro and AirPods charging case get their juice from an Anker PowerWave MagSafe charger.

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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.