Apple Pro Display XDR gets panned by pro colorist

World’s best pro display? Vincent Teoh says not so much.
Screenshot: Vincent Teoh/YouTube

Professional colorist and YouTube HDTV reviewer Vincent Teoh says he can not recommend Apple’s $5,000 Apple Pro Display XDR to the creatives who do commercial color grading.

But its “beautiful design will look good in the office of a divorce lawyer,” Teoh said.

Teoh doesn’t just crack one-liners as he compares the much-hyped Apple Pro display with the Sony HX-310 reference monitors. But if you watch the 12-minute video he posted to his channel, you will appreciate his deadpan humor as he speaks the complicated language of nits, low-light color accuracy and localized luminous fluctuations to make his case.

He compared the $5,000 display with Sony’s $43,000 monitor because that’s exactly what Apple did at last year’s WWDC to promote the long-awaited Mac Pro. CEO Tim Cook called Apple’s offering the “World’s Best Pro Display.”

“Apple’s marketing team may have been a bit overzealous,” Teoh said. “For a monitor to be used for commercial color grading, there can be no doubt about the picture on the screen. It’s a no-go for serious professional colorists. It doesn’t deliver the consistency and accuracy of reference monitors.”

The Mac Pro and Pro Display started shipping to customers in December. Teoh bought one but said he ran out of money to spend the extra $1,000 on the Pro stand for the display.

Teoh said the Pro Display exhibited several shortcomings, such as looming artifacts and a lack of contrast at peak brightness and color accuracy in the dark areas of a scene.

Two things that impressed Teoh: Sharpness and factory calibration out of the box.

In the end, Apple’s Pro Display is “just an IPS display.” The Sony monitor uses a dual-layer LCD technology for pros to dial in true colors. See the difference for yourself.

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