According to a report by reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will launch its first 6K screen for Mac Pro this year. This report is consistent with Apple's statement about its plans for this year, but adds an essential element to the story.
If you are a creative professional, then you should be really excited about Apple's future projects for the Mac in 2019. This year, Apple will launch its new Mac Pro, as well as its new 6K display. Watch our latest episode of Back to the Mac while we examine what we know and some of the possibilities associated with its new monitor.
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What we know about the Apple 6K screen
Among the many details of his latest report, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo presented some important information regarding the next Apple screen. Do not forget that Kuo reports are based on information from the supply chain. Therefore, even though he is more often right, none of this is etched in the marble.
First, Kuo confirms that Apple is working on a new internal screen that is still on schedule for 2019; so we know that it should arrive in store within 10 months.
Before Kuo's report, Apple had last mentioned its return to the screens market in December 2017 via a line at the bottom of its iMac Pro press release:
In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a newly redesigned Mac Pro, designed for business customers who need the high-speed, high-performance system in a modular and scalable design. as well as a new high-end pro screen.
Now, Kuo also shares the likely specifications, and they can certainly be considered as specifications for a professional display.
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The second big information concerns the size of the display. Kuo is very specific regarding the size of the panel, noting that it measures 31.6 inches, which equates to the diagonal measurement of the display panel itself.
In addition to the size, Kuo also notes that the screen will exhibit "outstanding image quality", which is due to a backlight of the Mini LED type.
Kuo ends his discussion on Apple's next professional screen noting that he will offer a 6K resolution. More specifically, Kuo notes that it will be a 6K3K display, which equates to about a ballpark of about 6000 pixels horizontally and about 3000 pixels vertically.
Analyze the Apple 6K Monitor in more detail
Now that the basics of Apple's 6K Professional Screen are being laid, we can begin to fill some gaps.
First of all, I want to talk about the display resolution, which is probably the most important thing we have an approximate knowledge of so far. Kuo notes that Apple's upcoming display will offer a resolution of 6K, which means it will be the highest resolution display ever delivered by Apple. It also means that it will be one of the highest resolution consumer screens in the market once it arrives.
When we look at the potential resolution of a 6K3K screen, a particular resolution immediately comes to mind: 6400 × 3600. I can not say that this figure will certainly be the native resolution of Apple's 6K screen, but such a number makes sense for several reasons:
- This is a 16 × 9 format
- The "modest" resolution of the resolution matches that of the size of the physical display
- Apple is already using a 3200 × 1800 resolution for the iMac 5K, a "Retina" iteration doubled in 6400 × 3600 pixels
The 3200 x 1800 resolution is available on the iMac Pro.
What's a possible Apple Display 6400 × 3600 means for users
6K resolution may not seem as sexy as 8K resolution, but a 6400 × 3600 display still represents a significant increase in resolution compared to the current 5K displays on Apple's iMac and LG UltraFine 5K.
An Apple 6K screen with a resolution of 6400 × 3600 would have 23,040,000 pixels against only 14,745,600 pixels in 5K screens with a resolution of 5120 × 2880. This suggests a 44% increase in usable resolution – a major victory for creative professionals.
But the numbers are just numbers and the real world examples really help to show the utility of such a resolution. Below are some comparisons between the most commonly used display resolutions and the likely Apple 6K display. The blue area is the 6400 × 3600 Apple 6K resolution.
Here is the future Apple 6K screen compared to a native 1080p screen:
Apple's 6K screen would have enough resolution to be able to integrate nine different instances of 1080p full-resolution video indoors, with enough free space:
How can an Apple 6K monitor stack up to a 4K UHD display? Here is an overview:
As you can see, you can easily insert a UHD resolution display area into the Apple 6K display area with enough free space.
The 5K display of Apple's iMac and iMac Pro is currently Apple's most dense screen in pixels. Here's how Apple's next 6K3K screen could compare:
Real benefits of 6K
A major example of the added money advantage is the editing of 4K videos in Final Cut Pro X. Here's what a 100% 4K zoomed video on the entire iMac Pro 5K looks like with its resolution by default:
You can fit 4K full resolution video in the default resolution area (2560 × 1440 pixels doubled) while providing an interface with the browser and timeline, but it is extremely narrow. Having the extra resolution provided by a 6K screen would greatly help to improve the editing environment.
Note the significant space difference when comparing the 5K working area above to the 6K working area below. Editing a 4K zoomed video at 100% is a much better experience, as it leaves room for the browser, timeline and inspector. Although it is possible to use scaled resolutions on the iMac Pro now to get a similar workspace, everything is really tiny, which really tires my eyes.
Here's what Final Cut Pro X might look like with 100% UHD video on an Apple 6K screen
A significantly larger screen
31.6 inches versus 27 inches may not seem like much on paper, but in reality it's a big difference. Apple's 6K screen will be much larger than the 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt that the company abandoned in June 2016.
For example, the 27-inch display screens of the iMac 5K and the iMac Pro Sport, but both machines feature larger glasses and a wider chin-cover. In fact, the front surface of the 27 inch iMac 5K is less than the diagonal of 31.6 inches. This means that the only display panel of Apple's next 6K monitor will be larger than that of the iMac 5K, including its panels.
The larger display means larger pixels, which gives a display that provides additional resolution, but does not cause unnecessary eye strain due to the small size of the on-screen resources. Essentially, the display size has been increased to compensate for the increase in resolution.
Given the size and native resolution proposed, the PPI of such a panel would be slightly higher than Apple's 5K iMac – 226 vs 218 PPI.
Improved display technology
Apple has long been at the forefront of mainstream advertising technology. He released one of the first 5K screens with the iMac 5K and, before that, had released its "Retina" screens lined in pixels on all of its iPhone, iPad and Mac ranges. Apple has also adopted features such as True Tone, which dynamically changes the white point of a screen according to ambient lighting, and ProMotion, the current dynamic display refresh technology. in the iPad Pro.
Ming-Chi Kuo's report does not specify the display technology used by Apple's 6K monitor, but indicates that it will present "exceptional image quality". One of the reasons given is the use of a backlight Mini LED type.
Areas of the backlight can be turned on and off, unlike the current Mac screens, where the entire backlight panel is lit evenly. If you turn off the backlight in a region, you get an effect similar to true black OLED, which improves the contrast ratio. A backlight of the Mini LED type would be more precise, thinner and more energy efficient.
I / O?
One of the most interesting aspects of Apple's long-abandoned Thunderbolt display is the amount of I / O on the back of the panel. The product recommended by Apple as an alternative to the Thunderbolt display, the LG UltraFine 5K Display, was a little disappointing in comparison.
The LG UltraFine was missing a bit of I / O
With the Apple 6K display for the professional market, I hope the I / O will reflect it. However, it is difficult to say with certainty what I / O Apple will include given the huge amount of bandwidth already used by the display itself.
Our own Michael Steeber is laughed at that the back panel could as on Apple's 6K screen, but it's obvious that such bandwidth requirements may be out of reach, depending on how Apple proceeds to assemble everything.
There is still much to learn about Apple's 6K screen, but we now have a slightly better picture of what we should expect to see before the end of 2019. We know the likely size, the resolution , and we know that it will feature a billboard. it's much better than what we currently have.
However, things like input / output, price, compatibility, and overall performance are still unknown today. And what about Face ID? Will such technology be included in the Apple 6K screen?
Stay tuned because 2019 is just beginning and rumors are already starting to heat up.
What do you think about Apple's 6K screen? In your comments, listen to your comments and opinions, and be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for the next episodes of Back to the Mac.
A special thanks to 9to5Mac Benjamin Mayo for his contribution to this report.