With Dell’s new 32-inch 6K UltraSharp monitor, the Apple Pro Display XDR is no longer in a category of its own. Dell’s new monitor does things a little differently, though, blending elements from Apple’s $4,999 monitor and the $1,599 Studio Display, providing a possible best of both worlds when it comes to productivity and performance.
Though the UltraSharp 32 matches the Pro Display XDR for size and resolution, it doesn’t quite have the same specs and construction. Dell’s 6144 x 3456 pixel monitor uses the LG Display-developed IPS Black technology, which allows for better contrast and deeper blacks, and provides up to “1.2 times better color accuracy” when compared to conventional IPS monitors. It supports 1.07 billion colors and 99 percent of the DCI-P3 color space as well. Meanwhile, Apple’s top-end screen uses local dimming and can hit peak brightness levels of 1,600 nits, while the Dell tops out at 600 (a level more in line with the Studio Display).
Dell’s monitor does come with a height-adjustable stand that lets you rotate the monitor to put it in a vertical orientation, unlike the Studio Display, which requires a $400 upcharge for a height-adjustable stand that doesn’t support rotation at all. The XDR doesn’t come with a stand at all — that will run you a cool $1,000 more.
Just like the Studio Display, the 6K UltraSharp comes with a built-in webcam that uses AI to keep you in the frame during video calls and has a privacy shutter that closes when the camera’s not active. It also has two 14W speakers and dual echo cancellation mics, as well as a “multi-element lens” that’s supposed to “deliver crystal clear images.”
Dell tacked on some handy productivity features, too, including a set of ports that pop out from the front of the device, allowing you to plug in two USB-C cables and one USB-A Gen 2 device. On the back of the monitor are even more ports, featuring an AC input, HDMI 2.1 port, USB-C port, and four USB-A ports. There’s also a Thunderbolt 4 port that can deliver up to 140W of power to a connected laptop, as well as another 15W Thunderbolt 4 port to power any accessories. It effectively has a complete Thunderbolt hub and KVM built into it and is a lot more than what Apple offers on both the Studio Display and Pro Display XDR.
The main difference between Apple’s monitors and Dell’s is in the design department. While the Studio Display and ProDisplay XDR have sleek, aluminum frames with even bezels all around, the Dell appears to be made mostly of plastic and, well, kinda looks like most other Dell monitors. It also has a comically large forehead, which is where the webcam and, presumably, the microphones are housed.
Dell’s not the only company trying to compete with Apple’s high-end monitors. On Monday, Samsung showed off a 27-inch 5K monitor called the ViewFinity S9, which can also charge laptops and ships with a detachable 4K webcam. We don’t have any pricing information for Dell’s 6K UltraSharp monitor yet, but it’s expected to become available in the first half of this year.
That pricing will be important — if Dell can undercut the ProDisplay XDR by a significant margin and provide a larger screen with a better feature set than the somewhat disappointing Studio Display, it could be the high-resolution monitor that many Mac owners have been pining for.