If you like the Apple Studio Display but are put off by the hefty price tag, we’ve looked at the best alternatives to the Apple Studio Display for all budgets.
The Apple Studio Display was released in March 2022 to coincide with the release of the powerful Mac Studio.
Starting at $1,599 and going up to $2,299 with customization, the Apple Studio Display is aimed at those that want a more affordable version of Apple’s Pro XDR Display costing a whopping $4,999.
There’s no denying that the Apple Studio Display is difficult to rival with ultra high-spec features such as 218 pixels per inch, a 12MP face tracking camera and A13 chip to process images that you simply won’t find in any other non Apple display.
However the cost still remains out of reach for many and the good news is there are lots of excellent substitute monitors for the Apple Studio Display which we’ve looked at here.
Here we’ve looked at the best 4K and 5K monitor alternatives to the Apple Studio Display including 27 inch and larger displays to suit all budgets.
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With this in mind here are the best alternatives to the Apple Studio Display in order of ranking.
1. LG Monitor 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 inch
The 5K LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27 inch monitor is easily the best alternative to the Apple Studio Display in terms of size, resolution and features.
With a very similar spec to the Apple Studio Display but almost $500 cheaper, it’s ideal for those looking for a cheaper alternative to the Apple Studio Display.
In fact, Apple helped LG develop the UltraFine display as it contains a very similar panel to the 27 inch 5K iMac display.
Apple even used to sell the LG 5K 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27 inch monitor on its website until the release of the Apple Studio Display.
It’s no surprise then that the specs and build of the 5K LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27 inch monitor are very similar to the Apple Studio Display.
The LG 27MD5KL-B UltraFine 27 inch monitor is one of the few 5K 27 inch monitors on the market outside of the Apple Studio Display and matches it in many of the most important specs.
The LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 inch is a 5K Ultra High Definition (UHD) monitor with 5120 x 2880 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio which is the same as the Apple Studio Display.
Crucially, the 27 inch LG UltraFine 5K display supports up to 218 pixels per inch (PPI) which is the same as the Apple Studio Display’s retina quality screen.
This means that when you use it at its maximum 5K resolution the images are retina quality which is just as good as on the Apple Studio Display.
This avoids many of the resolution scaling issues that many Mac users experience when connecting external monitors.
In terms of brightness, the 27 inch LG UltraFine 5K has 500 nits of brightness vs 600 in the Apple Studio Display but it’s still more than enough even for well lit environments.
The 27 inch 5K LG Ultrafine is a flat-Panel IPS monitor with support for DCI-P3 99% color gamut.
The monitor also features both a built-in camera and a speaker and although these can’t compare to those on the Apple Studio Display.
There are also three Thunderbolt 3 ports which can display 5K video, audio and data simultaneously from a Mac and will also charge the battery of a MacBook Pro while connected to it.
One downside is that the 5K 27 inch UltraFine doesn’t have any Thunderbolt 4 ports although not many Macs currently have Thunderbolt 4 ports anyway apart from the Mac Studio.
The LG 27MD5KL-B Ultrafine 27 inch monitor has a 60Hz refresh rate which is the same as the Apple Studio Display but it still performs very well fine for gaming and fast moving media.
It doesn’t however support HDR like the Apple Studio Display which may be a deal breaker for video editors.
If you’re looking for the best 5K monitor for Mac that’s a similar size and spec to the Apple Studio Display, the 27 inch 5K LG UltraFine is a superb alternative.
You can read our full LG 27MD5KL-B 5K UltraFine 27″ monitor review for more.
- 5K quality resolution
- Wide P3 gamut
- 218 PPI for retina quality images
- Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Supports volume and brightness control from Mac
- Initially developed alongside Apple
- Internal speaker quality is poor
- Webcam quality isn’t great
- No support for HDR
- No Thunderbolt 4 port
- 100 nits less brightness than Apple Studio Display
2. Dell UltraSharp U2720Q 27 Inch 4K UHD
If you’re looking for a budget alternative to the Apple Studio Display then the 27 inch Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is an excellent value alternative to Apple’s monitor.
At around $500, you won’t find many cheaper alternatives to the Apple Studio Display that can compare to it.
Although it’s only 4K with a UHD resolution of 3480 x 2160 compared to 5K in the Apple Studio Display, the display provides crisp, clear images for editing photos, watching films, designing and more.
Surprisingly for a monitor in this price range, the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) which is important for high quality contrast and fast action video playback for editors.
HDR provides better color contrast and makes video look more realistic meaning the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is a good choice for video editors on a budget.
Although the HDR doesn’t perform quite as well as on the Apple Studio Display, considering the price its still very good.
The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q also provides 99% sRGB color gamut which compares to 99% coverage of DCI-P3 in the Apple Studio Display.
In terms of connectivity, the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q has two USB-C ports and one HDMI port so you can connect it easily to any Mac via the Thunderbolt ports and HDMI ports on the Mac Mini.
It also has three useful USB-A ports and a DisplayPort for added connectivity options.
On the downside, the brightness is almost half of the Apple Studio Display at just 350 nits although unlike the Apple Studio Display it does have an LED backlit screen
If you’re looking for a budget 4K alternative to the Apple Studio display in the region of $500, the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is definitely worth checking-out.
You can read our full Dell UltraSharp U22720Q review for more.
- Lots of ports for connectivity
- Great crisp 4K quality images
- 99% sRGB color gamut
- Excellent value for money
- Supports HDR
- LED Backlight
- Sturdy build quality
- Brightness controls are poor
- No internal speakers
- No internal webcam
- No Thunderbolt port
- Only supports up to 4K
3. Asus ProArt Display PA279CV 4K
If you need the best in sRGB color accuracy then the 27 inch Asus ProArt Display is the best alternative to the Apple Studio Display for color grading.
At around $500, there are very few monitors on the market with this kind of color accuracy at 4K at this price point.
The color accuracy is the outstanding feature of the Asus ProArt Display with a wide color gamut of 709 and Delta E < 2 color accuracy.
The 27-inch Asus ProArt Display PA279CV also supports 4K HDR UHD with a maximum of 3840 x 2160 resolution.
It has a pixel density of 163 ppi, a refresh rate of 60Hz and a reasonably high brightness level of 402 nits although this may not be enough for very well lit working environments.
The Asus ProArt Display PA279CV also features an LED backlight display which even the Apple Studio Display doesn’t have although this is rumored to be added to the display soon.
For ease of viewing it has an IPS 178° wide viewing angle panel to give you great visibility that’s comparable with the Apple Studio Display.
In terms of connectivity, you can connect a Mac to the Asus ProArt Display via USB-C which will also provide 65W of charging power to a MacBook battery while you use it.
In addition there’s also 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort and a USB 3.1 hub.
For artists and designers, Asus also include useful ProArt Presets and ProArt Palettes that allow you to configure and save color settings depending on what you’re working on.
For graphic designers and creative professionals on a budget, the Asus ProArt Display PA279CV offers a great value for money alternative to the Apple Studio Display.
For more check out our full Asus ProArt Display 4K review.
- Excellent color accuracy for this price range
- Superb for color grading
- High brightness levels
- LED backlight display
- Lots of presets for artists and graphic designers
- No real Adobe RGB support
- Only supports up to 4K
4. LG 34BK95U-W 5K UltraFine 34”
If you’re looking for something similar to the 27 inch LG UltraFine as an alternative to the Apple Studio Display but a bit bigger with HDR support, then the 34 inch 5K LG34BK95U-W UltraFine may be for you.
As with the 27 inch LG UltraFine, Apple originally helped LG develop the UltraFine range and it contains a very similar panel to the 27 inch 5K iMac display.
The 34 inch 5K LG34BK95U-W UltraFine gives you full 5K 5120 x 2160 resolution (also known as 5K2K) although it only supports a maximum of 163 pixels per inch (PPI) which isn’t quite retina quality like the 27 inch model.
However, unlike the 27 inch UltraFine it does support High Dynamic Range (HDR) which makes bright and dark parts of an image incredibly intense and contrasted.
The 34 inch LG34BK95U-W UltraFine also supports 600 nits of brightness which is the same as the Apple Studio Display.
In terms of color range, the 34 inch LG UltraFine has 99% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut range.
It can also easily handle 4K video and the wide viewing angles make it an excellent choice for those in desktop publishing or video editing.
In terms of ports, apart from the standard HDMI port there’s a dedicated Thunderbolt 3 port with 85W of power which offers DisplayPort Alt Mode.
There are also an additional 3 USB-C ports also giving plenty of options for connectivity.
The refresh rate of the LG34BK95U-W UltraFine is 60Hz which is the same as the Apple Studio Display and good enough for most gaming.
There’s no integrated webcam but there are speakers in the LG UltraFine 34 inch 5K although the sound quality is poor and it’s best to connect some external speakers to it.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more screen estate that the Apple Studio Display but a similar spec, then the 5K LG34BK95U-W UltraFine offers a cheaper, attractive alternative.
You can read our full LG 34BK95U-W 34 inch 5K monitor review for more.
- 5K resolution with 5K2K support
- 3 USB-C ports plus Thunderbolt port
- Huge screen estate
- Thunderbolt port
- 3 year LG guarantee
- 600 nits brightness
- Supports HDR
- Sound or brightness can’t be controlled from Mac keyboard
- 163 ppi isn’t retina quality
- Swivel requires mounting a stand
- No internal webcam
5. BenQ PD3220U 32 inch 4K Monitor IPS
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Apple Studio Display with an incredibly sharp picture and plenty of connectivity options then the 4K 32 inch BenQ PD3220U is a great option.
We think the BenQ PD3220U is arguably the best Apple Studio Display alternative for photo editing due to the incredible sharpness and color accuracy of its images.
The BenQ supports 4K at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels but is also an In-Plane Switching monitor (IPS) which uses liquid crystals in parallel to produce richer colors than most displays.
The BenQ PD3220U is squarely aimed at creative professionals and supports a DCI-P3 99% color gamut so it’s suitable for Adobe’s RGB profile.
The wide P3 gamut of the BenQ PD3220U is suitable for working with Adobe RGB profiled images and RAW photos which covers Rec BT 709 (although not up to Rec BT2020).
The pixel density of the BenQ PD3220U is a bit low however at just 140 ppi but it does support a 60Hz refresh rate and HDR.
The BenQ PD3220U has lots of connectivity options including two Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C ports, HDMI and DisplayPort.
This enables you to connect more than one BenQ PD3220U together (known as daisy-chaining) and one of the Thunderbolt ports will also charge a MacBook.
The BenQ PD3220U is one of the few monitors which also has a special Mac compatibility mode to automatically configure and optimize it for use with Macs.
Other nice touches to the BenQ PD3220U include an external HotKey puck to control the monitor with, KVM switch, ability to hot-swap color profiles and display two color profiles at once.
Typically for most external displays, the BenQ PD3220U also has internal speakers but the quality is poor. There’s no integrated webcam either.
On the downside, the maximum brightness of 350 nits which is just over half the 600 nits of the Apple Studio Display which could be a problem in highly lit working environments.
For creatives that need incredibly sharp images for color editing and excellent connectivity options, the BenQ PD3220U is a great alternative to the Apple Studio Display.
You can check out our full BenQ PD3220U review for more.
- Mac mode designed for connecting to Macs
- Fast user interface access via Hotkey Puck
- Amazing color depth thanks to wide P3 color gamut
- Thunderbolt 3 ports for daisy chaining other monitors
- Lots of other port connections
- Lack of brightness
- Internal speaker quality is poor
- No integrated webcam
Best Alternatives To Apple Studio Display Comparison Table
To help see how these alternatives to the Apple Studio Display compare, here’s a side-by-side comparison of the specifications and price.
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