Apple‘s new Studio Display is a game-changer for power users wanting the all-in-one experience with the flexibility of a traditional desktop, but which finish option is best for the new monitor? Both the standard glass and nano-texture glass options are anti-reflective, but a $300 difference separates them. The Studio Display was revealed at the company’s ‘Peek Performance’ event in March 2022 as a companion to the Mac Studio desktop computer. It’s a 27-inch, 5K display with enough features to turn any Mac or MacBook into a full-fledged desk setup. The monitor is a must-have for creatives, but they’ll have to choose the right finish option at checkout.

Apple first introduced the nano-texture glass option with the Pro Display XDR, the professional-grade monitor with a whopping $4,999 sticker price. In that device, the nano-texture glass add-0n was roughly a thousand-dollar addition. However, Apple has slowly scaled down the technology inside that monitor to other products at a lower cost. The XDR display technology appeared in last year’s 14″ MacBook Pro refresh, and the nano-texture glass has appeared in select iMac models as a customization option since 2020. Both Apple and its users have taken the nano-texture glass option as a serious feature: the company even released a special polishing cloth that it says is safe to use with nano-texture glass.

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The standard glass option available on the Studio Display is the same type of glass that has been featured on many of Apple’s MacBook and iMac displays in the past. It has an anti-reflective coating designed to reduce the amount of light that reflects off of the screen. This is included with the base model of the display, which retails for $1,599 without any add-ons. While Apple’s anti-reflective coating successfully minimizes the amount of light that reflects off the glass, it is still a traditional glass finish that tends to reflect light. For that reason, if a user believes they will be working in a space with an abundance of natural or artificial light, the $300 price hike for the nano-texture is worth it.

What Is Nano-Texture Glass?

Apple’s nano-texture glass has a matte finish, which is better at distributing light than traditional glass displays. A key disadvantage of these displays, though, is that matte monitors reduce contrast and color accuracy. That’s where the company’s nano-texture glass shines against the competition — the matte texture is etched into the glass at the nanometer level, preserving color accuracy and contrast while preventing light reflections that can be distracting. In addition, according to Apple, the nano-texture glass scatters light in a way that traditional glass does not, to minimize glare during daily use.

While the $300 price increase for the nano-texture display option might seem steep, the technology is proven and praised for its ability to scatter light. With that said, it’s not for everyone. For example, if someone is working in an environment where they can control the natural and artificial light seeping into the room, the nano-texture glass might not be worth the additional cost. Similarly, if someone plans to use the Studio Display in a setting with lots of natural and artificial light — perhaps even outdoors — the nano-texture finish is a must-have for usability in extreme lighting conditions.