May 26, 2022

At an Apple event in March, the company announced the Studio Display, a new 27-inch external monitor that starts at $1,599—a significant price reduction from the company’s only other monitor, the Pro Display XDR, which starts at $5,000.

The Studio Display announcement is big news for many people who have been waiting for Apple to offer a replacement for its popular Thunderbolt display, which was released over a decade ago and was eventually discontinued in 2016. That’s when Apple abandoned the display. the whole business. .. In the tech industry, I know a few product designers who refused to abandon their Thunderbolt displays, limping on despite their limited resolution and outdated ports, hoping that Apple would eventually release a successor.

When Apple discontinued Thunderbolt Display, there was a huge gap in the market: there is virtually no universal display that combines a monitor with a webcam, microphone, speakers, and more. As well as USB port in one product. Apple promoted the LG Ultrafine as a solution, but despite the more modern USB-C port, it fell short in build quality, reliability, and connectivity compared to a Thunderbolt display.

When the tech industry shifted to full-time remote work in 2020 due to the pandemic, I was puzzled by the lack of great universal external display options when looking for a new monitor. With USB-C appearing on almost every modern computer, promising high-speed connectivity, display support, and single-cable charging, I expected monitor makers to try to replicate the success of Thunderbolt displays. But when I searched for it, I found several options and ordered a basic 4K monitor, separate Logitech webcam, USB hub and microphone.

After a decade of waiting, Apple’s new Studio Display is the answer, and the specs fit the bill. It has a 5K (5120×2880 pixels) display with a 60Hz refresh rate with P3 wide color gamut, a 12MP webcam, three noise-canceling studio microphones, six built-in speakers, and three with USB. There is a Thunderbolt 3 port. ports. Gates. -C port to connect all your peripherals. It connects to the MacBook via a single Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cable, which also The laptop is charging while working.

Apple Studio Screen - Top Down View

Image Credit: Apple

It stands out from the competition not because it’s one of the few 5K resolution options available for purchase, but also because Apple has built additional features into the A13 processor, such as True Tone, which adjusts color temperature. Depending on the ambient lighting in your room, as well as the central scene that follows you and keeps you in the webcam frame as you walk. While it may seem a little boring, you can control brightness, sound levels, and other features with your Mac’s keyboard shortcuts instead of navigating directly through a secret OSD menu built right into your screen, which is a lot of hassle. Life is getting better.

The most common complaint I’ve heard about Apple’s new display is that it doesn’t support the company’s push technology used in recent computers, which includes a higher maximum refresh rate (120Hz) like butter. can be described. However, this will never happen, as the port bandwidth required for this does not yet exist: 5K resolution at 120Hz will require 53.08Gbps, while Thunderbolt 3/4 can only transfer 40Gbps over a single cable. This type of speed is said to be part of the Thunderbolt 5 standard, but the new technology has yet to be publicly announced and is not yet available on computers.

studio display - on the table

Image Credit: Apple

While many people shy away from the $1,599 base price, I’d say it’s a versatile option for those who require high resolution, accurate color reproduction, and who spend most of their day in front of a screen, especially if they work from home – which especially true for anyone in the product design industry like me, but also for anyone who spends the whole day and wants to throw it all away.

Being able to plug in one cable and have your webcam, microphone, and speakers ready for your next video call every time you unplug your laptop is a huge improvement. Noise cancellation for making video calls on the speakers is tolerable for all participants. For companies that are hiring remote workers, this is likely to be a popular option for business purchases as they can ship the same screen with all the items they intend to buy separately.

Are studio displays expensive? Absolutely, but it’s an investment in something you’ll probably use all day and enjoy for years to come, if the legacy of the Thunderbolt display has anything to do with it. I never thought I’d lose $1599 on one Screen But once it became available, I ordered without hesitation, because life is too short for bad screens and webcams sitting precariously on top of them.

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