Thursday, March 17, 2022

Luna Display to Use an Old iMac 5K As a Display

Adam Engst:

The recent disappearance of the 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display from Apple’s product line has thrown a spotlight on the core design tradeoff with an all-in-one Mac: you can’t separate the Mac from the monitor when it comes time to upgrade (see “Which Mac Will Replace the 27-iMac for You?,” 12 March 2022). But what if you could somehow connect the old Mac in such a way as to make it look like a display to a new Mac? That’s the concept behind Astropad’s $134.95 Luna Display.


To make a long story short, Luna Display does turn my older 27-inch iMac into a secondary 5K Retina display for my 2020 27-inch iMac—with that wonderfully crisp Retina text—but it comes with quite a few tradeoffs. I don’t know if I could live with them because Luna Display exacerbates a problem related to my particular 2020 27-inch iMac that causes multiple kernel panics per day.


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Does it manage to maintain a consistent 60 frames per second with no discernible latency? Put another way, is this as good as connecting a monitor with a cable, or at least so good that you can hardly tell the difference? Given that its wireless I have to say I'm skeptical!

@B Engst says no, even when connecting via Thunderbolt.

I'd like to use my iMac 2020 as temporary monitor for an HDMI device. I don't need input. Anyone have ideas about the best way to do something like that? LunaDisplays seems overkill.

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