Meet LG’s new Macbook Pro compatible 4K and 5K monitors with Thunderbolt 3
Stephan Jukic – October 30, 2016
Apple and LG have essentially partnered up on a sort of dual product release that wonderfully meshes to create one very powerful new computing and display option for consumers who love ultra HD resolution and awesome connectivity specs.
First there was Apple’s unveiling of its new late-2016 Macbook Pro 15 and 13 inch laptops with tremendously powerful GPU specs and the latest in ultra-wide bandwidth USB-C Thunderbolt 3 connectivity which together can support multiple 4K and even 5K PC monitors. Then to perfectly complement these new Apple machines, LG announced the impending release of new 4K and 5K PC monitors which of course also offer Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. The 4K model, called the “UltraFine” 21.5, offers a display size of 21.5 inches while the 5K “UltraFine” monitor comes with a 27 inch display.
LG is in fact specifically advertising its two new DCI 4K and 5K monitors as being built to seamlessly integrate with the macOS ecosystem and Apple’s new Macbook Pro models so these product releases are very definitely a sort of joint effort between the two companies.
And let there be no doubt about it, at least from the published specs we’re seeing for the new UltraFine monitors, these models are excquisite pieces of PC technology. For starters, both monitors offer resolutions which go well beyond the usual 4K PC monitor pixel count of 4K UHD at 3840 x 2160 pixels. Instead, the 4K LG model offers a DCI (Digital Cinema) “true” 4K resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (which means it offers roughly 500,000 more pixels than a typical 4K UHD monitor) and the 5K monitor offers the much more rarified 5K display resolution of 5120 x 2880 pixels. This latter 5K resolution is something currently only offered on the market by Dell’s Ultrasharp 5K monitor and Apple’s own 5K iMac desktop computers.
Both monitors also offer the excellent wide viewing angles of IPS display and some truly high brightness specs at 500 cd/m2, which is well above the PC monitor average of 280 to 350 cd/m2. Additionally, the refresh rates of both machines sit at a smooth 60Hz and the monitors offer some truly stunning cinematic color at more than 92% DCI-P3 color space coverage. The 5K monitor even offers 10-bit color for a total of 1.07 billion RGB color value variations.
Basically, both models come with display specs that almost them on par with HDR 4K TVs in how well they render visuals.
And while the above display specs for the two new monitors are stunning enough by themselves, their most impressive feature is quite possibly the remarkably robust connectivity both the UltraFine 21.5 and UltraFine 27 offer. Just like the Macbook Pro machines which they’re built to so smoothly complement, the LG monitors offer the tremendous bandwidth power of USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 integration. This means data transfer rates well above 40Gbps and the ability to handle dual DisplayPort 1.2 streams over a single USB-C connection in both displays. In fact, the 5K model requires the bandwidth equivalent of two DisplayPort 1.2 connections just to render graphics from a Macbook Pro onto its 5120 x 2880 display. The USB-C ports of the two UltraFine monitors also allow for large electrical power transfers, meaning that these ports can actually be used to charge a laptop or other connected device at high speed.
Both the 21.5 inch UltraFine and the 27 inch UltraFine also come with stereo speakers while the 27 inch 5K model also features a built-in microphone for video and audio conferencing.
One major warning about the two UltraFine monitors is however definitely worth mentioning here to owners of Windows machines who want to get their hands on them. While the specs and performance of both displays are apparently stunning, these machines have definitely been built with Apple machines in mind and more specifically, they’re maximally compatible with the new Macbook Pro laptops.
First of all, neither monitor offers a more basic sRGB color setting. For Apple machines this is no problem due to their far more robust color management systems for software and display but for Windows color management technology, the LG displays will likely create oversaturated color tht can’t be made to go away easily.
Additionally, that robust and cutting-edge connectivity that the two UltraFines come with sort of limits them to Apple’s Macbook devices in most ways. Even the product specifications for the two new monitors indicate that they need the USB-C connectivity and in the case of the 5K monitor the USB-C + Thunderbolt 3 connectivity of the Macbook Pro to really function. This it seems that owners of Windows laptops and PCs might want to stay away from these otherwise very impressive PC monitors.
The LG UltraFine 21.5 inch and 27 inch monitors aren’t shipping for sale quite yet but they have been listed online and on Apple’s website for $699.95 for the 4K model and $1,299.95 for the 27 inch 5K model. The 4K laptop will start shipping in November and the 5K model will ship in December.
Story by 4k.com