Apple Studio Display brings high-end monitor down to affordable price | Cult of Mac

Apple Studio Display brings high-end monitor down to affordable price

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Apple Studio Display
The new Apple Studio Display.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Studio Display, revealed Tuesday alongside the new Mac Studio desktop, finally brings a high-end Apple monitor at a more-affordable price point.

Like the MacBook Pro and Pro Display XDR, the new 27-inch 5K monitor features TrueTone, P3 wide color gamut, studio-quality microphones, a six-speaker sound system, a thin bezel and optional nano-texture glass. But at $1,599, it costs just a fraction of the Pro Display XDR’s eye-watering price.

“The Studio Display is in a class of its own,” said Nicole Kordes, Apple’s engineering program manager for Mac, during Tuesday’s Peek Performance event. “Along with a gorgeous screen. It’s loaded with incredible features that no other desktop display can deliver. And it provides that integrated experience Mac users love.”

Apple Studio Display launch

The display, an enticing companion to the just-revealed Mac Studio desktop, fills a gap in Apple’s product lineup. It’s an affordable midrange monitor, not seen from Apple since the discontinuation of the Thunderbolt Display in 2016. That display’s replacement, the LG UltraFine lineup, has been criticized for poor build quality and reliability.

Apple’s high-end Pro Display XDR boasts excellent specs and a 6K resolution, 1,600 nits peak brightness and P3 wide color gamut at a 32-inch size, but at a steep $4,999 price. Display manufacturers seemed unwilling to enter the market for a Retina display, leaving desktop Mac users with little choice — until today.

You can order the new Studio Display with an iMac-style, angle-adjustable stand, a Pro Display XDR-style height-adjustable stand or a VESA mount. It goes above and beyond with Center Stage — an Apple innovation that lets the camera follow people during video calls — and an integrated A13 Bionic chip, both firsts for a desktop display.

The Studio Display starts at $1,599, which is less than a quarter the entry cost of a Pro Display XDR (if you include its $999 stand).

An Apple display for modular setups

Not everyone is a movie color corrector or professional graphic designer, the target professions for the Pro Display XDR. Apple says the new Studio Display works well for professionals who want modularity to build the exact setup they need.

Apple paired the new Studio Display during the event with the newly announced Mac Studio, the Mac mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, touting the new monitor as a perfect fit for modular setups.

Customers also can now buy a color-matched silver and black Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse.

The mythical ‘iMac without the computer’

Ever since Apple introduced the iMac with 4K and 5K displays, and the later iMac Pro, people have been asking, “Why can’t Apple just sell the iMac without the computer and call it a display?”

A theory at the time was that the iMac needed a custom dual-display controller that treated the display as two HDMI displays — and for that reason, it wouldn’t work as an external display over a single standard port. This theory also explains why these computers never supported target display mode.

Thunderbolt has come a long way since, and so has the iMac. The Apple Studio Display surpasses the iMac and former iMac Pro, and offers very similar specs as the high-end Pro Display XDR. Plus, it connects over a single cable with 96W of power, enough to charge the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the Studio Display has a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. The Studio Display has a brightness of 600 nits and does not support HDR. We apologize for any confusion.