Apple's Studio Display doesn't shine in the light of competition

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  • Reply 21 of 51
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,476member
    wozwoz said:

    Great review. There are a number of design issues with the current version of the Apple Studio Display:

    * it sits too high (and even the base is higher than the iMac base), which is a problem unless you are tall or work standing up.

    * 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. 

    * the 60Hz refresh rate, 

    * no HRD

    * 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.


    All of the stand issues including portrait orientation can be eliminated by getting the VESA version and using a monitor arm. Amazon sells a “Basics” branded version of one of the better arms available for a little over $100 and it also frees up the desk space under the monitor. It’s obviously not a perfect solution because you have to bolt or clamp it to your desk which makes it less portable, and not all surfaces that people use computers on are compatible with monitor arms.

    The 60 Hz thing was of no concern for me because my 2022 vintage Mac only supports 60 Hz. With LCD panels the most severe issue with refresh rate, flickering, is not really an issue. It’s only an issue with gamers and perhaps video editing, but I don’t know. Apple is only starting to deliver Macs that go beyond 60 Hz. I don’t fully understand the “need” for TB4. Maybe you can elaborate on what features and functionality we’re missing out on by having TB3 vs TB4.

    I agree that the Studio Display webcam is surprisingly mundane considering its underlying technological chops. The Center Stage feature works great however. Still waiting for Apple to put all that underlying technology to better use.

    I too would prefer a socketed power cable, done right, but these are getting less common across all monitors. At least it is a very high quality cable that coils up very easily. Detachable connectors are inherently less reliable than hardwired ones and I rarely remove the power cable from any monitor over its service life. I have a tub full of the standard PC/monitor power cords in my closet. The primary use I’ve found for them over the past decade or so is for super inexpensive monitors and PCs I’ve found at yard/rummage sales that I restore to give away. They also work on bench top power supplies. Finally, not all detachable power cords are created equally. I vastly prefer a hardwired power cord over needing a proprietary power brick with a one-of-a-kind socket and barrel connector. Those are total yuck.

    The years-old age argument isn’t an issue with me considering the current proliferation of 2K non-Apple monitors hitting the market for the first time when Apple has had them for over a decade. How many choices do you have in 5K monitors today? Like three or four maybe? I wouldn’t consider Apple’s 5K panels to be considered “old” but rather “way ahead of their time,” considering the competition is just NOW catching up and in teeny tiny numbers and at prices they are being unusually shy about revealing.

    You can’t take back those millions of man-years of satisfaction that Apple customers have enjoyed 5K display technology that the competition is only today starting to address in very small numbers. The situation at the 6K level is much the same, with Apple virtually in its own league with nary a competitor ready to show their hand, much less deliver a highly compelling and attractive alternative at a lower price point. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 22 of 51
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,841member
    What if I buy a 27” 5k Intel iMac and use that as an external display for an M2 Mac mini? 
    Target Display mode doesn't work on any 5K iMac. Apple disabled this feature I believe because of bandwidth issues or something so rather than work on fixing it, they just dropped support for it altogether. I'm not sure about a 4K one though. 
  • Reply 23 of 51
    blastdoor said: If it’s less than $1k then the only reason somebody would choose the studio display is if they just didn’t know the S9 exists.
    It's not going to be less than $1K. You can pretty much bank on that. 2K monitors (ultra wide) have retail prices of well over $1K. RTINGS.com picked the LG 40WP95C as the best "work" UltraWide and that's $1600 retail. That LG is the typical 5K/2K marketing which really just means it's the equivalent of two side-by-side 2K monitors. 
    thtdewmewilliamlondon
  • Reply 24 of 51
    dewme said: I agree that the Studio Display webcam is surprisingly mundane considering its underlying technological chops. The Center Stage feature works great however. Still waiting for Apple to put all that underlying technology to better use.
    All the hysteria over the webcam turned out to be a lack of understanding of how a wide angle camera lens works in combination with the Center Stage feature. For example, virtually every tech blog used images of a single person to try and do "quality" comparisons. That's an apples/oranges comparison from the start. Apple didn't use a wide angle lens in the Studio Display because they thought it would provide a better single-person image. 
    dewmethtwilliamlondon
  • Reply 25 of 51
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,476member
    dewme said: I agree that the Studio Display webcam is surprisingly mundane considering its underlying technological chops. The Center Stage feature works great however. Still waiting for Apple to put all that underlying technology to better use.
    All the hysteria over the webcam turned out to be a lack of understanding of how a wide angle camera lens works in combination with the Center Stage feature. For example, virtually every tech blog used images of a single person to try and do "quality" comparisons. That's an apples/oranges comparison from the start. Apple didn't use a wide angle lens in the Studio Display because they thought it would provide a better single-person image. 
    Interesting to know. I’ve never been hysterical about it. My point was merely that the specs on the Studio Display camera compared to 1080 and 4K cameras, which I also own, lead you think it would blow the “lower spec” cameras away. But as you say it’s not really an apples to apples comparison. 

    I just noticed that for conventional Zoom and FaceTime head-in-a-box use cases the Studio Display camera doesn’t really stand out to the degree that a naive user may expect. 

    One lingering question I have for people who use multiple Studio Displays in multiple monitor setups is what’s the value in having redundant cameras, microphones, and speakers in these setups? 

    I’d like to see Apple do a Studio Display version without the speakers, microphones, and camera. They could upgrade the refresh rate too, now that they are selling computers with higher capabilities. Finally, why does Apple insist on using proprietary mounts rather than the normative mechanism being VESA and all of their custom stands adapt to using the VESA mount? 

    Perhaps the rumors of new displays will include a Studio Display Pro that is configured for actual Pro users who routinely use VESA mounts in multiple monitor setups. This is a case where less is more, but with the less part being more, i.e., “more better.”
    edited January 2023 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 26 of 51
    Refurbs start @ $1,359: www.apple.com/shop/product/FK0U3LL/A/Refurbished-Apple-Studio-Display-Standard-glass-Tilt-adjustable-stand?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 27 of 51
    dewme said: I just noticed that for conventional Zoom and FaceTime head-in-a-box use cases the Studio Display camera doesn’t really stand out to the degree that a naive user may expect. 
    Tech blogs aren't supposed to be naive users though. Wide angle lens = less light going to sensor than typical front facing camera (iPhone 11 standard lens was f/2.2, wide lens was f/2.4). Wide angle lens also = use of zoom for single person in combination with a 5K resolution that is higher than the resolution of the camera. Apple was doing some trade-offs in order to have the Center Stage feature and that's just the reality of the lens technology being used for this type of product. 
    edited January 2023 dewmewilliamlondon
  • Reply 28 of 51
    macxpress said:
    darkvader said:
    Apple's monitor prices are highway robbery.  There's no way I'd ever buy or recommend a client buy an Apple monitor these days.
    I'm glad I don't come to you for advice then...
    Hilariously every thread is pepped with his cold takes on what he doesn’t like now about Apple. It would be easier if he just said what one thing he did like and call it day/decade. 
    Seems right in line with the editorial tone of late being much more critical of everything Apple does - and when trolls arrive, is it really a surprise?
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 29 of 51
    The amount of criticism this monitor has received is amazing to me. Have these people actually seen one or used one? Aesthetically they are stunning, and with the height adjustable stand I would even dare to say a work of art. The display is fantastic, very little bezel, super bright and clear. And all the talk about about specs is nonsense, the vast majority of monitors out there don't have these specs either, you can barely find a 5K one let all alone all the other stuff people claim is missing. Maybe the $5000+ Pro XDR display? Clearly this tech isn't main stream yet. And I'm coming from owning 2 LG Ultrafine 5K's... which though buggy and ugly did have really good screens. But the second I fired up my new Studio Displays I could see a difference. So much better. There's also the build quality, I have never seen a more well built, quality-of-materials monitor.

    So with all this in mind of course they are going to be more expensive than your average LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, whatever,... but that's the case will all Apple products. They are generally just better in all regards. 
    RudeBoyRudydewmedanoxroundaboutnow
  • Reply 30 of 51
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,446member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    Annoying Mac thing #23 -- Why do only 5K monitors work with Macs?  I mean, literally any 1080p, 2K, 3.5K, 4K or more works and looks great with Windows (using scaling).
    1080p on a Mac looks terrible.  Everything is too big, fonts are jagged and unsharp.  Why can't one scale on macOS?

    Is there some physical barrier that Apple cannot overcome, or do they just want to sell you an uber-expensive monitor to makes tons of profit?
    Yeah no. Font smoothing on Windows has been historically atrocious. The last time I ran Windows in BootCamp even on a MBP some apps would scale and some wouldn’t and it generally looked like garbage. MS’ font smoothing features also looked like garbage on my prior PCs. Are you saying they’ve recently completely improved?
    Yes, MS fixed the issue about 10 years ago in Windows 8.1. 
    https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2013/07/15/windows-8-1-dpi-scaling-enhancements/
    ctt_zhmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 31 of 51
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    snookie said:
    … Show me another 5K monitor with the quality and build of the Studio Display, I'll wait...because there isn't one...
    True, but unless you need those exact specs, you can get a Benq (or two) 4k displays and throw them on an excellent couple-hundred dollar arm and have a pretty nice setup… and cash left over. How many people actually need a top-end 5k display?

    It’s kind of like my Blackmagic eGPU. I love it. I’d buy it again. But, it is kind of hard to make an argument for it not having stiff competition (unless one can justify the exact benefits).
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 32 of 51
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,476member
    maggot777 said:
    The amount of criticism this monitor has received is amazing to me. Have these people actually seen one or used one? Aesthetically they are stunning, and with the height adjustable stand I would even dare to say a work of art. The display is fantastic, very little bezel, super bright and clear. And all the talk about about specs is nonsense, the vast majority of monitors out there don't have these specs either, you can barely find a 5K one let all alone all the other stuff people claim is missing. Maybe the $5000+ Pro XDR display? Clearly this tech isn't main stream yet. And I'm coming from owning 2 LG Ultrafine 5K's... which though buggy and ugly did have really good screens. But the second I fired up my new Studio Displays I could see a difference. So much better. There's also the build quality, I have never seen a more well built, quality-of-materials monitor.

    So with all this in mind of course they are going to be more expensive than your average LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, whatever,... but that's the case will all Apple products. They are generally just better in all regards. 
    My thoughts exactly. I have nothing but admiration for my Studio Display. My secondary monitor is a 4K Dell and even my wife asked why I didn’t just get two Studio Displays because the difference between 5K and 4K is obvious even to non enthusiasts. I’m actually less discerning due to my vision being a bit whacked. 

    I couldn’t justify having two monitors with redundant speakers and cameras and microphones. Plus, I didn’t know how my 4K AV receiver would work with the Studio Display. I’ve seen some folks experiencing less than ideal display performance with 4K limited devices like Apple TV on the Studio Display. 

    In any case, I’m 100% satisfied with my setup, especially with PIP on the Dell giving me the ability use the secondary screen both for extra desktop real estate and hosting my Apple TV for playing audio through my 5.2 audio system. Best setup I’ve ever had with both monitors on arms. The Studio Display is still the crown jewel of the whole experience. 
  • Reply 33 of 51
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,952member
    dewme said:
    … My secondary monitor is a 4K Dell and even my wife asked why I didn’t just get two Studio Displays because the difference between 5K and 4K is obvious even to non enthusiasts. I’m actually less discerning due to my vision being a bit whacked. …
    Quality, or is it really that much more work-space? I guess I prefer one display over two, if the difference were that much. But, given my focus more on CAD/3D, I don’t think 1 5k can match 2 4k, or even 2 lesser displays at lower DPI (ie. 2 1080p). I suppose for something like video editing, one big as possible display bests the greater area of 2?

    re: vision - I’m there with you. I do enjoy ‘retina displays’ but it probably isn’t what it would be for some. I like more DPI than 72 or 100 or whatever, but it doesn’t have to be some exact amount.
  • Reply 34 of 51
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,043member
    Until the prices are announced, those monitors do not matter and I’m glad Apple is back in the business, of making Apple designed engineered curated monitors. Most of the third-party monitor makers historically, do not care about detail fit and finish, clarity, color accuracy, speakers, connections, or quality most just check off a spec sheet, a lot of that isn’t their fault they’re in tough competition in a doggy dog world.

    Most of the people they sell to also do not care about quality they only care about quantity, two Dell, or two Samsung monitors don’t equal one Apple Studio Display or one Apple XDR Pro monitor, designed and engineered by Apple.

    What Apple can work on is making two 24 inch iMac’s work together as one. You should be able to sit two next to each other on the desktop and combined them as one computer in a seamless manner if you so choose to do so?, also Apple can make it a lot easier to have the iPad pros work better with another Mac as one unit if that is something the end-user wants to do?, Apple has moved forward grudgingly in that direction due to the existence of the third party Duet program.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 35 of 51
    JP234 said:
    snookie said:
    JP234 said:
    It's a great display. But you can find better at the $1,599 price. This is probably aimed at the professional/prosumer market, who need to calibrate displays/scanners/printers to precise specs. It can be done on 3rd party monitors, but is easier with Apple displays. Ideal scenario would be an all Apple-made turnkey workstation, where everything is already calibrated to CMYK and Pantone metrics. Sure would have made this retired printing business owner's workflow easier!

    But then, if I was going to dream of unicorns and rainbows…
    Show me another 5K monitor with the quality and build of the Studio Display, I'll wait...because there isn't one...
    Question is, are you in a profession that requires this level of display, or do you just want one?
    Other than color accuracy or lack thereof, what are you presuming to judge as to whether someone is in a profession that defines the difference between a Studio Display at 5k resolution being a “need” versus a “want” anyway?

    I am not a graphics artist, so perfect color accuracy isn’t vital for my typical use-case. I’ll let you guess what my use-case scenario is, by telling you this much: it can work much better than cheaper, smaller, lower-resolution monitors.

    Also, as another clue: depending on what I choose to work on, color accuracy may actually be vitally important.

    i just find it pretentious that someone would talk about “need” versus “want” for a solid display that’s not aimed at super high-end use-cases like movie editing with perfect color rendering for motion pictures, in the Apple realm. Apple has never aimed at the bottom of the barrel commodity pricing market in its history, from the Apple ][ onward. It’s easily argued that nobody “needs” Apple hardware, they just “want” it going by what seems to be your reasoning.
  • Reply 36 of 51
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,367member
    blastdoor said: If it’s less than $1k then the only reason somebody would choose the studio display is if they just didn’t know the S9 exists.
    It's not going to be less than $1K. You can pretty much bank on that. 2K monitors (ultra wide) have retail prices of well over $1K. RTINGS.com picked the LG 40WP95C as the best "work" UltraWide and that's $1600 retail. That LG is the typical 5K/2K marketing which really just means it's the equivalent of two side-by-side 2K monitors. 
    I don’t understand the relevance of that comparison.

    looking at currently shipping Samsung monitors, very few are more than $1k (https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/monitors/all-monitors/), and those few have very high refresh rates (gamers). If you look at the $999 price point specifically, there’s the 32” G70B, which is a 144hz gaming monitor. That monitor is $799 at Amazon. 

    So I don’t think it’s crazy to think one could get the S9 for $999 on Amazon. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 37 of 51
    xbitxbit Posts: 391member
    The Apple Studio Display is a flawed product but I love mine and wouldn’t swap it for any other monitor on the market.

    I know we’re not supposed to care so much about aesthetics but it looks amazing and has done a great job of decluttering my desk of wires. 

    My wife has a Dell ultrawide monitor and everything apart from screen size is garbage - build quality, vertical resolution, webcam quality, speaker quality, etc., etc., etc.
    wozwozwilliamlondondanox
  • Reply 38 of 51
    blastdoor said: I don’t understand the relevance of that comparison.

    looking at currently shipping Samsung monitors, very few are more than $1k (https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/monitors/all-monitors/), and those few have very high refresh rates (gamers). If you look at the $999 price point specifically, there’s the 32” G70B, which is a 144hz gaming monitor. That monitor is $799 at Amazon. 

    So I don’t think it’s crazy to think one could get the S9 for $999 on Amazon. 
    The relevance is that the $1599 2K ultra wide that RTINGS.com recommended is considered a professional use monitor. Studio Display is a professional use monitor. So if Samsung is trying to position the S9 as an alternative to other professional use monitors then it's going to be above $1K.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 39 of 51
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,367member
    blastdoor said: I don’t understand the relevance of that comparison.

    looking at currently shipping Samsung monitors, very few are more than $1k (https://www.samsung.com/us/computing/monitors/all-monitors/), and those few have very high refresh rates (gamers). If you look at the $999 price point specifically, there’s the 32” G70B, which is a 144hz gaming monitor. That monitor is $799 at Amazon. 

    So I don’t think it’s crazy to think one could get the S9 for $999 on Amazon. 
    The relevance is that the $1599 2K ultra wide that RTINGS.com recommended is considered a professional use monitor. Studio Display is a professional use monitor. So if Samsung is trying to position the S9 as an alternative to other professional use monitors then it's going to be above $1K.
    Unless of course they'd like to sell a lot of them...
  • Reply 40 of 51
    xbit said:
    The Apple Studio Display is a flawed product but I love mine and wouldn’t swap it for any other monitor on the market.

    I know we’re not supposed to care so much about aesthetics but it looks amazing and has done a great job of decluttering my desk of wires. 

    My wife has a Dell ultrawide monitor and everything apart from screen size is garbage - build quality, vertical resolution, webcam quality, speaker quality, etc., etc., etc.
    The only "flaw" that the tech press could come up with is the entirely bogus web cam criticism. 
    williamlondonUNLK_A6
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