Apple’s new Studio Display combines a rich 5K screen with a built-in webcam and speaker set, making it ideal for both visual artists and folks who spend all day on video calls. But it’s not the only monitor in Apple’s lineup — there’s also the Pro Display XDR, which packs a larger, even higher-resolution panel for photo and video editors who need to see every possible detail.
While these two machines vary wildly in price — $1,599 for the Studio Display versus at least $4,999 for the Pro Display XDR — there are also some other notable differences between the two that go beyond size, resolution and what you can fit in your budget. With that in mind, here’s how to pick the right Apple monitor for you.
At a glance: Who are these monitors for?
• Apple Pro Display XDR (from $4,999 at Best Buy, Amazon and Apple): For serious artistic professionals who need the best possible resolution, color and brightness, and don’t mind paying extra for a stand — or providing their own.
You should get the Studio Display if…
You want a monitor with a built-in webcam and speakers
The Studio Display is one of the few monitors to feature a built-in webcam, microphone and set of speakers, making it perfect for video calls right out of the box. And because you’re getting largely the same camera and audio setup that wowed us on the 24-inch iMac, you can count on the Studio Display for looking great on Zoom, doing some basic audio recordings and enjoying loud and rich audio for your favorite tunes. The Studio Display’s camera even sports Center Stage for automatically keeping you in frame, a feature we really loved on the latest iPad Pro. This monitor will keep you from having to spring for a dedicated webcam, microphone or set of computer speakers, saving you both cash and precious desk space.
You want Apple’s most affordable monitor
The $1,599 Studio Display isn’t cheap, but it does cost thousands less than the Pro Display XDR. Even if you throw in optional upgrades like nano-texture glass (for minimizing natural sunlight glare) and a tilt- and height-adjustable stand for more flexibility, you’re looking at a $2,299 purchase, which is a fraction of the Pro Display XDR’s $4,999 starting cost. And that doesn’t even get you a stand.
You’re also getting a whole lot of monitor for the money. The Studio Display packs a 27-inch 5K Retina screen with support for the P3 wide color gamut that’s commonly used by professional photo and video editors. It’s virtually the same screen that impressed us on the latest 27-inch iMac, just within a sleeker, stand-alone design that you can connect to any modern Mac (it’ll work with PCs as well, but you’ll miss out on features like Center Stage and Spatial Audio). And when you factor in the aforementioned webcam and speakers, you’re getting a monitor that, while expensive, is still a good overall value.
You should get the Pro Display XDR if…
You want a huge, high-res monitor for serious editing
The Studio Display will likely get the job done for most photo and video editors, but for creative professionals who pay attention to every pixel, the Pro Display XDR may be worth the extra investment. The Pro Display’s screen is even bigger and bolder than the Studio Display’s, with a 32-inch Retina 6K panel that promises “Extreme Dynamic Range (XDR)” for even better color and contrast than you’d get from a typical HDR monitor. The Pro Display XDR is also rated for a higher peak brightness than the Studio Display at 1,600 nits versus 600 nits, making Apple’s premium monitor the better pick if you need something extra luminous for your workspace.
You don’t mind paying extra for a stand
The Studio Display offers your choice of a tilt-adjustable stand, a tilt- and height-adjustable stand and a VESA model that you can mount on your wall, whereas the Pro Display XDR doesn’t ship with a stand at all. However, Apple’s high-end monitor is the only one to offer the optional Pro Stand, which lets you adjust the Pro Display XDR’s height, tilt and even rotation — if you’re willing to pay a ridiculous $999 for the upgrade. While it’s a steep investment, the Pro Stand is worth looking at for artists who want the flexibility to work in both portrait and landscape orientation. A VESA option is available to position the Studio Display in portrait mode, but you’ll have to either affix it to a wall with no adjustment options or use a third-party, VESA-compliant monitor arm.
Apple Studio Display vs. Pro Display XDR Specs
|Display||27-inch 5K Retina Display (5120 x 2880)||32-inch 6K Retina XDR display (6016 x 3384)|
|Brightness||600 nits||1,600 nits|
|Camera||12-megapixel ultrawide camera with Center Stage||None|
|Audio||Three microphones, six speakers with Spatial Audio||None|
|Ports||Three USB-C ports, one Thunderbolt 3 port||Three USB-C ports, one Thunderbolt 3 port|
|Stand Options||Tilt-adjustable stand, tilt- and height-adjustable stand, VESA mount adapter||Pro Stand, VESA mount adapter|
|Features||True Tone, anti-reflective coating, nano-texture glass (optional)||True Tone, anti-reflective coating, nano-texture glass (optional)|
|Size||24.5 x 18.8 x 6.6 inches (tilt stand); 24.5 x 18.8 - 23 x 8.1 inches (tilt and height stand); 24.5 x 14.3 x 1.2 inches (VESA model)||28.3 x 16.2 x 1.1 inches (monitor only); 28.3 x 21 - 25.7 x 10.9 inches (with Pro Stand)|
|Weight||13.9 pounds (tilt stand); 16.9 pounds (tilt and height stand); 12.1 pounds (VESA model)||16.49 pounds (monitor only); 25.99 pounds (with Pro Stand)|