Rounding a busy week of Apple news, we’re now getting a closer look at Apple’s all-new Studio Display. Coming in with a 5K resolution at 27-inches and a $1599 price point, the new Studio Display is being (mostly) well-received by reviewers — but one thing you’ll have to acknowledge is the lack of competition in this segment.

Studio Display reviews

Writing for Six Colors, Jason Snell is explains that the new Studio Display is a “welcome return” for Mac users. Snell explains that while you might be able to find cheaper and bigger monitors on the market, the Studio Display serves as the sweet spot for Mac users:

Are there cheaper monitors? Sure. Are there bigger monitors? Yep. But the Studio Display is a perfect fit with modern Macs. There are undoubtedly new frontiers to be mined by Apple here—I would be surprised if there weren’t a high-dynamic-range version of this display in a year or two, for an elevated price—but a 5K display at 27 inches isn’t tired; it’s tried and true.

I can quibble about the $400 upsell on the adjustable stand and roll my eyes a bit at Apple’s overhyping the quality of its speakers and microphones. Still, the fact remains: If you’ve got a Mac and want a good external display for it, there’s finally an obvious answer. Welcome home, Apple Studio Display. Never leave again.

Gizmodo has some thoughts on the IPS panel inside the Studio Display:

Apple did a good job of calibrating this panel so that the white balance and colors appear accurate out of the box. It’s just really pleasant to look at. I cycled through those 4K wildlife videos you’ve probably watched on the back wall of a Best Buy, and the sharp details and vivid colors looked phenomenal. Viewing angles are excellent and, in my opinion, Apple chose the goldilocks size for a work/play monitor by opting for a 27-inch display.

One of the most interesting features of the Studio Display is its integrated web cam, which supports Center Stage among other features. The Verge, however, was not impressed with the quality of this camera:

The bad part is that I have no idea what’s going on with this webcam. Apple has a long history of producing amazing images with 12 megapixel sensors and A-series chips, and for some reason this thing just looks awful

Actually, it looks awful in good light, and downright miserable in low light. I’ve tried it connected to the Mac Studio and on my MacBook Pro running macOS 12.3, and on both machines it produces a grainy, noisy image with virtually no detail. I tried it in FaceTime, in Zoom, in Photo Booth, in QuickTime – you name it, it’s the same sad image quality. Turning off the Center Stage feature that follows you around the room doesn’t help. Turning portrait mode on and off doesn’t help.

The complaints regarding the webcam have been corroborated by other reviews, as well. Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Joanna Stern likens the camera quality to an “old Blackberry.”

Yet Apple’s camera consistently produced grainy and washed-out images. There was so much missing detail in some of the shots that it reminded me of the camera on my old BlackBerry. On the plus side: No one could see my frizzy hair.

For confirmation, I again brought in extra eyes. I recorded footage from webcams on the Studio Display (12 megapixel), an iPhone 11 Pro (12 megapixel), a 14-inch MacBook Pro (2 megapixel) and the 5K LG monitor (2 megapixel). I shared frames with a group of colleagues, without saying which came from which. The group was unanimous, ranking the Apple Studio Display’s webcam dead last. Naturally, the iPhone came in first.

More Studio Display reviews:

Studio Display hands-on videos

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About the Author

Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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