Apple Pro Display XDR Review: Should You Buy One?

It’s been a few years since Apple made a static display as they have instead opted to push their MacBooks in recent times. However, Apple now introduces the new high-end Apple Pro Display XDR stand-alone display. This is an aggressive attempt for Apple to take back some of the display screen market with screens like LG’s 5K displays currently dominating it. Even Apple has previously pushed people towards LG for a good display option in the past.

Apple is trying to go one further than the now-discontinued Thunderbolt Display. In this Apple Pro Display XDR review, we’ll be looking at some of the reasons why you might want to buy it and some of the reasons you might want to avoid it.


Like any Apple product in existence, the Apple Pro Display XDR is stunning to look at. The screen is a massive 32-inches end-to-end glass display and has only 9mm edges making it visually striking. The screen is enclosed in a 1-inch thin enclosure. The front of the display is very minimal as you’d expect but the rear side is just as nice looking as the front. Apple has designed a new vent system that looks like it belongs on an alien aircraft. The lattice pattern that stretches across the back of the display is supposed to increase air-flow and reduce the weight of the whole unit.

Apple Pro Display XDR review

On the rear side, you’ll also find 3 USB-C ports, a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port and the power cable port so very minimal across the board in terms of design. There’s also a magnetic connector located in the center of the rear side for easy attach/detach with the Pro stand available separately. Whilst the front of the display’s trim is black, the back of the device is the classic Apple silver we’ve all come to love.

In terms of viewing angles, it boasts: super-wide angle with high-fidelity colour and contrast at 89º left, 89º right, 89º up, 89º down.

The whole unit weighs 7.48 kgs and has a height of 41.2 cm, a width of 71.8cm and a depth of 1.1 inches making it very light and visually gorgeous.


The actual display of the Apple Pro Display XDR is composed of many different layers all tightly packed into the 1-inch width of the design. The LED backlighting system with local dimming and a contrast ratio of up to 1600 nits peak brightness. The Retina 6K panel powers over 20 million pixels in true 10-bit color so very good color accuracy indeed. On top of this lays the reflective diffuser plate, color transformation sheet, micro-lens array and LCD panel.

Apple Pro Display XDR review

The XDR comes with the 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. The True Tone technology with dual ambient light sensor (ALS) design to ensure an accurate viewing experience in any ambient lighting condition.

Here’s a rundown of the software features;

  • Reference mode selection
  • Reference status indicator
  • Brightness control
  • Portrait/landscape detection
  • Night Shift
  • True Tone
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Hybrid-Log Gamma (HLG) playback support
  • User-defined reference modes (coming soon)
  • User calibration (coming soon)

The Apple Pro Display XDR is also compatible with lots of Mac devices;

  • Mac Pro (2019) with MPX Module GPUs
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro (2018 or later)
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019)
  • 21.5-inch iMac (2019)
  • 27-inch iMac (2019 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2020)
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with four Thunderbolt 3 ports (2020)
  • Any Mac model with Thunderbolt 3 ports paired with Blackmagic eGPU or Blackmagic eGPU Pro

Operational features;

  • Line voltage: 100–240V AC
  • Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz, single phase
  • Operating temperature: 10° to 35° C (50° to 95° F)
  • Relative humidity: 5% to 95% non-condensing
  • Maximum altitude: tested up to 5,000 meters (16,400 feet)


Apple Pro Display XDR review

The Apple Pro Display XDR has a powerful 6016×3384 pixel resolution with 218 pixels per inch and is the largest Retina display that Apple has ever made. It’s more than 20 million pixels, making it 40 per cent larger than iMac with 5K display.

The Apple Pro Display XDR uses an industry-leading compensation polarizer on the LCD panel that is optimized at the molecular level to improve off-axis viewing and the result is a 25x reduction in off-axis light leakage compared to a typical LCD display, minimizing blooming while maintaining a more accurate image.

Interestingly on the display, you won’t find any control buttons which might annoy some potential buyers. Everything is controlled by software, specifically macOS Catalina 10.15.2.

There’s no doubt that the display of the Apple Pro Display XDR is impressive and one of the best out there but is it worth buying for the amount it costs?

Apple Pro Display XDR review

Apple Pro Display XDR Review – Final Verdict

  • Pros: very bright, very sharp, looks beautiful
  • Cons: very expensive
  • Price: $4999 (optional $999 stand)
  • Potential total cost: $6000

It’s true that this 6K Retina display screen is the best that Apple has ever produced and does deliver on what it promises. Apple wants you to remember that the Apple Pro Display XDR is far cheaper than Sony’s $40,000+ models but it will come down to what you want to use this display for when you come to choose a display screen.

The Apple Display XDR isn’t the type of display that you’d want or need to do boring office work on like spreadsheets or emails. Instead, the Apple Pro Display XDR is the ideal display screen for creative color work like when using Photoshop or high-end video editing.

The whole unit itself is visually stunning and won’t look out of place on your desk and if you love any previous Apple products, then this display screen isn’t going to disappoint you.

That’s our Apple Pro Display XDR review. Are you planning to grab it this holiday shopping season? Let us know in the comments below.

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