At the Peek Performance event, now two weeks ago, Apple didn’t just show off the new Mac Studio. The impressive Mac also got a new display: the Studio Display.
Over the past week, the Studio Display has also managed to impress me quite a bit. The external display has impressive image quality, carries impressive speakers and offers the target group what it needs. Although there are certain things that I do question.
Studio Display is more than welcome
Let’s start with the fact that the Studio Display is more than welcome. There is a certain, fanatical, group of Mac users who have been asking for such a product for ages. One wants a 27-inch 5K iMac, but without the iMac and an LG UltraFine 5K without LG. Not to mention the desire not to have to put down €5499 for the Pro Display XDR. This new product is meant to serve a certain target market and Apple is actually doing that heartily.
The Studio Display is a 27-inch monitor that measures 47.8 cm high, 62.3 cm wide and 16.8 cm deep. Without a stand it weighs 6.2 kilograms, but when you choose an adjustable stand that weight goes up to 7.7 kilograms. If you choose the VESA model, with which you mount the monitor to the wall, it weighs only 5.5 kilograms.
It is possible to order the display with a nano texture, but you will have to pay extra for that. On the back of the Studio Display there are four connectors. One of them is a Thunderbolt 3 port and the other three are USB-C ports. The latter three deliver a maximum speed of 10Gbps.
(Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)
An impressive image quality
The most important part of the display is of course the image quality. While it’s hard to explain textually how high that quality is, I’ll make an attempt to give you an idea. The Studio Display carries the following specifications:
27-inch 5K Retina display
Resolution of 5120 x 2880 pixels
Pixel density of 218 ppi (pixels per inch)
Brightness of 600 nits
P3 color reproduction
True Tone support
Support for 1 billion colors
In practice, this amounts to a lavish 5K display that does its job superbly. The image is incredibly bright, razor sharp and the color reproduction is particularly accurate. Not only can you edit videos and photos accurately, but viewing content is also a real treat, to say the least.
Two disappointing points
There are, however, two notable things around the image quality. If you use the Studio Display in a dark environment you will notice that the colors look washed out at some moments, especially during dark scenes in a movie. In addition, quite a bit of light can still be seen in the corners of the screen.
The lack of HDR is the second, and as far as I am concerned the biggest, drawback of the 5K display. The Pro Display XDR offers Dolby Vision and HDR 10, among other features, so I secretly expected the Studio to offer at least some form of HDR. This is not the case and that surprises me in a negative way. Especially considering the group of users the product is aimed at and the price tag that comes with it.
(Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)
Studio Display offers delightful sound quality
As far as I’m concerned, a big advantage of the Studio Display is its sound quality. The 5K Retina display features six different Hi-Fi speakers with force-cancelling woofers. This produces a wide stereo sound that is very impressive thanks to support for Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio.
If there is anything more difficult than describing picture quality, then textually explaining sound quality is undoubtedly one. It’s something that, as a consumer, you really have to experience. Be sure to do so before purchasing the display. Personally, I was very impressed with what the Studio delivered in this area.
Discordable price and the much-discussed webcam
The much talked about webcam cannot be ignored in a review of the Studio Display. While I can certainly see that the webcam’s hardware can deliver more, something clearly goes wrong in terms of software. There is an incredible amount of noise in the image which Apple, as the company promised, will fix soon. The problem doesn’t make the webcam unusable, but it’s smart to be patient until that fix is in place.
What you don’t have to wait for is the price tag. The Studio Display can be picked up for €1779, but small decisions can quickly make it more expensive. The most striking is the fact that the tiltable stand is replaced for just under €460 by a model that can also be adjusted in height. This brings the cost to €2239. Incidentally, for another €250 you can also opt for a nanotextured screen.
(Image: Mark Hofman / OMT)
Compared to the Pro Display XDR, the Studio Display is really quite a bit more accessible. Although you have to keep in mind that the display is considerably less quality. In fact, when you compare it to the LG UltraFine 5K, a screen with almost identical specifications, it can actually be called an expensive gimmick again. That model is currently on sale at Amac for €1399.
Strange decisions, yet a success
Yes, the Studio Display suffers from some glaring issues. The display has a webcam that doesn’t work well, doesn’t feature HDR, and is quite pricey. It’s definitely not your best option in that regard either. Though we have to look at it realistically and, cockily, conclude that it’s also not for you at all.
Indeed, there is a specific group of users who have been asking for such a display for years. Where the lack of certain features may not be ideal, this target group will really be very happy with such a product. The Studio Display offers wonderful picture quality, impressive sound quality and simply looks good.
Despite some strange decisions, the Studio Display will simply be a success.