Here’s how the new Apple Studio Display stacks up against the LG UltraFine and the Pro Display XDR

Apple has officially re-entered the consumer external display market with the all-new Studio Display, some six years after its Thunderbolt display was withdrawn. Let’s compare the Apple Studio Display to the LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR, which start at $1,599 each.

After the Apple Thunderbolt display was discontinued in 2016, the LG UltraFine 27-inch 5K (full review) and 21.5-inch 4K – later replaced by the 24-inch 4K variant – became the official Apple-endorsed displays.

These tick a lot of boxes, including Thunderbolt single-cable connection, 4K and 5K capabilities, and P3 wide color. However, many people loathe LG’s UltraFine displays because of their plastic design, which includes hefty bezels (especially on the 27-inch version) and a build quality that falls short of Apple’s.

Apple's Studio Display should work with Windows — including the webcam -  The Verge

While the announcement that Apple would be creating its own display again with the Pro Display XDR starting in late 2019 sparked a lot of interest, the $5,000+ price tag has limited it to professional use or people who aren’t price sensitive.

But now, Apple’s Studio Display is arrived, with a long list of capabilities and a stunning aluminum design inspired by the Pro Display XDR – all at a price that more people, creators, and companies can afford.

There are a number of great USB-C/Thunderbolt 4K displays available from third parties, but the LG UltraFine 5K and 6K Pro Display XDR are ideal to compare to the 5K Studio Display when taking into account all of the specs and features (we’ve included the 4K LG UltraFine in the charts below just for fun).

LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR vs Apple Studio Display

Price

The Studio Display delivers a tempting package in the $1,599-$2,299 range, with a starting price just $300 higher than the LG UltraFine 5K and some of the enticing features of the $5,000+ Pro Display XDR.

Studio DisplayPro Display XDRLG UltraFine 5KLG UltraFine 4K
Price$1,599-$2,299$4,999-$6,998$1,299$699

If you’re on a tight budget, bear in mind that depending on the Studio Display arrangement, you may acquire 2-3 of the $700 LG UltraFine 4K screens.

Display panels

You’ll receive a slightly brighter 5K display with the Studio Display than with the LG UltraFine (600 vs 500 nits). There is no HDR support/1600 nits HDR brightness, which is a trade-off when compared to the Pro Display XDR.
Of course, the Studio Display has a 27-inch screen against the Pro Display XDR’s 32-inch.

Studio DisplayPro Display XDRLG UltraFine 5KLG UltraFine 4K
Size27-inch32-inch27-inch23.7-inch
Panel typeLCD with IPSLCD with IPSLCD with IPSLCD with IPS
Resolution5120 x 2880 (5K)6016 x 3384 (6K)5120 x 2880 (5K)3840 x 2160 (4K)
Aspect ratio16:916:916:916:9
PPI218218218183
Refresh rate(s)60Hz47.95-60Hz60Hz60Hz
Brightness600 nits500-1,600 nits500 nits500 nits
P3 wide colorYesYesYesYes
True ToneYesYesNoNo
FinishAnti-reflective/optional nano-textureAnti-reflective/optional nano-textureAnti-glareAnti-glare

With refresh rates ranging from 47.95 to 60Hz, Pro Display XDR offers more options.

However, the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR both have the option of upgrading to a nano-texture display, which decreases glare even further for people working in bright environments.

4 big problems with Apple's brand-new Studio Display | Digital Trends

Connectivity

Thunderbolt 3 connectivity is available on all of these monitors, as well as three additional USB-C ports for devices. Studio Display, on the other hand, stands out with USB-C connectors that can deliver up to 10 Gbps and employ USB 3.1 Gen 2 technology.

Studio DisplayPro Display XDRLG UltraFine 5KLG UltraFine 4K
Thunderbolt 31 upstream1 upstream1 upstream1 upstream, 1 downstream
USB-Cx3 (3.1 Gen 2)x3 (2.0)x3 (3.0)x3 (3.0)
Power delivery96W96W94W85W
VESA compatible(decide at time of purchase)YesYesYes

The LG UltraFine 24-inch has an upstream and downstream Thunderbolt port, as well as three USB-C connections, to meet the lower bandwidth requirements of a 4K display.

Devices that are compatible

Apple Studio Display is compatible with the following Macs and iPads:

  • Mac Studio (2022)
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019 or later)
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021)
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro (2016 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 or later)
  • Mac mini (2018 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2019 or later)
  • 24-inch iMac (2021)
  • 27-inch iMac (2017 or later)
  • 21.5-inch iMac (2017 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation or later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch
  • iPad Air (5th generation)

Audio and video

Apple’s amazing 12 MP ultra wide camera has made its debut outside of the iPad Pro/Air on the Studio Display. This provides a 122-degree field of view and enables the useful Center Stage function for video conversations.

Apple’s Studio Display tech spec sheet doesn’t mention 1080p at all, but it did indicate during the “Peek peek” event that it’s the same camera as the iPad Pro – and that specs page does mention 1080p.

Here's why Apple put a powerful iPhone chip in its new Studio Display - The  Verge
Studio DisplayPro Display XDRLG UltraFine 5KLG UltraFine 4K
Built-in webcamYesNoYesNo
Lens specs12 MP ultra wide, f/2.4 aperture, 122-degree view, supports 1080p1080p
Center StageYesNoNoNo
Speakers6-speaker system with Spatial AudioNo2 x 5W2 x 5W
MicStudio-quality 3-mic arrayNoYesNo

A built-in 6-speaker audio system (4 force-canceling woofers and 2 tweeters) that can play Spatial Audio and Apple’s studio-quality 3-mic array is another benefit for the Apple Studio Display over the LG UltraFine and the Pro Display XDR.

Design

Many people prefer Apple’s Studio Display to the LG UltraFine because of its style and build quality. The Studio Display is inspired by the Pro Display XDR and the M1 iMac in terms of design.

Studio DisplayPro Display XDRLG UltraFine 5KLG UltraFine 4K
Stand includedYes (tilt only incl., $400 for height + tilt stand)No ($999 for Pro Stand)Yes (tilt and height adj)Yes (tilt and height adj)
Black plastic buildYesYes
Solid aluminum buildYesYesNoNo
Symmetrical bezelsYesYesNoYes
Apple Polishing Cloth included?Yes (with nano-texture version)YesNoNo
Weight with stand13.9 or 16.9 pounds25.99 pounds18.7 pounds15.4 pounds

Even though it is made of metal, the Studio Display is lighter than the LG UltraFine.

Modes of reference

With 11 different reference settings, Apple’s Pro Display XDR delivers for professionals (plus custom ones). The Studio Display, in particular, supports 9 of those 11.

The Studio Display lacks HDR/Dolby Vision capability, which allows for up to 1600 nits of brightness. However, if you’re a pro who doesn’t require that, the Studio Display will most likely suffice.

Apple Studio Display: Specs, price, release date, how to buy | ZDNet

Studio DisplayPro Display XDR
Apple Display (P3-600 nits)YesYes
Pro Display XDR (P3-1600 nits)NoYes
HDR Video (P3-ST 2084)NoYes
HDTV Video (BT.709-BT.1886)YesYes
NTSC Video (BT.601 SMPTE-C)YesYes
PAL and SECAM (BT.601 EBU)YesYes
Digital Cinema (P3-DCI)YesYes
Digital Cinema (P3-D65)YesYes
Design and Print (P3-D50)YesYes
Photography (P3-D65)YesYes
Internet and Web (sRGB)YesYes

According to Apple’s Studio Display overview page, the Studio Display works with macOS to enable for “fine-tune calibration,” thus it appears like you can create custom modes much like you can with the Pro Display XDR.

Wrap-up of the Apple Studio Display vs. LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR

I think it’s great to see Apple return to consumer displays, and Studio Display seems to offer a lot of value for the price. It may also energise competition in the 5K+ display industry, in my opinion.

Studio Display is definitely a no-brainer for people who were on the fence with other $1,000+ monitors in recent years and are itching for Apple to make a comeback. Others, on the other hand, may have realized that they like a larger screen than 27 inches and are content with a 4K or 5K/2K resolution, or that they would rather buy a couple of less expensive 4K displays rather than one Studio Display.


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