Apple Studio Display review: How badly do you want an all-Apple experience?

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  • Reply 41 of 91
    From what I can tell, for 4K video editing, this is noticeably better than most other (single) monitors you can get for less than the price of the Apple Pro Display XDR, since you can have plenty of controls on the screen while still displaying your video at 100%. It is also brighter (often quite a bit brighter) than all but a small number of "HDR" 4K monitors, and is 20% brighter (and way less obviously "cheap") than the LG 5K. It is frustrating that it isn't brighter.

    If Apple had made mini LED 27" 5K monitor for $3000 that would be a steal. My guess is that they either couldn't figure out how to do that or didn't consider that price point viable, so they were stuck making the best non-mini LED monitor they could make given what was available. I kind of wonder if Apple was pushing hard internally for something far better but just couldn't pull it off and this monitor was a fall-back built from components they could source easily enough. 

    Apple did make a number of frustrating decisions for this monitor, though frankly the dumbest is the power cord. Were they going to do the MagSafe thing but ran out of magnets? Since Neodymium is mined in California, that doesn't make a lot of sense. The rest of the choices don't seem all that unreasonable even if we all hoped for better. At least they don't seem that unreasonable relative to the Apple of recent years, so some of the pushback could be a proxy for frustration at many of Apple's design choices over the last decade. 

    There is the ASUS ROG 32" 4K mini-LED that can do 1400 nits and 98% of DCI-P3. It is currently priced at nearly $3000, which kind of validates the cost problem Apple likely had for upping its large display technology. It is also 4K instead of 5K, and is targeted at gaming rather than video editing. What are the downsides, if any, of a gaming-oriented monitor for video editing? I guess if I stuck to a 4K display, at least there wouldn't be up-sampling when viewing at full screen, so maybe that would actually be better.

    What I am otherwise considering is using the Studio Display for most editing and my 14" MBP screen for fine color correction. Or maybe I just need to get a real color correcting second monitor, but I'm not looking forward to having to fit that into my editing space. Or maybe I do have to spring for the Pro Display XDR. Or maybe I should just stop worrying about exceeding 500 or 600 nits, though mini LED also matters for black points. 
    Detnatordanox
  • Reply 42 of 91
    AniMillAniMill Posts: 83member
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Screen picture is visibly brighter than my LG 5k, even "feels" bigger. Definitely disappointing that it's not HDR or mini-LED, but… I dunno. It's not disappointing. 
    Very happy you’re happy. Not being sarcastic. 👍 I just feel for almost $2000 it absolutely should have had mini-LED. That said, I love my iMac Pro 5K screen, it’s always been the best. But I can still be frustrated that a premium product like this should have included the mini-LED array tech. 😢
    williamlondon
  • Reply 43 of 91
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,060member
    The ultimate "review" is how buyers feel and whether they recommend it to others.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 44 of 91
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,605member
    saarek said:
    It’s a 6 year old LG ultrafine display in a much nicer overall package.

    I was seriously looking forward to this display, had hoped to pick one up, but I’m not going to and for me it’s all because of the lack of height adjustment as standard.

    Such a shame they decided to not include tilt and height adjustment as standard, £400 extra just to change the height when most monitors put there have it by default is just crazy to me. My £600 LG has it, why does the £1600 Apple display need to cost an extra £400 for this basic functionality?
    Actually I suspect it has new IPS technology LG developed but has yet to put in a shipping display of its own. It is in the Dell U2723QE and I see no reason why Apple wouldn’t want to also use it unless it is just not available in a 5K display but I suspect it is as the review mentioned the studio display has wider viewing angles. There is no mention if there is greater brightness or if the contrast ratio is significantly higher and these specs weren’t discussed, but I suspect it does both.

    That said, I agree with the overall review that despite the additional features it is a hard sell, made worse by launching without working camera software and as you say, the travesty of paying extra for a properly adjustable stand.
    williamlondonsaarek
  • Reply 45 of 91
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,605member

    rob53 said:
    Original question was how badly I wanted an all Apple experience. 

    My answer. 100%, except for things Apple doesn’t provide (or doesn’t provide anymore). I’ve used non-Apple monitors early on but after I bought the first iMac the day it was released I personally have no use for generic, plastic computers. I was involved in the purchase of at least $3M worth of Apple hardware over a 16 year period (1989-2005, yes older Macs) before changing to a non-purchasing job and finally retiring. A couple hundred dollars for a monitor I know was built to Apple standards using materials I know won’t break is worth it. One month of no Starbucks burnt coffee pays the difference. 
    You buy Starbucks coffee?!!?
  • Reply 46 of 91
    tronaldtronald Posts: 35member
    AniMill said:
    Eric_WVGG said:
    Screen picture is visibly brighter than my LG 5k, even "feels" bigger. Definitely disappointing that it's not HDR or mini-LED, but… I dunno. It's not disappointing. 
    Very happy you’re happy. Not being sarcastic. ߑ� just feel for almost $2000 it absolutely should have had mini-LED. That said, I love my iMac Pro 5K screen, it’s always been the best. But I can still be frustrated that a premium product like this should have included the mini-LED array tech. ߘ⦬t;/div>
    One of the few other mini LED monitors I could find, the ASUS ROG 32”, is basically just under $3000. Well, there is the Acer X27 S for $1500, but with only 500 dimming zones, it probably isn’t great for video editing work. 

    I rather doubt Apple could have hit a $2000 price point with a 27” 5K monitor that they would have felt good about shipping. Maybe they will be following this up with a $3000 5K monitor as a somewhat smaller and cheaper “mini” Pro Display XDR, but they clearly needed to ship a somewhat reasonably priced monitor to accompany the Mac Studio, and probably realized they couldn’t price it at $3000, so maybe they were forced into cobbling the Studio Display out of what they could source for not too much money. Or maybe they tried to pull off a better display but just couldn’t pull it off and went with a fallback plan. 
    edited March 26
  • Reply 47 of 91
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 434member
    Problem is that none of the other displays today offer built in webcam, speakers, and a single TB uplink/connection. Everything out there lacks all of those features.
    That is the home run on the product as well as how good it looks on a desk when compared to the competition with crappy plastic cases. Would I like it for $999 like their last consumer monitor, of course, but I will take what they will give me and be happy about. I'm currently using Thunderbolt and Cinema Displays for a dual screen setup (I don't use my MBP's display). I have a second setup at another office that is identical. I bought one of the Thunderbolt monitor used and it had the cable failure which is very easy to fix and cheap.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 48 of 91
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 407member
    Most interesting article + comments for a while. I have an iMac27 but too old to upgrade to the latest macOS so stuck on Catalina. Decided my next will be a macBook Pro M2 (hopefully) and that means I have to come up with display/s. I just do some script programming (aren't those electron apps like VSC the pits on macOS .. but I digress), browsing and MS Office for my WFH job. I guess 4K is good enough for me from the comments. I'd like either a curved 40" or a pair of whatever displays. This article + comments will be a good reference.
    edited March 27 FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 49 of 91
    DetnatorDetnator Posts: 287member
    flydog said:
    charlesn said:
    "From this chair, Apple's 5K Studio Display is a nice monitor. It just delivers a beyond terrible price to delivered value ratio."

    You've said it all in two short sentences. And there's nothing up for debate in this assessment--it's a perfectly "fine" monitor that--even by Apple standards--delivers nothing but appearance to justify the lofty price point. And even if the webcam issue can be fixed via software update, it's just inexcusable to ship such a premium-priced monitor in the age of Zoom with crappy webcam performance. 
    There is no other monitor below $5,000 that can even match the brightness, contrast levels, and color range of the Studio Display, and when there is no substitute, $1,600 is a bargain. A comparable monitor simply does not exist. 
    Absolutely....  ...and resolution...

    People saying "there are similar monitors for half the price" etc. miss the most significant feature.  5K.  

    As far as I can tell there are now a grand total of FOUR monitors on the market with greater than 4K resolution:
    •  Dell 8K for more than twice the price as this, close to half the brightness, in dell's typical crappy plastic shell, and no camera/speakers/mics.
    • The LG UltraFine 5K. Barely compares to this for features at only slightly lower price.
    • The Apple Pro XDR. Amazing for the people it is targeted at but that's not most of us.
    • And this Apple Studio Display.

    You people who are happy with 4K, 350 nits, etc. have an abundance of options for you and that's great for you.  For some of us, that just doesn't do the job.

    In that line up of four options above, the ASD is, as charles has said here, a bargain.

    Or do you people know of other options I haven't seen?

    ----

    Edit: I'm reminded Dell and LG make monitors they call 5K by they're 5K/2K = just wider 2160p monitors: they don't have the true 5K 16:9 resolution.  And they still suffer from brightness, contrast and color range deficiencies.
    edited March 27 danoxwilliamlondon
  • Reply 50 of 91
    DetnatorDetnator Posts: 287member
    Right 5K spread over a 40" diagonal instead of a 27" diagonal. I wondered if I would notice a difference and these 20:20 vision eyes do not. 

    Same with the vertical: not 2880 but still 2K. And my eyes do not notice: text is nice and clear, graphics & video look great. 

    What they DO notice is that I have a LOT more screen RE for windows, etc.

    Is this for everyone? No. But neither is the ONE consumer option from Apple. Many, many have wanted sizes other than 27" in the next iMac "bigger." Now that Apple has spoken- there is not iMac bigger at least for now- anyone can get whatever they want... instead of only 1 choice. 

    That's no bash at the Studio 27". I also purchased a Mac Studio Ultra to pair with this new monitor, so Apple got a nice, big fat profit from me too. I'm simply saying that there certainly ARE high-res options instead of having only 1 option (or 2 if you count the $6k "option"). Yes, the others don't have an Apple logo on them. Yes, they may be framed in something other than aluminum. Yes not exactly 5K (in 27" diagonal) and 2880 vertical. Many- including this one- do not have a front-facing camera (but I have a MBpro & iPad for that occasional need). BUT, now I have much greater working screen RE for projects... and the easiest way to preserve "Bootcamp" in a single screen... and a variety of still commonly-used jacks instead of only thunderbolt... and adjustable height, angle without paying extra, etc. 

    To each his own of course. Apple Studio Monitor seems ideal if someone wants exactly 27" and are willing to pay an iMac price for what is now only the iMac screen. I chose to spend about the same for 40" and don't visually notice a difference in resolution- just much more screen RE in the horizontal. I already very tangible notice the productivity gain. 
    You make some fair points and a good case for your set up, but my eyes clearly see differently to yours.  I really really tried to make a 4K monitor work for me, because I wanted bigger than 27", but it just doesn't cut it.  I'm just more efficient and productive on my LG 27" 5K (with my MacBook Pro) and my iMac Pro before that than I could ever be on the Samsung 32" 4K I tried, and a couple of others.

    For some of us, the resolution is almost everything, along with the brightness, contrast, color range, etc.  I'd hoped for an affordable 6K 32".  Something with the ASD's tech specs but the XDR's pixel count. I don't need the fancy XDR specs, but an all else being equal ASD but 32" 6K would be perfect for me and I'd pay even another $1000 on the price of the ASD for that size and resolution.

    But in the absence of that, this ASD is the only thing on the market that comes remotely close to what I need.  Too many people dismiss the 220 ppi and full 5K resolution, but for some of us it's the most important feature and all those low ppi 4K or 5K/2K options just don't cut it.
  • Reply 51 of 91
    DetnatorDetnator Posts: 287member
    saarek said:
    It’s a 6 year old LG ultrafine display in a much nicer overall package.

    I was seriously looking forward to this display, had hoped to pick one up, but I’m not going to and for me it’s all because of the lack of height adjustment as standard.

    Such a shame they decided to not include tilt and height adjustment as standard, £400 extra just to change the height when most monitors put there have it by default is just crazy to me. My £600 LG has it, why does the £1600 Apple display need to cost an extra £400 for this basic functionality?
    Because it's not just basic functionality.  Your £600 LG has a wobbly, sticky, etc. height adjustment, compared with the insane engineering in Apple's height adjust stands that address those issues. Sure, for most people that's a solution to a problem they don't think is a problem... So it's GOOD that Apple didn't put their $400 stand in the box and charge everyone for it.

    For those who want height adjustment for a lot less than $400 there are a bazillion VESA stands that do it at every price point.  So get the VESA mount ASD and one of those.  And for those of us who want a height adjustable stand that doesn't suck, $400 is worth it.

    This way, everyone's taken care of at every price point.

    Meanwhile all these people (including you) complaining about lack of height adjustment...?  Seems just a "let's bash Apple for the sake of it" moment again.  Apple has never had height adjustment on any of its monitors or iMacs in 20+ years. Where's all the backlash about that?  Not a peep from anyone about it, ever, in all those years, until now, when Apple finally does offer it (albeit an optional premium version of it at an optional premium price). Suddenly it's an essential feature that Apple are criminal for not including in the box.  What a joke.
    tenthousandthingsdanoxwilliamlondondewme
  • Reply 52 of 91
    DetnatorDetnator Posts: 287member
    entropys said:
    I so wanted this display but given its documented problems and price I think I will have to settle for the 4K Dell ultrasharp with a USBc dock for home use. 27 or 32 inches and both have fully adjustable stands.

    it uses an LG display with new IPS technology that greatly improves contrast, and it is 500 nits. I can get two 27s for the price of one of these studio displays, and that is before buying an adjustable stand.
    I searched Dell's site.  The sheer number of 27" 4K monitors is ridiculous to say the least, but in all of those options, they don't seem to make anything that's more than 350 nits (except one I found is 350 nits typical and 1000nits HDR but it's twice the price of this ASD).

    What Dell 4K monitor is 500 nits?
    foregoneconclusionwilliamlondon
  • Reply 53 of 91
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,010member
    entropys said:

    rob53 said:
    Original question was how badly I wanted an all Apple experience. 

    My answer. 100%, except for things Apple doesn’t provide (or doesn’t provide anymore). I’ve used non-Apple monitors early on but after I bought the first iMac the day it was released I personally have no use for generic, plastic computers. I was involved in the purchase of at least $3M worth of Apple hardware over a 16 year period (1989-2005, yes older Macs) before changing to a non-purchasing job and finally retiring. A couple hundred dollars for a monitor I know was built to Apple standards using materials I know won’t break is worth it. One month of no Starbucks burnt coffee pays the difference. 
    You buy Starbucks coffee?!!?
    Not if I can help it but too many people do so I was trying to make a point about how little a few hundred dollars has become these days. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 54 of 91
    lewchenkolewchenko Posts: 110member
    It’s a huge disappointment, and frankly I expected way better from Apple. 

    5K retina style does look awesome and that’s all this screen has going for it. Whether that’s worth £1600 is another matter. 

    The price gauging for a decent stand that any other monitor would come with by default is just an insult and poor design.  

    And then there is all the problems with the camera and hardwired plug. Why Apple Why ? All we needed was a screen !

    Apple basically engineered in problems to this screen and then decided to charge even more for it than the out going model. 

    60hz is a disappointment but I get the technical limitations at this resolution. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 55 of 91
    Detnator said:

    Meanwhile all these people (including you) complaining about lack of height adjustment...?  Seems just a "let's bash Apple for the sake of it" moment again.  Apple has never had height adjustment on any of its monitors or iMacs in 20+ years. Where's all the backlash about that?  Not a peep from anyone about it, ever, in all those years, until now, when Apple finally does offer it (albeit an optional premium version of it at an optional premium price). Suddenly it's an essential feature that Apple are criminal for not including in the box.  What a joke.
    A lot of people miss phone books right about now. This is what I used to see when I was a technician, Apple monitors and iMacs on phone books. I’m just glad that Apple didn’t think about reviving the easel stand like they did with the original cinema display. 

    The bottom line that everyone should think about is that, whether you like the new monitor or not, Apple is back in the consumer monitor business. Let’s hope they stay there even if this model doesn’t sell well. 
    edited March 27 DAalsethdewmepscooter63
  • Reply 56 of 91
    xbitxbit Posts: 361member
    I’ve ordered one and it should be arriving next week. Is it overpriced? Yes. Do I wish it had mini LED/ProMotion/the moon on a stick? Yes. Are any of these things a deal-breaker for me? No.

    I’m in the UK and the LG 5K Ultrafine was discontinued here a long, long time ago. I want a 5K monitor and Apple’s is the only option I’ve got. Some people can live with 4K but I’m not one of them. :)

    Dear Apple, if you want to fleece me for even more money, I could really do with WiFi 6E replacements for my various Airports…
    edited March 27 danoxwilliamlondonDetnator
  • Reply 57 of 91
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,213member
    It's a good monitor, and debatably, at a high but not outrageous price. But that is only true if you want all the features.

    If I were setting up a system today I would start with a Mac Mini, which would give me all the ports I need. I don't need more on the monitor. Also, I have no need of speakers in the monitor, I never turn the ones in my iMac on, I use headphones. Lastly, while the camera is useful, I really don't do much teleconferencing or video calls from my desktop. If I need to do that I have my iPad.  I've had a Post-It over the camera on my iMac for the last year and have had no occasion to pull it off. If I were to need one at a future date, good quality USB-C cameras are readily available. 

    So while this is a great monitor, I'd be more likely to save a few hundred to a thousand bucks and get a monitor from a third party without all the bells and whistles. In this regard the Studio display reminds me of the AppleOne bundles. A good value IF you need all of the features, otherwise not so much.
    dewmeFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 58 of 91
    jimh2 said:
    Problem is that none of the other displays today offer built in webcam, speakers, and a single TB uplink/connection. Everything out there lacks all of those features.
    That is the home run on the product as well as how good it looks on a desk when compared to the competition with crappy plastic cases. Would I like it for $999 like their last consumer monitor, of course, but I will take what they will give me and be happy about. I'm currently using Thunderbolt and Cinema Displays for a dual screen setup (I don't use my MBP's display). I have a second setup at another office that is identical. I bought one of the Thunderbolt monitor used and it had the cable failure which is very easy to fix and cheap.
    Bought my current pair of LG 5K when they were $1000 each. Perfect pair to my 2016, 2019, and now M1Max MBPs, though took Apple a couple years to nail down the bugs of plugging in/out a monitor with built in hub).
  • Reply 59 of 91
    B-Mc-CB-Mc-C Posts: 38member
    wozwoz said:
    " Going for the tilt- and height-adjustable version adds the ability to shift the height up and down"  

    No - the so-called height adjustable stand ONLY allows the height to go upwards - it does not offer any settings that result in the monitor sitting lower than the fixed version. This is yet another major design flaw in the Studio Display ... along with:
    * the 60Hz refresh rate,
    * no HDR
    * the hardwired rear cable
    * the hole in the stand that is visible from the front (because they set the monitor too high)
    * webcam quality problems
    * monitor technology is years old
    * only supports Thunderbolt 3 (when the accompanying Mac supports Thunderbolt 4)
    * cannot change from Landscape to Portrait with standard stand.

    They actually made the display over an inch lower than it was on the iMac. Not sure who would need it even lower than that. They’ve basically forced most people to have to spring for the option to raise it back up to iMac height.
  • Reply 60 of 91
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,173member
    Detnator said:

    Meanwhile all these people (including you) complaining about lack of height adjustment...?  Seems just a "let's bash Apple for the sake of it" moment again.  Apple has never had height adjustment on any of its monitors or iMacs in 20+ years. Where's all the backlash about that?  Not a peep from anyone about it, ever, in all those years, until now, when Apple finally does offer it (albeit an optional premium version of it at an optional premium price). Suddenly it's an essential feature that Apple are criminal for not including in the box.  What a joke.
    A lot of people miss phone books right about now. This is what I used to see when I was a technician, Apple monitors and iMacs on phone books. I’m just glad that Apple didn’t think about reviving the easel stand like they did with the original cinema display. 

    The bottom line that everyone should think about is that, whether you like the new monitor or not, Apple is back in the consumer monitor business. Let’s hope they stay there even if this model doesn’t sell well. 

    The Apple Studio display is the basically the only quality 5k 27” monitor at that price range, the only other monitor the 6k 30” Apple XDR is the only other one if you care about color accuracy, build, fit, finish and resale value after 2 or 3 years. B&H has other monitors that are literally in the stratosphere and they are also designed to be color accurate and they are priced accordingly.

    If you are a game-boy these monitors are not for you…

    The cliché you get what you pay for is true my vacuum and chair problems went away after buying a Dyson and a Aeon chair it has been over 12 years for both.

    Most of items Apple makes cost more, but generally have a long life, resale value due to the higher quality materials used, fit, finish, and the software (OS) inside them.
    Detnatordewme
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