With the unveiling of Apple’s new 27-inch Studio 5K display earlier this month, it immediately drew comparisons to LG’s similar UltraFine 5K display that’s been on the market for several years.
The LG display is $300 cheaper than the Studio Display, and while availability has been spotty, LG says it will continue to be available, so we decided to compare the two displays to see which is better. value for money.
With both 27-inch screens and the same 5K resolution, the overall viewing experience is similar between the two screens, although the Studio display can reach a brightness of 600 nits while the UltraFine peaks at 500 nits, which results in a noticeable difference.
The Studio Display also wins out when it comes to color and contrast, as it looks a bit more vibrant than the UltraFine while delivering deeper blacks and sharper highlights without blowing out highlights. The UltraFine has also had many complaints over the years about image retention or “burn-in”, something we’ve certainly experienced with our own units, and have yet to see problems with this on the Studio screen.
Beyond the display itself, both models include several additional features, one of the main ones being a webcam. Both screens have 1080p webcams, but the Studio Display’s 12-megapixel Ultrawide camera with Center Stage driven by the integrated A13 chip is designed to help you stay centered in the frame and incorporate additional people as they enter. and go out of sight.
Unfortunately for the Studio Display, we’ve seen the same poor image quality issues that many previous users have complained about, so until the issues are resolved with updates, we have to say the UltraFine and the Studio Display have a fairly similar webcam quality, which is to say not great.
When it comes to audio, the Studio Display’s speakers easily take the win, delivering a decent amount of low-end and full sound that should be enough for most users. Both displays’ microphones worked well in our tests, and we didn’t really have a reason to prefer one over the other, although audio captured by the Studio Display might sound a bit fuller. .
For connectivity, both displays offer a Thunderbolt port and three rear USB-C ports, but the Studio Display’s USB-C ports support faster 10Gbps transfers, so you’ll see better performance for more demanding accessories like external drives.
Looking at the overall design, the Studio Display wins hands down. Constructed primarily of aluminum, the Studio Display looks and feels premium, while the UltraFine is encased in thick black plastic.
The Studio Display was criticized for only shipping with tilt adjustment by default, with an improved tilt- and height-adjustable stand representing a $400 upgrade. The LG UltraFine includes the ability to adjust both tilt and height and the stand can be easily removed if you want to convert to a VESA mount, but the screen does have a bit of wobble.
Overall, the Studio Display seems like the better buy, even taking into account the $300+ price premium over the LG UltraFine. With better design and build quality, a superior display panel, and LG’s history of issues like image retention and reports of compatibility issues, the Studio Display has fewer compromises and should last many years. The webcam remains a key issue that needs fixing, but it’s something that Apple should be able to fix through firmware updates.