Studio Display Supports 5th-Gen iPad Air, But Not the 4th-Gen or the iPad Mini 6 [Updated]

Update: Apple has since confirmed to MacRumors that plugging in a fourth-generation iPad Air or iPad mini 6 into the Studio Display will result in a downscaled 1440p output.


According to Apple, the new 27-inch 5K Studio Display supports a range of Macs going back to 2016 MacBook Pro models, but its compatibility with iPads is notably limited to the 11-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ (third-generation and later), and the new fifth-generation ‌iPad Air‌.

studio display
This limitation has left some Apple users wondering why other iPad models with USB-C like the fourth-generation ‌iPad Air‌ and latest ‌iPad mini‌ aren't compatible with the Studio Display. Basically, it comes down to data throughput.

The ‌iPad Pro‌ models supported by the Studio Display feature USB-C with 10Gbps throughput (also known as USB 2.1 Gen 2), whereas the fourth-generation ‌iPad Air‌ and ‌iPad mini‌ 6 include a USB 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps USB-C connection. This connectivity standard supports a single external display with up to 4K resolution at 30Hz.

By contrast, the new ‌iPad Air‌ uses a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector, which doubles its data throughput compared to the model it replaces, matching the USB 2.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) of the compatible ‌iPad Pro‌ models. Hence these devices are able to support the Studio Display's output.

It's unclear at present whether connecting an unsupported USB-C ‌iPad‌ would output a degraded picture or simply nothing at all, but suffice to say, customers should heed Apple's compatibility list if they want to ensure a fully functional experience with the new display.


Customers can order the Studio Display starting now through Apple's online store, with availability starting March 18, although delivery dates for both the new Mac Studio and its accompanying Studio Display have begun to slip well into April.

In the U.S., the Studio Display is priced at $1,599 with a tilt-adjustable stand and at $1,999 with a tilt- and height-adjustable stand. The monitor can also be configured with nano-texture glass and/or a VESA mount adapter.

Top Rated Comments

fwmireault Avatar
17 weeks ago
Bummer, but honestly, who really wants to use an external display with an iPad? No matter the model you have, and except very few apps, you’ll be stuck with 4:3 mirroring. Nobody wants that on a 5K monitor
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jObooW Avatar
17 weeks ago

By contrast, the new iPad Air uses a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector, which doubles its data throughput compared to the model it replaces, matching the USB [S]2.1[/S] 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) of the compatible iPad Pro models. Hence these devices are able to support the Studio Display's 5K output at 60Hz.
The 10Gbps of USB 3.1 Gen 2 is not enough for 5k at 60Hz. On these devices it will probably fallback to 4k at 60Hz, just like the LG UltraFine 5k display does.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
andrefillipe Avatar
17 weeks ago
Why would someone use an iPad as a tradicional desktop connected to a ($1600) monitor? ?
If I want to show something for a lot of people I just use Airplay or hdmi for keynotes…
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PinkyMacGodess Avatar
17 weeks ago

Im surprised that this display is still wired. Considering that it has an A chip inside, why not just make it into a wireless display with universal control support? Just put your macbook/iPad on its side, and bam. Man, such missed opportunity.
Bandwidth?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tdbrown75 Avatar
17 weeks ago

Any thoughts on whether this display will support a windows laptop with thunderbolt 3? I use an LG Ultrafine 5k display with my 16" MacBook Pro but also an HP EliteBook and Dell laptop (work machines). The LG 5K Ultrafine does allow windows machines to access the webcam, speaker, and usb-c hub which makes it a nice cross platform display. Hoping for similar functionality with the Apple Studio Display. Will it work?
Similar situation here. I'll find out when it arrives and will let you know!

Tim
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
17 weeks ago
The people asking why anyone would connect an M1-equipped iPad to a beautiful external display are asking a question Apple should’ve answered by now, I’m the form of iPadOS enhancements.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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