apple studio display 1

Apple just took the wraps off of the absurdly powerful Mac Studio desktop, so it’s only fitting that the company has an equally high-end monitor to go with it. The 27-inch Studio Display is one of Apple’s most advanced displays yet, promising a rich 5K viewing experience as well as a built-in webcam and speakers that look to borrow some of our favorite features from the Mac and iPad.

Yes, the Studio Display seems like a great-looking monitor for doing creative work and hopping on video calls from home, but it also starts at a pricey $1,599. Wondering if this high-end screen is for you? Let’s dive in.

Apple Studio Display preorders and release date

The Studio Display is available for preorder now and is set to start shipping on March 18. The monitor starts at $1,599 with standard glass, with an $1,899 nano-texture glass option that’s designed for rooms with lots of sunlight.

The monitor comes with a tilt-adjustable stand by default, though you can upgrade to a model that adds height adjustment for an extra $400. If you’d rather mount the Studio Display to your wall than plop it on your desk, you can also get a version with a VESA adapter for the same starting prices of $1,599 and $1,899.

Apple Studio Display With Standard Glass

Pricing: From $1,599 at Best Buy, Apple

Apple Studio display With Nano-Texture Glass

Pricing: From $1,899 at Best Buy, Apple

Apple Studio Display at a glance

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The Apple Studio Display is a 27-inch, 5K Retina monitor designed primarily for creative work and video conferencing. It packs in more than 14.7 pixels and 600 nits of brightness, and it supports more than 1 billion colors, which are a lot of fancy tech specs to say that it’s tailor-made for tasks like video and photo editing as well as 3D rendering. The Studio Display also features Apple’s True Tone technology, which automatically finds the ideal color temperature based on your surroundings, something we’ve found reliable on most recent Macs.

The Studio Display stands out from other monitors with its built-in A13 Bionic chip — the same processor that powers the iPhone 11, ninth-gen iPad and second-gen iPhone SE — as well as an integrated webcam and speaker set. The A13 chip helps power features like Center Stage, which allows the camera to automatically keep you in frame even as you move around during a video call. It’s something we loved using on the latest iPad Pros, and we’re really happy to see it come to a monitor (the feature also just made its way to the new iPad Air).

Apple’s new display also has six built-in speakers that support Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio for 360-degree sound in supported music and movies, a setup that the company says is the “best ever created for a Mac.” That’s a bold claim, though we’ve generally been impressed by Apple’s internal speakers — particularly the booming and rich sound we experienced on last year’s 24-inch iMac. And like that iMac, you’ll get a similar build of three built-in microphones, which we’re eager to put to the test during calls.

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The Studio Display packs a Thunderbolt port for connecting to your Mac or any computer with a comparable connection as well as three USB-C ports for peripherals such as storage drives, keyboards and mice. Considering how skimpy most Macs are on ports, we appreciate the extra connectivity here. While Apple’s positioning it as the ideal companion for the new Mac Studio desktop, it’ll also work well with most recent MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Minis and Mac Pros. It’s also capable of power delivery, meaning it can, say, fast charge your 14-inch MacBook Pro while you have it connected.

If money’s no object, Apple says you can connect up to three Studio Displays to a MacBook Pro, creating your own Batcave of high-end monitors for serious creative multitasking. And if you do lots of work on your Apple tablet, you can even use the Studio Display with an iPad Pro 12.9-inch (third gen or later), iPad Pro 11-inch or iPad Air (fifth gen). The Studio Display will also work with Windows PCs, but Apple tells us that supported resolutions will vary by machine, and certain features (such as Spatial Audio) are exclusive to Mac.

While the Studio Display is pricey for a monitor, it’s a fraction of the cost of Apple’s higher-end Pro Display XDR, starting at $4,999. The latter packs a 32-inch Retina 6K screen (compared to the 27-inch 5K display on the Studio) and is built to offer an even wider range of color called Extreme Dynamic Range (hence the XDR). But it also lacks a webcam and speakers, so unless you need Apple’s biggest, most pixel-dense monitor, the Studio Display is a good value by comparison.

The takeaway

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Apple’s Studio Display is shaping up to be a promising high-end monitor option that offers a lot for its high $1,599 asking price. Its integrated speakers and webcam — complete with Center Stage — make it immediately compelling, especially since Apple has delivered big in those two areas on the latest iMacs and MacBooks that we’ve tested. Its 27-inch, 5K Retina display promises the same size and sharpness that impressed us on the 27-inch iMac, but with much thinner bezels that should make it a cleaner addition to your workspace.

There are plenty of more affordable options out there if you just want something dependable — our overall best monitor pick in the Lenovo L24q-30 is only $310, and our top 4K pick in the $589 Dell UltraSharp 27 will be a perfect partner for your Mac. But the Studio Display feels like an intriguing premium package for creative types, and we’re very eager to put it through its paces during long days of working and video calling when it arrives later this month.

Apple Studio Display specs

  • Display: 27 inches
  • Resolution: 5K Retina (5120 x 2880)
  • Glass type: Standard glass, nano-texture glass
  • Camera: 12-megapixel ultrawide with Center Stage
  • Speakers and mic: Six-speaker system with Spatial Audio support; three-microphone array
  • Adjustment: -5 degrees to 25 degrees; 105mm of height adjustment (height-adjustable stand only); optional VESA adapter compatible with 100 x 100 mm stands or mounts
  • Ports: Thunderbolt 3, USB C (3)
  • Size and weight: 24.5 x 18.8 x 6.6 inches; 13.9 pounds