Quick take video review: LG's UltraFine 4K Display

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited December 2016
Apple alongside the release of its new MacBook Pro lineup partnered with display maker LG to develop a pair of complementary UltraFine Displays with USB-C connectivity and high-resolution IPS panels. Today, AppleInsider takes a look at the 21.5-inch 4K version.









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We're also interested in your questions! If you want to know anything about the new MacBook Pro or LG UltraFine lineup, chime in on our forums and we'll address it.
Remarksman
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    Can it be used as a monitor for an xBox One S - which outputs 4k over HDMI?
    (If there is even an adapter for HDMI male to USB-C male.)

    Thanks!

    Main reason I don't by iMacs is because I can't use it as a gaming display.
    Sticking with MacMini for now but they're not updated very often. :(

  • Reply 2 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,814member
    Great job with this video.
    boboliciousroundaboutnowpulseimagesargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 23
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    macseekerboboliciouspulseimagesargonautjony0
  • Reply 4 of 23
    Unfortunately reviews of connectivity seem to leave many questions for the TB computers currently shipping, and other existing users: http://www.apple.com/ca/shop/reviews/MMEL2AM/A/thunderbolt-3-usb-c-to-thunderbolt-2-adapter
  • Reply 5 of 23
    nhtnht Posts: 4,446member
    Unfortunately reviews of connectivity seem to leave many questions for the TB computers currently shipping, and other existing users: http://www.apple.com/ca/shop/reviews/MMEL2AM/A/thunderbolt-3-usb-c-to-thunderbolt-2-adapter

    Wrong adapter.  A USB-C to DisplayPort cable is all they need.  $19.  The TB-3 to TB-2 adapter is not what s desired.

    https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Thunderbolt-Compatible-DisplayPort/dp/B01J6DT070
  • Reply 6 of 23
    jonyojonyo Posts: 115member
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    That's weird. The 4K model only doing USB 2 speeds while the 5K model does USB 3.1 speeds on the USC-C ports seems really arbitrary and dumb. I have trouble believing that bumping the 4K model to the same internal USB port circuitry as the 5K model would add much to the cost of production, so it seems more like a purposeful gimping to steer you toward the more expensive 5K model. Not loving that.
    entropys
  • Reply 7 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,814member
    jonyo said:
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    That's weird. The 4K model only doing USB 2 speeds while the 5K model does USB 3.1 speeds on the USC-C ports seems really arbitrary and dumb. I have trouble believing that bumping the 4K model to the same internal USB port circuitry as the 5K model would add much to the cost of production, so it seems more like a purposeful gimping to steer you toward the more expensive 5K model. Not loving that.
    It's absolutely NOT based on random choice or personal whim. It's to lower cost of the smaller display, hence the lack of the components for a USB 3.x hub, no mic, no camera, only 8-bit per pixels, and likely worse speakers and a plethora of minor things that are much improved in the 27" 5K display.
    edited November 2016 rezwitsargonaut
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,593member
    Soli said:
    jonyo said:
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    That's weird. The 4K model only doing USB 2 speeds while the 5K model does USB 3.1 speeds on the USC-C ports seems really arbitrary and dumb. I have trouble believing that bumping the 4K model to the same internal USB port circuitry as the 5K model would add much to the cost of production, so it seems more like a purposeful gimping to steer you toward the more expensive 5K model. Not loving that.
    It's absolutely NOT based on random choice or personal whim. It's to lower cost of the smaller display, hence the lack of the components for a USB 3.x hub, no mic, no camera, only 8-bit per pixels, and likely worse speakers and a plethora of minor things that are much improved in the 27" 5K display.
    This seemed sort of obvious to me because it's how every product everywhere works: lower price means lower spec. 

    i wonder how many people walk into a BMW dealership and demand a Series5 for the same price as a Series7. 
    edited November 2016 williamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,593member
    Can it be used as a monitor for an xBox One S - which outputs 4k over HDMI?
    (If there is even an adapter for HDMI male to USB-C male.)

    Thanks!

    Main reason I don't by iMacs is because I can't use it as a gaming display.
    Sticking with MacMini for now but they're not updated very often. :(

    I think they'll update all the desktops early next year, but don't take my word for it. :-)
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 23
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Apple should bring latests and greatest ports to all devices: Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) and USB 3.1 Type-C (reversible) generation 2 (10 Gbps). Less is a deal breaker!
  • Reply 11 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,814member
    appex said:
    Apple should bring latests and greatest ports to all devices: Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) and USB 3.1 Type-C (reversible) generation 2 (10 Gbps). Less is a deal breaker!
    You know this is an LG monitor, right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,706member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    jonyo said:
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    That's weird. The 4K model only doing USB 2 speeds while the 5K model does USB 3.1 speeds on the USC-C ports seems really arbitrary and dumb. I have trouble believing that bumping the 4K model to the same internal USB port circuitry as the 5K model would add much to the cost of production, so it seems more like a purposeful gimping to steer you toward the more expensive 5K model. Not loving that.
    It's absolutely NOT based on random choice or personal whim. It's to lower cost of the smaller display, hence the lack of the components for a USB 3.x hub, no mic, no camera, only 8-bit per pixels, and likely worse speakers and a plethora of minor things that are much improved in the 27" 5K display.
    This seemed sort of obvious to me because it's how every product everywhere works: lower price means lower spec. 

    i wonder how many people walk into a BMW dealership and demand a Series5 for the same price as a Series7. 
    Are you seriously arguing it is a measurable cost issue for one display to carry USB2 and the other USB3?  Wouldn't you consider USB3 the base and go up from there? Heck, add a few extra ports on higher spec models for the upsell.

    If Apple aren't interested in making monitors anymore, Ive could have designed these for LG too.  
  • Reply 13 of 23
    So ugly... I would hate to have that sitting on my desk...
  • Reply 14 of 23
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 226member
    I'm so excited about Apple's innovation here. Their achievement is astonishing. Kudos to Tim Cook on your great job. Love having a Lucky Gadget badge on my desktop - makes me so proud to be a Mac user.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    dws-2dws-2 Posts: 238member
    That's one of the best video reviews I've seen. Very even handed and information dense. I've bern looking to find out if it's glossy or not, and I didn't know about the port speeds, which makes me want the 5K version. Also, the metal base and the lack of wobbling makes me think this is a more premium product than I realized.
    argonaut
  • Reply 16 of 23
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 501member
    appex said:
    Apple should bring latests and greatest ports to all devices: Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) and USB 3.1 Type-C (reversible) generation 2 (10 Gbps). Less is a deal breaker!
    Obviously, that's what everybody wants. But you'd have to pay more for it, and the higher price would be a dealbreaker for even more people.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    jonyo said:
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    That's weird. The 4K model only doing USB 2 speeds while the 5K model does USB 3.1 speeds on the USC-C ports seems really arbitrary and dumb. I have trouble believing that bumping the 4K model to the same internal USB port circuitry as the 5K model would add much to the cost of production, so it seems more like a purposeful gimping to steer you toward the more expensive 5K model. Not loving that.
    Or maybe because this is NOT a Thunderbolt 3 display, it's a DisplayPort over USB-C display, and once you plumb up the 4K display, all you have left over on the cable is USB 2.0. The 5K has Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth, so more bandwidth available for camera, microphone, USB 3...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    jonyojonyo Posts: 115member
    db1 said:
    jonyo said:
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    That's weird. The 4K model only doing USB 2 speeds while the 5K model does USB 3.1 speeds on the USC-C ports seems really arbitrary and dumb. I have trouble believing that bumping the 4K model to the same internal USB port circuitry as the 5K model would add much to the cost of production, so it seems more like a purposeful gimping to steer you toward the more expensive 5K model. Not loving that.
    Or maybe because this is NOT a Thunderbolt 3 display, it's a DisplayPort over USB-C display, and once you plumb up the 4K display, all you have left over on the cable is USB 2.0. The 5K has Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth, so more bandwidth available for camera, microphone, USB 3...
    Ah, maybe that's true. I think I mistakenly assumed that both of these were driven by TB3. I had thought this because I recall reading somewhere that the MacBook (the new-ish super thin model with the single USB-C port but no TB) could not drive this 4K LG. Checking the compatibility notes at the apple online store, it says "Connection: USB-C–enabled Mac" which would mean that the non-TB MacBook *is* included. So, I either read some incorrect information, or misread it. The 5K 27" LG notes says TB3 only, so no Macbook w/USB-C & no TB.

    My current non-retina mid-2012 MBP can't drive any of this stuff via TB1, but I may upgrade to one of the new 15" MBPs within the next year, and then this will all be more relevant to my specify setup.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    There is actually a technical reason for this. Since the display is connected via USB and the display connection uses all of the 4 channels, there isn't sufficient bandwidth left over to support USB 3 speeds. That's why the TB3 display operates at higher speeds: The excess bandwidth is there.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    db1 said:
    jonyo said:
    grizzly said:
    Why do they always gimp the "lower end" models? It's so frustrating. The 4K would be amazing if it had the feature set of the 5K. At a minimum, the 4K being limited to USB 2.0 speeds is inexcusable to me and is honestly what's stopping me from purchasing it. 
    That's weird. The 4K model only doing USB 2 speeds while the 5K model does USB 3.1 speeds on the USC-C ports seems really arbitrary and dumb. I have trouble believing that bumping the 4K model to the same internal USB port circuitry as the 5K model would add much to the cost of production, so it seems more like a purposeful gimping to steer you toward the more expensive 5K model. Not loving that.
    Or maybe because this is NOT a Thunderbolt 3 display, it's a DisplayPort over USB-C display, and once you plumb up the 4K display, all you have left over on the cable is USB 2.0. The 5K has Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth, so more bandwidth available for camera, microphone, USB 3...
    That's a useful clarification, thanks.

    I don't think Apple has done itself any favours by describing these ports as Thunderbolt 3. I'm open to correction but I believe they're USB-C ports, capable of providing Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 or Displayport depending on the cable/peripheral used. The standard also includes concurrent either-direction power and USB 2 (useful article here). When we've all (including me) got over the dongle issue and the market has produced a few more devices, we're going to see how forward-looking a decision it was to go with four of them rather than a predetermined mix of dedicated ports.
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