Apple

Apple Studio Display vs. LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR

Apple Studio Display vs. LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR

Nearly six years after discontinuing its Thunderbolt display, Apple has officially re-entered the consumer external display market with the all-new Studio Display. With a starting price of $1,599, let’s take an in-depth look at the Apple Studio Display versus the LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR.

After the cancellation of the Apple Thunderbolt Display in 2016, the official Apple-approved display became the LG Ultrathin 27″ 5K (full review) and 21.5in 4K – later replaced by the 24 inch 4K model.

These check a number of boxes such as Thunderbolt single-cable connectivity, 4 and 5K resolutions, P3 wide color, and more. But many don’t like the plastic design of LG’s UltraFine displays which include chunky bezels (especially on the 27-inch version) and an overall build that’s below Apple’s standards.

As Apple again made its own display with the Pro Display XDR from the end of 2019, it generated a lot of excitement, its prize of $5,000 or more limited it to professional use or those who are not price sensitive.

But now Apple’s Studio screen is here with an impressive list of features and a beautiful aluminum construction in the style of the Pro Display XDR – all at a price that more users, creators and businesses can afford.

There are a number of excellent third-party USB-C/Thunderbolt 4K displays, but the LG UltraFine 5K and 6K Pro Display XDR are ideal for comparison against the 5K Studio Display when considering all specs and features ( just for fun, we’ve included the LG UltraFine 4K in the tables below).

However, if you’d rather go for a bigger screen and lower price than the Studio Display, we’ve got a detailed roundup here:

Apple Studio Display vs. LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR

Price

With a starting price of just $300 above the LG UltraFine 5K and some of the attractive attributes of the $5,000+ Pro Display XDR, the Studio Display offers a compelling package in the $1,599 to $2,299 range. .

However, for those who are more budget conscious, depending on the Studio Display configuration, keep in mind that you can buy 2-3 of the LG UltraFine 4K displays for $700.

Billboards

With the Studio Display, you get a slightly brighter 5K panel than the LG UltraFine (600 vs. 500 nits). For trade-offs compared to the Pro Display XDR, there’s no HDR support/1600 nits HDR brightness.

And of course, the Studio Display is a 27-inch screen versus the Pro Display XDR’s 32-inch.

Studio display Pro XDR display LG Ultra Fine 5K LG Ultra Fine 4K
Cut 27 inches 32 inches 27 inches 23.7 inches
Panel type LCD with IPS LCD with IPS LCD with IPS LCD with IPS
Resolution 5120×2880 (5K) 6016×3384 (6K) 5120×2880 (5K) 3840×2160 (4K)
aspect ratio 16:9 16:9 16:9 16:9
PPI 218 218 218 183
Refresh rate 60Hz 47.95-60Hz 60Hz 60Hz
Brightness 600nits 500-1600nits 500nits 500nits
P3 wide color
True Tone
To finish Optional anti-reflective/nano-texture Optional anti-reflective/nano-texture Anti-glare Anti-glare

The Pro Display XDR offers more flexibility with refresh rates ranging from 47.95 to 60Hz.

But the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR come with the optional nano-texture display upgrade that further reduces glare for those in bright workspaces.

Connectivity

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR - Connectivity

All of these displays feature Thunderbolt 3 for single-cable connectivity with additional 3 USB-C ports for peripherals. However, Studio Display stands out with speeds of up to 10 Gbps for its USB-C ports that use USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Studio display Pro XDR display LG Ultra Fine 5K LG Ultra Fine 4K
Thunderbolt 3 1 upstream 1 upstream 1 upstream 1 upstream, 1 downstream
USB-C x3 (3.1 Gen 2) x3 (2.0) x3 (3.0) x3 (3.0)
Power delivery 96W 96W 94W 85W
VESA compatibility ✅ (decide at time of purchase)

With the lower bandwidth requirement of a 4K panel, the 24-inch LG UltraFine has an upstream and downstream Thunderbolt port as well as 3 USB-C ports.

Compatible devices

Here are the Macs and iPads compatible with Apple Studio Display:

  • 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)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation or later)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (5th generation)

Apple also claims that Studio Display works with PCs, but with caveats:

Camera and audio

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine and Pro Display - Device photo and audio

The Studio Display is the first piece of hardware that Apple put its impressive 12MP ultrawide camera on the outside of the iPad Pro/Air. This activates the valuable Center Stage feature for video calls and provides a 122 degree field of view.

Funny enough, Apple doesn’t mention 1080p at all on its Studio Display spec sheet, however, it did say at the ‘Peek performance’ event that it’s the same camera as in the iPad Pro – and this spec page does indeed mention 1080p.

Studio display Pro XDR display LG Ultra Fine 5K LG Ultra Fine 4K
Built-in webcam
Lens Specifications 12 MP ultrawide, f/2.4 aperture, 122 degree view, supports 1080p 1080p
center stage
Speakers 6-speaker system with Spatial Audio 2x5W 2x5W
Microphone Studio-grade 3-mic array

Another advantage of the Apple Studio Display over the LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR is an integrated 6-speaker audio system (4 force-cancelling woofers and 2 tweeters) that can play Spatial Audio and the Matrix of 3 Apple’s studio-grade microphones.

Design

The design and build quality alone are enough to make many choose Apple’s Studio Display over the LG UltraFine. The Studio Display is inspired by the design of the Pro Display XDR and the iMac M1.

Studio display Pro XDR display LG Ultra Fine 5K LG Ultra Fine 4K
Stand included ✅ (tilt only incl., $400 for height + tilt support) ❌ ($999 for Pro Stand) ✅ (tilt and height adjustable) ✅ (tilt and height adjustable)
Black plastic construction
Solid aluminum construction
Symmetrical bezel
Apple polishing cloth included? ✅ (with nano-texture version)
Weight resist 13.9 or 16.9 pounds 25.99 pounds 18.7 pounds 15.4 pounds

Interestingly, even with a metal build, the Studio Display is lighter than the LG UltraFine.

Reference modes

Apple’s Pro Display XDR excels for professionals with 11 different benchmark modes (plus custom modes). Notably, Studio Display features support 9 of these 11.

The big thing you miss with the Studio Display is HDR/Dolby Vision support with brightness up to 1600 nits. But if you’re a pro who doesn’t need it, the Studio Display probably has you covered.

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

Apple says on its Studio Display overview page that it works with macOS to enable “precise calibration”, so it looks like creating custom modes is available, just like you can with the Pro Display XDR.

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine and Pro Display XDR recap

I think it’s wonderful to see Apple get back into the consumer display realm and feel like Studio Display offers a lot of value for the price. I think it could also boost some competition in the 5K+ display market.

For those who have been on the fence with other monitors over $1,000 in recent years and worried that Apple might make a comeback, Studio Display is probably a no-brainer. On the other hand, this launch may have made others realize that they want to prioritize a screen larger than 27 inches and are fine with 4K or 5K/2K resolution or maybe be would they rather choose a few cheaper 4K displays instead of one. Workshop display.

Apple’s Studio Display is available for pre-order now (Apple, best buy, Photo BHand more) with deliveries starting March 18.

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