The Apple Pro Display XDR for professionals

15th January 2022
Apple Pro Display

Apple’s Pro Display XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range) is a high-end Apple monitor designed to disrupt the reference display space with its 6k resolution, extremely high contrast and true to life image quality, all at a fraction of the size, weight and cost currently offered by the competition.

With its many, industry-driven, reference modes that describe optimal display requirements and viewing conditions, the Apple Pro Display XDR is an excellent option for creative professionals across a wide range of industries, whether they reside in the world of Mac or PC.

How well does the Pro Display XDR work with PC devices?

bootcamp assistant

You can connect Pro Display XDR to a Windows or Linux PC equipped with a GPU that supports DisplayPort over Thunderbolt or DisplayPort Alt-mode over USB-C. Devices such as Microsoft Surface work seamlessly with a USB-C connection and at the full 6k resolution but only at 8-bit colour, not the full 10-bit. Other Windows machines don’t work so well with some displaying at 5k and others won’t work at all.

The XDR lacks physical buttons for adjusting any settings – this is all done natively within MacOS. Therefore, you will have trouble getting the display to perform in any other way than its standard configuration, unless you connect it to a compatible Apple device.

If you really need to be able to run Windows 10 or 11, then the best option is to use an iMac or MacBook with Boot Camp Assistant.

Is the Pro Display XDR a true reference monitor?

The short answer is no, but a complicated no.

Pro Display XDR

For its price, the Pro Display XDR punches well above its weight. With 6K resolution, a million to one contrast ratio, great anti-glare (even without the nano-glass option) and sustained brightness of 1000 nits for HDR editing and playback, there’s a lot on offer that’s never really been available in this price range.

However, if you’re working on a $100-million Hollywood blockbuster then you’ll probably be for required to use an approved reference display costing upwards of £30,000 to £40,000, paired with specialised hardware between the display and computer to ensure the very best results are achieved.

If you’re an independent design studio or a freelance photographer, with lower budgets but still need to deliver professional content, then the Pro Display XDR won’t disappoint.

Apple compared its monitor to other reference displays in the above price bracket to establish a new standard in high-quality displays for the “prosumer”. One that can achieve outstanding, professional results but at a mid-range price. If you compare Apple’s display to actual, industry-standard reference displays that are six-times its price, then of course the XDR will come up short, but it brings a similar level of sophistication to a wider audience.

Thunderbolt 3 vs USB-C

Pro Display XDR USB ports

The Pro Display XDR features a single Thunderbolt 3 port and three USB-C ports. Thunderbolt was developed by Intel to offer data transfer rates of up to 40gbps – twice as fast as the fastest USB-C ports. This rate of data transfer is vital when it comes to a 6k display and offers greater options if you need to connect more devices.

How do you clean the Pro Display XDR?

The display comes with a polishing cloth which should be used exclusively if your display has nano-texture glass. For infrequent cleaning of hard-to-remove smudges, you can moisten the cloth with a 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution. You should take care to clean the polishing cloth itself as well – do this by handwashing it with washing up liquid and water, rinse thoroughly and then allow it to air-dry for at least 24 hours.

If your display has standard glass, you can clean it using the included polishing cloth or a microfibre cloth and water.

Specifications of the Pro Display XDR

Display Retina 6K Display, 32-inch
6016 x 3384 pixels (20.4 million pixels)
16:9 aspect ratio
XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range)
Brightness: 1,000 nits sustained (full screen), 1,600 nits peak1
Contrast ratio: 1,000,000:1
Colour: P3 wide colour gamut,2 10-bit depth for 1.073 billion colours
SDR brightness: 500 nits
Viewing angle: Super-wide angle with high-fidelity colour and contrast at 89º left, 89º right, 89º up, 89º down
Fully laminated; 1.65% reflectivity (typical)
Refresh Rates47.95Hz, 48.00Hz, 50.00Hz, 59.94Hz, 60.00Hz
Reference ModesPro Display XDR (P3-1,600 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)
DimensionsWidth: 71.8 cm (28.3 inches)
Height: 41.2 cm (16.2 inches)
Depth: 2.7 cm (1.1 inches)
Weight: 7.48 kg (16.49 pounds)
Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) x 1
USB-C x 3

Lease the Pro Display XDR from HardSoft

The high-resolution Pro Display XDR is available to buy from £4,599, or £5,499 if you opt for the glare-reducing Nano-texture glass. At HardSoft, you could lease the same display for around £34 per week over three years – and even have the option to own it at the end of the term for £1.