If you’re reading this on an Apple Pro Display XDR you’re probably very happy with your monitor. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s bright, and it’s got an Apple logo on it. But how much are people really willing to pay for that logo?
The Pro Display XDR retails for an eye-watering $4,999 and that’s without a stand of course. So what if I told you that a similar 6K 32-inch monitor could be bought from Dell for just $3,199.99? That should be enough to whet the appetite, right?
It really should, because this is the monitor that Apple should make. It probably won’t. But it should, because it would absolutely be the best monitor for graphic design, the best monitor for video editing, and overall the best business monitor for creative industries you’re going to find.
All the specs you need
Let’s take a look at what the not-very-snappily-named Dell U3224KB has to offer, shall we?
We already know that it matches the Pro Display XDR in terms of size (32 inches) and resolution (6K, if you please) but what else?
Well, the Dell is DisplayHDR600 certified which is a decent rating to have. Assuming this thing tops out at 600 peak brightness, that’s plenty for the vast majority of people out there. Although it has to be said it’s lacking compared to Apple’s 1,600-nit peak rating.
If you need that brightness you’re already using a Pro Display XDR. But if not, it’s worth looking at what this monitor does have. Because it has a lot.
It starts with a 4K HDR webcam and a pair of 14W speakers. Echo-canceling microphones should ensure you sound great on your next conference call, while USB-C and USB-A ports aplenty ensure you’ll never need another hub again. Oh, and the included Thunderbolt 4 connector can push up to 140W of power to a laptop — perfect for even the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
But wait. There’s more!
How about connecting two computers at once and using the Dell as some kind of KVM switch so you can use your keyboard and mouse with them both? That sounds pretty good, right? Yes, yes it does. And that’s enough on its own to push this into the realm of being the best Mac monitor around.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though. I already mentioned the brightness, but you also have to make do with a 60Hz refresh rate so there’s no buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh here. Not that the Pro Display XDR has it either, but still. It’s worth noting. Oh, and this monitor uses an LG IPS panel — there’s no mention of full array local dimming like the Pro Display XDR boasts.
But again, it’s “just” $3,199. Sure, that’s still a lot of money. But not when you look at some of the prices on many of the best 5K and 8K monitors, which are across the board premium-priced. And then there are all those bells and whistles thrown in as well.
With all of that said it’s probably time to admit that Apple ought to launch something like this to sit between the excellent but expensive Pro Display XDR and the cheaper but less brilliant Studio Display. It’s upcoming Apple WWDC 2023 would be the prefect time, honestly, and in a world where 6K 32-inch monitors aren’t falling from trees, I’d like to see more options across the board. And if it could have that Apple logo and some of those ports and features I’d be even happier.