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Review of The Apple Studio Display: The Best Monitor for Mac Users

Pros

  • The 5K display is stunning and bright
  • The sound quality of the six-speaker system is exceptional
  • The 12MP ultrawide camera captures beautiful photos and video
  • Stylish Design

Cons

  • Adjustment of height is not enabled by default
  • A desk-bound monitor makes center stage useless

This is the new Apple Studio Display, and it is stunning. Studio Display offers the same features as the Pro Display XDR but in a smaller, more accessible package. Apple released the pro display XDR in 2019.

A range of reference modes, P3 wide color gamut support, and a range of reference modes are all included in the Studio Display, just like the Pro Display XDR. A new A13 Bionic chip on the monitor enables it to support Apple’s Center Stage feature, a killer six-speaker sound system, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera.

Studio Displays, however, lose a lot of value if they aren’t plugged into Macs or iPads. If you use a Windows PC, you can’t update it without connecting a Mac, and it’s just an overpriced 5K external display with speakers and a camera.

Therefore, if you own a MacBook Pro and are looking for a monitor, this is one of your best options. The Apple Studio display pairs correctly with Apple’s new computer, so check out our Mac Studio review.

Design

Indeed, even the most costly screens don’t have an inherent 12MP ultrawide camera, a six-speaker sound framework, a triple-mic exhibit, or an A13 Bionic computer chip. All of this is housed in an attractive, professional-looking slab of screen and metal dominated by a 27-inch 5K display bordered by a black bezel little over half an inch thick. As much as we despise paying $400 for what appears to be an essential function, we must acknowledge that the mechanism for moving the Display’s height up and down feels smooth and easy to operate while still being durable enough to survive years. The Studio’s camera is located in the center of the top bezel, although it lacks an accurate privacy shutter. Six speakers and three microphones are also incorporated into the display that can offer spatial audio. These are studio-quality mics, according to Apple, and they’re good enough that you won’t regret recording your next demo track in front of a monitor.

A permanently attached power line is routed through a recess in the stand around the back of the Studio Display, which is always a pleasant touch.

Screen

The Studio Display’s 27-inch 5K display, which has over 14.7 million pixels and a density of 218 pixels per inch, looks fantastic in person. The Display also supports the P3 wide color gamut and comes pre-configured with several reference settings that designers can swap between as needed for their projects.

In terms of brightness, the Studio Display has an average maximum brightness of 518.4 nits, with a peak of 563 nits in the screen’s center.

Speakers

We seldom spend a whole part of a monitor review to sound quality, but the Apple Studio Display is one of those monitors. The Display’s six-speaker sound system sounds fantastic to our ears, with crisp, clear vocals and surprisingly strong bass.

The Studio Display’s speaker array also supports Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio, which means that supported music and videos can sound like they’re happening all around you rather than just on the panel. Apple’s spatial audio technology is already accessible on several devices, and because Apple Music has a large number of music with spatial audio capabilities, we listened to a lot of them when testing the Display’s spatial audio quality.

Webcam

The Studio Display’s built-in 12MP ultrawide camera is exceptional, and we were pleased with the quality of the photographs and video it shot of me during the evaluation process. It’s unusual for us to say that about a webcam, but it’s not unusual to say that about an iPad camera, which is exactly what the Studio Display has because it has the same camera as the recently announced iPad Air (2022).

The Studio Display features Apple’s Center Stage function, which dynamically crops and zoom the camera during video chats to keep you in frame as you move about, just like the iPad Air (and all recent iPads). This is made possible by the Studio Display’s ultrawide camera and onboard A13 Bionic CPU, which performs all of the necessary processing.

Interface

We usually give you a heads-up on how easy a monitor’s interface is to navigate and use, but Apple’s Studio Display doesn’t have one. It doesn’t even have a physical interface: no buttons, dials, or even a switch to turn it on.

The Studio Display can only be accessed by plugging in a compatible device and turning it on, at which point the Studio Display will turn on as well. However, Apple states that in order to download and install firmware upgrades, the Studio Display must be linked to a Mac.

The Verdict

The Studio Display is an excellent display that offers much of the functionality of Apple’s $5,000 Pro Display XDR in a far more affordable design. This is undoubtedly one of the best monitors for MacBook Pro customers looking for an external display, thanks to its excellent camera, fantastic speaker arrangement, and magnificent 27-inch 5K screen.

The Studio Display, on the other hand, loses a lot of its usefulness if you want to use it with non-Apple PCs. It’s pretty useless without a computer to drive it, and if that computer isn’t running macOS or iPadOS, you’ll have a hard time using the Display to its full potential.

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Review of The Apple Studio Display: The Best Monitor for Mac UsersPros The 5K display is stunning and bright The sound quality of the six-speaker system is exceptional The 12MP ultrawide camera captures beautiful photos and video Stylish Design Cons Adjustment of height is not enabled by default A desk-bound monitor makes center stage useless This is...