Monitor Roundup: The best alternatives to Apple's Pro Display XDR

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in General Discussion
Apple's Pro Display XDR is certainly impressive but not everyone is going want to spend over $5,000 on a monitor. If you're looking for a high-quality monitor with a lower price tag, these are our top picks.

Computer Monitors with Editors Choice Badge


Apple's Pro Display XDR is aimed at a very particular audience, and odds are, you're not one of them. None of these monitors listed here are going to be equivalent to Apple's $5,000 display, nor do any of them have a $1,000 stand. But they all are good performers, we like them all, and all will suit most Pro use cases just fine -- at a fraction of the cost.

Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor

Dell UltraSharp 32 8K Monitor
Dell UltraSharp UP3218K 8K Monitor


The Dell UltraSharp 32 8K monitor is every bit impressive in its own right, featuring a 7,680 x 4,320 resolution, covering 98% of the P3 wide color gamut, and boasts a 1300:1 contrast ratio. It has two DisplayPorts and a 3.5mm audio-out jack.

The Ultrasharp 32 8K may be overkill for most people as there is limited 8K content available for most consumers, but professional photographers, digital artists, and video editors may very well find this monitor useful. While Dell charges $3,899.99 for the display, Amazon has the UP3218K on sale for $3,402.59 with free shipping.

The Dell UltraSharp 32 8K requires an eGPU on macOS at present.

LG 49WL95C-W UltraWide Dual QHD Curved Display

LG 49WL95CW UltraWide Dual QHD Curved Display
LG 49WL95C-W UltraWide Dual QHD Curved Display


If you've got a big desk and need a serious amount of work space, the LG UltraWide Dual WHD Curved Display might be the perfect tool for you. Creative professionals can utilize the 49-inch display, the largest on our list, to view multiple windows when editing video and images.

This display also features an ambient light sensor, designed to decrease eye-strain. Multiple devices can be connected via Dual Controller 2.0, allowing two separate computers to be controlled via one mouse, keyboard, and monitor. There are two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, and one USB Type-C port.

This monitor also includes two 10W built in stereo speakers that support Rich Bass. Beach Camera on Amazon currently has this display for $1,364.99 with free shipping, while B&H Photo is expecting inventory within 7 to 14 days.

LG UltraWide 5K Thunderbolt 3 Display






The LG Ultrawide 5K2K is an excellent choice for designers, developers, and video editors. The extra-wide 34-inch display allows for easier workflow for those who may need to keep many windows open at once, as suggested in our review.

It has a max brightness of 450 nits, covers 90 percent of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut. Gamers may want to look elsewhere, as the Ultrawide 5K2K features a 60Hz refresh rate, instead of a preferred 120Hz or 240Hz.

LG's 34-inch 5K monitor (34WK95U-W) is available at Amazon.com for $1,099.99.

LG 23.7-inch 4K UltraFine Display





The LG 23.7-inch 4K UltraFine Display is a brilliant monitor that works over Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C, and can be daisy-chained with other devices via the Thunderbolt 3 port. It features a 3840 x 2160 60Hz UHD display, boasts 500 nits of brightness -- the same as the MacBook Pro -- and covers the P3 wide color gamut. It also features a footprint that makes it ideal for most desk setups. This one is an Apple exclusive that can be picked up for $699.95.

BenQ PD3200U 32-inch 4K IPS Monitor

BenQ PD3200U 32 inch 4K IPS Monitor
BenQ PD3200U 32-inch 4K IPS Monitor


This 32-inch screen of the BenQ 4K IPS offers some serious space to work in programs like Adobe Photoshop or Final Cut Pro and has 100% sRGB color space, perfect for creative professionals. This monitor doesn't have USB-C, but features two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2, and one mini DisplayPort.

Amazon has it in stock, with free shipping through Prime for $699.

LG 43UD79-B 43-inch 16:9 4K IPS Monitor

LG 43UD79-B 43-inch 16:9 4K IPS Monitor
LG 43UD79-B 43-inch 4K IPS Monitor


Looking for lots of screen real estate but don't want to spend much? The LG 43-inch 4K IPS Monitor has 43 inches of screen space with wide 178-degree viewing angles. It supports Picture-in-Picture, Picture-by-Picture, and Dual Controller if you wish to connect more than one computer to the monitor at once. It features two HDMI 1.4 ports, two HDMI 2.0 ports, one Display Port, as well as a USB Type-C port. You can get one from Beach Camera on Amazon for $569, with free expedited shipping for Prime members.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 667member
    The first alternative monitor has a price in the same ballpark as Apple’s. It makes apple’s offer seem decent. Thanks for this article. 
    lkrupp
  • Reply 2 of 52
    thttht Posts: 3,212member
    What are the scaled resolutions for the LG UltraWide 34”?

    The obvious ones:
    5120 x 2160
    2560 x 1080

    3412x1440 available? (109 points per inch, about the same as the 5K 27” and a touch lower than MBP).



  • Reply 3 of 52
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,624member
    And the Internet trolls and iHaters will continue to compare the XDR monitor to these and cry the XDR is too expensive.
    lkruppnetmage
  • Reply 4 of 52
    netroxnetrox Posts: 740member
    The first alternative monitor has a price in the same ballpark as Apple’s. It makes apple’s offer seem decent. Thanks for this article. 
    Yes, considering that Apple display offers 1,000,000:1 contrast as opposed to just measily 1300:1 and has much wider color space and can avail itself as one of the refs:

    HDR Video (P3-ST 2084) HDTV Video (BT.709-BT.1886) NTSC Video (BT.601 SMPTE-C) PAL and SECAM Video (BT.601 EBU) Digital Cinema (P3-DCI) Digital Cinema (P3-D65) Design and Print (P3-D50) Photography (P3-D65) Internet and Web (sRGB)

    And the brighness is only 400 nits while Apple peaks at 1600 nits

    edited June 11 mknelsonanantksundaramStrangeDaysurahara
  • Reply 5 of 52
    I have had the LG 43UD79-B 43-inch 16:9 4K IPS Monitor for a few months and it is a good monitor. Besides my MacPro at 4K60 I have a 4K Apple TV attached as well as another old computer at 1080p. It works fine with all and is a bargain at $600. Not equivalent to the Apple monitor.
    edited June 11 netmage
  • Reply 6 of 52
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,036member
    The tech behind XDR is to make what's on screen looks real life by increasing the contrast ratio. A 1 million to 1 is extreme, and if Apple can sustain that without overheat, is a remarkable innovative technology that no one can mimic at the moment - yet, with that price.
  • Reply 7 of 52
    netrox said:
    The first alternative monitor has a price in the same ballpark as Apple’s. It makes apple’s offer seem decent. Thanks for this article. 
    Yes, considering that Apple display offers 1,000,000:1 contrast as opposed to just measily 1300:1 and has much wider color space and can avail itself as one of the refs:

    HDR Video (P3-ST 2084) HDTV Video (BT.709-BT.1886) NTSC Video (BT.601 SMPTE-C) PAL and SECAM Video (BT.601 EBU) Digital Cinema (P3-DCI) Digital Cinema (P3-D65) Design and Print (P3-D50) Photography (P3-D65) Internet and Web (sRGB)

    And the brighness is only 400 nits while Apple peaks at 1600 nits


    You beat me to it. Further, the Dell 8K doesn't support HDR. This makes the Apple XDR monitor vastly superior to the Dell monitor.

    The XDR is actually a bargain for what you get/what it can display.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    Ugh! Not one of those monitors are of use in a professional graphics environment. Try the NEC graphics monitors, or the Eizo. Here is a somewhat, but now outclassed Eizo 32” 4K monitor. You can see the pricing.

    https://www.newegg.com/p/0JC-003X-000H2?item=9SIA4P08930751&ignorebbr=1&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googlemkp-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googlemkp-pc-_-pla-adorama+camera-_-monitors+-+lcd+flat+panel-_-9SIA4P08930751&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqayHgrbi4gIVAUSGCh2xxg14EAQYBCABEgLF_vD_BwE

    a 30” NEC. The resolution is much lower, and so is the price. But it’s a good, modest cost choice.

    https://www.necdisplay.com/p/PA302W-BK
    StrangeDaysuraharanetmage
  • Reply 9 of 52
    sirozhasirozha Posts: 551member
    sflocal said:
    And the Internet trolls and iHaters will continue to compare the XDR monitor to these and cry the XDR is too expensive.
    XDR is too expensive. Many people in the US can not afford a car that costs $6,000. Apple should make a replacement for the 27” LED Thunderbolt Display that was released 10 years ago. 

    Even though I can afford a $6,000 display, I will never buy it. I won’t appreciate its benefits over a 5K display, and $6,000 for a display is a huge waste of money in my case. I would buy a 27” 5K display made by Apple for $1,000, though. 
    edited June 11 bigtdsmike54tyler82
  • Reply 10 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    sirozha said:
    sflocal said:
    And the Internet trolls and iHaters will continue to compare the XDR monitor to these and cry the XDR is too expensive.
    XDR is too expensive. Many people in the US can not afford a car that costs $6,000. 
    It’s cheap for the audience it’s intended for. If you can’t afford a $6,000 used car, then you aren’t making any money. Pick a different job.
    StrangeDaysmorkyuraharafastasleepnetmagejeffharrisneilmdanh
  • Reply 11 of 52
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,461member
    One important difference:  these monitors are available now and the XDR isn't.
    bigtds
  • Reply 12 of 52
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,625member
    sirozha said:
    sflocal said:
    And the Internet trolls and iHaters will continue to compare the XDR monitor to these and cry the XDR is too expensive.
    XDR is too expensive. Many people in the US can not afford a car that costs $6,000. Apple should make a replacement for the 27” LED Thunderbolt Display that was released 10 years ago. 
    Claiming it’s too expensive because of poverty is a rather weak argument. Many people in many parts of the world can’t afford any of the monitors listed here, either. 
    uraharafastasleepnetmagejeffharris
  • Reply 13 of 52
    morkymorky Posts: 178member
    XDR is a steal for what it does and will sell well with pros. A drop in the bucket for Apple's revenue, but it's important for Apple to stay relevant in the content creation industry, as it's part of the core DNA of the company. The monitors in this article are awesome for most people who need great, high end displays. The XDR defines the highest end and that is where Apple saw it could differentiate and give pros something they don't already have.
    neilm
  • Reply 14 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    cpsro said:
    One important difference:  these monitors are available now and the XDR isn't.
    No, that doesn’t matter, because if you showed any one of those to the audience the Apple monitor is aimed at, they would laugh. Look at my post with the links. You’ll see a couple of pro monitors. Not these. Seriously, not these.
    edited June 11 uraharafastasleepnetmagedanh
  • Reply 15 of 52
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 65member
    sflocal said:
    And the Internet trolls and iHaters will continue to compare the XDR monitor to these and cry the XDR is too expensive.
    It is too expensive. Add to that a $1000 stand, which is total bs. I'm sure some will buy it but most don't need what this monitor has to offer. The funny thing is that the people that think it's worth it will never buy one.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    bigtds said:
    sflocal said:
    And the Internet trolls and iHaters will continue to compare the XDR monitor to these and cry the XDR is too expensive.
    It is too expensive. Add to that a $1000 stand, which is total bs. I'm sure some will buy it but most don't need what this monitor has to offer. The funny thing is that the people that think it's worth it will never buy one.
    You’re about as wrong as you can get. You obviously don’t need it. You should read the specs and compare them to other monitors. No, don’t compare them to what’s in the article. Compare it to , as an example, the 31.1” Eizo 4K monitor I linked it to. That monitor, which you can see from the number of reviews, sells well, considering that only about 1 in 50 bother to review sonething they bought, though I suspect that with this, a greater percentage did. Still, it costs about $5,750. That’s comparable, but it’s specs don’t come close to Apple’s new model.

    why do you guys say somethings not worth it without understanding what’s going on?
    fastasleepStrangeDaysnetmagedanh
  • Reply 17 of 52
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,624member
    The first alternative monitor has a price in the same ballpark as Apple’s. It makes apple’s offer seem decent. Thanks for this article. 
    It's a distance 2nd place though.  Yes, it's an 8K monitor but that's about all.  It doesn't have what it takes to be a reference-level monitor, has no thunderbolt3 ports (which essentially means it also includes a dock).  It's just a fancy consumer-level monitor.  The realistic comparison is still $30K.

    I'm sure all the other reference-monitor players are in shock that their product is essentially obsolete.  Who in their right mind would ever buy a $30K monitor when a $6K monitor (stand included) not only outperforms it but saves the customer $24K?  It's the shot heard alongside all their bows.  Folks like Sony either better make a cheaper (and better) alternative or cancel their offering.

    Of course, the haters and trolls can continue focusing on that $1,000 stand if they want.  They are completely incapable of seeing the bigger picture that's right in front of their eyes.
    fastasleepStrangeDaysnetmage
  • Reply 18 of 52
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,624member
    sirozha said:
    sflocal said:
    And the Internet trolls and iHaters will continue to compare the XDR monitor to these and cry the XDR is too expensive.
    XDR is too expensive. Many people in the US can not afford a car that costs $6,000. Apple should make a replacement for the 27” LED Thunderbolt Display that was released 10 years ago. 

    Even though I can afford a $6,000 display, I will never buy it. I won’t appreciate its benefits over a 5K display, and $6,000 for a display is a huge waste of money in my case. I would buy a 27” 5K display made by Apple for $1,000, though. 
    The XDR is $6000.  The Sony is $30K.  What alternative math are you using to say the XDR is too expensive?  In addition, why aren't you, and the entire Twitterverse not screaming at Sony for having the audacity of charging $30K for what Apple does - and improves - for $24,000 less?

    Apple has the 5K LG monitor that you can buy from their online store.  Consumer level.  You can also buy countless other alternatives at various price points.  Your complaint is simply the issue that the monitors you can have right now at cheaper prices do not have an Apple logo.  That's it.  How dare Apple consult with industry professionals on what constitutes a top-class monitor?!

    If you're in a job/position where you need to buy a $30K monitor, how is it a waste of money to buy an alternative - and better - unit for $6K instead?  I would think that guy would get a promotion for saving their department so much money.

    I can afford that display too.  I won't buy it for the same reason is that I won't appreciate it over a 5K display.  Simple as that.  I certainly don't think that XDR is too expensive especially when you compare it against what the competition has.  I still don't get why Apple is being skewered especially since Apple just made every expensive monitor obsolete and at a minimum 1/5th the price!
    StrangeDaysnetmagejeffharrisdanh
  • Reply 19 of 52
    iOS_Guy80iOS_Guy80 Posts: 155member
    You can have this same discussion regarding the different iPhone and iPad models. 
  • Reply 20 of 52
    I'm sure some style-savvy TV show or movie is dying to get their hands on one in order to put it in some scene. Which one do you think will get it first?

    If they were still making CSI: Miami you can be sure it would get into one of their episodes pretty fast. It would likely get into their credits where the singer yells: YEEAAAAAHHH! (⌐■_■)
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