Hands-On With LG's Latest UltraFine 4K Display With Thunderbolt 3 Support

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    LG recently debuted a new 32UL950 32-inch UltraFine 4K display, but this latest model, priced at $1300, wasn't designed in partnership with Apple.

    It still shares quite a few design similarities with prior UltraFine models, though, so we thought we'd check it out in our latest YouTube video to see whether it's a solid option for the purchase price.

    The LG 32UL950 UltraFine Display features a black front panel with slim bezels and a curved base with a plastic monitor arm. It's tilt and height adjustable, so you can get it into the perfect position, and it can even be used in portrait orientation.


    As with many LG displays, it's VESA compatible so you can mount it on the wall to save desk space. It is equipped with two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be used for fast data transfer, 60W charging for your MacBook, and daisychaining an additional 4K monitor if desired. There are also two USB-A ports, a DisplayPort, an HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and built-in speakers.


    The 4K display of the LG 32UL950 UltraFine is great, with crisp, detailed images and sharp text, though it's not quite as nice as the 5K UltraFine that LG offers in partnership with Apple.

    This is a 32-inch display, but it's not ultrawide, and it has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz. Running this display at full resolution makes the on-screen elements quite small, so buyers might want to use it at 3360 x 1890 or 3200 x 1800 instead. Other display features include HDR and DCI-P3 support for excellent contrast and color.


    For content creation or digital media, the LG 32UL950 is a solid choice, but it's not the greatest for gaming because it maxes out at 60Hz. It does support Radeon FreeSync and Dynamic Action Sync, though.

    LG charges $1300 for the display, but it's available on Amazon at a cheaper price of $1100. That still makes it more expensive than LG's 5K monitor, so it's not going to be for everyone.

    Make sure to watch our video up above for a closer look at LG's new UltraFine display, and let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

    Article Link: Hands-On With LG's Latest UltraFine 4K Display With Thunderbolt 3 Support
  2. Ca$hflow macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2010
    London, ON
    For the price it ought to have a higher refresh rate.
  3. Red Oak Suspended

    Jun 14, 2011
    There is no way I would by this LG garbage with Apple’s display launch immminent

    LG is aweful. It forced Apple’s hand to get back into the display business
  4. kyjaotkb macrumors 6502a

    Nov 20, 2009
    London, UK
    Are you recommending to run a LCD at a non-native resolution? Strange.
  5. kerplunknet macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2006
    I own 2 LG UltraFine 5K monitors. They are the best 5K displays available. I have really enjoyed them. Looking forward to see what Apple releases in the future. I hope they stick with LG panels for their Apple-branded displays. LG has the best display technology in my opinion (their IPS and OLED).

    With all that said, the monitor in this review should not have the UltraFine name or the UltraFine price tag.

    Also, 27" is perfect for a display size, while 32" is just too big.
  6. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    What exactly is awful about it? This is a similar display I use for a work desktop and I have no complaints whatsoever, I think this display looks stunning and the color calibration is excellent.
  7. Unity451 macrumors regular


    Aug 29, 2011
  8. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    There are few things I really like about this monitor:
    • Design: While not as nice looking as Apple designed displays, I appreciate that the display is free of branding with relatively minimalist look. It looks way better than LG UltraFine series.
    • DisplayHDR 600 certified: While it's not a great HDR display (see Rting's more critical review), in the sea where very few competent HDR displays exist, this one stands out as having decent peak brightness performances and wide color gamut.
    • Twice as fast response time than iMac or LG 5K display.
    My main concern with 32UL950, beyond it being a large display at 4K resolution (and hence lower DPI), is its incomplete implementation of Thunderbolt 3. To me, TB 3 means it should be capable of charging any battery powered Mac. While 60W is fine for MB, MBA, and 13" MBP (although a bit short of 61W), it cannot charge 15" MBP at full load, and only 1 TB3 input at that. And would it kill LG to not offer 5K version?

    LG makes a very similar monitor, 32UD99 that is priced lower ($900) than 950 ($1100). I think 950 is meant to replace 99, but 99 has few nicer attributes (beyond lower price): better overall performance (minus HDR) and smaller bezel. On the flip side, 99 includes only USB-C port with much weaker HDR capabilities (no local dimming, darker peak brightness).
  9. OriginalMacRat macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2007
    Just wait until you have to deal with LG's unholy return process if it breaks.

    You won't be singing LG's praises after that.
  10. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    The “scaled” modes on a 4k or 5k screen are very effective and work by rendering the display to a higher resolution then downsamplling it to a 4K image that gets sent to the screen. So “looks like 3200x1800” isn’t really that (which would be less than 4K and look rather ropey), it’s 6400x3600 downsampled to 4K.

    It’s slighty “soft” c.f. native 3840x2160 or pixel-doubled “looks like 1920x1080” but it’s very usable on a machine with a decent GPU. Trouble is, as the article says, the UI elements are too small in the former and too large in the latter.
  11. kerplunknet macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2006
    Actually, one of my monitor stands was wobbly and I’ve been out of warranty for a while now. LG sent me TWO brand new monitor stands for free. If you’re familiar with this monitor, you know that the stands are metal and not necessarily a cheap part to give away for free. Also, their shipping packaging was insanely elaborate.

    I have nothing but great things to say about LG as a company and their products. I also own an LG C8 OLED TV and it is top notch.
  12. jcusick macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm happy to see the $200 price drop. I have been using the 32UL950 for 3 moths now. It is beautiful. I calibrated it as well which took out some of the coolness (blue hue which you see in just about everything). Love the size!!! No comparison to the 27" (personal preference). Love being able flip the monitor 90 degrees on it's stand. It looks so tall! I turned off the local dimming since it was useless with so few zones. I'm using a 2018 18" MBP with no issues with the lesser wattage for charging. My only gripe is having to physically turn off the monitor at night since it turns on every few hours for no real reason (office is next to bedroom). I guess the MBP wakes up to check e-mail/etc.
  13. gelie macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2010
    What model do you have?
  14. davester macrumors regular


    Jul 31, 2001
    Perth, Australia
  15. givemeanapple macrumors Demi-God


    Oct 2, 2016
    Can I get that wallpaper from the video? Thanks.
  16. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    That's a long reach just to get to the ports if you happen to not be standing directly behind the screen... it makes the iMac ports look ergonomic
  17. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    While the stand isn’t to my liking, I think the front is pretty attractive. Very small bezel, no branding/logo.
  18. kerplunknet macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2006
    I don't know the exact model number, but they are both the LG UltraFine 5K Display monitors. One of them is the early version that had the Wi-Fi shielding issue and the other is newer.
  19. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    How many people run their 15" MBP at let's say more than 50% load for hours on end? Likely only people doing hardcore video encoding. To my knowledge, there is no TB 3 (or TB 2 or 1) device with more than two TB ports, branching just isn't really a part of TB.

    It seems that on PCs, very few people go beyond 4K.
  20. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    I have a 5k ultrafine (the original one), and the screen is truly wonderful. However, the screen occasionally flickers when connected to my MBP, the ports sometimes stop working, and the monitor makes an odd popping noise periodically when connected. Also, of course, it’s sort of cheap looking case. But I agree that it’s hard to criticize the screen itself.

    I got it when it first came out, so it’s been in for warranty repairs. I got it at the initial discounted price, and I sort of feel like I got a discontinued monitor from the back of the discount bin at Best Buy.
  21. Martius macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2008
    Prague, CZ
    Current state of monitor market is truly horrible. Same plasticy ugly design. The stands are shaking even if you just slightly touch the desk. How many people are using the monitor in vertical position? Is really necessary to build that functionality in almost every monitor stand?

    27" Thunderbolt Display was the last amazing monitor available on the market.
  22. jimthing, Mar 23, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019

    jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
    My two work well too, but agree with @OriginalMacRat on LG's support...

    Funny, but over across in the LG 5K Owners Thread, most of us have had nothing but trouble most of the time dealing with LG if/when things need sorting-out (usually just a replacement TB3 cable). Their software updates are not exactly fluid, either.

    They recently updated to v2.31 of the LG Screen Manager app in the Mac App Store (following being released there separately 6-9 months ago, AFAICT).
    Yet instead of adding anything, it actually removed a functionality (one that virtually no one would ever use, but removed nonetheless, without any update notes saying that was even the case).

    I agree though, the 5K3K is actually "UltraFine" with a a high dpi (as is it's smaller 4K cousin), is a really good panel, and I'd still buy that over anything else right now. But this 4K is nothing of the sort in terms of dpi, slightly false advertising.

    I'd say get the 5K UF model over this anytime, but some users are reporting that it's been discontinued, as most Apple online stores worldwide are out of stock for quite a while now, although some physical Apple stores do have them.

    Used ones on Ebay are available though, and I'd rather get one of those, if I ever needed another new display.
  23. kerplunknet macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2006
    Sorry if I'm pointing out the obvious, but you're aware that LG Screen Manager software (version 2.31) is different than the LG Display firmware (version 3.04), correct?
  24. manu chao macrumors 603

    Jul 30, 2003
    Scaled modes look better, the higher the native dpi of the monitor are (nobody ever complained about the native scaled mode of the Plus iPhones, but they had 401 dpi screens). The question is are the dpi high enough on this monitor for it to look good enough?
  25. tafmasterpl macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014

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