| Cult of Mac

13 ways to improve this dual-Studio Display workstation [Setups]


How can we make this setup better? Let us count the ways.
How can we make this setup better? Let us count the ways.
Photo: justice675@Reddit.com

Among the everlasting truths about computer setups, first comes “a setup is never finished.” And the second might be, “A setup can always be improved.” The user behind today’s featured setup certainly found out about No. 2  when he asked for advice on how to improve his M1 Max MacBook Pro and dual-Studio Display workstation.

Find all the advice below — jokes ‘n’ all — as well as all of the setup’s excellent gear.

AirPods Max 2 and HomePod mini 2 won’t arrive anytime soon


AirPods Max even look pretty on the inside.
What improvements do you want to see in the AirPods Max 2?
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

The next AiPods Max refresh, low-cost AirPods, and the HomePod mini 2 could enter into mass production in H2 2024. These products could go on sale between the end of 2024 and the first half of 2025.

Apple is unlikely to announce new audio products for the remainder of 2023 or H1 2024.

HomePod 2 review roundup: Great sound but no giant leap forward


A second-generation HomePod and a hand holding an iPhone.
The new HomePod looks almost exactly like the original, but it packs definite improvements.
Photo: Apple

The first reviews of the updated HomePod say the new smart speaker sounds excellent but doesn’t break much new ground.

Compared to Apple’s original smart speaker, the second-generation HomePod is more of an asset in a smart home than before. However, the device’s limitations on playing music from third-party sources mean that the home in question better be an Apple household.

Apple is not actively working on a HomePod mini 2


HomePod mini
Apple is not working on a HomePod mini successor for now.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Although the HomePod mini played a key role in helping Apple make inroads in the smart speaker market, the company is reportedly not working on a second-generation model.

Apple launched the HomePod mini in October 2020 with a $99 price tag, which made it much more affordable than the full-size speaker.

HomePod head-to-head: How Apple’s new smart speaker compares to original


Is the new HomePod really that different from the 2018 HomePod? Yes and no.
Is the new HomePod really that different from the 2018 HomePod? Yes and no.
Photo: Apple

Now that the full-size HomePod is finally back, just how different is it from Apple’s original smart speaker? At a glance, you might not think the $299 speaker Apple unveiled Wednesday is that different at all, because the exterior design looks so similar. But compare the new HomePod’s features to the old model, and you’ll find significant changes.

It seems potentially much-improved as a smart home device, but whether it’s a better speaker is questionable.

Mac mini and MacBook Pro trade off in student rig [Setups]


Both a MacBook Pro and a Mac mini drive this setup.
Both a MacBook Pro and a Mac mini drive this setup.
Photo: hyqmavericks@Reddit.com

Back in our day — when we walked 5 miles uphill to school both ways — students were lucky to have plywood on cinderblocks for a desk and a laptop weighing, oh, let’s say 25 pounds (we’re too old to remember things).

Nowadays, these kids have pretty swanky computer setups with desktop machines you could toss in a knapsack. Today’s featured item boasts a Mac mini, a MacBook Pro, a 4K display, Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2 and a Lego building set to die for.

We bet you haven’t seen a 3-display rig quite like this one [Setups]


The little monitor at the bottom is the odd bit.
The little display at the bottom of the stack is the unusual bit.
Photo: CenTexEDC@Reddit.com

Display towers — when monitors are stacked on top of each other — aren’t super common in computer setups. But they’re not terribly rare, either. From time to time we’ve even seen three stacked horizontally in the middle with two posted vertically on the sides. But today’s featured triple-display MacBook Pro setup sports an unusual choice at its base.

You can’t miss the 49-inch Samsung curved ultra-wide screen in the middle and the nice 34-inch LG 4K display on top. But at the bottom lurks a TidByt, which is a retro display for sports scores, stock prices and more. We don’t recall seeing one featured in a setup.

Coder suffers crippling doubts over just-upgraded display [Setups]


It's not always clear right away if you chose the best display for you.
It's not always clear right away if you chose the best display for you.
Photo: schmob@Reddit.com

A new external display for your computer setup is usually a joy to behold. It is, after all, what you look at most. And you probably just replaced your old one with a bigger, brighter and more beautiful new one. But sometimes buyer’s remorse creeps in. Is it actually the best screen for your needs that you can afford?

Today’s featured setup comes from a software coder who has started to have doubts about a substantial recent monitor purchase. Will he succumb to them? He’s keeping his eye on the return deadline and asking for advice.

‘Tower of power’ spurs cable-clutter debate over otherwise-clean rig [Setups]


Plenty to see here, but the
Plenty to see here, but the "tower for power" in the corner drew most of the attention.
Photo: PlaZma64@Reddit.com

Some people care deeply about cable management, with nary a cord to be seen in their computer setups. Others couldn’t care less about it, leaving wire-spaghetti all over the place. And folks in the middle want to do it right, but meh, maybe next week, and maybe only somewhat.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro and iPad Pro setup stakes out much of the ground described above. Cable management is in play, but it’s done in a way that drove some neatniks crazy while others applauded the controlled mayhem.