Assembling the best Studio Monitor alternative with cam/speakers for $800 or less

I’m upgrading from an 8 year old iMac to the Mac Studio, but that means I need a new monitor. The new one looks great but it’s out of my budget. So what’s the closest thing I can get for around $800 or less?

By “closest” I mean:

  • 27 inches
  • 4K or 5K (probably 4K at this price point)
  • Speakers can be built-in or not; I usually wear headphones so they don’t need to be amazing, and I’d prefer they don’t take up much desk space. What speakers do you use?
  • Web camera for video conferencing; doesn’t need to be built in. What web camera do you use?

I know a lot of people have been using LG monitors. What about ASUS? Dell? This one by ASUS looks nice but the price point makes me wonder what it’s missing:

I’m sort of swimming in options and haven’t looked at monitors in years, so I have no idea if this is the sort of thing that’s easy to get wrong or if IPS LCD 4K panels have come a long way and a lot of them are good.

Use case: photo and video editing

Any advice would be appreciated!

Apple’s LG UltraFine 4K Display - Apple is a beautiful, fairly economical, 4K 24-inch display that puts out 85W (is that enough for your “Studio?”) and enough ports that you won’t need a separate dock.

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I don’t think the Mac Studio takes power over USB-C. It’s got a desktop-style 3-prong power plug.

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Oops, I’m thinking like a MacBook Air owner!

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I have two of these and they’ve been amazing. They provide power over USB-C and they have a hub built-in. Granted, the hub is limited to USB 2.0 unfortunately, but it’s fine for giving power to accessories, charging, etc…

ThinkVision P27U-10 (27" 4k) - $450

You may also want to consider their newer model which uses Thunderbolt 4 in/out ($600):


Interesting, I’ll check it out.

Ah, this is nice. But I’m looking for 27".

LG 27" Ultrafine 5K from eBay. I got mine from eBay in 2019, and am still thrilled to use it every day.

Worth noting the built-in speakers and webcam are not great. I paired the screen with:

  • Logitech Pro C920e webcam
  • PreSonus Eris E3.5 BT speakers

I agree, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 BT speakers are good, and they are reasonably priced. Unless you are fond of “booming” bass sound, a separate subwoofer is not necessary for pleasing sound quality.

I purchased a pair of these a week ago but will return them due to Apple’s pleasant surprise with the Studio Display containing good speakers. If my experience with recent 27" iMac speakers is any guide, the Studio Display speakers should be more than acceptable. Thanks, Apple for saving me the $100 cost of the Personus speakers! Wait … I forgot about the pesky $1599 price of the Studio Display. Oh well, it’s only money, right?

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You might consider the Dell 27 4K UHD USB-C Monitor - S2722QC. This is the model with USB-C connectivity, With decent ports, 4K, 163 pixels/inch resolution, this might hit the sweet spot for features vs. cost. Now available directly from the Dell website (US) for $379. Dell’s shipping, warranty and return policies are excellent - much better than those of LG, in my opinion.

For comparison, I have experience with the following two Dell monitors:

1 - U2518D used for a few years as a second (“extended display”) monitor with good results. This one is 25", 2560x1440, 118 pixels/inch resolution. Better than 1080p, but noticeably worse than 4k or Apple’s “Retina” resolution.

2 - Dell U4021QW, a 40" Ultrawide with 140 pixels/inch resolution and good color accuracy. The resolution is good, noticeably better than the U2518D mentioned above. The 140 ppi pixel resolution is not quite up to Apple’s “Retina” quality (Studio Display is 214 pixels/inch). Although recently purchased, I will be returning this (still in return window) due to Apple surprise announcement of the Studio Display monitor with good speakers and webcam.

Based on my experience with the other Dell monitors, the Dell S2722QC is worth considering. It has a decent stand and speakers that are useable but not great. The low price of the monitor would allow adding the PreSonus Eris E3.5 BT speakers mentioned in a previous post. You’re on your own for a webcam :grinning:

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Used LG 5k. Or refurbished.

I have a refurbished 4k as my side monitor and it works just fine.

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I am very happy with this Dell 32"…

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I bought a Dell 2721q and am very happy with it. I’ll probably buy another one too
In terms of webcams, I bought a Logitech 920. I went with this after I mentioned to my daughter that I was looking fire a 4K camera and she said that’s 3k’s too many for my audience!

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I’ve been very happy with my budget monitors. My last was a 27" Asus 1080p that still works fine after 8 years. Replaced to relieve my aging eyes with a higher resolution 4K 27" monitor from AOC. A budget display from Amazon, less than $300. No speakers. Connectivity is 2 USB and 1 Display port.

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