WWDC19 | Apple's pricey US$4,999 Pro XDR display may actually be a good value
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Apple's new 32-inch Pro XDR display is a technical tour de force making it fitting companion for its beastly powerful companion, the all-new Mac Pro. While most will look at its US$4,999 asking price as being excessive, it is actually good buying at the price. In fact, Apple compared it to one of Sony's pro monitors targeted at film studios that its new monitor technically surpasses - Sony's asking price for its monitor? US$43,000, which makes the new Apple monitor a relative bargain for what it offers.
While Sony's reference monitors are capable of producing up to 1,000 nits of brightness, the new Pro XDR display from Apple can produce 1,000 constant nits of brightness up to a peak of 1,600 nits of brightness. This is coupled with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, matching a Sony reference monitor. This is actually good enough to take the display beyond a standard HDR rating to an XDR rating (Extreme Dynamic Range). Capping things off, the Pro XDR supports true 10-bit color, good for producing more than a billion colors. Its pixel density is Retina class as well, with 218 ppi versus typical monitors that max out at 150 ppi.
In addition to the standard US$4,999 model, Apple is also offering a variant for an additional $999. This 'nano-texture' option users laser etching at the nanometer level that avoids the typical pitfalls of matte displays that can produce unwanted haze and sparkle. As you might expect, it is equipped with Apple's True Tone tech while each of the display's 576 LEDs is individually calibrated. The refresh rate, however, is limited to 60 Hz. However, it is good enough to be used as a reference monitor for HDR video and Digital Cinema standards including P3-DCI and P3-D65 among several others.
Of course, the neither the US$4,999 Pro XDR or the US$5,999 Pro XDR with nano-texture glass comes with the stand that it is typically pictured with on Apple's website (or that you would expect to be standard). This is a mindboggling US$999 option, but it does use some sophisticated patented tech hidden within its custom hinge mechanism. It also packs in a Thunderbolt 3 connector with 96 W downstream charging support and three USB-C (USB 2.0) ports as well. So, even with the price of the stand factored in, the Pro XDR display from Apple is a good value for what it offers overall, even if studios aren't going to dump Sony's reference monitors overnight for their overall flexibility and wider range of reference capabilities.