Comparing the Apple Pro Display XDR with a Sony reference monitor

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Apple charges € 5.499 for the Pro Display XDR with standard glass and € 6.499 to put nano-textured glass in the Pro Display XDR, and presents it as a monitor that pairs in performance with some reference professional monitors that cost a lot more.

For example, Sony's BVM-HX310 reference monitor can cost € 30.875 plus VAT.

Apple's Pro Display XDR monitor has a 32-inch (diagonal) IPS LCD screen with oxide TFT technology, with a resolution of 6.016 by 3.384 pixels.

The Sony HX310 monitor uses 31-inch dual-layer LCD technology with a resolution of 4096 by 2160.

Before comparing Apple's professional monitor to Sony's reference monitor, Teoh thoroughly tests the Apple device, measuring brightness, contrast and color fidelity, exposing some of the Pro Display XDR's shortcomings. 

His tests appear to show contrast and color fidelity issues when used at maximum brightness, as well as "mediocre" color uniformity, according to him, leading the critic to evaluate the Pro Display's reference mode. content rather than content creation.

From there, Teoh proceeds to compare the Pro Display XDR to the Sony BVM-HX310, as it was precisely that model that Apple mentioned in the presentation of the Pro Display XDR.

The Apple model struggles to keep up with Sony's screen, concluding that it's not a cheap alternative as a reference monitor for professionals.

In the words of Teoh:

It seems Apple's marketing team has been a bit lenient in calling the Pro Display XDR the "best professional monitor in the world". [...] 

Compared to the Sony HX310, the Pro Display XDR exhibits various flaws, especially in dark scenes such as localized fluctuations in lighting, expanding artifacts and noticeably grayer blacks. 

For a monitor to be used as a reference for color management in professional images, there can be no doubt about the image you see on the screen. 

Let's say JJ Abrams is looking over your shoulder and wants some more reflection in a particular scene. Can you be 100% sure that the visual effects you are adding in post will be faithfully reproduced when viewed on other screens? With Pro Display XDR, there's no way to know.

“I think Pro Display XDR is not an option for professional 'colorists',” he concludes. "Ultimately, the Pro Display XDR is simply an IPS screen with 576 connected local lighting zones that bears the Apple logo and costs more than $ 5.000." 

He also wonders if it's fair to judge a $ 5.000 monitor and anything compared to a $ 40.000 reference monitor, but points out that it was Apple that made that comparison at WWDC.

“The Pro Display XDR doesn't offer anywhere near the consistency and fidelity required for reference monitors,” is his devastating conclusion. 

Teoh's full video on the Pro Display XDR is worth watching for anyone who wants to get a better idea of ​​how the monitor performs in tests before purchasing. 

Audio Video Comparing the Apple Pro Display XDR with a Sony reference monitor
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