Apple just announced a new external display during its “Peek Performance” event. The Studio Display is designed to be the ideal companion for the company’s Mac lineup — including the brand new Mac Studio desktop powered by the M1 Ultra chip. With a starting price of $1,599, this is Apple’s first monitor targeted at prosumers in many years.
The Studio Display has a 27-inch, 5K screen encased in an aluminum enclosure. The display can reach up to 600 nits of brightness, supports P3 wide color, and also works with macOS’s TrueTone feature. Its specs are quite similar to the panel from the now-discontinued 27-inch iMac, though brightness topped out at a lower 500 nits on the iMac. Above the Studio Display’s screen is a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera for video conferencing.
The Studio Display starts at $1,599, but Apple says it will also be offered with an optional matte nano-texture glass finish (for an extra $300) and a variety of stand and mounting solutions. Preorders begin today and it’ll be available on March 18th. One thing about the Studio Display’s hardware that some people might find disappointing is that Apple stuck with a traditional 60Hz refresh rate at a time when the company’s iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max, iPad Pro, and 2021 MacBook Pros can all reach up to 120Hz.
On the back, there are three USB-C ports and a single Thunderbolt 3 port, with the latter supporting up to 96W passthrough charging. That’s enough to juice up all of Apple’s laptops including last year’s 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. Apple has also equipped the Studio Display with a powerful six-speaker system consisting of four woofers and two tweeters. There’s even an A13 chip in there to optimize performance with Apple’s Mac desktops and laptops and enable software features like Center Stage, spatial audio, and “Hey Siri” voice commands through the built-in three-mic array.
The Pro Display XDR was introduced in 2019 with a starting price of $5,000. As its price conveys, that monitor is intended for professional photo and video work, with Apple touting the Pro Display XDR’s color accuracy and brightness. Given its high price and niche audience, the Pro Display XDR did little to quell Mac users’ demands for a more reasonably priced, Apple-made external display like the Thunderbolt Display that was discontinued in 2016. Since then, Apple has sold LG displays like the UltraFine 4K and UltraFine 5K to complement its pricey XDR display. Now the Studio Display will slot into that role.
For months leading up to today’s event, rumors had indicated that Apple was developing new external displays. An imminent announcement became more likely this week when Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman confirmed that at least one monitor was “ready to go.”
Correction: The Studio Display has a single Thunderbolt 3 port on the back, not Thunderbolt 4. We regret the error.