Review: Using LG's UltraFine 4K Display with Apple's USB-C MacBooks is as simple as can be

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited December 2016
While it isn't branded as an Apple display, the LG UltraFine 4K Display is quite Apple-like, featuring a minimalist design, high-quality ultra high-resolution screen, and dead-simple plug-and-play connectivity. It's a fantastic choice and a gorgeous display if you have a USB-C equipped MacBook, with a few caveats: it lessens the appeal of the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar and Touch ID, and it doesn't utilize Thunderbolt 3.


Dead simple, one-cable, plug-and-play

Once unboxed, setting up the LG UltraFine 4K display is about as simple as it gets.

In the box, there are exactly two cables: One USB-C to USB-C cable, and a power adapter. Simply plug the power adapter into the wall and the slot on the monitor, and connect the USB-C cable from your MacBook to the rightmost port on the back of the monitor.

That's it.




There are no buttons on this display --?not even a power button. Everything works automatically, and if you need to tweak settings, you adjust the display through macOS itself.

Stereo speakers are embedded below the display, giving the front a clean look. There is no camera.

Apple's latest MacBooks with USB-C, including the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, allow power, data, display and audio to be transmitted through one cable. That means you no longer need to plug your MacBook into the wall, as the power is provided via the display itself over just one cable.

The included cable is also thick and high quality. It's not some cheap flimsy cable that you'll be afraid of fraying, or worse.

While we miss MagSafe in day-to-day use, testing the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and connecting just one cable for power, display and accessories eases some of the sting. This is as simple as can be.

USB-C, but not Thunderbolt 3

In a concession made presumably to allow the 21.5-inch LG monitor to work with Apple's ultraportable 12-inch MacBook, the UltraFine 4K Display transmits over the USB-C protocol, and not Thunderbolt 3.

This means that if you use this display with Apple's latest MacBook Pro lineup, you won't be tapping into the full potential of the Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports on your machine.

Confused yet?




Apple's 12-inch MacBook (both the 2015 and 2016 versions) features a single USB-C port for charging and data. Its USB-C port is not capable of Thunderbolt 3, which allows for faster transfer speeds, but remains restricted to the new MacBook Pro.

By transmitting video and data over USB-C, and not Thunderbolt 3, this does limit the capabilities of the 4K display somewhat. With less bandwidth available, the USB-C ports on the back of the monitor operate at USB 2.0 speeds --?slower than even the full-size USB 3.0 ports on Apple's 2015 MacBook Pro.

For power users who need the absolute best, it might be best to make the jump up to LG's larger 27-inch UltraFine 5K Display, as that model's ports utilize Thunderbolt 3. Without standard USB-C video support on the 27-inch model, it's for MacBook Pro users only, as the 12-inch MacBook doesn't have the necessary Thunderbolt 3 hardware.




Considering how limited adoption of previous-generation Thunderbolt accessories has been, we doubt this concession will be of much concern to most users. If you're in the market for a display and the 27-inch model is too big or pricey, the USB-C-only connectivity of the 21.5-inch model will not likely be a hinderance.

A gorgeous wide color 4K display on par with Apple's own Retina display

When we say this display is an Apple-like product, we're talking mostly about the quality of the screen. This 4K panel is a stunner from the moment you turn it on, with brilliant, bright and vibrant colors that truly stand out.

We've been spoiled by years of using MacBooks with Retina displays, making it impossible to go back to lower-resolution laptop screens. Apple famously never gave its Thunderbolt Display the Retina treatment, but the LG UltraFine 4K Display fills in that role quite nicely.




The best compliment we can pay the LG screen is that you won't really notice any difference in quality jumping from the beautiful Retina display built in to the MacBook Pro to the 4K monitor.

LG's UltraFine displays support the P3 wide color gamut, again matching the capabilities of the gorgeous Retina display on Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro lineup. This means the display also matches the color capabilities of the iPhone 7 display and camera, making them a great pairing for mobile photography.

Around the borders, the LG monitor has a matte black look that's simple. The screen itself is glossy, which helps colors to pop, but may not be ideal for those who use it in a bright environment.




The 21.5-inch panel packs in a resolution of 4,096 by 2,304 pixels. With the default scaling of macOS, fonts are readable and UI elements are all at a comfortable size. And with real estate much larger than a MacBook can provide, tasks both basic and complex are more comfortable to manage.

We tested the LG 4K display exclusively with Apple's new 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Our system is a maxed-out model, featuring the fastest Intel processor available and 16 gigabytes of RAM. The horsepower was more than enough to drive both the monitor and the MacBook's display with no noticeable slowdown or issues.




Of course, Apple's 12-inch MacBook offers significantly less performance than then MacBook Pro to achieve its svelte design. Considering video is done over USB-C to allow compatibility with the 12-inch MacBook, Apple obviously feels it's good enough for this screen, but we didn't have the opportunity to test with a lower end system.

Stand it, slide it, tilt it, mount it

The LG UltraFine 4K Display comes with the stand already attached. The base is flat and metal, heavy and solid. Even on a slightly wobbly desk, the LG monitor feels secure on this base.

The stand itself has a clever design that allows it to be easily slid upwards or downwards without any need to lock or unlock any moving parts. Simply apply pressure to the monitor and it will slide upwards and downwards as needed.




At its highest position, we measured the bottom of the monitor at 8.5 inches from our desk. At the lowest, it shrinks to about 4.25 inches off of the desk.

It also tilts upward and downward, and has a very slight left to right rotation. And it's wall mountable, if you prefer.

As is standard with Apple's IPS displays, the LG 4K monitor has a viewing angle of 178 degrees.


All USB-C, all the time

Some USB-C-based monitors and hubs have taken the opportunity to allow users access to legacy ports, including full-size USB ports and other inputs like an SD Card slot or HDMI input.




The LG UltraFine 4K Display, however, makes no apologies for the switch to USB-C. It connects to Apple's MacBook Pro with a USB-C to USB-C cable, and includes four USB-C ports on the back. There are no full-size USB ports or any other types of inputs on the monitor.

And, as we mentioned before, these ports run at the slower USB 2.0 speed, despite featuring USB-C connectivity. This means that devices connected to the MacBook through the monitor will be slower than if they were connected directly to the MacBook.




For most devices, and for most users, this concession probably won't make much of a difference. Just be aware that opting for the smaller, cheaper LG UltraFine monitor means you're not tapping into the full potential of your MacBook.

Touch Bar or Touch ID fanatics need not apply

Unless you plan on using the LG UltraFine 4K Display as a second monitor with your MacBook Pro opened up, using the notebook and display as a desktop-style replacement with external mouse and keyboard means users will lose easy access to two of the most-touted features on the new MacBook Pro: the Touch Bar and Touch ID.

We can't knock LG for this, but prospective buyers should at least be aware that Apple does not sell any external wireless keyboards with Touch Bar or Touch ID. For now, those features remain exclusive to the chassis of the new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro.

If you find yourself using these features on a regular basis, you'll probably want to use the LG UltraFine 4K Display as a second monitor to complement the Retina display on your MacBook Pro. In this scenario, the monitor does sit a few inches higher on a desk or table than the MacBook Pro display. We didn't find this to be a major issue on our testing.




Using the second monitor also defeats some of the convenience of the Touch Bar, even when equipped as an extension of your desktop. One of the advantages of the Touch Bar is the fact that it's at the top of the keyboard, so close to the Retina display on the MacBook Pro, easy to see and to use. When you're looking at a second monitor that's not atop the Touch Bar, some of the convenience is lost.

Personally, we prefer to close our notebook and stow it away with a large, gorgeous monitor of this size, allowing the best of both worlds between desktop computing while docked, and an ultraportable notebook on the go. As a result, it would be nice to see Apple offer a high-end Magic Keyboard with its own integrated Touch Bar and Touch ID. This way, we wouldn't have to sacrifice two key features on the new MacBook Pro while using the notebook in desktop mode.

But if you have a 12-inch MacBook, or a new 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, or you simply don't care that much about the Touch Bar or Touch ID on your high-end MacBook Pro, this isn't an issue.

A word about Apple's defunct Thunderbolt Display, and pricing

It's dead. Time to move on.

Apple signaled back in October that it had permanently exited the standalone monitor business. That means the legacy Thunderbolt Display, which has been discontinued and was priced at a hefty $999, will not make a return.




Apple instead partnered with LG to make this the premier external USB-C monitor for the MacBook Pro. And currently priced at $524, it's a steal compared to what Apple used to charge for the non-Retina Thunderbolt Display.

The current pricing on the 21.5-inch LG UltraFine 4K display is a temporary 25 percent discount, intended to appease users who are upset over Apple's switch to USB-C. Starting Dec. 31, the price will go back up to its usual $699.

At $524, it's also considerably cheaper than the $974 ultra high-resolution 5K model, which boasts a screen size of 27 inches. That larger monitor will return to an MSRP of $1299.95 starting in 2017.

With only a few weeks left to lock in a 25 percent discount, those who are on the fence should probably buy now. This is a gorgeous display with a lot to offer, and if you want a USB-C monitor with 4K resolution in this size, the price is right.

Conclusion

If you're looking for an external display and you have Apple's 12-inch MacBook, we feel like the LG UltraFine 4K Display is the obvious choice. The 21.5-inch size may be too small for some, but it's substantially bigger than anything in Apple's notebook lineup.

We also think this display is a great fit for the 2016 MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar.




Using the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar with this display, however, gives us some pause.

Depending on a user's workflow, and depending on how frequently they find themselves using the Touch Bar, it's ultimately going to be a personal decision of what works best.

If you're running the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, it's harder to recommend the LG UltraFine 4K Display. Sure, the jump from 15 inches to 21.5 inches is significant, but the sacrifices made to send video over USB-C rather than Thunderbolt 3 start to weigh heavily.

Consider also that the 15-inch MacBook Pro has a dedicated graphics card capable of pushing more pixels, making the larger 27-inch LG 5K display --?with Thunderbolt 3 --?a much more attractive option. If you can fit it on your desk, at least.

On the surface, however, LG's UltraFine 4K Display is as simple as it gets in terms of aesthetics and performance. On the whole, we view that as a good thing.

And the fact that the display offers all of the quality, clarity and performance of Apple's own Retina display means there's no downgrade or tradeoff --?at least, as far as the picture is concerned.

Score: 4 out of 5

image

Where to buy

The LG UltraFine 4K Display is available exclusively through Apple. It carries a reduced price of $524 through the end of 2016, after which it will increase to $699.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    I agree that the connectivity is dead simple, and the picture quality is one of the best, but sorry the design does not match Apple's notebooks, and beating a dead horse here, the fact that it does not have a single USB-A in the back is an indication that we really need those dongles even at our desks.

    It should've gotten 3-3.5 stars. Which is the star rating its getting on Apple's own site.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 2 of 65
    Nice review but I am not sure I would call the design 'Apple-like'. Perhaps industrial, simple or plain would be more accurate. To some, it will be minimalist but ugly compared to the Apple cinema displays.
  • Reply 3 of 65
    MacProMacPro Posts: 15,977member
    So neither the 4K nor the 5K new Apple-LG monitors can be connected to a late 2013 Mac Pro, am I correct? 
  • Reply 4 of 65
    Nice review but I am not sure I would call the design 'Apple-like'. Perhaps industrial, simple or plain would be more accurate. To some, it will be minimalist but ugly compared to the Apple cinema displays.
    "When we say this display is an Apple-like product, we're talking mostly about the quality of the screen."
  • Reply 5 of 65
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,267member
    the fact that it does not have a single USB-A in the back is an indication that we really need those dongles even at our desks.
    No you don't. If you're going to buy a new Mac and new display that only supports USB-C then spend another $5 on a cable that is USB-C. But this is all irrelevant because anyone who is bitching about USB-C coming into vogue is not going to be wanting a new Mac or display that supports only USB-C. This was never intended for people like you.

    If there's any issue to take, it's that the USB-hub in the back is USB 2.0 speeds.
    edited December 2016 roundaboutnowpscooter63ration alStrangeDayswilliamlondonchia
  • Reply 6 of 65

    MacPro said:
    So neither the 4K nor the 5K new Apple-LG monitors can be connected to a late 2013 Mac Pro, am I correct? 
    The port is USB-C but the interface is still DisplayPort 1.2. I suppose it's theoretically possible to connect a Mac Pro to this display, but not without devolving into some sort of adapter/dongle hell.
  • Reply 7 of 65
    If all you can get out of the ports in the back is USB 2, why in the world are the connectors type C. Oh yah, to sell dongles. 

    Although the monitor designs look like crap, for the price, I wouldn't mind picking up some of the 5k monitors.   Unfortunate, even a new state of the art $10 000.00 Mac Pro can't use them and with no idea when or if Apple will update them, we've got to pass.
    retrogusto
  • Reply 8 of 65
    Soli said:
    the fact that it does not have a single USB-A in the back is an indication that we really need those dongles even at our desks.
    No you don't. If you're going to buy a new Mac and new display that only supports USB-C then spend another $5 on a cable that is USB-C. But this is all irrelevant because anyone who is bitching about USB-C coming into vogue is not going to be wanting a new Mac or display that supports only USB-C. This was never intended for people like you.
    If I were keeping this hardware, I would go all-in on USB-C at a reasonable price. Most of my accessories charge/connect through micro USB, and a name-brand micro USB to USB-C cable sells for about $13 on Amazon, while well-reviewed lesser brands are about $5. There are three spare USB-C ports on the back of the LG monitor, so I figure most people would be fine with two micro USB cables and one USB-C to Lightning cable (which Apple sells for $19). Throw in a couple of spares for using when not docked to the monitor. If you don't mind bypassing the name brand, you could get everything for under $60, easily.

    The only USB-C-related problem I have encountered that is not easily/cheaply resolved, with regards to connecting to/charging through a Mac, is Apple does not offer a USB-C Apple Watch charging cable. You could buy the official Apple Watch charging dock (which connects through Lightning) and use a USB-C to Lightning cable, but the dock is $80 and the cable is another $20. Most people, I assume, charge their watch by plugging it into the wall.
    Soliroundaboutnowchia
  • Reply 9 of 65
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,267member
    nhughes said:
    The only USB-C-related problem I have encountered that is not easily/cheaply resolved, with regards to connecting to/charging through a Mac, is Apple does not offer a USB-C Apple Watch charging cable.
    I expect something like this will appear for USB-C, at least to facilitate charging. You get 5 for under $5 on Amazon.


    ration alcrowley
  • Reply 10 of 65
    appexappex Posts: 466member
    Is LG UltraFine 4K Display matte?
    Is LG UltraFine 5K Display matte?

  • Reply 11 of 65
    altivec88 said:
    If all you can get out of the ports in the back is USB 2, why in the world are the connectors type C. Oh yah, to sell dongles. 

    Although the monitor designs look like crap, for the price, I wouldn't mind picking up some of the 5k monitors.   Unfortunate, even a new state of the art $10 000.00 Mac Pro can't use them and with no idea when or if Apple will update them, we've got to pass.
    The entire point of the 2016 MacBook Pro & LG monitor announcement is to push people towards USB-C.  Either you commit 100% to USB-C.. or you dont.  The moment you go halfway on USB-C.. is the moment you open the door to people to revert back to older versions of USB-C.  While I agree the 2016 MacBook Pro does have some shortcomings, the 2017 and 2018 models should only improve on this initial new design.. and the price should drop significantly.  And we all know many laptop, phone and tablet manufacturers simply copy what Apple offers.. which should mean a few years from now, there should a ton of USB-C devices on the market.  All thanks to Apple being the first major company to push USB-C adoption 100%.  

    And I'm not sure if anyone has every told you this, since you seem so mind-bent on Apple selling dongles (as-if they even needed that revenue stream).  But USB-C is an entirely **OPEN** standard of USB.  Meaning ANYONE can make a USB-C cable, adapter, hub, monitor, etc.   I dont know where you get this idea from that Apple is the only manufacturer selling USB-C 'dongles'.   In fact it goes a bit further than that.. this marks the first time in history that the ENTIRE MacBook line of computers from Apple is now absolutely free of any PROPRIETARY Apple ports.   So buy your 2016 MacBook from Apple.. and buy ANY future cables.. from ANY manufacturer you choose.. as long as they follow the USB-C spec.  As much as I loved Magsafe, you know what I love even more?  No longer needing to purchase additional Magsafe chargers @ $99 a piece.  

    But please dont let these facts about the open end, standardized, next generation USB-C spec cloud your insane judgement that somehow Apple only moved to USB-C.. because they need to sell dongles to survive lmao.   I bet you are still angry that Apple once upon a time also dropped the PS/2, Serial, Parallel, Floppy & Optical Disc drives from the MacBook lineup.. and somehow forced you to buy an "Apple dongled" USB external disc drive lol!! 
    edited December 2016 roundaboutnowstompypscooter63tmayration alfastasleepwatto_cobraStrangeDayswilliamlondonraybo
  • Reply 12 of 65
    Soli said:
    nhughes said:
    The only USB-C-related problem I have encountered that is not easily/cheaply resolved, with regards to connecting to/charging through a Mac, is Apple does not offer a USB-C Apple Watch charging cable.
    I expect something like this will appear for USB-C, at least to facilitate charging. You get 5 for under $5 on Amazon.


    I absolutely loathe dongles and adapters. Regarding the Apple Watch, the only time I ever charge it via my Mac is while on the road — at home, I use a dock that's plugged into the wall. So it's a limited case scenario. But Apple could solve this quite easily by selling a $20 Apple Watch to USB-C cable.

    Also, supposedly USB-C to HDMI cables are coming, as a standard for them was approved this September. 
    roundaboutnowjSnively
  • Reply 13 of 65
    It does seem like it wouldn't have killed them to throw in a few USB-A ports and maybe an SD reader or something, especially given the slower speed (as Altivec88 noted), although I doubt their motivation was to sell more dongles, since LG doesn't seem to have much of a dongle business in this area.

    As a new owner of this display, that would have been a lot more helpful to me than having a few more (but slower) USB-C ports. I'm getting $155 worth of dongles, but that's not enough to connect everything I own simultaneously. Maybe someday I'll be glad, if I use this display long enough that all of my other accessories die in the meantime and I replace them with USB-C alternatives, but I'm not sure if I should be wishing for that either.

    By the way, if anyone is considering buying one of these soon, note that I saw it listed on the Apple Store as shipping in 5-6 weeks, so I ordered one about ten days ago figuring I'd get it in January, but then they charged me immediately and I got it 48 hours later, so now it's just sitting in its box in the middle of my floor waiting for my new backordered MacBook Pro to arrive sometime in the coming weeks.


    edited December 2016
  • Reply 14 of 65
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,267member
    nhughes said:
    Soli said:
    nhughes said:
    The only USB-C-related problem I have encountered that is not easily/cheaply resolved, with regards to connecting to/charging through a Mac, is Apple does not offer a USB-C Apple Watch charging cable.
    I expect something like this will appear for USB-C, at least to facilitate charging. You get 5 for under $5 on Amazon.


    I absolutely loathe dongles and adapters. Regarding the Apple Watch, the only time I ever charge it via my Mac is while on the road — at home, I use a dock that's plugged into the wall. So it's a limited case scenario. But Apple could solve this quite easily by selling a $20 Apple Watch to USB-C cable.

    Also, supposedly USB-C to HDMI cables are coming, as a standard for them was approved this September. 
    While I feel that commenters like Altivec88 are incorrect in their ridiculous assumption about this just being a money grab by selling adapters, I do think there's an argument to be made that Apple could increase their Mac sales by offering a trade-in for your Apple USB-A cable for USB-C equivalent to lessen the burden of migrating to this new standard.

    This situation is temporary—it's not like people are still bitching that Apple moved to USB-A when they still had plenty of devices that used Serial and Parallel—but no one likes to use adapters and people don't want to feel nickel and dime, even if it's just imagined, so I believe Apple could increase sales and adoption if they offered such a program. It wouldn't be any harder to monitor this one-time trade-in within a certain timeframe for new Macs, as this is what they do with Apple Care already (30 days for Watch and iDevices, and 1 year for Macs).
  • Reply 15 of 65
    Soli said:
    the fact that it does not have a single USB-A in the back is an indication that we really need those dongles even at our desks.
    No you don't. If you're going to buy a new Mac and new display that only supports USB-C then spend another $5 on a cable that is USB-C. But this is all irrelevant because anyone who is bitching about USB-C coming into vogue is not going to be wanting a new Mac or display that supports only USB-C. This was never intended for people like you.

    If there's any issue to take, it's that the USB-hub in the back is USB 2.0 speeds.
    You're missing the point or intentionally overlooking it. It's not about the extra money, it's the lack of consideration that is leading to inconveniences 
  • Reply 16 of 65
    Soli said:
    the fact that it does not have a single USB-A in the back is an indication that we really need those dongles even at our desks.
    No you don't. If you're going to buy a new Mac and new display that only supports USB-C then spend another $5 on a cable that is USB-C. But this is all irrelevant because anyone who is bitching about USB-C coming into vogue is not going to be wanting a new Mac or display that supports only USB-C. This was never intended for people like you.

    If there's any issue to take, it's that the USB-hub in the back is USB 2.0 speeds.
    You're missing the point or intentionally overlooking it. It's not about the extra money, it's the lack of consideration that is leading to inconveniences 
    If you can afford a $1700 laptop.. and $600-1200 monitor to go along with it.

    You can also afford a $5.99 USB-C to USB-A cable from Amazon.com.   Yes it would have been a nice gesture, but no.. Its really not an issue or inconvenience.  
    edited December 2016 StrangeDayswilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 65

    nhughes said:
    Nice review but I am not sure I would call the design 'Apple-like'. Perhaps industrial, simple or plain would be more accurate. To some, it will be minimalist but ugly compared to the Apple cinema displays.
    "When we say this display is an Apple-like product, we're talking mostly about the quality of the screen."
    That doesn't make any sense, Apple always bought their displays from Samsung or LG and never manufactured their own. When you say Apple-like everyone thinks about the design and not the component itself. 
    fastasleepStrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 65
    daekwan said:
    altivec88 said:
    If all you can get out of the ports in the back is USB 2, why in the world are the connectors type C. Oh yah, to sell dongles. 

    Although the monitor designs look like crap, for the price, I wouldn't mind picking up some of the 5k monitors.   Unfortunate, even a new state of the art $10 000.00 Mac Pro can't use them and with no idea when or if Apple will update them, we've got to pass.
    The entire point of the 2016 MacBook Pro & LG monitor announcement is to push people towards USB-C.  Either you commit 100% to USB-C.. or you dont.  The moment you go halfway on USB-C.. is the moment you open the door to people to revert back to older versions of USB-C.  While I agree the 2016 MacBook Pro does have some shortcomings, the 2017 and 2018 models should only improve on this initial new design.. and the price should drop significantly.  And we all know many laptop, phone and tablet manufacturers simply copy what Apple offers.. which should mean a few years from now, there should a ton of USB-C devices on the market.  All thanks to Apple being the first major company to push USB-C adoption 100%.  

    And I'm not sure if anyone has every told you this, since you seem so mind-bent on Apple selling dongles (as-if they even needed that revenue stream).  But USB-C is an entirely OPEN USB standard.  Meaning ANYONE can make a USB-C cable, adapter, hub, monitor, etc.   I dont know where you get this idea from that only Apple sells 'dongles'.   In fact it goes a bit further than that.. this marks the first time in history that the ENTIRE MacBook line of computers from Apple is now absolutely free of any PROPRIETARY Apple ports.   So buy your 2016 MacBook from Apple.. and buy ANY future cables.. from ANY manufacturer you choose.. as long as they follow the USB-C spec.  As much as I loved Magsafe, you know what I love even more?  No longer needing to purchase additional Magsafe chargers @ $99 a piece.  

    But please dont let these facts about the open end, standardized, next generation USB-C spec cloud your insane judgement that somehow Apple only moved to USB-C.. because they need to sell dongles to survive lmao.   I bet you are still angry that Apple once upon a time also dropped the PS/2, Serial, Parallel, Floppy & Optical Disc drives from the MacBook lineup.. and somehow forced you to buy an "Apple dongled" USB external disc drive lol!! 
    You are completely misunderstanding my point.  I agree with you 100% that once you switch to USB C, you should be going all in.  If you re-read the article and my post, you will notice one big thing. The ports on the 4K monitor are not USB C. They are not even USB 3. They are USB 2 with a USB C connector.  So when you buy your new all in (eg. scanner) that requires USB C or USB 3, it won't work even though you are able to physically plug it in. 

    My point was, if all you can get out of these is USB 2 then it's a legacy type port and all legacy USB 2 devices have a type A connector. So unless your new USB devices are so low level that it can cut down to USB 2 speeds and power requirements, you will require a dongle on these ports.  To me this is mis-representation of the USB C port and will eventually lead to confusion and disappointment when grandma plugs in her new USB C scanner 2 years down the road from now.

    This does not apply to the 5k monitor which is utilizing the USB c ports in the correct manor. That's why I said I would consider getting the 5k monitors. 
    tmaycrowleyMacPro
  • Reply 19 of 65
    I got an LG 27UD88-W 27" to go along with the 13" TouchBar to replace my 2012 rMBP13 and 20" Studio Display. That monitor was $599 on sale at B&H and has USB-C, HDMI, and DP, so you could run it with a wider array of Macs. It also has USB-A ports. The convenience of a single USB-C cable can't be over stated. I used to come home, take out my power brick, climb under the desk and plug it into the power strip, then plug into the Mac MagSafe, DP, USB, and audio out. Now I just come home, take the Mac out of my bag and plug in the one USB-C cable. So Nice. The keyboard is plugged into the Monitor along with the audio out for my SoundSticks. Sold on USB-C so far.
    pscooter63ration aljvmbwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 65
    altivec88 said:
    daekwan said:
    altivec88 said:
    If all you can get out of the ports in the back is USB 2, why in the world are the connectors type C. Oh yah, to sell dongles. 

    Although the monitor designs look like crap, for the price, I wouldn't mind picking up some of the 5k monitors.   Unfortunate, even a new state of the art $10 000.00 Mac Pro can't use them and with no idea when or if Apple will update them, we've got to pass.
    The entire point of the 2016 MacBook Pro & LG monitor announcement is to push people towards USB-C.  Either you commit 100% to USB-C.. or you dont.  The moment you go halfway on USB-C.. is the moment you open the door to people to revert back to older versions of USB-C.  While I agree the 2016 MacBook Pro does have some shortcomings, the 2017 and 2018 models should only improve on this initial new design.. and the price should drop significantly.  And we all know many laptop, phone and tablet manufacturers simply copy what Apple offers.. which should mean a few years from now, there should a ton of USB-C devices on the market.  All thanks to Apple being the first major company to push USB-C adoption 100%.  

    And I'm not sure if anyone has every told you this, since you seem so mind-bent on Apple selling dongles (as-if they even needed that revenue stream).  But USB-C is an entirely OPEN USB standard.  Meaning ANYONE can make a USB-C cable, adapter, hub, monitor, etc.   I dont know where you get this idea from that only Apple sells 'dongles'.   In fact it goes a bit further than that.. this marks the first time in history that the ENTIRE MacBook line of computers from Apple is now absolutely free of any PROPRIETARY Apple ports.   So buy your 2016 MacBook from Apple.. and buy ANY future cables.. from ANY manufacturer you choose.. as long as they follow the USB-C spec.  As much as I loved Magsafe, you know what I love even more?  No longer needing to purchase additional Magsafe chargers @ $99 a piece.  

    But please dont let these facts about the open end, standardized, next generation USB-C spec cloud your insane judgement that somehow Apple only moved to USB-C.. because they need to sell dongles to survive lmao.   I bet you are still angry that Apple once upon a time also dropped the PS/2, Serial, Parallel, Floppy & Optical Disc drives from the MacBook lineup.. and somehow forced you to buy an "Apple dongled" USB external disc drive lol!! 
    You are completely misunderstanding my point.  I agree with you 100% that once you switch to USB C, you should be going all in.  If you re-read the article and my post, you will notice one big thing. The ports on the 4K monitor are not USB C. They are not even USB 3. They are USB 2 with a USB C connector.  So when you buy your new all in (eg. scanner) that requires USB C or USB 3, it won't work even though you are able to physically plug it in. 

    My point was, if all you can get out of these is USB 2 then it's a legacy type port and all legacy USB 2 devices have a type A connector. So unless your new USB devices are so low level that it can cut down to USB 2 speeds and power requirements, you will require a dongle on these ports.  To me this is mis-representation of the USB C port and will eventually lead to confusion and disappointment when grandma plugs in her new USB C scanner 2 years down the road from now.

    This does not apply to the 5k monitor which is utilizing the USB c ports in the correct manor. That's why I said I would consider getting the 5k monitors. 
    In your exact scenario how does a scanner using a USB-C connection.. over a USB2 speeds (480mb/sec) not work for Grandma.  Or for anyone in that matter?

    While I understand that not using Thunderbolt3 on the smaller, cheaper 21.5" monitor is frustrating.  The article specifically states that the 21.5" monitor was designed to be used with the 12" MacBook that does NOT support Thunderbolt3.  

    Furthermore as an owner of a launch day 2015 12" MacBook Retina (okay.. It technically belongs to my wife lol) who is still looking for a USB-C input monitor.. I can tell you with 1st hand knowledge that these two announcements from LG are not the be all, end all, of USB-C input monitors on the market.  If you dont agree with LG's decision to make an all-USB-C port monitor.  Then you have plenty of other options.. including other options from LG.   I've had my eye on the USB-C input LG 27UD88-W for almost a year now (https://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronics-27UD88-W-LED-Lit-Monitor/dp/B01CDYB0QS).  And yes.. it supports USB3.0 connections.  Its street price is $699.. but its been as cheap as $459.   There are other USB-C input monitors available from Lenovo, Asus, Acer and lesser names.  I hope Dell will be announcing a USB-C input monitor soon.  

    Re-read my spiel about USB-C being an **OPEN** standard and how more manufacturers will be joining into USB-C thanks to Apples 100% effort.  A year from now I'd imagine every monitor maker will have some sort of USB-C input monitor for sale.  Hell CES is in just a few weeks.. I would expect quite a few to get announced there.  There is no reason at all to believe that the LG 4K and 5K Ultrafine displays will be the last USB-C input monitors ever to get announced.  Plenty more are on the way.  And they should include features like USB-A ports, Webcams, speakers, mics, built-in USB 3.0 hubs.  
    edited December 2016
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