The Apple Studio Display is a 27 inch monitor with a 5k resolution. It's targeted for the consumer level as Apple previously released Pro Display XDR for professional users. It's for use with Mac computers, meaning you can use all of its features with a macOS device, like the extremely accurate sRGB picture mode. It works with Windows computers, but you can't change any settings or use certain features. It also has built-in speakers, a microphone, and a webcam, so you can use it for video calls. There are a few variations of the monitor, as you can choose between a tilt-only stand or a tilt and height-adjustable stand, but since you can't remove either stand to wall-mount the display, there's a variant with a VESA mount adapter too. Also, it comes with standard glossy reflective glass, but you can choose to get the nano-texture reflective glass with a matte finish instead.
The Apple Studio Display is okay for mixed usage. It performs best for content creation and for office use, and you can use all of its features with a macOS device. It has exceptional out-of-the-box accuracy, and the high resolution makes it a very good choice for content creators. It also has wide viewing angles, and it performs well in bright rooms, so it's great for bright offices, but the tilt-only variant has limited ergonomics. Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, which is disappointing if you're a content creator that needs HDR.
The Apple Studio Display is a great office monitor. You can use all of its features, including the exceptionally accurate sRGB picture mode, using a macOS device, as it has limited compatibility with Windows PCs. Images and text look sharp, and it has a big enough screen to open two windows side-by-side. It also has high peak brightness and fantastic reflection handling, so glare isn't an issue in bright rooms. Sadly, the tilt-only version has limited ergonomics, so it's hard to place in an ideal viewing position.
The Apple Studio Display is mediocre for gaming, but it's not meant for this. It's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. Also, it has poor motion handling because it has a slow response time.
The Apple Studio Display is good for media consumption. The high 5k resolution helps deliver clear images, and it displays a wide range of colors accurately. It's good for watching content with someone sitting next to you because it has wide viewing angles, but the ergonomics are limited. Sadly, it's not good in dark rooms because blacks look gray, and there's no local dimming feature.
The Apple Studio Display is very good for content creators. It has exceptional out-of-the-box accuracy in the sRGB picture mode, so you won't need to calibrate it, and it displays a wide range of colors. It also has a 27 inch screen with a 5k resolution, meaning you can view images with sharp detail. It has limited ergonomics as the stand only offers tilt adjustments, but you can buy a variant with a VESA mount adapter instead.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't support HDR.
We tested the 27 inch Apple Studio Display (model number A2525), which is the only size available. We purchased the variant with the tilt-adjustable stand and the standard glass; there are different stand and anti-reflective coating options that you can get for this monitor. The differences between the stands are listed below; the standard glass has a glossy finish and the nano-texture glass has a matte finish. Besides the ergonomics and reflection handling, the results are valid for the other variants.
|Stand||Stand Included||Tilt Adjustment||Height Adjustment||VESA Mount|
|Tilt and height-adjustable stand||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|VESA mount adapter||No||-||-||100x100|
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Apple Studio Display doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
You can see the label for our unit here.
The Apple Studio Display is a very good 5k monitor for content creators, but only if you're going to use it with a Mac computer like the Mac Studio. It has exceptional out-of-the-box accuracy with its sRGB mode, but you can only get that mode with a macOS device, and you can't change the picture settings if you're not using a macOS device, like if you have a Windows PC. Despite its great accuracy, it still lacks HDR, and it falls short in a few other areas. The limited ergonomics are disappointing, and you can only wall-mount it if you get the variant with the VESA mount adapter. It's also very expensive, and you can get cheaper, more versatile 4k monitors, like the Dell S2722QC.
Although the Apple Studio Display and the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 S32BM80 look similar in terms of style, they're very different monitors. The Apple is a 5k monitor meant for content creators as it has remarkable out-of-the-box accuracy, and it displays a wider range of colors in SDR than the Samsung. Also, the Apple has wider viewing angles that make it a better choice for sharing content with someone next to you. The Apple also gets brighter and has better reflection handling if you want to use it in a well-lit room. On the other hand, the Samsung has a built-in smart platform, making it easier to stream your favorite movies, and it comes with a remote that has voice control. It also supports HDR, which the Apple doesn't, and it displays deeper blacks if you want to use it in a dark room.
The Dell U2723QE and the Apple Studio Display are both great office monitors with a few differences. The Apple is a 5k display with better text clarity than the 4k display on the Dell. The Dell has a better selection of inputs with DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB inputs, and it has much better ergonomics too. The Dell supports HDR, which the Apple doesn't, and it performs better in dark rooms. However, the Apple is better for bright rooms because it gets brighter and has much better reflection handling. It's also a better choice to use with macOS devices because you get much better out-of-the-box accuracy, and you can use all of the display's features.
The Dell S2722QC is a more versatile monitor than the Apple Studio Display. The Dell supports HDR, which the Apple doesn't, and it's much easier to place in an ideal viewing position thanks to its better ergonomics. It also has more inputs like HDMI ports if you want to use it for gaming. Although the Apple monitor is meant for macOS users, the Dell doesn't have any issues with a Mac or MacBook. The Apple does have a few advantages, like the much better accuracy, and it gets much brighter, so you won't have any issues using it in a bright room.
The Gigabyte M28U and the Apple Studio Display are different types of monitors. The Gigabyte is a 4k gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, meaning you can play games from the Xbox Series X and PS5 without issue. It's also more versatile for different uses because it has HDMI and DisplayPort inputs, as well as HDR support, which the Apple monitor doesn't have. On the other hand, the Apple is a 5k monitor meant for macOS users, and it has significantly better reflection handling, so it performs better in well-lit rooms.
The Apple Studio Display and the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q are both good work monitors, but there are a few differences between them. The Apple is a 5k monitor targeted for macOS users, and it has a few extra features like a webcam that the Dell doesn't have. The Apple also gets much brighter and has significantly better color accuracy if you want to use it for photo editing. However, the Dell is more versatile for other uses because it has DisplayPort and HDMI inputs, supports HDR, and has much better ergonomics, making it easier to place in an ideal position.
The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and the Apple Studio Display are both very good monitors for content creators, but they're different in a few ways. The ASUS is a 1440p monitor with much better ergonomics, and it has a better selection of inputs like an HDMI and DisplayPort input, so it's more versatile if you want to connect a PC or gaming console. Both have fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy with their sRGB modes, but you can only get the sRGB mode on the Apple with a macOS device. However, the Apple has a higher 5k resolution, gets brighter, and has better reflection handling, so it's a better choice if you work in a bright room.
The LG 40WP95C-W is a much more versatile monitor than the Apple Studio Display. Both models target creators, but the Apple monitor can only reach its maximum potential when used with a Mac. The LG works well with any environment and even allows you to load a calibration profile to the display itself, ensuring you get an accurate image with any source. The LG also has better connectivity, with Thunderbolt 4 support as well as HDMI and DisplayPort inputs.
The LG 27GP950-B and the Apple Studio Display are both high-resolution 27 inch monitors meant for different uses. The LG has many more gaming features like a higher refresh rate panel, HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and variable refresh rate support to reduce screen tearing. It also has HDMI ports so you can connect gaming consoles. However, the Apple is meant for content creators with macOS devices as it has outstanding out-of-the-box accuracy, and it easily gets bright enough to fight glare in well-lit rooms.
The Gigabyte M32U is a better all-around monitor than the Apple Studio Display, but they're for different uses. The Gigabyte is a 4k gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, so it's a great choice for console gaming up to 120 fps. It also has more inputs like HDMI and DisplayPort, and it supports HDR, which the Apple monitor doesn't have. On the other hand, the Apple is a 5k monitor meant for macOS users, and it has significantly better reflection handling, meaning it performs better in well-lit rooms.
The Apple Studio Display looks a lot like an iMac but without the larger housing at the bottom. It has a typical Apple look with silver metal throughout and branding on the back. It looks nice in any office environment.
The Apple Studio Display has fantastic build quality. The body and stand are solid aluminum that doesn't flex anywhere. The glass sits flush to the monitor as it's attached properly to the bezels. The stand is solid, and the screen stays in place when you tilt it. The base of the stand is a bit small for the size of the display, but it won't fall over unless you really push it. There's also a vent on top, and you don't hear it pushing out air, which is great. The main downside to this monitor is that the power cable is fixed to the display, so if it gets damaged, you'll have to bring the entire monitor to get it repaired.
The ergonomics of the Apple Studio Display are terrible. This unit is the version with the tilt-only stand, so it's hard to place in an ideal position. You can buy the version with a height-adjustable stand if you prefer. However, you can't remove either stand, so the monitor can't be wall-mounted, and neither stand can swivel or rotate into portrait mode. Instead, there's a version with a VESA mount 100x100 adapter, so if you need to make adjustments often, get this version instead.
The back of the monitor is basic, and there's a cutout in the stand for cable management.
The base on the tilt-adjustable stand is small and doesn't take up much space, and because it's flat, you can put stuff on it. The base of the height-adjustable stand is bigger, with a depth of 8.1" (20.7 cm).
As you can't remove the stand, we couldn't measure the weight of the Apple Studio Display without the stand. The manufacturer advertises the variant with the VESA mount adapter to weigh 12.1 lbs (5.5 kg).
The Apple Studio Display doesn't have any physical controls. The monitor turns itself on when you connect a device, and you access all display settings through the settings on a macOS device.
The Apple Studio Display has a low contrast ratio, so blacks look gray in the dark, and there's no local dimming feature to improve it.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't have a local dimming feature. We still film these videos on the monitor so you can compare the backlight performance with a monitor that has local dimming.
The Apple Studio Display has excellent peak brightness in SDR. It easily gets bright enough to fight glare in most bright rooms, and although smaller highlights are a bit dimmer, the difference isn't noticeable. These measurements are from after calibration in the 'Apple Display (P3-600 Nits)' Picture Mode.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't support HDR.
The horizontal viewing angle is very good. The image looks a bit darker from the sides, but you won't have issues if you need to share your screen with a coworker or client sitting next to you.
The Apple Studio Display has an okay vertical viewing angle. It's worse than the horizontal viewing angle, and you start to notice a color shift earlier, but this is only a concern if you get the VESA mount adapter variant and place it above eye level.
The Apple Studio Display has great gray uniformity. The edges of the screen are a bit darker, but it's not too noticeable, and there's minimal dirty screen effect in the center. It means that webpages and large areas of solid colors look great.
The Apple Studio Display has okay black uniformity. There's not too much blooming around the center cross, but there's noticeable backlight bleed in the corners. Sadly, there's no local dimming feature to improve this, so it's not a good choice to use in dark rooms.
The out-of-the-box accuracy on the Apple Studio Display is simply exceptional. There are hardly any inaccuracies to the colors and white balance in the sRGB mode, and the color temperature is nearly spot-on with the 6500K target. You can only access the sRGB mode with a macOS device, and it locks most settings, including the brightness. The brightness in sRGB is dim, but it's the standard. If you use the 'Apple Display (P3-600 nits)' mode to adjust more settings or achieve higher brightness, then colors are over-saturated, as you can see here.
You can only change the picture mode using a macOS device. If you plug in a Windows PC, it will use the last picture mode from the previous macOS device.
The accuracy after calibration is remarkable, but it's not that much better than before calibration. The main benefit of getting the display calibrated is if you want to use the 'Apple Display (P3-600 nits)' mode so you can customize the settings and have a brighter screen. The human eye can't spot any inaccuracies after calibration.
The Apple Studio Display has an incredible SDR color gamut. It has perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most web content, and colors aren't over-saturated. It has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, which is important if you're a photo or video editor that uses this space. However, some colors are over-saturated.
We normally test the DCI-P3 color space in HDR, but because this monitor doesn't support HDR, we decided to test it in SDR too. It has 99.8% DCI-P3 coverage.
The Apple Studio Display has an exceptional color volume. Thanks to its high peak brightness and wide color gamut, it displays colors at a wide range of brightness levels well. However, because it has a low contrast ratio, it can't display dark colors very well.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't support HDR. If you're a content creator looking for something similar with full support for HDR, take a look at the LG 40WP95C-W instead.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't support HDR.
The Apple Studio Display's reflection handling with the standard glass finish is fantastic. Despite having a glossy finish, the mirror-like reflections aren't as distracting as on other glossy displays like TVs, and it handles bright light sources very well. Combined with the high peak brightness, you won't have any issues using it in a bright room. The nano-texture coating has a matte finish that the manufacturer advertises to reduce the amount of direct reflections, but it also makes text and images look hazier.
Thanks to the 5k resolution and high pixel density, the text clarity is outstanding. Text looks extremely sharp, and enabling Windows ClearType on a Windows PC (top photo) makes the letters bolder, but it's not necessary. These photos are taken on a Windows PC, and you can see the text clarity using default scaling on a MacBook here.
Keep in mind that these photos are with the standard glass that has a glossy finish. It makes text look clearer compared to the variant with the matte nano-texture glass.
The Apple Studio Display has remarkable gradient handling. You won't see any banding in most shades, but banding gets a bit more noticeable with darker colors.
The Apple Studio Display has a basic refresh rate that you can achieve over a USB-C connection that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology, but it does show as G-SYNC compatible in the NVIDIA Control Panel with an RTX 3060 graphics card. However, it doesn't work properly, as the screen flashes or just stops working altogether, so this isn't considered G-SYNC compatible. There's no screen tearing with lower frame rates in Tomb Raider, but the refresh rate of the monitor stays at 60Hz, and we confirmed that VRR isn't working using a slow-motion video, so it's likely using some other technology to reduce screen tearing. Unlike other displays with a macOS device, there's no setting for VRR in the macOS either.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The Apple Studio Display has a poor response time at its max refresh rate of 60Hz. The total response time is slow, resulting in clear motion blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Sadly, there aren't any overdrive settings, so motion always looks blurry.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't support a 120Hz signal.
There's no optional backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur.
The Apple Studio Display has a completely flicker-free backlight at all brightness levels, which helps reduce eye strain.
The Apple Studio Display has low enough input lag that you won't notice any delay during regular desktop use.
The high resolution results in an extremely high pixel density, and the screen is big enough to open two windows side-by-side.
The Apple Studio Display doesn't have any HDMI inputs, so you would need an adapter to connect the PS5 to the USB-C inputs, and we don't have an adapter to test it. There are reports online that it doesn't work with the PS5 anyway.
Like with the PS5, you would need an adapter to connect the Xbox Series X to the monitor, and we don't have that for testing.
The USB-C input that supports Thunderbolt 3 has 96 W of power delivery, which is enough to charge your MacBook while working, and the other ports have 15 W of power delivery. It isn't enough to charge a power-hungry device, but it will keep your laptop's battery alive while working. Also, the Thunderbolt 3 is the only port that accepts video, while the other ports are only used for charging devices.
As it's an Apple monitor, it works without any issue with a macOS device. It's for use with a Mac or MacBook as you can only access the display's settings with a macOS device, but it still works with Windows devices, you just can't change settings, and some extra features like the sRGB mode don't work. You can even rotate the screen into a vertical orientation and the macOS interface automatically rotates, even if this isn't the version with the VESA mount adapter, and you can't use it in a vertical orientation.
The Apple Studio Display has a few extra features, like its webcam, microphone, and speakers. You can use some of these features with a Windows PC, like the webcam and speakers, and the display works with Windows, but you lose out on other features like the ability to change settings and the processing that the display uses with macOS devices. Even though it has a built-in processor, you can't use it as a stand-alone monitor like the Samsung Smart Monitor M8 S32BM80, which has a built-in smart system.
The webcam is disappointing, and you can see the test video here. The microphone sounds fine, but the camera quality is washed out and dull. Apple has released a beta firmware update to fix it (you need to update the monitor through a macOS device), but this test was done before the update, so we'll update it and retest it. The camera has a center stage feature that follows you as you move, and you can only use this feature with macOS devices.
The speakers are fantastic and you can see the results below:
The Apple Studio Display doesn't have an on-screen display, and you can only change the display settings with a macOS device. If you use a Windows PC, it uses the last saved settings from a previous macOS device, and you'll need to connect it again to change the settings. Also, all firmware updates are down through a macOS device.