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Apple launches "XDR" Pro monitor with 6K resolution

11 Dec 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

First unveiled in June, Apple's Pro monitor with 6K resolution is now available starting at $5000. It is probably a very, very good monitor, but it is not "XDR".


Apple believes that it has created the "world’s best pro display and the perfect companion to the all-new Mac Pro". The company's 'Pro Display XDR' features an 10-bit LCD panel with 6K resolution (6016x3384 pixels). Behind the LCD panel there is a 576-zone LED backlight.

Apple Pro Display XDR

It is Apple's first HDR monitor and it is nothing to sneeze at. The company says that it can deliver up to 1600 nits peak brightness and sustain 1000 nits full-screen brightness. It also covers the DCI-P3 color space. Impressive specifications for any type of display.
But it is not "XDR" or as the company puts it; "far beyond HDR, it’s Extreme Dynamic Range (XDR)". And it is a little unfortunate that Apple has seen it necessary to move beyond HDR marketing terms even with its very first HDR monitor. In fact, current HDR standards go far beyond the capabilities of this monitor. Up to 4000 or even 10000 nits, depending on the format. And a BT.2020 color space, which is wider than the DCI-P3 color gamut. For illustrative purposes, Apple's monitor would fall between the BT.2020 box and the BT.709 boxes in the picture on the right that depicts color volume for one of the current HDR formats. We suspect that it is an effort to distinguish the monitor from all of the 'DisplayHDR' certified monitors on the market. Generally, these monitors have very little to do with HDR but fancy names sell. FlatpanelsHD has on a number of occasions explained why you should ignore the DisplayHDR logo - Apple is ignoring it too.

Apple Pro Display XDR

For professionals

Apple's Pro monitor is certainly not cheap but is not targeted towards consumers either. It has been designed for professionals working with video, photography, games, and other creative industries who are transitioning to HDR. The same professionals that help create the HDR content that you enjoy on your TV. If a creator wants to go all-in, he or she can even connect up to six Apple Pro monitors to a single Mac Pro through Thunderbolt 3. There are other HDR monitors available, including far more expensive reference monitors used in studios. But those monitors are completely out of reach for most people. With its Pro monitor, Apple is starting to lay the foundation for HDR in macOS, which will benefit consumers at some point in the future.

Apple Pro Display XDR

Apple is highlighting support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG on its specifications sheet, but it is a little unclear if the monitor has built-in reference modes for all three HDR formats. Apple's 'Pro Display XDR' is available now on for $5000 with standard glass and an additional $1000 for a nano-textured coating. An adjustable stand costs $1000 and a VESA compatible mount adapter costs $200.

Apple Pro Display XDR - specifications

Display - 32-inch (diagonal) IPS LCD display with oxide TFT technology - Resolution: 6016 by 3384 pixels (20.4 million pixels) at 218 pixels per inch - Aspect ratio: 16:9 - Brightness: 1000 nits sustained (full screen), 1600 nits peak - Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1 - Color: P3 wide color gamut, 10-bit depth for 1.073 billion colors - SDR brightness: 500 nits - Viewing angle: Superwide angle with high-fidelity color and contrast at 89º left, 89º right, 89º up, 89º down - Fully laminated; 1.65% reflectivity (typical) - 2D backlighting system using 576 full array local dimming zones - Apple-designed timing controller (TCON) chip engineered to precisely control high-speed modulation of both 20.4 million LCD pixels and 576 LEDs in backlight for seamless synchronization - True Tone technology with dual ambient light sensor (ALS) design to ensure an accurate viewing experience in any ambient lighting condition
Reference modes: - Pro Display XDR (P3-1600 nits) - Apple Display (P3-500 nits) - HDR Video (P3-ST 2084) - HDTV Video (BT.709-BT.1886) - NTSC Video (BT.601 SMPTE-C) - PAL and SECAM Video (BT.601 EBU) - Digital Cinema (P3-DCI) - Digital Cinema (P3-D65) - Design and Print (P3-D50) - Photography (P3-D65) - Internet and Web (sRGB)

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