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Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K: Which Desktop Monitor Is Best?

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K: Which Desktop Monitor Is Best?

Key Points:
  • The Apple Studio Display has a starting price of $1,599. The LG UltraFine 5K, on the other hand, offers the tilt and height-adjustable stand within its $1,299.99 base price.
  • The Apple Studio Display boasts a 600nit peak brightness, whereas the LG UltraFine 5K only offers 500nits.
  • The Apple Studio Display weighs in at 13.9 pounds with the stand included, while the LG UltraFine 5K comes in at a much heavier 18.7 pounds with the stand included.

As more and more people are converted to a desktop computer setup over the traditional laptop workspace, it makes sense why multiple tech companies would want to get in on the action. The benefits are plenty: supporting dual monitors, offering superior screen resolution and picture quality to even the best laptops on the market, bringing USB-C functionality where laptops fail to do the same… the list goes on and on.

Two of the biggest contenders on the monitor market? Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K. How do they compare, and which is best? This is going to be a close call. Not only are the Apple Studio Display and the LG UltraFine 5K remarkably similar in size, shape, resolution, and functionality, but the two are also made with very similar parts and hardware.

In order to determine how they compare and which is ultimately the best, we’re going to have to do some work. We’ll begin by pitting the Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K against one another head-to-head. Then, we’ll take a look at their key differences, their histories, and the pros and cons of each. In the end, we’ll be able to say with confidence which product is the best.

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K: Side-by-Side Comparison

Apple Studio DisplayLG UltraFine 5K
Released20222019
Screen Size27 inches27 inches
Screen Resolution5K UHD (5120 x 2880)5K UHD (5120 x 2880)
macOS Compatible?YesYes
Peak Brightness600 nits500 nits
Camera and Microphone?YesYes
Weight13.9 lbs18.7 lbs
Price$1,599.00$1,299.99
Infographic Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K: What’s the Difference?

The debate between the Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K can be boiled down to just a few key areas: price, brightness, and weight. The two monitors bear a striking number of resemblances, from screen size and resolution to macOS compatibility and USB-C support, but the following three differences are what ultimately set the two apart the most.

Price

Best Overall
Apple Studio Display
$1,499.00
  • 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
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 08:23 pm GMT

Firstly, there’s the price to consider. The Apple Studio Display comes in at a starting price of $1,599 — and that’s without all the add-ons Apple offers customers on top of that. There’s the optional $300 upcharge for glare-resistant nano-texture glass, and the optional $400 upgrade for a tilt and height-adjustable stand.

The LG UltraFine 5K, on the other hand, offers the tilt and height-adjustable stand within its $1,299.99 base price. No nano-texture glass is to be found here, of course, but it’s a lower price for more features. The LG UltraFine 5K wins this round.

Brightness

Secondly, there’s brightness — a major consideration when talking about desktop monitors, as it directly pertains to the overall visual performance of the device. The Apple Studio Display boasts a 600nit peak brightness, whereas the LG UltraFine 5K only offers 500nits.

That’s a difference of 100 nits, which can make the pair’s identical screen resolution and color gamut seem like two completely different screens entirely. The Apple Studio Display wins out here, and all it took was an additional 100 nits to do so.

Weight

LG 27MD5KL-B 27 Inch UltraFine 5K (5120 x 2880) IPS Display with macOS Compatibility, DCI-P3 99% Color Gamut and Thunderbolt 3 Port, Black
$999.00
  • 27 Inch 5K (5120 x 2880) IPS Display.Aspect ratio:16:9.Viewing Angle:178.0 degrees.Response time:14.0 milliseconds. Contrast Ratio 1100:1, Pixel Pitch (mm) 0.11685 x 0.11685 mm. Power Consumption...
  • DCI-P3 99% Color Gamut / 500nits Brightness
  • Thunderbolt 3 Port with up to 94W PD
  • 3 USB Type C Ports
  • Mac OS Compatibility
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 10:40 pm GMT

Lastly, there’s the overall weight. When it comes to phones, laptops, and tablets, the lighter the better. For desktop monitors, however, you almost want a little more weight to make sure the thing stays in place and doesn’t wobble around the desk while you type and work.

The Apple Studio Display weighs in at 13.9 pounds with the stand included, while the LG UltraFine 5K comes in at a much heavier 18.7 pounds with the stand included. Even without the stand, the LG UltraFine weighs in at 14.1 pounds. No matter what, it’s the heavier option of the two.

The History of the Apple Studio Display

While the Apple Studio Display might seem like a first-of-its-kind product from the tech giant, the truth is that Apple has dabbled with consumer displays numerous times before. It’s just been a while since they released an Apple-branded consumer display. (Over ten years, as a matter of fact.)

The Apple Studio Display comes a good eleven years after its spiritual predecessor: 2011’s Apple Thunderbolt Display, which was discontinued quietly in 2016. Interestingly enough, the Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K debate was spawned in the years between 2016 and 2022.

Collaboration with LG

You see, after discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display but before creating the Apple Studio Display, Apple actually worked with LG to create the UltraFine line of monitors. The two collaborated on the 21.5-inch LG UltraFine 4K and the 27-inch LG UltraFine 5K — the latter being the very same product we’re pitting against the Apple Studio Display here.

Apple even sold these monitors through the Apple Store for a time. When Apple pulled the LG UltraFines from their stores, however, the rumor mill began. Apple was clearly working on a new display of its own. Thus, the Apple Studio Display was born.

Birth of the Apple Studio Display

Officially announced on March 8th of 2022, and made available for purchase ten days later on March 18th, the Apple Studio Display was released alongside the lower-tier Mac Studio desktop workstation.

The Apple Studio display operates via the Studio Display firmware and relies on the Apple A13 Bionic system-on-a-chip (SOC). It offers 64 GB of memory and plenty of fun bonus features (such as its-speaker Spatial Audio sound system and its optional nano-textured glass to cut down on glare).

How the LG UltraFine 5K Competes

You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking the Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K debate is almost too close to name a true winner. Apple and LG even worked together on the UltraFines, for crying out loud. Of course, they’re going to be strikingly similar. The two monitors practically stem from the same source.

With that being said, however, the LG UltraFine 5K is still able to compete against the Apple Studio Display for a few key reasons. (And it’s about a lot more than just the lower price mentioned above, too.)

Firstly, there’s the fact that the LG UltraFine 5K has an adjustable tilt and height (not to mention the fact that the UltraFine’s stand can simply be removed). The Apple Studio Display doesn’t come with this feature as a default. You’ll have to shell out an additional $400 if you want to enjoy similar customizations for your Apple Studio Display.

Secondly, the LG UltraFine 5K is also a lot heavier and thicker than the Apple Studio Display, which actually works in its favor. It ends up feeling sturdier than the much lighter and thinner Studio Display by comparison.

Alas, most of the positives about the LG UltraFine 5K — its screen size, its USB-C connectivity, its webcam, its brightness, its color gamut, and so on — end up being outdone by the Apple Studio Display. The LG UltraFine 5K might have been able to compete quite adeptly when placed up against the discontinued Apple Thunderbolt Display.

But, in comparison to the Apple Studio Display, the LG UltraFine 5K starts looking like an inferior product. Sure, it’s far cheaper, but the Apple Studio Display is making it harder for it to actually compete anymore.

Apple Studio Display: Pros and Cons

Pros of Apple Studio DisplayCons of Apple Studio Display
Brighter screen than the LG UltraFine 5KMore expensive than the LG UltraFine 5K
Offers faster USB-C data transferCharges consumers more for a tilt and height-adjustable stand
Increased power through Thunderbolt portAdditional charge for the nano-texture glare-resistant glass
Equipped with A13 Bionic system-on-a-chipThe webcam isn’t great for the price

LG UltraFine 5K: Pros and Cons

Pros of LG UltraFine 5KCons of LG UltraFine 5K
Cheaper than the Apple Studio Display for the same screen resolutionNo longer as innovative as it seemed upon its release in 2019
Offers tilt and height adjustability at no added costLower peak brightness than Studio Display
Made in collaboration with AppleNo nano-texture glare-resistant glass
Offers numerous USB-C portsFaces the threat of discontinuation in the face of the Studio Display’s success

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K: 5 Must-Know Facts

  1. In addition to the 5K Apple Studio Display, the tech company also offers a 6K monitor in the form of the 32-inch Pro Display XDR.
  2. Before making the Studio Display, Apple actually worked with LG to create the UltraFine 4K and UltraFine 5K. This explains why the two are seemingly so evenly matched.
  3. 5K monitors have the added benefit of offering superior image quality, larger screen size, and peak brightness over your standard 4K display.
  4. The difference between a monitor and a display — especially when discussing the Apple Studio Display — is that a display has no buttons. Everything is controlled via the computer connected to the display.
  5. As of this writing, there are no 5K laptops available for consumers to purchase. If you want 5K quality, you have to opt for a 5K display, such as the Apple Studio Display or the LG UltraFine 5K.

Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K: Which One Is Best?

So, when it comes down to it, the Apple Studio Display vs LG UltraFine 5K competition is so close because they were made by similar minds. The LG UltraFine 5K came first, then the Apple Studio Display came second.

However, when determining the winner of this debate, the inverse is actually true. The Apple Studio Display deserves to come first, with the LG UltraFine 5K coming in as a close second. While it might sound surprising, it’s really no contest when you think about all the positives we’ve outlined in the sections above.

The Apple Studio Display and the LG UltraFine 5K have the same screen size and resolution. They both offer support for macOS. They both have webcams, microphones, USB-C ports, and so on.

But it’s the fact that the Apple Studio Display has a higher peak brightness, a better internal chip, a superior USB-C connection, and a superior slew of add-ons that really gives it the winning edge here. The LG UltraFine 5K is a great product, but the Apple Studio Display improves on every good thing about the UltraFine 5K and elevates it to much greater heights.

Up Next…

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Apple Studio Display?

The Apple Studio Display is a 27-inch flat panel computer display. It is designed to be used in conjunction with another Apple computer or laptop, serving as an additional screen in a multi-screen setup.

What is the LG UltraFine 5K?

Like the Apple Studio Display, the LG UltraFine 5K is a large, high-quality computer display used to connect with other computers in a multi-screen setup. It offers 5K resolution and functions as a dual monitor, which is something no laptop computer can offer today.

How many pixels does a 5K display have?

Both the Apple Studio Display and the LG UltraFine 5K display offer 5120p x 2880p on a 27-inch screen.

What's more affordable, the Apple Studio Display or the LG UltraFine 5K?

The LG UltraFine 5K retails for $1,299, while the Apple Studio Display sells for $1,599. The former is by far the more affordable display.

What's the difference between a display and a monitor?

The difference between a display and a monitor is kind of like the difference between a rectangle and a square. All monitors have a display, but not all displays qualify as monitors.

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