Notebookcheck Logo

Apple's 27-inch iMac converted into a cheaper Apple Studio Display with a 5K resolution and a built-in webcam

The 27-inch iMac can be converted into a 5K external monitor without any drilling or soldering. (Image source: Luke Miani)
The 27-inch iMac can be converted into a 5K external monitor without any drilling or soldering. (Image source: Luke Miani)
There are hardly any alternatives to the Apple Studio Display that combine a 5K resolution with a built-in webcam. However, Luke Miani has repurposed an old 27-inch iMac as an external monitor, creating a cheaper version of the Studio Display in the process.

The Studio Display has not been well received so far, but it contains a few features that other external monitors lack. For one, it operates at 5K, which can be usual for content creators who video edit 4K footage. Also, the Studio Display has a built-in webcam, although a fairly poor one by most accounts.

Luke Miani has shown that there is another way to having a 5K external monitor with a webcam, mind you. As he describes in the embedded video below, Miani bought a used 27-inch iMac with a 5K panel, which cost him US$620. While he purchased a working unit, a faulty version would have sufficed, as long as its display still functions.

An advantage of sourcing a working 27-inch iMac is the resale value of its redundant parts. Miani theorises that he could sell the logic board, RAM, HDD, power supply and the processor for several hundred dollars, thereby reducing the panel cost to considerably less than US$620. As this implies, Miani stripped out all internal components and replaced them with a converter board that provides several video and USB inputs.

Moreover, Miani added a USB webcam intended for Arduino projects to mirror the Studio Display's feature set. Overall, the result is impressive, even if it lacks speakers and microphones. Theoretically, these could be added by connecting the appropriate hardware to the converter board, mind you. Miani notes that his panel is not as colour accurate as the one found in the Studio Display, either. However, the gap between the modified iMac and Studio Display could be closed if you chose a more recent 27-inch iMac than Miani purchased.

Source(s)

Read all 1 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 04 > Apple's 27-inch iMac converted into a cheaper Apple Studio Display with a 5K resolution and a built-in webcam
Alex Alderson, 2022-04-29 (Update: 2022-04-29)