Compared: Apple Studio Display versus Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro monitor

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited April 18
Porsche Design's AOC AGON Pro PD32M is in the same general price bracket as the Apple Studio Display, but each monitor offers varying benefits to well-heeled users wanting a premium experience.

Porsche Design (left), Apple Studio Monitor (right)
Porsche Design (left), Apple Studio Monitor (right)


When Apple introduced the Studio Display, it was seen as a more wallet-friendly alternative to the Pro Display XDR. While cheaper, it is still considered a premium monitor option to use with Apple's lineup.

Joining the Studio Display in the very niche product category of premium screens is the Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M. The premium lifestyle brand's attempt at a monitor offers the car-minded German design outfit aesthetic, produced in collaboration with established screen maker AOC as part of its established Agon Pro lineup.

The result is a monitor that immediately calls for it to be compared against Apple's high-end screen.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro vs. Apple Studio Display - Specifications

SpecificationsApple
Studio Display
Porsche Design
AOC Agon Pro PD32M
Size (inches)2732
Resolution (pixels)5120 by 28803840 by 2160
Color rangeP397% P3
BacklightingLEDMini LED
HDRNoneDisplay HDR 1,400-certified
Peak brightness600 nits1,600 nits
Refesh Rate60Hz144Hz
True ToneYesNo
Webcam12MP ultra-wideNone
Ports1xThunderbolt 3
3xUSB-C
2xHDMI 2.1,
1xDisplayPort,
1xUSB Type-C,
4xUSB 3.2
Headphone Jack
Audio6-speaker systemTwo 8-watt speakers,
DTS Sound-certified
MicrophoneYes, array of threeNone
Nano-textureYes, OptionalNo
Extra LightingNoRGB, LED logo projection
Remote ControlNoYes
Stand optionstilt, tilt + height, VESAAluminum stand, VESA
Price$1,599$1,799

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro vs. Apple Studio Display - Design and Dimensions

The first big difference that becomes apparent before the design is that the screens are of different sizes. The Apple Studio Display fields a 27-inch screen, while Porsche Design uses a 32-inch version.

Apple has its well-established and unmistakable design aesthetic on full display, consisting of a large aluminum slab. Sporting a thin bezel around the edge on the front, the Studio Display has a sealed-off aluminum enclosure with rows of perforations at the bottom of the display.

Its normal stand is reminiscent of the design of the 24-inch iMac and could easily make the display mistaken as such. The L-shaped tilt-adjustable stand can be switched out for a VESA mount adapter or a tilt and height-adjustable version.

The stand of the Porsche Design display is supposedly based on a steering wheel.
The stand of the Porsche Design display is supposedly based on a steering wheel.


Porsche Design goes for a more conventional approach with its screen, which uses a frameless design that sneaks in the Porsche Design branding on the bottom edge.

Rather than being a cuboid, Porsche Design's monitor tapers its sides and edges for a thin appearance. It all tapers to a large flat section, as it's a much thicker display overall.

The screen is mounted on an aluminum stand with a unique hollowed-out appearance. Porsche Design says it is a "trapezoidal aluminum stand designed the style of Porsche steering wheels."

If you don't like the stand, you could always remove it and use a VESA mount. Given the target audience of this monitor, that's unlikely.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro vs. Apple Studio Display - Display Technology

Aside from the already-mentioned size, there's a considerable difference in the display technology used in each monitor.

Apple's Studio Display squeezes a 5,120 by 2,880 resolution image into its 27-inch screen, giving it a pixel density of 218 pixels per inch. The 32-inch Porsche Design screen uses a more conventional 4K resolution of 3,840 by 2,160, equating to a lower density of just 138ppi.

Though Porsche Design's screen resolution can't beat Apple, it still tries to do so in areas where the Studio Display falls flat. For example, while the Studio Display isn't HDR, Porsche's is.

The Apple Studio Display doesn't offer HDR, and doesn't use mini LED backlighting.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't offer HDR, and doesn't use mini LED backlighting.


Certified to Display HDR 1,400, Porsche Design says the monitor covers 97% of the P3 color range and has a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. Apple says it has P3 color coverage, though the Studio Display only manages 600 nits.

This is almost certainly down to Apple using LED backlighting for the Studio Display, while Porsche opts for mini LED. By using higher quantities of smaller mini LEDs, a display can offer a much brighter and more uniformly lit picture than an LED version.

The use of mini LED is usually accompanied by the inclusion of localized dimming zones, as employed by the Pro Display XDR to offer users a very high contrast ratio. This is something that is especially useful for viewing HDR content.

Apple's LED-based display doesn't have localized dimming zones. Porsche Design hasn't said how many zones are in use for its display, but their presence is better than not having any when it comes to high-contrast imagery.

Porsche has Apple licked on the refresh rate, too, with its 144Hz screen soundly beating the Studio Display's 60Hz. AOC also included support for AdaptiveSync, a ProMotion-like automatic refresh rate adjustment.

In effect, Porsche Design's monitor has the exact benefits that the Studio Display severely lacks, while Apple's screen has the resolution its rival desperately needs.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro vs. Apple Studio Display - Connectivity

Apple's Studio Display offers fairly straightforward connectivity options, albeit in a limited fashion. Around the back are just four ports, consisting of a Thunderbolt 3 to connect to your Mac and three USB Type-C connections for peripherals.

The Thunderbolt 3 port handles the video connection and operates as the backbone for data for the 10Gbps downstream USB connections. That Thunderbolt 3 also provides up to 96W of power delivery, usable to recharge a connected MacBook Pro.

Porsche Display hides the connections in a pair of cut-out sections on either side of the stand, with the ports accessed vertically in their concealed positions. Though this may make the connections less visible, it may be more awkward for users to actively access.

On one side are the two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort connection, while the other has one USB Type-C and four USB 3.2, along with a headphone jack.

The Apple Studio Display has few ports, but they are easily accessible. Porsche Design includes many connections, but hides them from view.
The Apple Studio Display has few ports, but they are easily accessible. Porsche Design includes many connections, but hides them from view.


It's hard not to be on the side of Porsche Design here, at least for video inputs. Switching between three video sources is a great advantage to those who deal with multiple computing setups without needing a separate hardware switcher.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro vs. Apple Studio Display - Other Features

On the audio front, Apple opts for a six-speaker system with force-canceling woofers, complete with support for Spatial Audio when listening to Dolby Atmos content. Porsche Design has a pair of 8-watt speakers, which are DTS Sound-certified.

For capturing audio, Apple wins here since it includes a three-mic array of studio-quality mics with directional beamforming and support for "Hey Siri." Microphones are absent from the Porsche display.

It's a similar story for the webcam, as while Apple uses 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage, there's not a camera on the opposing screen.

Porsche Design included RGB lighting in the back of its monitor, so it can illuminate nearby walls.
Porsche Design included RGB lighting in the back of its monitor, so it can illuminate nearby walls.


Porsche Design includes RGB lighting, a common staple of gaming monitors. There are light effects on the tapered side edges and the top edge, which can illuminate a rear wall.

There's also an LED logo projection, though it appears more to be another place to put the Porsche Design branding.

Porsche Design also includes a Wireless Quick Switch, a remote control that can change video sources and manage the screen menus without needing to fiddle about with built-in buttons.

The Porsche Design Wireless Quick Switch lets you change the video source without fumbling to press buttons.
The Porsche Design Wireless Quick Switch lets you change the video source without fumbling to press buttons.


Lastly, there's an included headset holder consisting of hooks on either side of Porsche's monitor, giving you a place to hang up your headphones. Mercifully, they can be removed for those who prefer a cleaner physical appearance for the monitor.

Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro vs. Apple Studio Display - Price

Apple sells its Studio Display for $1,599. If you want a Nano-texture glass coating to minimize glare, that will cost you an extra $300.

Apple gives you the choice of three stands, either the Tilt-adjustable stand and VESA mount adapter offered as part of the monitor's price, or the Tilt and height-adjustable stand can be bought for an extra $400.

The most expensive variant would be adding the Nano-texture glass and the Tilt and height-adjustable stand, bringing it up to $2,299.

The Porsche Design AOC Agon Pro PD32M is priced at $1,799, including the stand.

Same Aim, Different Execution

The Apple Studio Display and Porsche Design's work with AOC focus on offering a premium viewing experience for Mac and PC users. One that provides a thoughtfully-designed monitor with decent specifications at a reassuringly expensive price.

Each screen goes down the same route but diverges at key points.

For display technology, you have Apple going for a high resolution at the expense of HDR and brightness, while Porsche Design opts for a bigger display with HDR but doesn't match the Studio Display's resolution.

Apple arguably leads in having a nice and sleek design that matches its design aesthetic, while Porsche goes a little more conventional with its screen. That is, aside from the steering wheel-inspired monitor stand.

While Apple offers a webcam and microphone capability, Porsche instead provides the ability to connect multiple video sources and easily switch between them.

Porsche Design includes features that the Apple Studio Display lacks, and vice versa.
Porsche Design includes features that the Apple Studio Display lacks, and vice versa.


It would be nice to have a display that offers the best of both worlds, but that isn't either of these two displays in their current state. You could argue that the Pro Display XDR is a good fit for that description, but certainly not when it comes to price.

The decision for the buyer is ultimately going to be Apple aesthetics and resolution versus the Porsche brand, physical size, brightness, and HDR. Whichever the hypothetical customer buys, they'll have a pretty decent monitor by most standards.

It's just not going to be a monitor that can do it all. At this price range, that's something you'd pretty much expect to get.

Where to Buy

Porsche Design sells the AOC Agon Pro PD32M through its online store, with it available to preorder for $1,799 ahead of its expected availability on June 15.

Readers can save $50 on AppleCare for the Apple Studio Display at Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama. To activate the promotion, you must shop through this cost-saving activation link and enter promo code APINSIDER during checkout. Step-by-step activation instructions can be found on this help page.

Want to see how the offer stacks up? Comparing prices across leading Apple resellers is easy in our Apple Display Price Guide.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,006member
    Nope, not for that amount of money. 
  • Reply 2 of 32
    thttht Posts: 4,492member
    On one side are the two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort connection, while the other has one USB Type-C and four USB 3.2, along with a headphone jack.
    The USBC port supports video in and USB-PD to power a laptop? It also serves as the interface bus to the USBA ports?

    The AOC looks like it has a DC in port. What's the size of the external power brick, both dimensions and power?
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 32
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,218member
    What are those things popping out on the sides of the Porsche monitor?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 434member
    No need to review or compare. People who are buying the studio display are not going to be swayed. 
    rob53StrangeDaysdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    The Porsche monitor looks clunky and dated… and a little cheesy with that stand. Studio Display all day long for me.  
    williamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    thttht Posts: 4,492member
    netrox said:
    What are those things popping out on the sides of the Porsche monitor?
    Those a retractable or stowable hooks for gaming headphones. It's one of the more obvious features that tell people that this is a monitor for gamers and has very little if any overlap with buyers for the Apple Studio display.
    foregoneconclusionnetroxwilliamlondonFileMakerFellerrandominternetpersondewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 548member
    Thanks for the review.   I'll be replacing my 2018 iMac with an upscale Studio and am looking at display options.  The AOC has NOT been released (apparently that will happen in June), but it will be on my short list when it comes time to compare and buy display(s).   Like most professional users I use my computers for a wide variety of tasks so for me it is matter of which provides the most efficiency/value for my workflow.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 352member
    My word that porche thing looks hideous. 
    StrangeDaysblastdoorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    The Porche looks very like the 27inch Dell monitor that I had twenty years ago. Even the plug recess on the bottom edge could have come straight off the Dell. That was the worst feature I’ve ever had when you were changing cords for any reason. I had to place the screen into portrait position in order to see what I was doing. 

    For my usage and preference, resolution always trumped other features as it’s simple easier on the eyes. Particularly now I’m older. My upgrade path is now going to be Apple Studio monitor to connect my 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016, then when it’s dead, I’ll upgrade to the Mac Studio of the day. 

    I was waiting for the new 27-inch iMac to upgrade but of course that may never arrive. 
    edited April 17 StrangeDaysrandominternetpersonblastdoordewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,513administrator
    jimh2 said:
    No need to review or compare. People who are buying the studio display are not going to be swayed. 
    The several dozen emails we got requesting this piece seem to disagree with your first sentence.

    As far as your second sentence, that is probably true.
    muthuk_vanalingamuraharawaveparticlewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,594member
    Actually Dell ultrasharps would be a reasonable comparison as well, especially for the target prosumer audience and we are looking at 4K. U2723QE and U3223QE. While no remote, they do have source switching and a reasonable dock.

    Re the AOC, I would think a lot of laptops might have trouble driving 4K at 144HZ, especially if more than one screen involved or using USBc. Would have to be via HDMI 2.1 I suspect.
    edited April 17 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    xbitxbit Posts: 360member
    I assume that the AOC monitor is only capable of 3840x2160 @ 144Hz over HDMI 2.1? If so, that makes the feature pretty redundant to most Mac users as recent MacBook Pros only feature HDMI 2.0.
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    My Apple Studio Display arrived (via the Apple Stork) Saturday afternoon on April 16th. I viewed the Apple Studio Display at my local Apple Store before purchase. I was very impressed by its resolution, color fidelity and sharpness. Since I had a 2018 MacBook Air coupled with a Blackmagic eGPU, I wanted a large screen monitor to maximize performance of the eGPU. (There is a bandwidth performance "bottleneck" when the eGPU is hooked up directly to the MBA Thunderbolt port rather than connecting the monitor to the eGPU and then connecting the eGPU to the MBA apparently from published online benchmarks.)

    BTW, I was curious if that observation was true. From my very short experience, I would say that the "daisy chain" technique between the computer, display and the eGAPU works to improve performance significantly and in the macOS "Activity Monitor" it does NOW reports correctly that I am using the eGPU graphics card for mosts tasks..

    Anyway, I have no complaints. Accurate "native" resolution to the MBA that the Apple 5K Studio Display now provides has been an immediate joy to my eyes. The speakers are great (best sound I have ever heard from any "all in one" desktop computer, display monitor or any  27" - 42" HDTV.

    The problematic webcam is as reviewers have stated, desperately needs that firmware update which Apple promised badly. (The only thing I can say is that its 1080 p camera image is better than my MBA 720 p webcam image - admittedly a very low bar to surpass. Grin.)

    BTW, one final note. Early online reviewers have noted that their Studio Displays needed an automatic firmware update.  When I first mated my Studio Display to my MBA, no such firmware update was required so I'm guessing Apple fixed that issue by the time my Display was shipped.
    dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    I'd guess the Porche is aimed at affluent PC gamers.  Those working on anything where color perception matters, e.g. most Mac professionals, would hardly want 'RGB' color displays emanating from their monitor or their PC for that matter. Gamer PC users seem to care more about fairground visual effects than anything else.  That said, Apple needs to up its game on monitors.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 32
    uraharaurahara Posts: 659member
    maggot777 said:
    The Porsche monitor looks clunky and dated… and a little cheesy with that stand. Studio Display all day long for me.  
    But Apple’s is just too small for serious work and great entertainment. Porsche all day long for me.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    uraharaurahara Posts: 659member
    mr lizard said:
    My word that porche thing looks hideous. 
    What exactly in its design you don’t like? The bigger size? A wider/more stable stand which also allows you to turn the monitor into the portrait mode?

  • Reply 17 of 32
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 352member
    urahara said:
    mr lizard said:
    My word that porche thing looks hideous. 
    What exactly in its design you don’t like? The bigger size? A wider/more stable stand which also allows you to turn the monitor into the portrait mode?

    Everything about it. The garish porche logo on the front. The angular shaped stand. The whole thing. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 32
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,385member
    I appreciate these reviews because they show compromises are to be made one way or the other.  
    32” big, but only 2K resolution.
    For $100 more, what do you really get?  A bunch of ports you probably only ever use the ONE you need and a gimmicky lighting system.  

    Sometimes comparing apples to oranges is useful.

    in 5 years, a used Apple 27” display will command far more in price than any other brand.  The Quality will show in time to be far better than the original cost.  
    FileMakerFellerwaveparticlewatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 32
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,352member
    eriamjh said:
    I appreciate these reviews because they show compromises are to be made one way or the other.  
    32” big, but only 2K resolution.
    It's 4K.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    MondainMondain Posts: 18member
    It is informative that Apple has to be compared to an ostentatious luxury brand like Porsche. Like a Montblanc fountain pen or a Louis Vuitton suitcase, one has to wonder if their products are crossing into the realm of luxury goods...

    I guess we've come a long way away from the young and rebellious Apple shown in the 1984 commercial.



    watto_cobra
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