CNET: Apple’s $5,000 Pro Display XDR is an insanely great deal

With Retina 6K resolution, gorgeous color and extreme brightness and contrast ratio, Pro Display XDR is the world’s best pro display.
With Retina 6K resolution, gorgeous color and extreme brightness and contrast ratio, Pro Display XDR is the world’s best pro display.

Apple’s new Pro Display XDR ($5,000) is not a successor to the Apple Cinema Display, it’s a competitor to $30,000 monitors from Sony and Flanders Scientific, and it’s an insanely great deal, Jason Hiner writes for CNET:

The announcement of the new Apple Pro Display XDR was greeted with stunned enthusiasm during the WWDC 2019 keynote in June. But the stunning wasn’t done. A few moments later the crowd learned the price tag — $5,000 for the base model and $7,000 if you also purchase the matte finish along with Apple’s pro monitor stand. You could feel the enthusiasm deflate a little bit when the price went up on the screen at the San Jose Convention Center.

But what the audience didn’t realize — and Apple didn’t explain all that clearly at the WWDC keynote — was that this is not simply the 5K display from the latest iMac ($1,727 at Walmart) couched in a fancy new box to match the revival of the new Mac Pro. This is also not a successor to the 2011 Apple Cinema Display ($789 at Amazon) or the 2016 Apple Thunderbolt Display — which each measured about 27 inches and cost around $1,000.

This is a 32-inch 6K display that is brighter (1,600 nits) than almost any display that any of us have seen before and offers groundbreaking color accuracy that could make $30,000 to $40,000 “reference displays” from Sony and Flanders Scientific obsolete. The fact that some of the world’s most creative professionals can now put one on their desk for $5,000 is incredibly disruptive, and unexpected.

MacDailyNews Take: Hiner seems to agree with our earlier takes on the subject, writing: Despite all the social media shade thrown at the price of the Pro Stand, the fact that Apple has created such an aspirational product has created plenty of demand in the Mac ecosystem for a less expensive Apple-branded display. And since Apple has clearly invested so much into making a cutting-edge computer monitor, it would be surprising if the Pro Display XDR is the only product it makes. A separate (lower-priced) prosumer monitor and improved displays of future versions of the iMac would make a lot of sense…


  1. Just go look around the net with “Sony reference monitor” as a example. We are talking well over $10K. So the Pro XDR, if Apple is taking the PRO claim seriously is darn cheap. So cheap that big studios could snob it because of its low price…

      1. No. You must come from the broadcast market where SDI is the ideal transport protocol; cams, decks, monitors and mixers are mostly SDI(3g, 6g, 12g). This statment is not so true anymore in the film studio or in post-production studio. Nowaday cams can record to disk, entire film can be up in the cloud ready for the next step into the process. AJA, Black Magic, Miranda and the like will be more than pleased to sell you their overprice dongle to acquire or distribute SDI signal format. Where this monitor shine, if it is Pro, its is 11 references profiles, its 6k resolution, its 32″ size, its contrast ratio and its 3 usb-c connectors and one thunderbolt3. I highly doubt Apple as been making this products for broadcast as their primal market.

  2. I think the main thing people thought was bad about the Pro Display XDR was the $999 optional stand. 4K studio reference monitors can certainly cost more than Apple’s Pro Display XDR, so I don’t think the high value of the display itself was ever in doubt. I guess I’ll never understand why people are always triggered about the cost of Apple products unless they actually want them so badly and can’t afford them.

    I’m not walking around badmouthing Ferrari or Porsche for selling cars that would be difficult for me to afford. I like those cars but I can always drive something else I can afford. I don’t really want to own such cars because they come with their own special problems of maintenance, high insurance and worries about damage.

    Apple is selling a workstation-class Mac Pro and associated high-end monitor and that’s great for those who need it. It has nothing to do with me although I absolutely appreciate the entire design of that Mac Pro which should have immediately followed the 2012 cheese-grater Mac Pro. Anyone who thinks it should have cost $3000 is crazy. I’ve seen all the tear-down videos. See Snazzy Labs Mac Pro extreme tear-down video on YouTube:

    That Mac Pro is designed to the max. It’s like an aerospace design with such great airflow characteristics. Sorry, but anyone who says the Mac Pro is not worth the price, simply doesn’t understand it or need it. I don’t know much about the entire world of workstations but this is truly a workstation-class design when it comes to modular design.

  3. WHY is it cheaper? I mean how did they make it cheaper? Is it not as good as the other more expensive ones in some way, or are they losing money, or were the others just charging more than they should have been? Just curious. Setting the background of my MacBook to the same picture as the PDXDR picture is about as close as I will get to having/needing one.

    1. I think the market leaders in this area must have been using similar processes and, as they were making good money on it, they didn’t have an impetus to even try making it cheaper. I’m sure some of the Pro’s Apple invited to their campus let Apple know that they’d REALLY like a cheaper reference monitor. Apple looked into it, saw where they could enter the market with a feature set and price that soundly beats the competition and voila, new monitor at an unheard of quality and unheard of price.

      Of course, now I must go search to find the answer to the question, because I also am curious 🙂

  4. Silly Apple, should have bundled the stand in with the monitor for $6k and no one would be the wiser; then offer a $500 credit if you are going to VESA mount it instead. Would have made more money that way and no one would have complained.

    1. Exactly! That approach would likely have avoided most of the Apple price bashing. It should have come bundled with the stand. Then Apple could has said, “But many pro users prefer to use VESA mounts. So, you have the option of ordering the monitor without the stand and the cost will drop by $500!”

  5. “But what the audience didn’t realize — and Apple didn’t explain all that clearly at the WWDC keynote — was that this is not simply the 5K display from the latest iMac…”

    Seriously? It seemed very clear to me during the keynote that this was a professional monitor that exceeded the specs of current $30+Kreference monitors. Apple showed the head-to-head comparison and went through each of the specifications individually. The explanation was very clear. How can anyone have failed to understand it?

    This is a pro device with pro performance ant semi-pro pricing. Yet, Apple once again gets blasted for overpricing despite the fact that the pro monitor is a tremendous bargain – for the right people.

  6. So, Apple is the brand that doesn’t just empower a consumer customer (high end hardware at affordable entry price), but also Apple empowers the professional (high end hardware at affordable entry price)

    Apple is about empowerment.

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