Decision: buy LG 34UM95 Display or continue the Thunderbolt Display waiting game

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by George Zip, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. George Zip, Jul 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

    George Zip macrumors member

    George Zip

    Jan 2, 2011
    My original Thunderbolt Display was ironically damaged by a lightning strike last July (2013), and I've been waiting to replace it. Last year, I thought for certain that new Thunderbolt Displays were in the pipeline (surely, Apple was going to update them before the Mac Pro went up for sale) but here we are a year later and still no refreshed display.

    I didn't replace then because of the above but also because I didn't want to pay full price for an "old" monitor. Not that there's anything wrong with the currently-for-sale Thunderbolt Display -- it's bright, beautiful, and makes for a great docking station for the MacBook line (Pro, Air). But a year ago it was two years old (it debuted in September 2011) and I just couldn't bring myself to buy it.

    LSS, I tried out a Monoprice 30" Display for about six months; returned it for store credit -- it started turning itself off and on at random and eventually would just do this kind of skittish power dance. (According to Monoprice this was "a known issue" because the power supply "wasn't designed to carry that kind of load". Nice to know, and that's the last time I buy an off-brand monitor.)

    Now I'm using Apple's before-the-TB monitor, the LED Cinema Display. Not too bright, but still fine for daily work. (edit: I had this one hooked up to my wife's Mac mini; she got a new iMac recently so the display was up-for-grabs.)

    A month or so back, I came across the LG 34UM95-P, a 34" 21:9 UltraWide display, which runs native at 3440 x 1440.

    Now I'm in a bit of a debate: there's new word that updated Thunderbolt Displays are in the works and may take their first bow in early Fall with speed-bumped iMacs. (Of course, I've read variations of this rumor for nearly two years.)

    So now I'm thinking I should maybe wait a little longer. I'm not all that keen on 4K -- or, maybe, I've just been waiting for Apple to make it more Mac-accessible. And the thought of the ultra wide display is appealing, given that I do a lot of page layout work, mostly on landscape-style documents (boring engineering forms, truth be told). A YouTube video I watched recently about the LG almost made me order it that day. (I should have; Adorama had it for $899 for a little while there.)

    Any thoughts/opinions? I'd love to talk to someone who has one hooked to a Mac to see if it just worked as-is when plugged in or if there were issues with tweaking it (that Monoprice took me a little over a week to finally adjust properly).
  2. MinkyMomo macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2009
    California, USA
    I find myself in the same boat. I write text all day and for the past year have been doing so with a Dell U2913WM widescreen. It's a gorgeous monitor and was a big step up from my dependable Dell 2005FPW, but at 2560x1080 is hardly any taller. I love being able to have multiple windows side-by-side and still have space left over for IM/email/etc, but I gotta have more..

    In the past week, I've been on the brink of clicking "Buy" on a 34UM94-P (commercial version with 3-year warranty) several times but have held off each time. If the updated TBD--if it comes--remains 16:9, I just might spring for the LG. My other constraint is that I have a late-2012 Mac mini; I've seen one review on Amazon that confirms it will drive the LG at full resolution, albeit at 50Hz, and I know there's just no way it will drive a 4K display with similar results. I've reconfigured my U2913WM to display at 50Hz to see if the lower refresh rate bothers me, and it seems that it doesn't.

    The 34UM94-P is currently offered at Massdrop for 899 shipped in the US (plus taxes). It *was* being offered elsewhere on the web for less than that until a week or so ago, but perceived demand appears to have changed that. That price does come and go on both Adorama and B&H, though, and I expect it will hold or even fall by the time Apple's new hardware comes out. If nothing else, there's always Black Friday :)
  3. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Frankly, I don't believe there's going to -be- a new Apple Thunderbolt display.

    Whatever product Apple might offer in a 4k display -- IF they offered one -- would probably retail in the $1,400-1,800 price range.

    Beyond the reach of all but a select (or foolish) few.

    I sense that 3rd-party display manufacturers (such as LG) already know this, and that's why LG decided to offer a thunderbolt-based display on its own...
  4. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2013
    I'm using the 34UM95 since late june with a nMP.
    Nice monitor, good IPS panel(the first batch have some problem but everything seems to be solved with the june revision).
    The enclosure is not Apple quality but you got what you pay for.
  5. Acorn macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2009
    the way that post reads it comes off like the LG 34UM95 is a 4k display which its not. Maybe it was just the talk of LG and 4k display together which made it sound that way. Just wanted to point that out since that is one of the nice things about the lg34um95 is that its not 4k so it doesnt put as much stress as a 4k monitor.

    personally I would take the lg over an apple display any day.
  6. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    I'm close to ordering a 34UM95, it's a shame the ports aren't USB3 and that it doesn't have a Gigabit Ethernet port, something I need anyway. And quality control worries.

    Hearing that Dell will be releasing it's own monitor using this panel, hopefully with better QC and USB3/Gigabit.

    I want to say Apple will adopt a 21:9 screen as it's a format that seems to work well for FCP work etc.
  7. maplingstorie macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2009
    I really like the LG but sadly, i'm a glossy panel lover :p
  8. George Zip thread starter macrumors member

    George Zip

    Jan 2, 2011
    Same here. I've stuck with Apple for years with their displays (ever since the $4000 (ha; a different kind of 4K) original Cinema Display landed) but I'm just tired of waiting on them.

    I ordered the LG yesterday; the company I worked for got tired of waiting as well and told me the PO would expire at the end of July (it's been open since August 1 of last year). So I went ahead and ordered it.

    Now, if Apple does premier a new display (or several, hopefully) in the next few months, I may still be able to finagle that thanks to a desire by others to acquire the LG I just ordered (which is on backorder already).

    So it's just a matter of waiting. Always, waiting.
  9. maplingstorie macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2009
    Yeah man. I've been waiting for 2 years already for an updated display from Apple, so I'm gonna hold on for as long as I can. I'm afraid for LG that I might get used to the 21:9 ratio that when I come back to 16:9, they would look boxy. (like transitioning from 16:9 back to 4:3). :p
  10. sirneb macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2014
    Now that you mention it, I actually didn't realize my 34UM95 is not glossy. lol. I actually prefer it.

    For me, my only concern for anyone on the fence is the build of the 34UM95, I had to return my first which had a weird artifact issue. Overall if there is no build concerns, 34UM95 is awesome. I love my 34UM95, hands down.

    Oh, and the original stand sucks, I'm using a ergotron arm stand which really improves the experience.
  11. George Zip thread starter macrumors member

    George Zip

    Jan 2, 2011
    I have a HumanScale monitor arm that I bought for use with the previously-mentioned Monoprice so I'm set for an arm for the LG when it ships.

    I hope that the LG has gotten past that issue -- I recall reading something about the artifact stuff on another review -- with the latest builds/shipments. I ordered the LG from Amazon yesterday (before my purchase order expired) but it's on backorder. (Every outlet that said "in stock" changed to "not currently in stock" when I got to the checkout, so I figured I'd just take advantage of my Amazon Prime ordering superpower as long as I was waiting)
  12. George Zip thread starter macrumors member

    George Zip

    Jan 2, 2011
    BTW, I'm figuring now that I finally used the P.O. and ordered the LG, new displays will be announced next week.
  13. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I agree that it's a great monitor but I don't think their issues are solved with the June batch. A lot of folks have the same old issues with the Rev2 June units, including me.
  14. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2013
  15. 8CoreWhore, Jul 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014

    8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    I want the TB Display, but with 28" 4K monitors selling for $600 out there, I'm certain the next TB Monitor will be 4K. After being used to the Retina display on my 15" MBP, I do not want to look at low res, especially on a bigger screen. It could be 6 weeks from now, I have to wait.

    BTW, don't forget, home owner's insurance and renters insurance covers damage by lightning strikes. ;););)
  16. wickoo macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2011
    What if they are going with Thunderbolt 3 for the new display? It is said to allow charging of devices up to 100W and have a transfer speed of up to 40Gbps. To be released in 2015 with Boradwell-proper.
  17. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    There have been people with good luck all along, so getting a unit with no issues isn't a sign that the coast is clear. I've been following people's experiences on several forums and things do not seem to have gotten better.
  18. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2013
    Maybe because on forums you mostly find user sharing their problems.
  19. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    So your version of the backlight bleed problem being solved is your one display that has no problems, but all the other backlight bleed photos posted online are just people complaining as usual?

  20. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2013
    No no, you got it all wrong.. I'm sure most panels are defective and I've got one of the very few without issues.
  21. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    You can now officially get the 34UM94 (the commercial version with 3yr warranty) for $850 on massdrop.
  22. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    why would they implement TB 3 when there's barely anything out there for TB 2?
  23. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    But that's the catch. It's rare that you get a perfect display, so defective is relative. People have sent backlight bleed units back to LG and they were sent back as "normal". If they consider it within spec then it is what it is.

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