What monitor do you plan on using with your fancy new laptops?

I’ve been using an iMac Pro for a while, which I bought because the pro laptops were unanimously awful (for me) for years. Now that the laptops look great, I thought about replacing my iMac and MacBook Air with one of the new MacBook Pros and going back to a single machine for portable and desk use.

But the external monitor situation is still kind of terrible… If I want a Cinema Display like experience, are my only options really the Pro Display XDR and the Ultrafine 5K? The Ultrafine feels like a rubber toy, and the Pro Display XDR is insanely expensive (and kind of feels like it might be due for an update).

What monitors are you using these days? Is there anything as nice as those old Thunderbolt / Cinema Displays out there?

I’ve got one of the old 21.5" UltraFine 4K monitors that will probably move to my desk at work. Only question is whether the 60W that it can provide over USB-C will be enough to make it a one-cable docking solution.

Long term, I’m waiting for a new Apple consumer display, either to use with the MBP directly or to replace the two Dell 24" monitors I’ve got connected to my iMac, which would then replace the UltraFine.

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I keep forgetting about those new Apple display rumours. With that in mind, maybe it would make sense to get the Ultrafine for now, hoping it will be replaced in a year or two with something a little nicer… Lots to chew on.


If I need more real estate, I just connect my old and trusty 2011 iMac. Yeah, it has nowhere near the resolution of a 5K but it is still a decent display with enough light to enjoy it (rather than using a higher res display with barely enough nits).

Many moons ago, I swore by a dual display set up (Windows system). But nowadays the 16" mbpro suits many tasks, particularly when smartly splattering the apps across multiple workspaces. Though CAD/drawing tasks still benefit from a nice big display and every once in a while I put up LogicPro which can get a little annoying to navigate on 16".

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A non-Retina screen (or at least, a low-DPI screen) would be a dealbreaker for me. At this point, I feel like I need it.

I have a 24” ViewSonic HD monitor I use for photo editing…and it works fine for now.

One of these days we are going to move and have more space…then I will likely set up a dual 4K setup. But for now, my 24” and my 16” MBP will serve me well!

As I have written elsewhere before, the only viable option for me could be the BenQ PD3220U, which should come pretty close to Apples Color calibration and quality - so I would hope at least :blush:. I don’t have any experience with that but I would consider this - besides the Apple XDR Display :innocent:.

I’ve really been hoping Apple brings their displays back to market…beyond the Pro XDR. I love their display technology!

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I’m going to learn Final Cut Pro and start creating videos to complement my photography.

I use these. It’s hard to use anything else after you get used to 3840 x 2160 of actual, workable, non-miniaturized, non-interpolated real estate per monitor.

Only thing is I make sure to calibrate them with my own colorimeter and/or spectrophotometer since they aren’t strictly speaking marketed as graphic design monitors which is part of my work.

Do you also calibrate your Apple displays? (That could read as snark, but I’m genuinely curious if it makes much of a difference.)

Edit to add: Do your Apple displays have True Tone in them? Do you turn that off after calibrating, assuming you calibrate? Depending who you ask, True Tone either makes colours less accurate or more accurate. (I’d tend to believe it makes colours more accurate, since the colour temperature of the room you’re in being anything less than 6500k would change your perceived colour of what you see on a computer, and is the biggest bummer with leaving the lights on while watching the TV.)

I respectively disagree with this comment @snelly I been using the 5K ultrafine since 2016 and I love it. I agree its not as nice looking (i am referring to the body of the monitor) as the Apple XDR display but for my work, it does the job wonderfully. Its a beautiful 5K display.

Apple needs to make non-pro consumer friendly monitors to complement its non-pro customer base.

it seems silly for me to spend more on monitor (apple xdr) than the top of the line MacBook Pro M1 Max

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Pro Display XDR (with a stand!) $5998
Top of the line M1 Mac 16" MBP $6099

The computer is a whole $101 more expensive than the monitor. :wink:

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More seriously, based on my experience with the UltraFine 4K, I agree with Marco Arment: It’s…fine. It’s a good panel, in an average PC grade enclosure, with reasonable but not great supporting functionality (USB-C hub, etc.). Fine. So kudos for LG for accurate naming. It’s exactly what it says on the tin.

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Two can play this game…, with the nano texture glass XDR Pro and stand, the monitor is $6998… lol… therefore my statement is correct lol

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Skip the nano texture display. The special polishing cloth is backordered anyway:


exact same IO as the Pro XDR display…therefore, in that regard, Apple has done as well as LG.

personally, my ultrafine is my hub. Nothing connects to my Macbook. everything connects to the Monitor and I have over time switched everything to USB C. The only one I couldn’t was ethernet but I am now on wifi and that is sufficient.

Non issue mate @ChrisUpchurch Just order the PRO XDR display which includes this cloth……

Absolutely I calibrate my Apple displays too. After all, the point of calibration is for things to look as close to each other as possible across different screens or your screen and in print. And, when I need to work on something color-accurate I disable True Tone and/or Night Shift.

My comment about calibrating the LG was more along the lines of “if you don’t want to spend money on a colorimeter, you can pretty much ‘trust’ an Apple display out of the factory, or a display otherwise advertised for graphics work out of the factory, unless you’re quite serious with your color work. With the LG, I’m not sure I’d trust its color out of the factory if color accuracy is a factor in your work.”

I also used to have the 5K Ultrafine way back when and it was very meh. I didn’t like how plastic-y it felt, and I wanted a glass cover on the display. I agree with Chris and Marco: it’s fine. Just not great.

We’ve been stuck with it since the genesis of the butterfly keyboard. I’m amazed Apple hasn’t rectified the situation by now.