Apple Studio Display vs. Dell UltraSharp: Are Dell’s 27- and 32-Inch Monitors in the Same League?

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K

Apple Studio Display vs. Dell UltraSharp: Are Dell’s 27- and 32-Inch Monitors in the Same League?

Key Points

  • The Apple Studio Display and Dell Ultrasharp are compared in terms of performance, image quality, audio support, inputs and outputs, and system compatibility.
  • The Apple Studio Display has a 5K Retina display with standard Apple features, but suffers from a 60Hz refresh rate and lack of HDR support.
  • The Dell Ultrasharp series offers 4K resolution, IPS panels, a 75Hz refresh rate, and HDR10 support, making them better for media consumption.
  • The Apple Studio Display has built-in speakers and microphones, while the Dell monitors have no audio support.
  • The Apple Studio Display is compatible with Macs but lacks advanced functionality on other systems, while the Dell monitors are platform-agnostic.

Who wins between the Apple Studio Display vs. Dell UltraSharp? Apple’s Studio Display has been the cream of the crop when considering Mac-centered displays. However, the Dell UltraSharp line presents an excellent value.

Shopping for monitors is daunting with the slew of features and display technologies out there. If you don’t keep up with the newest tech, it can be hard to discern what is the best option for your needs.

Today’s guide will be pitting the Apple Studio Display against the Dell U2723QE and U3223QE from the UltraSharp line. All of these are premium monitors which are superb for productivity work.

You might find yourself wondering which is worth a purchase, so let’s dive in and see which is the best.

Apple Studio Display vs. Dell UltraSharp: Side-by-Side Comparison

Apple Studio DisplayDell UltraSharp
Resolution5K Retina4K
Display Size27 inches27 and 32 inches, respectively
Refresh Rate60Hz75Hz
Display TypeIPSIPS
HDR SupportNoYes

There are some noticeable differences between all three displays that you can see right away. These differences will get more pronounced with a deeper dive.

Apple Studio Display vs. Dell UltraSharp: What’s the Difference?

With the specs taken care of, it’s now time to take a closer look at how these three monitors actually stack up against one another. The Dell line does share some similarities with the UltraSharp series. However, there are some wildly different capabilities at play just between the 27 and 32-inch monitors.


Great for Macs
Apple Studio Display
  • Immersive 27-inch 5K Retina display with 600 nits of brightness, support for one billion colors, and P3 wide color
  • 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage for more engaging video calls
  • Studio-quality three-mic array for crystal-clear calls and voice recordings
  • Six-speaker sound system with Spatial Audio for an unbelievable listening experience
  • One Thunderbolt 3 port, three USB-C ports
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09/17/2023 09:06 pm GMT

The Apple Studio Display is a 5K Retina display boasting excellent color reproduction. It comes loaded with standard Apple features you might expect from an iMac, including speakers, a webcam, and microphones.

It does suffer from only having a 60Hz refresh rate, which severely hinders responsiveness when gaming.

The Dell UltraSharp series comes in 4K resolution, with a 27 and 32-inch model. Both of these panels are IPS with a 75Hz refresh rate. Unlike the Apple Studio Display, these monitors do have support for HDR10 out of the box.

They aren’t the best fit for the likes of gaming, but do quite well with media consumption. If you’re the sort of user to watch movies while you work, these could be an excellent choice.

Image Quality

Great for Windows
Dell UltraSharp U3223QE
  • You can tilt, swivel, pivot, and adjust the height of the monitor
  • Brightness: 400 nits
  • 75 Hz refresh rate
  • 31.5-inch screen (16:9 widescreen resolution)
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09/18/2023 12:27 pm GMT

The Apple Studio Display has a fairly stellar image with some caveats behind it. You can only configure display settings readily with a Mac, as it lacks any physical controls to do so. That aside, it is held back by a lack of HDR support and a poorer contrast ratio.

With full motion video, this means you’ll be seeing grayish blacks and blueish whites. For design work, this isn’t as much of a concern as you can set color profiles as needed for more accurate reproduction.

The Dell UltraSharp 27-inch has a better contrast ratio than the Apple Studio Display. It does have deeper blacks by design but still will be held back by grays and whites. Local dimming is edge-based on both Dell monitors, so you aren’t getting access to superb colors like an OLED panel.

The 32-inch Dell UltraSharp has even more contrast than the 27-inch model, but it doesn’t really improve the quality of the overall image. You’re still getting crushed grays and blueish whites.

That said, the 27-inch Dell UltraSharp does come with great color calibration out of the box. You won’t have to fuss too much to get a great base level for design work.

Audio Support

Mac Mini vs. Mac Studio
The Apple Studio Display comes with some extra features that make it worth considering.

©Jack Skeens/Shutterstock.com

The Apple Studio Display comes with six speakers housed in the display itself. These sound great and have minimal distortion when pushed to higher volumes. They are also Dolby Atmos compatible, meaning you can experience spatial sound without having to invest in a new speaker system.

The Apple Studio Display also comes with a trio of microphones included, which have active technology to cancel out noise and get the best possible signal. This isn’t a straight replacement for a dedicated external microphone.

Both of the Dell monitors have no considerations for audio, just functioning solely as a standalone monitor. They do have outputs for 3.5mm audio, so you can plug up headphones or external speakers.

That said, they are less than half the cost of the Studio Display, so you can’t expect all the bells and whistles. The speaker and microphone setups aren’t a huge selling point for the Studio Display, as you may already have suitable external solutions for those already.

Inputs and Outputs

The Apple Studio Display comes with four ports on the back of the device itself. You get a single Thunderbolt port and three additional USB Type-C connectors. The Thunderbolt is capable of supplying power to the likes of a MacBook running an M1 or M2 chip. You get 96 watts of power readily available.

The Dell UltraSharp 27 and 32-inch monitors come with a single DisplayPort and HDMI input. The HDMI input is only rated for HDMI 2.0, so you will be missing out on the features of HDMI 2.1. For most modern uses this should be more than enough, especially for a PC.

There is an aforementioned 3.5mm audio jack, which is perfectly usable. It doesn’t have any fancy features, it just happens to be there if you don’t feel like plugging headphones into your laptop or desktop.

Both Dell UltraSharp monitors come with additional USB ports, so they can function as USB hubs. You get that on top of the aforementioned display inputs. There are five USB-A ports and an additional three USB-C ports.

This is a great inclusion to have and hopefully makes its way to other monitors. You get the flexibility of standard display inputs while also getting additional precious USB ports for connecting other peripherals to your computer as needed.

System Compatibility

Best Overall
Dell UltraSharp U2723QE
  • 27" 4K display resolution
  • Brightness: 400 nits
  • 75Hz refresh rate
  • Response time: 5ms
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09/18/2023 11:37 am GMT

The Apple Studio Display is built with Macs in mind, so it certainly excels when using it in that capacity. It can run on Windows and Linux operating systems, but you won’t get access to any of the more advanced display functionality.

If you’re looking to change color profiles or something else along those lines, you’ll need a Mac.

The Dell UltraSharp monitors are platform-agnostic, meaning you can use them with all compatible systems. They work just fine with Macs, though you might need to adjust the scaling.

The 27-inch looks especially great with Windows and Linux systems, which handle text rendering and anti-aliasing differently.

Apple Studio Display vs. Dell UltraSharp: 6 Must-Know Facts

  1. The Apple Studio Display is functionally identical to a 27-inch iMac screen.
  2. The Apple Studio Display has a subpar webcam.
  3. The Dell UltraSharp 27-inch is the best buy in the UltraSharp line.
  4. The Dell UltraSharp 27-inch is a decent choice for gaming.
  5. The Dell UltraSharp 32-inch has better contrast than the smaller model.
  6. The Dell UltraSharp 32-inch can look washed out when watching HDR media.

Apple Studio Display vs. Dell UltraSharp: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

The Dell UltraSharp 27-inch takes the crown in this monitor shootout. It presents fantastic value while also looking great on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Sure, it does lack the more majestic size of its larger 32-inch sibling, but it hits the sweet spot of a large display at an affordable price.

The Apple Studio Display is a great option if you’re looking to get iMac functionality out of your MacBook or other Apple computers. However, it is one of the pricier dedicated monitors on the market and lacks key functionality with HDR content.

The Dell UltraSharp 32-inch is the odd one out but is a good pick if you don’t mind slightly washy HDR playback. 4K resolution does excel on larger screens, so you’ve got plenty of real estate to optimize your work experience.

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