Occasionally, people ask why I have so many Macs. Some even suggest that I should “think of the environment” before bringing another one into my studio.

I understand this sentiment. Because, from afar, it looks daft. Why would one guy need eleventy seven Macs?

The reason is pretty simple: I’m running a tech reviews business that focuses largely on Apple. Therefore, having lots of those devices to hand kinda comes with the territory.

Despite this, I try and use them all as much as possible. I’m also aware that people want me to review every Mac that comes out. And as much as I’d love to do that, the reality is that it costs an absolute fortune to do so (Tim has no idea who I am, so I have to buy this stuff myself, you see).

So, I have to balance my review unit budget with what makes the most sense to review for my audience.

After much thought, I don’t think the Mac Studio fits into that bracket.

Here’s why.

My reasons for not needing a Mac Studio

Reviews aside, there are plenty of reasons I don’t need a Mac Studio.

Firstly, it’s expensive. I have rent, bills, and corporation tax to pay. I also quite enjoy eating food, as does my girlfriend.

It’s not what I wanted from this event, either. I was expecting a new MacBook Air, which would have slotted perfectly into my review unit budget, and delivered what I suspect would be one of the most important reviews of the year for my brand.

But the biggest reason I don’t need that Mac Studio is that I already have an incredibly powerful Mac – the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Conversely, I don’t need all of the power nestled within the specced-up M1 Max chip I chose for that laptop. But my reasons for buying one were as follows:

  • I already had three M1-based Macs, and needed to find out what the platform was capable of, following the launch of the M1 Pro and M1 Max;
  • I needed a mobile editing rig, rather than being tied to my M1 Mac mini; and
  • there was a compelling story behind the new MacBook Pro.

For me, the Mac Studio fails in all three areas above. I don’t need to find out what the M1 Max version is capable of, because I already have a computer featuring that chip (I’ll get to the M1 Ultra later).

The mobility thing is irrelevant, too – the 16-inch MacBook Pro fills the role of laptop and desktop powerhouse perfectly (and will even more so once my Studio Display arrives).

But what about the story? Well, the Mac Studio has one, undoubtedly, but it feels a bit like the Mac Pro story; I’d rather discuss it from afar for now.

More importantly – I don’t need a Mac Studio on my desk to help you buy one.

But how can you review a product without touching it?

I’m a big fan of the film critic, Mark Kermode. He’ll regularly remind us that he never reviews a film without watching it first; his opinion won’t be pre-empted by previous films in the same series or the reviews of others.

I think it’s important to take a similar approach with tech.

Until it isn’t.

You see, I think the Mac Studio is one of the few products you can review without getting your hands on one – if you have a decent amount of experience using Apple’s various takes on its own silicon.

I have gained that experience. Remember? I’m the guy with too many Macs.

I’m also the guy with an M1 Max-based 16-inch MacBook Pro. I know what that thing can do. Rip off the keyboard, remove the screen, stretch it out, add a couple more Thunderbolt ports, and you’ve got a Mac Studio.

But what about the M1 Ultra version, you ask.

The problem with the M1 Ultra Mac Studio

I wouldn’t know how to review it.

Seriously. I barely push the M1 Max chip in my MacBook Pro. And, if you know me by now, you know that I would rather play cricket than conduct benchmark tests.

Sure, I could do a Final Cut Pro render and export test, but we’d probably only see a few seconds shaved off. Unless the M1 Ultra is capable of reducing my export time from five minutes to 30 seconds (which it isn’t), I’m not interested.

So, I’m not going to buy a Mac Studio. For now. Maybe in the future, depending on where Apple heads with its product roadmap. Who knows – maybe we will see a 27-inch iMac replacement. Maybe the Mac mini will get the update it deserves.

If either of those releases take place this year, I’d be far more willing to add to my Mac collection.

What are you going to do?

I’ve received a wave of comments and emails about the Mac Studio since Tuesday’s event. One thing is clear: there are lots of confused people out there.

So, now that you’ve had a chance to think about it a bit, are you tempted by the Mac Studio? Or are you going to give it a miss? I’m fascinated by this – please get involved in the comments, below!

Main image courtesy of Apple.