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The new Apple Studio Display in test: Good, but not good enough

The new Apple Studio Display in test: Good, but not good enough

[13:34 Fri,25.March 2022   by ]    

Since the release of Apple&s new Studio Display, which was presented together with the new 5K Mac Studio, the first tests have appeared. Together, they provide a XXX picture of the Apple Studio Display, which starts at 1,750 euros and for the first time again offers an affordable alternative to the professional 32" 6K Apple Pro Display XDR for at least 5,500 euros. We have summarized/bundled some of the key statements of these reviews for you here.

Apple Studio Display

Good, but outdated display technology?

The Apple Studio Display is largely identical in specs to the display on the old Intel 27-inch iMac and the LG 5K UltraFine monitor sold by Apple, with a resolution of 5,120 x 2,880 pixels, 218 pixels per inch, a refresh rate of 60 Hz, and the same single-zone LED backlight. A minimal upgrade is the slightly increased brightness of 600 nits (compared to the 500 nits) and the integration of the A13 SoC for the sound and webcam (and maybe in the future for even more features by means of its 64 GB RAM). It is - apart from the problem-ridden LG 5K UltraFine - the only 27" display that offers the significantly increased resolution of 5K (along with a larger desktop area) compared to 4K.

Apple Studio Display

DPReview points out in its review that the Apple Studio Display has a good color space coverage (98% DCI-P3) and uniform color representation, including a very good color distance value Delta E of less than 1. The calibration of the white point also works very quickly. However, the Studio Display (according to DPReview) does not have a true 10-bit color depth, but only 8 bits plus FRC.

No local dimming, no HDR, only 60Hz

DPReview and The Verge see a big minus point in the fact that Apple is actually using an outdated technology with this - contemporary would be Mini LEDs (like on the MacBook Pro or iPad Pro), OLED (like on the iPhone) or Local Dimming (like on the Pro Display XDR). With one of these technologies, HDR would also be possible (the Studio Display can only display SDR now).

Apple Studio Display

Pro Video Coalition criticizes that the Studio Display only has a fixed refresh rate of 60 Hz, which is especially not optimal for video editing, since videos with other frame rates (such as 29.97/50/48 or 47.952 Hz) can&t be displayed natively in preview.

DPReview also criticizes that the refresh rate of 60 Hz is only very low (compared to the 120 Hz of the ProMotion displays of the iPhones) and there is no option for professional hardware calibration via LUT.

The fact that Apple adds a whopping 460 euros for a special stand for the monitor&s height-adjustability feature, which is taken for granted in other monitors, is met with widespread criticism - it&s even around 1,100 euros for the Pro Display XDR.

Sound and microphone are good - webcam is bad

Several testers explicitly praise the very good sound of the built-in speakers and the microphone&s very good sound quality, but the webcam&s picture quality seems to be surprisingly poor according to The Verge and DPReview. However, the webcam&s intelligent Center Stage function, acquired via A13 chip, is rated well. It always tries to place the user in the webcam&s center during video conferences.

Apple Studio Display with Mac Studio

Barely usable under Windows

Other points of criticism: the Studio Displays can actually only be used sensibly together with Apple computers, since for lack of manual setting options on the screen itself (there isn&t even a power button) the display parameters such as brightness, selection of the color profile, ...) can only be changed via these - this is particularly of concern for workplaces where Macs are used together or alternately with Windows PCs on one display. For Apple users, the as always excellent integration into Apple&s ecosystem applies, all settings can be made via the macOS display menu.


The conclusion of DPReview is mixed, although it is a good color-accurate 5K display that justifies its price, but professional (studio) users in the field of photo or video editing are better served with a pro solution from NEC or EIZO or the next generation Apple XDR display.

Apple Studio Display with MacBook

The reviewer from Engadget has a similar opinion: the Apple Studio Display is, as always with Apple, of high quality with a bright and color-accurate screen, but with outdated technology due to the single-zone IPS LED panel with only 60 Hz, which is not able to display true black. However, the inability to display HDR is somewhat compensated for by the wide color gamut and above-average brightness in the eyes of the tester. Compared to the Alienware QD-OLED 34" Ultrawide Quantum Dot Monitor, Apple performs worse according to him, but the latter supports variable frame rates up to 175Hz and delivers a peak brightness of 1,000 nits including HDR compatibility at a smaller price (1,299) - but with a lower resolution of 3,440 x 1,400 pixels.

The Verge advises users (if they don&t need the higher resolution of 5K) to get a better display with newer technology for less money.

Pro Video Coalition explicitly does not recommend the Studio Display for professional video work because of the mentioned flaws.

Apple Studio Display with Mac Studio

We find it astonishing that Apple has made such great compromises and places the new Studio Display so far below its Pro XDR display in terms of technical features and foregoes the use of newer display technology. Or in the words of MacWorld, "The Apple Studio Display could have ... been a great monitor; instead, it&s just a good monitor."

So overall, Apple video editing professionals (who find the Pro XDR display too expensive) can either choose a suitable monitor with the latest technology from another manufacturer, or hope that the rumor of a semi-pro version of the Apple Pro Display XDR at half the price turns out to be true after all.

deutsche Version dieser Seite: Das neue Apple Studio Display im Test: Gut, aber nicht gut genug?


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deutsche Version dieser Seite: Das neue Apple Studio Display im Test: Gut, aber nicht gut genug?

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