LG’s UltraFine 5K Displays are slowly making their way into the hands of customers, and as such, there are still quite a few lingering questions about the units. We’ve already posted an in-depth hands-on video walkthrough, but in this post we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions that we’ve encountered thus far.
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Is the screen glossy or matte?
The LG UltraFine 5K Display features a glossy screen.
How large is the screen?
The screen is 27-inches diagonal.
What is the chassis made out of?
The LG UltraFine 5K Display is comprised mostly of black plastic. The base of the unit, however, is made out of solid metal.
Does the display wobble?
When adjusting the stand to higher positions, the LG UltraFine 5K Display is more prone to wobble, but you may still notice wobble even at the lowest height setting while typing.
What version of macOS does the display require?
Apple states that the LG UltraFine 5K Display requires a Mac running macOS Sierra 10.12.1 or later. It’s recommended that users run macOS Sierra 10.12.2 or later to ensure the best compatibility.
What is the UltraFine 5K Display’s native resolution?
The UltraFine 5K Display features a native resolution of 5120-by-2880. It has a default resolution of 2560-by-1440 (Retina pixel doubled). The Retina mode affords the same amount of real estate as a 27-inch Thunderbolt Display, while providing tack sharp text and assets.
What resolution does the UltraFine 5K Display support via macOS?
The following resolutions are supported via System Preferences → Displays in macOS:
To view all scaled resolutions, hold the Option key when clicking the Scaled radio button.
LG UltraFine 5K Display Hands-on video walkthrough
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Does the LG UltraFine 5K Display work in Windows?
We tested the LG UltraFine 5K Display in Windows via a Bootcamp partition, and can report that the unit performs admirably. You won’t get full 5K resolution, but you do you get 4K 16:9 (4096-by-2304) resolution, which looks superb on Windows 10. Brightness and volume controls work perfectly fine as well. We did experience some frame rate hiccups with the built-in camera, but hopefully that will be addressed in a future update.
Which Mac models support the UltraFine 5K Display?
The LG UltraFine 5K Display works with the following Macs at 5K (5120-by-2880 @60Hz) resolution:
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
The display will work with the following Macs at 4K (3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz) resolution when utilizing a Thunderbolt 3 Male to Thunderbolt 2 Female Adapter:
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
- MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) and later
- MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2014) and later
- iMac (Retina, 27-inch, Late 2014) and later
- iMac (Retina, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)
- iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
- MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
- MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)
The display will work with the Mac mini (Late 2014) at 3200 x 1800 @ 60Hz resolution.
For the Mac mini and the Mac Pro, Apple is recommending that the LG UltraFine 5K Display be used as a second display, not the primary display. Apple notes that the display might not turn on until booting into macOS. As such, boot picker and macOS recovery options might not be available on the display in pre-boot scenarios.
Can I connect to two LG UltraFine 5K Displays?
If you own a 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro, you may connect two UltraFine 5K Displays simultaneously at full resolution. Each display must be connected directly to the MacBook Pro via the included Thunderbolt 3 cable. The 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro can only support one 5K display at full resolution.
How do you adjust screen brightness on the LG UltraFine Display?
Since the display features no buttons or joysticks, and no OSD menu, users must adjust all monitor settings via the operating system. If you go to System Preferences → Displays, you will see a brightness slider that allows you to adjust the brightness of the LG display.
Can I adjust brightness via a Touch Bar shortcut on the MacBook Pro?
By using the individual brightness control buttons in the Touch Bar combined with the physical Control key on the MacBook Pro’s keyboard, users can adjust the brightness of the external LG UltraFine 5K Display. It’s not the perfect solution, because it’s a little delayed, and requires multiple key presses, but it’ll get you by in a pinch. Watch the time-stamped video below to see it in action:
Is there an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness of the display?
The LG UltraFine Display includes an ambient light sensor next to the camera, but this sensor doesn’t appear to work yet with the current version of macOS. There is no Automatically adjust brightness setting found for the display in System Preferences → Displays.
How do you adjust the volume of the built in speakers?
Similarly to how you adjust the display’s brightness, volume can be adjusted via System Preferences → Sound, and using the Output Volume slider. You can also use a menu bar shortcut to quickly adjust sound output, or use the volume controls on the Touch Bar or function row.
How long is the included Thunderbolt 3 cable?
LG includes a 6-foot Thunderbolt 3 cable, which should be long enough for most setups.
Is there a power “brick”?
The LG UltraFine 5K Display features an internal power supply, which means that the power cord is simply a cord, not a large power brick.
Is the stand adjustable?
The included stand, which comes preinstalled on the display, is adjustable. You can adjust the height (4.3-inches), negative (-5º) and positive (25º) vertical viewing angles, and slightly adjust the horizontal level. The monitor’s base doesn’t include rotation or horizontal viewing angle adjustments, and the monitor cannot be viewed in vertical mode.
Can I mount the LG UltraFine Display on a VESA arm or mount?
Yes. LG includes a special VESA cover that can be attached to the back of the display for mounting on a VESA arm or mount. You’ll need to detach the stand in order to install the VESA mount. The stand can be detached via a small lever on the back of the display.
What is the resolution of the built-in camera?
The LG UltraFine 5K Display features a camera with a max resolution of 1920-by-1080.
Does the display include a microphone?
Yes, you can use the display’s built-in microphone, which is next to the camera, to facilitate FaceTime calls or anything else that requires a microphone.
Will the LG UltraFine 5K Display charge my MacBook Pro?
If connected via the included Thunderbolt 3 cable, the LG UltraFine 5K Display will charge the 13- or 15-inch 2016 MacBook Pro at full speed (up to 85W). Note that power delivery isn’t provided to older Macs connected using the Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter.
Will the display provide enough power over USB-C to charge my iPhone or iPad?
Providing up to 7.5W of power via each USB-C port, the LG UltraFine 5K Display will do an adequate job charging an iPhone, but it will be slow to charge an iPad or iPad Pro. If you do wish to connect an iOS device, we recommend having a few USB-C to Lightning Cables on hand.
How fast are the downstream USB-C ports included on the rear of the display?
The LG UltraFine 5K Display includes three downstream USB-C ports featuring USB 3.1 gen 1. This means that the speed maxes out at 5Gbps, which is standard USB 3.0 speed.
Can I daisy chain the LG UltraFine 5K Display?
You can add the display to the tail end of a valid Thunderbolt 3 daisy chain, but since the unit only contains a single Thunderbolt 3 input port, it will not work in the middle of a daisy chain.
Are there any issues with macOS when connecting to the UltraFine display?
As we’ve used this display, we’ve encountered several bugs that will likely be addressed in future macOS software updates. One such bug happens when using the shake to find cursor feature found in macOS. Normally, when you shake to find your mouse cursor, the cursor appears big for a second to help you find it, then reverts to normal size. Occasionally, when connected to the LG UltraFine 5K Display, I’ve noticed that a second cursor freezes in place on screen while enlarged. I can still control my Mac like normal, but having this second cursor frozen on screen is annoying.
In order to get rid of the cursor, a simple disconnect and reconnect of the Thunderbolt 3 cable that goes to the display seems to work fine. You can also outright disable the shake mouse pointer to locate feature in System Preferences → Accessibility → Display.
Though I’ve yet to experience any issues with sleep and wake myself, some users have experienced problems when putting their Mac to sleep and waking it back up while connected to the LG display.
Where can I find an online manual for the display?
LG has posted a manual for its UltraFine 5K Display on its website. You can find it here.
Does any additional software come with the LG display?
If you wish, you may download the companion LG Screen Manager app. This app, which is not required to use the display, allows you to take advantage of a software screen split feature, and update the monitor’s software version. You can find the LG Screen Manager app on LG’s support website.
What is the warranty for the LG UltraFine 5K Display
LG provides a limited 1-year parts and labor warranty. Since this is not an Apple-branded piece of hardware, all warranty claims are handled by LG. If you need repair or service, you can use LG’s online service request tool.
How long will the LG UltraFine 5K Display be on sale for $974
Should I save money and get the 4K version instead?
I personally recommend sticking with the 5K version, unless money is the major determining factor. The 4K model features lesser resolution, no 10-bit color, no camera, no microphone, slower charging for 15-inch MacBook Pro owners, and slow USB 2.0 ports.
That said, the 4K model is significantly cheaper at $524 while on sale. You could get two 4K monitors for almost the same price of a single 5K monitor. You can also connect multiple 4K monitors to a 13-inch MacBook Pro, something that isn’t possible with the 5K version. You’ll actually end up getting more pixels that way.
At the end of the day, it’s a personal decision, and there are benefits to both routes, but I like the idea of having a single 5K display with integrated camera, microphone, and faster I/O.
Do you have any additional questions that aren’t answered by this FAQ? Feel free to ask and/or answer these questions down below in the comments. We’ll be sure to update this FAQ in the future with additional answers as well.