Apple’s first somewhat affordable display in years has had something of a rough debut, with some reviewers complaining about the quality of the webcam and others complaining about the high price tag. But if there’s one question we all have it’s this: Why is it so thick?
Now we have an answer. iFixit has performed its customary teardown of the new display and uncovered some interesting engineering maneuvers. Most notably, the site’s experts discovered that the Studio Display has a split power supply board inside the display that requires “massive fans” to stay cool.
That’s the main reason why the Studio Display is so thick—19mm vs 11.5mm on the 24-inch iMac. Even though the power supply is incredibly thin and took “a huge amount of engineering effort,” since it’s inside the Studio Display (meaning there’s no ugly power brick attached to the cord), Apple needed the extra space to dissipate heat. iFixit reckons that, had Apple gone with a standard external power supply, the Studio Display “could have been the same exact design as the iMac.”
Elsewhere, iFixit confirmed that the Studio Display has an A13 Bionic chip with 64GB of storage and runs iOS. The speakers are “impressive” for a display, but still not as thin as the iMac, though there are “exciting force canceling woofers” to minimize vibration.
All in all, iFixit calls the Studio Display an ”alternate universe iMac” and “an impressive testament to Apple’s ability to solve problems.” Still, it’s hard not to wonder what might have been—or might still be a few years down the road.