Apple Studio screen

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Of course, the whole idea of ​​”if you’re the only one in a certain field” or “if you’re the best in a certain field” works, so you can price the products however you want. Of course, that can be a mitigating factor in some cases, like when B&O routinely charges three times as much for, say, a set of headphones, but then those also have a build quality, sharpness, clarity that can’t be matched by anyone else. Does that mean the price is right? No, of course not, but again; it is a mitigating factor.

Apple’s latest Studio Display is a little lonely in the sense that the panel has a resolution of 5120×2880, or 5K, a resolution that is extremely rare, and is matched only by the UltraFine 27MD5KL-B from LG. So, if you stretched yourself a bit, you could posit that if you’re looking for 5K, this is where you’ll find it, and nowhere else. At the same time, you then agree to pay £1500 for a screen that’s not exactly industry leading on any other metric.

You might already notice that Apple’s Studio Display has proven to be a much more controversial product than the much more expensive Pro Display XDR, and that’s precisely down to the perennial question of value. And in terms of value, in terms of dexterity, Apple still managed to put together a pretty exciting display.

Everything is once again in sleek industrial aluminum. It proves once again that the real design is more timeless than the technology behind it, and while there are relatively thick screen bezels, and a rather thoughtless placement of the VESA mount point covering the logo Apple, the Studio Display is a beautifully crafted product you’ll be happy to sit back and gawk at all day.

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Yes, at first glance it looks like some fictionalized Silicon Valley nonsense designed to mislead you. But at the same time, you can also see this as a challenge for the rest of the tech industry, for LG, Dell, Asus, to defy aesthetic convention a bit, because there are miles between a mainstream “creator” focused on display and Studio Display, that’s all.

It’s called “Studio”, because it’s made for semi-professionals, so what can it do? Well, 5K resolution, of course. Plus 600 NITS brightness, 10-bit color, 1200:1 contrast at 60 Hz with TrueTone and DCI-P3 color calibration. That means you’ll have to do without ProMotion 120Hz, or something as simple as HDR.

But as far as we can understand, only a few semi-professionals, YouTube users, Twitch streamers, everyone who works with macOS on a day-to-day basis, actually edits in HDR, so maybe that’s forgivable? If nothing else, it’s mainly resolution that matters here.

So it’s for semi-pros, right? Yes, and Apple, for example, has added a pretty solid 12-megapixel ultra-wide webcam with a 122-degree field of view, which only further underscores this priority. It’s not as good as a smartphone’s front-facing camera, but as an alternative to, say, a Logitech Brio, it works decidedly brilliantly. Add to that, to say the least, some fantastic speakers that use the same systems as the new iMac and pump out Dolby Atmos-certified sound.

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Apple Studio screen

There’s also a Thunderbolt 3 port with 96W charging for a MacBook Pro, say, and three USB-C ports for keyboards, mice – that sort of thing. Thing is, these little things can add up to a pretty good hub for creative editing and processing, where web meetings, headphone-free reading and relatively crisp performance all mix together.

So in that sense, the Apple Studio Display is pretty easy to recommend despite its price. If you want total consistency between the operating system and the panel, what is the alternative? Well, the Pro Display XDR. This device is also packed with features that qualify it for Pixar graphic designers, not your successful YouTube channel.

That’s why Apple shouldn’t let go. Higher NITS brightness would have been appropriate, and perhaps Apple should have given us ProMotion 120Hz, especially considering a MacBook Pro 14 comes with that.

Apple Studio screen


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