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CalMin

Contributor
Original poster
Nov 8, 2007
1,765
3,329
For all the negative reviews of the Mac Studio display - I have to say that overall I really like it. I was expecting it to suck with all the comparison's to LGs years old 5K display tech, lack of HDR support and all the other things that YouTubers have been griping about.

I’ve had it setup about 24hours now and the only thing might might prevent me keeping it is the 27in size - which feels a bit cramped coming from a ~8 year old 30” Dell U3014 which currently sits alongside it. The Dell runs at 2560 x 1600 vs. the Studio Display 5120 x 2880, so the new monitor is quite the upgrade.

Disclaimer - I'm not a graphics pro and my work is all MS Office based.

Overall -
  • The Apple display is crisp, bright.
  • I love Apple’s fit and finish - even the unboxing was fun.
  • It integrates beautifully with MacOS. Brightness and volume adjustments just work.
  • Auto-brightness and True Tone!
  • Speakers and microphone are excellent.
  • Webcam is good enough - although I look forward to it getting better with some software tweaks. The scathing reviews don't make sense - it's perfectly fine for Zoom and FaceTime. Center stage is pretty cool - although I can see it being distracting.

The only issue is the price. And I suppose if the Studio Display was <$1,000 it would have reviewed better with some. As it stands, it feels expensive, but so do all Apple Products e.g. AirPods Max, MacBooks, HomePods, keyboard/mice. It's priced as a luxury item vs. a commodity.

For me, the test will be against the $900 Dell U3223QE (32" 4K) that I have on order and which arrives next week. The best monitor will stay and the other will get returned.

Overall though I really like it.

IMG_1988.jpeg
 

ascender

macrumors 603
Dec 8, 2005
5,007
2,893
The main criticisms seem to be around price and lack of HDR which I think are fair enough. You can get HDR on much cheaper panels, but they're often just HD rather than 4K. You only have to look at these forums over the last x number of years to see that as screens get larger, Mac users really want nice crisp displays with high PPI which give you a "retina-like" experience.

These also have speakers, webcam and mic built-in which are selling points for some, not to mention they are design to work with Macs so shouldn't have any resolution issues/strangeness or wake-from-sleep issues.

The question is, are those things worth the price premium over other screens? That's down for each user to decide and isn't an eventuality they can cover in every review.

The other thing is that lots of reviews mention how old the panel is. Which is true, but it does still look great for those who don't need an HDR screen.

I can see both sides of this discussion and the webcam bug around the quality and centre stage doesn't help the case for these.
 

royas

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2020
38
68
The only issue is the price. And I suppose if the Studio Display was <$1,000 it would have reviewed better with some. As it stands, it feels expensive, but so do all Apple Products e.g. AirPods Max, MacBooks, HomePods, keyboard/mice. It's priced as a luxury item vs. a commodity.


View attachment 1977502

You are right that Apple products are expensive and this monitor is a luxury item.
However what I think is becoming concerning, is that Apple constantly draws a new "pricing/features" line and checks if people still end up buying their products. There is a point where it just becomes too much, like selling a 400 Dollar height adjustable stand and selling display tech for very high profit margins in 2022 that was already available at the end of 2014 (5k Imac late 2014). This is why I think the negative reviews justified.

Ultimately, someone that buys this monitor will end up most likely being happy despite the high price. Why? Because there is no alternative to this monitor that has an aluminium body and high ppi. It's really in a league of its own.
 
Last edited:

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
6,363
7,262
Denmark
I think people expected a smaller Pro Display XDR. That wasn’t going to happen for less than half the price
I dont think they did. People expected a display for the masses, and got one who was higher in price than expected, especially given it uses a 5 year old panel.

I am actually a bit surprised that LG havent really done any development on it. Must be a miniscule market, surprisingly.
 

petvas

macrumors 603
Jul 20, 2006
5,479
1,808
Munich, Germany
I am very happy with my Studio Display. It works great. Yes, the camera must be improved, but apart from that there is nothing really missing from it. The display is really beautiful and the quality amazing. HDR is of course nice to have, but considering all the things that the new Studio Display has to offer, I can live without HDR..
 

cardfan

macrumors 601
Mar 23, 2012
4,401
5,575
I am very happy with my Studio Display. It works great. Yes, the camera must be improved, but apart from that there is nothing really missing from it. The display is really beautiful and the quality amazing. HDR is of course nice to have, but considering all the things that the new Studio Display has to offer, I can live without HDR..

What things does it have to offer? Crap speakers? Crap camera? No hdr. No fast sync. Too small. 1600? Lol. No thanks.
 

uller6

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2010
1,061
1,746
What things does it have to offer? Crap speakers? Crap camera? No hdr. No fast sync. Too small. 1600? Lol. No thanks.
It’s a 600 nits SDR panel with 2X retina scaling at 218 ppi with solid aluminum frame and body and no stupid buttons on the monitor. Personally it’s exactly what I’ve been waiting for, and frankly I was expecting it to be released at $1999, not $1599. You don’t have to buy one if you don’t like it. I’m very happy with mine and expect to get about 10 years out of it.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,228
8,176
I dont think they did. People expected a display for the masses, and got one who was higher in price than expected, especially given it uses a 5 year old panel.

I am actually a bit surprised that LG havent really done any development on it. Must be a miniscule market, surprisingly.
The Windows market is fixated on 4K because it’s cheaper and Windows scales differently from macOS. Windows allows scaling at at percentage from 100% to 200%. macOS forces 200% and then downscales as necessary. So there is a bigger benefit to 5K on a Mac than Windows.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,228
8,176
It’s a 600 nits SDR panel with 2X retina scaling at 218 ppi with solid aluminum frame and body and no stupid buttons on the monitor. Personally it’s exactly what I’ve been waiting for, and frankly I was expecting it to be released at $1999, not $1599. You don’t have to buy one if you don’t like it. I’m very happy with mine and expect to get about 10 years out of it.
Effectively it is $1999 if you want height adjustment and don’t want to use a VESA adapter.
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,228
8,176
For all the negative reviews of the Mac Studio display - I have to say that overall I really like it. I was expecting it to suck with all the comparison's to LGs years old 5K display tech, lack of HDR support and all the other things that YouTubers have been griping about.

I’ve had it setup about 24hours now and the only thing might might prevent me keeping it is the 27in size - which feels a bit cramped coming from a ~8 year old 30” Dell U3014 which currently sits alongside it. The Dell runs at 2560 x 1600 vs. the Studio Display 5120 x 2880, so the new monitor is quite the upgrade.

Disclaimer - I'm not a graphics pro and my work is all MS Office based.

Overall -
  • The Apple display is crisp, bright.
  • I love Apple’s fit and finish - even the unboxing was fun.
  • It integrates beautifully with MacOS. Brightness and volume adjustments just work.
  • Auto-brightness and True Tone!
  • Speakers and microphone are excellent.
  • Webcam is good enough - although I look forward to it getting better with some software tweaks. The scathing reviews don't make sense - it's perfectly fine for Zoom and FaceTime. Center stage is pretty cool - although I can see it being distracting.

The only issue is the price. And I suppose if the Studio Display was <$1,000 it would have reviewed better with some. As it stands, it feels expensive, but so do all Apple Products e.g. AirPods Max, MacBooks, HomePods, keyboard/mice. It's priced as a luxury item vs. a commodity.

For me, the test will be against the $900 Dell U3223QE (32" 4K) that I have on order and which arrives next week. The best monitor will stay and the other will get returned.

Overall though I really like it.

View attachment 1977502
It’s a nice display, but technologically is very similar to the LG display that sold for $1300. Hence the harsh reviews of the webcam (that hopefully get fixed with software updates). Apple did cut some corners (e.g. TB4 would provide better cross-platform compatibility, not that that is an objective of Apple, but also better conformity to industry standards), and height adjustment as a $400 up sell probably rubbed some people the wrong way.
 

Amethyst1

macrumors G3
Oct 28, 2015
9,446
11,620
Must be a miniscule market, surprisingly.
It is a miniscule market.

There's exactly one kind of customer who's going to buy a 27" 5K monitor: Someone who runs macOS and wants pin-sharp 2560×1440 HiDPI real-estate. This is why I have a 27" 5K monitor, which I was fortunately able to snag for $500.

On my Windows system, I use a cheap 27" 4K monitor at 150% scaling, which gives me the same pin-sharp 2560×1440 real estate without the cost associated with a 5K monitor. (Nevermind the fact that not all applications work well with scaling on Windows...)

So, how many monitors are sold to Windows users? And how many are sold to macOS users? Out of the macOS users, how many are dead set on having pin-sharp 2560×1440 real estate?
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
18,228
8,176
It is a miniscule market.

There's exactly one kind of customer who's going to buy a 27" 5K monitor: Someone who runs macOS and wants pin-sharp 2560×1440 HiDPI real-estate. This is why I have a 27" 5K monitor, which I was fortunately able to snag for $500.

On my Windows system, I use a cheap 27" 4K monitor at 150% scaling, which gives me the same pin-sharp 2560×1440 real estate without the cost associated with a 5K monitor. (Nevermind the fact that not all applications work well with scaling on Windows...)

So, how many monitors are sold to Windows users? And how many are sold to macOS users? Out of the macOS users, how many are dead set on having pin-sharp 2560×1440 real estate?
I’m not surprised at the lack of 27” 5K displays, but why not 32” 5K displays?
 
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russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,196
USA
I dont think they did. People expected a display for the masses, and got one who was higher in price than expected, especially given it uses a 5 year old panel.

I am actually a bit surprised that LG havent really done any development on it. Must be a miniscule market, surprisingly.
There’s plenty of displays out there for the masses. If you expected that then you set yourself up for disappointment. What we got was an updated version of the LG 5K display with some extra features for a little bit more money. It’s less than half the price of the Pro Display XDR but it’s still really good monitor. If high resolution is important then it’s well worth the price. If it’s not there’s plenty of cheaper 4K displays out there
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,196
USA
You don’t seem to get it. A “crappy 4K monitor” is about what this is. It’s a huge downgrade from what I have. Perhaps apple could’ve made it more compelling with mini led, tvOS and a remote.
A huge downgrade from what you have? Unless you have the Pro Display XDR it’s not. At least not for anything other than gaming
 

FHoff

Suspended
Mar 21, 2020
506
1,130
I can’t believe how Apple brute forces everyone to buy their products.

They have an event announce the product show the specs and prices. People complain, they buy the product and then complain about the specs and price they knew about when they the purchased it. Amazing.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
9,203
3,404
Pennsylvania
The problem is that it's a bad monitor, and Apple has the gall to charge $1600 for it. It currently has 4 things going for it:
  1. 5k resolution
  2. True-tone
  3. Center Stage
  4. Color accuracy
The problem is that, most people don't care about center stage. How often are you rolling back and forth in your chair while in a zoom meeting. Like wise, you get to pick color accuracy or true tone, but not both. So really, you're left with the nice 5k resolution that costs $1600 and "good color", whatever that means to you.

But wait. I have a 1440p monitor, and Windows looks great on it. That's because Windows uses vector graphics, and can scale to whatever size you need. Apple chose to use doubling and then scaling, which is crap at non-native resolutions, thereby forcing the user into a non-normal 5k resolution instead of a more normal 4k screen.

So to summarize, Apple created a scaling problem that requires a 5k monitor to fix. Apple then produces the "fix" in the form of a $1600 monitor that isn't even all that great, with the exception of the panel itself.

But wait. That's not all. Look at what you can get from other monitors if you aren't trapped by Apple's completely standard yet horribly proprietary screen resolution:

  • HDR
  • FreeSync
  • GSync
  • USB-A ports
  • Removable/replaceable power cable
  • Multiple inputs
  • Display output via MST
  • Stand height adjustment
  • Removable stand for VESA mounting
  • 120hz, 144hz, or higher refresh rates
  • Better panel types
 
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