Yes, Apple's 5K Studio Display With Webcam Supports Windows PCs But With Caveats
Starting tomorrow, Apple will be accepting preorders for its recently announced Studio Display, a 27-inch monitor with a built-in webcam and six-speaker sound system. Apple unveiled the multi-trick pony alongside a new Mac Studio desktop, an ideal companion for the Studio Display, but could you use the monitor with a Windows PC instead? The short answer is, yes, you can.
At its core, the Studio Display is another 27-inch IPS monitor amid a sea of options. It stands out with a 4K Retina screen (5120x2880), support for 1 billion colors, P3 wide color gamut, 600 nits brightness, and supplementary capabilities courtesy of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide webcam, high-fidelity stereo speakers with force-cancelling woofers and spatial audio support, and triple microphone array with directional beamforming.
"Our hardware and software are designed together. That integration is what enables amazing features like Center Stage, Spatial Audio, and 'Hey Siri'. For pro workflows, macOS supports reference modes and fine-tune calibration so you can match industry standards—whether it’s HD and SD video or broader uses such as photography, web development, design, and print," Apple explains.
So really, it's more than just a monitor when factoring in some unique functions. At the same time, an Apple spokesperson told The Verge that it should also work just fine with a Windows PC, even though that is not the intended platform. That includes the 12MP camera, which should function like a typical USB webcam when connected to a Windows PC.
Naturally though, there are caveats. The first one is simply connecting it to your PC—you won't find any HDMI or DisplayPort inputs here, just an upstream Thunderbolt 3 port (with 96W host charging) and three downstream USB-C ports (up to 10Gbps). Not all PCs can output a 5K signal at 60Hz over USB-C or Thunderbolt.
Once connected, it should work like any other monitor, but the other caveat is that you won't be able to tap into the features designed for Mac. The Apple spokesperson confirmed that things like Center Stage, spatial audio, and 'Hey Siri' will not work on PC. There may be workarounds getting Siri to work, but these features collectively factor into the price.
Caveats aside, it's nice that the Studio Display will at least work, depending on your system. That could come in handy for a developer or creative professional who switches between Mac and PC. For the average user, though, it's probably best to shop a monitor outside of the Apple ecosystem.
Speaking of price, the Studio Display costs $1,599 with the standard glass option and $1,899 with the nano-texture glass option. It comes with a stand this time, and with support for tilt adjustments. But if you want tilt and height adjustment capabilities, that will run you another $400, bringing the tally to $1,999 for the standard glass variant and $2,299 for the nano-texture upgrade. Apple separately sells a 3 meter Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable for $159 or a 1.8 meter version for $129, in case the bundled 1 meter cable isn't long enough.