Apple announced a new addition to its computer line, the iMac Pro. The $4999 price includes an AMD Radeon Vega 64 GPU and 8-core Intel Xeon CPU, making it one of the most powerful computers on the market. On other Apple products this big display would be prohibitively expensive but with a 27″ LG UltraFine 5K Display for just $1499 you can have your cake and eat it too!
The “apple studio display vs thunderbolt display” is a comparison between the Apple Studio Display and the LG UltraFine 5K Display. The article includes reviews of both screens, as well as comparisons.
When it comes to high-end displays designed particularly for Mac users, the Apple Studio Display and the LG 5K UltraFine are the only two reasonably priced options.
The LG UltraFine series, which Apple and LG jointly unveiled in 2016, was for a long time the only modestly priced monitor Apple sells. However, in 2019, Apple stopped selling the LG monitor on its website, preferring to focus on the super-expensive Pro Display XDR, which begins at $5000. Finally, in March of this year, Apple released the Apple Studio Display, which is very identical to the LG UltraFine 5K… but costs several hundred dollars more.
The Studio Display and the 5K UltraFine both have superb picture quality, fantastic built-in cameras and speakers, and a reasonable pricing. The Apple monitor is more costly, as appears to be a natural rule, but the LG monitor is hard to come by these days. We put both top monitors through their paces, and the choice between the two comes down to build quality, design, and the price you’re prepared to pay for their extra features.
At a glance, Apple Studio Display versus LG 5K UltraFine
|Screen||5120 x 2880 IPS 27″ (600 nits brightness, 1 billion colors, P3 color space)||5120 x 2880 IPS 27″ (500 nits brightness, 1 billion colors, P3 color space)|
|Connectivity||10Gbps transfer speed Thunderbolt 3 Plus 3 USB-C||5Gbps transmission speed Thunderbolt 3 Plus 3 USB-C|
|Camera||With Center Stage technology, 1080p 122-degree ultra-wide is possible.||1080p|
|Sound||3-mic array, 6-speaker system (with Spatial Audio).||Single mic, stereo speakers|
|Design and Construction||13.9 pounds, high-quality aluminum construction (or 16.9 pounds with height adjustment)||18.7 pounds of black thick plastic that is shaky and cheap-feeling.|
|Price||Starting at $1,599||$1,299|
Two huge, vivid displays are available, although one is preferable.
Both monitors are 27 inches in size and have the same 5K resolution (5120 x 2880 pixels) as well as the P3 color gamut and 1 billion colors.
Although we found the brightness cranked up to that level on both monitors to be difficult to tolerate for extended periods of time, the Apple Studio Display offers a brightness of 600 nits vs the LG’s 500 nits, which is a substantial difference. It’s not enjoyable to squint. Colors and contrasts were more brilliant on the Apple Studio Monitor, and pictures seemed to jump a little more. I could see more depth and color on the Apple panel than on the LG monitor while watching Guardians of the Galaxy, a visually stunning film.
True Tone automatic color adjustment is included on both monitors, which utilizes the built-in camera to detect ambient light color and alter the monitor’s color tone to make it easier on the eyes. Professional photographers and videographers will not want this when fine-tuning color adjustments, but it might be a lifesaver for other pros. To be honest, we didn’t observe a significant change.
Apple provides a nano-texture finish for the Studio Display for an extra $400. Apple claims that this matte finish retains color richness while decreasing glare. This finish has received mixed reviews, and you should avoid it unless you work in a movie studio with strong lights all around. Better still, switch to a less glaring environment and avoid this extra.
Conclusion: It’s a close call, but Apple’s visual quality is just a bit better. The nano-texture finish should be avoided.
Both have a high level of connectedness.
Both monitors include three USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 for primary computer connection, although the Apple display has a greater transfer speed of 10Gbs across the USB-C ports. Although the LG’s transmission speed is restricted to 5Gbps, it is also six years old. Video editors and artists who need to navigate around vast video or music collections would benefit most from the higher speed.
Both of these monitors can charge your MacBook through Thunderbolt 3 connection, thereby converting the display into a USB hub. Most Macs built after 2017 that have a Thunderbolt port are compatible with the Studio display. You can use it with Windows computers that have a Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connector, but you’ll miss out on a lot of Apple features like Center Stage (see below) and “Hey, Siri” (which isn’t accessible on Windows). If you indulge in some black wizardry, the LG monitor may also be utilized with Windows. But, in the end, both of these displays were built specifically for Macs, so it’s not surprising that Windows users won’t receive the same level of polish.
Conclusion: They are tied for most purposes since they both have the same connection. If you need to transmit huge files quickly, the Apple display is the way to go.
Better picture quality vs. camera: center stage
Both displays include a built-in 1080p webcam, but owing to the Studio Display’s A13 Bionic CPU, the Apple camera has the company’s smart Center Stage technology. When using Zoom, FaceTime, or other video conferencing applications, the camera catches the complete 122-degree field of view, but cuts it narrower. This enables the camera to track faces as they move around the scene and zoom out as more individuals join the picture. It’s a lot of fun.
However, we preferred the LG camera’s cooler, more realistic tone, and its details seemed to be a touch clearer. Overall, the visual quality was superior than that of the Apple. Nonetheless, neither are really good webcams. They do the job, but if you want studio-quality footage, you’ll need an external camera, such as the Logitech C920s, and some extra lighting.
Conclusion: This is a difficult one. The LG’s image quality is superior, but Center Stage offers cutting-edge technology. If it isn’t on your wish list, the LG camera comes out on top.
Apple becomes victorious.
There is just no competition here. If sound quality in a monitor is vital to you, the Apple Studio Display is the way to go. We frequently found ourselves just rocking out to monitor speakers for crying out loud when we had a stereo pair of HomePods right behind us, thanks to its six speakers with powerful woofers. The LG is not even near.
The Apple monitor also has three microphones, making it easier to utilize “Hey, Siri” on your Mac. There is just one microphone on the LG. We asked participants which mics sounded better during video conversations, and although majority indicated the Apple microphones sounded better, others stated they couldn’t tell the difference.
Conclusion: Apple comes out on top.
What is more important, design or ergonomics?
Underscored by Christopher Allbritton/CNN
When it comes to design, Apple once again takes the lead with minimal competition. The Apple monitor is sturdy and elegant, yet it isn’t excessively big or bulky. The LG monitor, on the other hand, is shaky and has a plasticy feel about it. The thick bezel around the top edge of the screen, which houses the camera, is also an eyesore.
However, when it comes to current ergonomics, the LG offers both height and tilt adjustments, which are important for comfort. The Apple basic model only has a tilt display adjustment, and the height adjustment is an additional $400, which is a little excessive even for Apple. We found the Apple monitor’s base height to be adequate, but taller people may prefer the LG’s flexibility—unless you’re willing to spend the additional money.
Underscored by Christopher Allbritton/CNN
Vesa mounts are available for both monitors at no additional cost, however you must choose the Apple monitor at the time of purchase, while the Vesa mount comes standard with the LG monitor.
Conclusion: This is another difficult one. In terms of build quality, Apple’s monitor is miles ahead of LG’s, but the pricey height adjustment is a major flaw. If you don’t need height adjustability, Apple is the way to go. LG is the way to go if you want to but can’t afford the additional $400.
What is the best value in terms of price?
The Apple Studio Display (beginning at $1,599) is more costly than the LG 5K ($1,299), but with one major exception. While the LG monitor has not been discontinued, it is now more difficult to obtain, with Amazon pricing even higher than the Apple display.
To create an apples-to-apples comparison, the Apple display costs $1,999 when you put in the height adjustment add-on to the Studio Display. The Apple monitor costs $2,299 with Apple’s nano-textured glass option (which lowers glare). That’s a lot of information.
Conclusion: The LG wins on pricing if you can locate it. The Apple premium tax is real, and it’s a little steep considering the goodies you receive.
Underscored by Christopher Allbritton/CNN
If you’re looking for a top-tier Mac experience, and don’t mind spending the Apple premium tax, the Studio Display is about as fine a consumer monitor as you can get for your Mac. The integrated features such as “Hey, Siri,” the Center Stage webcam technology, and the vastly superior sound quality — along with the stylish Design and Construction — make for a fantastic computing experience.
This will be an excellent second screen for Mac laptop users. This should be your first choice for a top-tier desktop if you possess a Mac mini, Mac Studio, or Mac Pro.
There’s no need to upgrade if you currently possess an LG 5K display or a comparable panel. The additional expense is just not justified by the additional functionality. Let’s hope that Apple’s re-entry into the monitor market sparks more competition, or that LG delivers a new 5K display at a reasonable price.
The “Apple Studio Display with MacBook Pro” is a display that has been released by Apple. The LG UltraFine 5K Display is also a display, but it is made for the Mac. Reference: apple studio display with macbook pro.
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