The Apple Studio Display is a 27-inch monitor with a 5k resolution. It's targeted at the consumer level as Apple previously released Pro Display XDR for professional users. It has some features that you can only use with a Mac computer, like its dedicated sRGB picture mode. It also has built-in speakers, a microphone, and a webcam, so it's an all-in-one solution for video calls. There are a few variants 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 has exceptional accuracy before calibration thanks to its dedicated sRGB picture mode, and the high resolution makes it a very good choice for content creators. It's great for the office because its high peak brightness fights glare easily. It also has wide viewing angles if you need to share your screen with someone, but the stand on 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. It doesn't have any gaming features either, as it isn't designed for this use.
The Apple Studio Display is a great office monitor. You can access all of its features using a macOS computer, like the exceptionally accurate sRGB picture mode. While it works with Windows PCs, you can't use all of its features with that operating system. Luckily, 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 stand on the tilt-only variant has limited ergonomics, so it's hard to place in an ideal viewing position.
The Apple Studio Display is mediocre for gaming, but it isn't 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 due to its 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 mediocre 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 accuracy before calibration 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. Sadly, 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-only 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|
You can see the label for our unit here.
The Apple Studio Display 27 is a very good 5k monitor for content creators, but you need to use a Mac computer to take full advantage of it. It has exceptional accuracy before calibration with its sRGB mode, and it gets very bright. Unfortunately, it isn't versatile for many other uses as it lacks HDR, and it falls short in some areas. The limited ergonomics are disappointing, but 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 U2723QE.
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 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 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 better accuracy, and it gets much brighter, so you won't have any issues using it in a bright room.
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 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 at 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 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 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 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 Apple Studio Display takes its design from other Apple products as it looks a lot like an iMac but without the larger housing at the bottom. It has black bezels and silver metal throughout, and branding on the back.
The Apple Studio Display has fantastic build quality. There aren't any obvious issues, and the body and stand are made of solid aluminum that doesn't flex anywhere. The stand is also 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 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 the stand on either of those variants, so the monitor can't be wall-mounted. Instead, there's a variant available without a stand and with a VESA mount 100x100 adapter, so you can get this variant if you want to mount it on an adjustable arm.
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 doesn't take up much space. The base of the height-adjustable stand is bigger, with a depth of 8.1-inches (20.7 cm).
As you can't remove the stand, we couldn't measure the weight of the display without the stand. Apple advertises the variant with the VESA mount adapter to weigh 12.1 lbs (5.5 kg).
The Apple 27 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. Unfortunately, you can't access any settings with a Windows PC, and if you plug in a Windows PC, it will just use the last saved picture mode from a previous 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.
This monitor 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 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.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
The horizontal viewing angle is very good. You won't have issues if you need to share your screen with a coworker or client sitting next to you, but the screen looks a bit darker from really wide angles.
The Apple Studio Display has an okay vertical viewing angle. You can start to notice colors shift somewhat early, but this is only a concern if you get the VESA mount adapter variant and place it above eye level.
The gray uniformity is great. The edges of the screen are a bit darker, but it isn't 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 isn't 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 isn't a good choice to use in dark rooms.
The accuracy before calibration 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, which is dim, but that's the industry standard for this mode. Colors are oversaturated in the 'Apple Display (P3-600 nits)' mode, but at least you can adjust more settings or achieve higher brightness with it.
Although this monitor doesn't support HDR, we also decided to test the DCI-P3 color space, but in SDR. You can see the results from it below. It's still good, but the white balance and gamma are a bit worse than in sRGB.
The accuracy after calibration is remarkable as you won't notice any issues, but it isn't 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 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 oversaturated. 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 oversaturated in it.
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, and it has 99.8% coverage in DCI-P3.
The SDR color volume is outstanding. Thanks to its high peak brightness and wide color gamut, it displays colors at a wide range of brightness levels well. However, it can't display dark colors very well because it has a low contrast ratio.
This monitor doesn't support HDR. If you're a content creator looking for something with full support for HDR, take a look at the LG 40WP95C-W instead.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
The 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 reduces 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 isn't necessary. 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.
This monitor 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. 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. Other times the VRR doesn't work properly, as the screen flashes or just stops working altogether, so this means it isn't G-SYNC compatible.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The poor response time at the max refresh rate of 60Hz is poor. The total response time is slow, resulting in visible motion blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Sadly, there aren't any overdrive settings, so motion always looks blurry.
This monitor 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 input lag is low enough that you won't notice any delay during regular desktop use.
As this monitor doesn't have any HDMI inputs, you would need an adapter to connect the PS5, 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|S to the monitor, and we don't have that for testing.
The USB-C input that supports Thunderbolt 3 has 96W of power delivery, which is enough to charge your MacBook while working, and it's the only port the accepts video. The other USB-C ports are for charging-only as they have 15W of power delivery. This isn't enough to charge a laptop, but you can still charge devices like your phone.
As it's an Apple monitor, it works without any issue with a macOS device. You can only access the display's settings with a macOS device, and some features like the dedicated sRGB mode only work with this operating system. You can even rotate the screen into a vertical orientation and the macOS interface automatically rotates on its own.
The Apple Studio Display has a few extra features, like its webcam, speakers, and microphone. While macOS devices can take full advantage of the display, it still works with a Windows PC, but you lose out on other features like the ability to change settings and the processing that the display uses with macOS devices. The webcam and speakers also work with Windows PCs.
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 released a firmware update, 19F77, that's supposed to improve the camera performance, but this was tested before the update. The camera also 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 for monitor speakers, and you can see the results using the laptop speaker methodology below:
This monitor 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 reconnect it to change the settings. Also, all firmware updates are done through a macOS device.