This week Apple announced their forthcoming 27″ Studio Display, featuring a 5K resolution, speakers with spatial audio support and an advanced camera system. It’s being promoted as having the best combination of camera and audio ever in a desktop display and is part of the company’s new Studio line-up of products.
The new Studio line-up
The Studio Display is part of a new Studio line-up from Apple which also encompasses a very powerful Mac Studio computer featuring their new M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips.
“We couldn’t be more excited to introduce an entirely new Mac desktop and display with Mac Studio and Studio Display,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Mac Studio ushers in a new era for the desktop with unbelievable performance powered by M1 Max and M1 Ultra, an array of connectivity, and a compact design that puts everything users need within easy reach. And Studio Display — with its stunning 5K Retina screen, along with the best combination of camera and audio ever in a desktop display — is in a class of its own.”
Apple Studio Display Specs
The screen is 27″ in size and offers a so-called “5K Retina” resolution of 5120 x 2880 which gives a high pixel density of 218 PPI. The screen comes with a “standard glass” glossy coating, but Apple were keen to promote their “nano-texture glass” coating which is an optional extra, something that was first introduced on their previous Pro Display XDR and apparently (according to their marketing at least) “scatters light to further minimise glare while delivering outstanding image quality”. That is an additional cost.
There is a brightness of 600 cd/m2, a wide colour gamut with a high DCI-P3 coverage, along with 10-bit colour depth offering 1.07b colours. A “True Tone” system helps automatically adjust the colour temperature to match your viewing environment.
The display features a Thunderbolt port and three USB type-C ports (10 Gbps data transfer only it seems, no DP Alt mode or power delivery). The Thunderbolt connection can also deliver 96W of power delivery to a MacBook. Up to three Studio Displays can be connected to a MacBook Pro apparently.
The screen has an all-aluminium enclosure and an attractive thin profile. A tilt adjustable stand is provided, but there is also an option to add on a very expensive height adjustable stand instead, or a separate VESA mount adapter. Apple sure do cash in on these extra options!
Advanced ‘Centre Stage’ camera and spatial audio system
Inside the monitor is Apple’s A13 Bionic chip which controls an advanced camera and audio system. The 12 MP (megapixel) ultra-wide camera supports so-called ‘Center Stage’ technology, meaning that it can automatically keep the user centred in the frame. The monitor also features 3x “studio quality” microphones and 6x speakers that support spatial audio for music and video in Dolby Atmos.
Apple said: “Four force-cancelling woofers minimize distortion and produce bold, articulate bass, and two high-performance tweeters create accurate mids and crisp highs. The speakers also support spatial audio for music and video with Dolby Atmos, creating a truly cinematic viewing experience. Altogether, Studio Display has the best combination of camera and audio ever in a desktop display.”
The Apple Studio Display retails for $1,599 USD, and that’s without the optional extras like the nano-texture glass coating (an extra $201 USD) and height adjustable stand (an extra $400!!). In the UK it costs £1,499 for the standard product, £250 extra for the nano-texture glass coating and £400 extra for the height-adjustable stand.
It’s clearly positioned at high end Mac users. It’s expected to start shipping March 18th.
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