Hands-On With LG's Massive 5K 49-Inch $1,500 Display

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LG recently came out with a new curved ultrawide monitor sporting a 5K resolution, a massive 49-inch display size, and a ~$1,500 price tag.

In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with the 49WL95C to see if it's a worthwhile purchase for a Mac user.


The 49WL95C display is similar to the 49-inch U4919DW Dell monitor that we took a look at earlier this year, and which turned out to be popular with MacRumors readers. Like the Dell monitor, the LG 49WL95C features thin bezels, a massive screen size and a deep curve.

There's an ambient light sensor at the top of the display, along with 10W speakers at the bottom of the monitor that are surprisingly loud. Adjustments can be made using the controls on the back of the right side, which is also where you'll find two USB-A ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.


At the back, there's a single USB-C port that offers up to 80W of power for charging a MacBook, 2 HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, two additional USB-A ports, and a port for plugging in a power cable. The display has a built-in power supply, which means there's no bulky power brick to deal with, a definite plus.


The display's stand offers up full tilt, height, and swivel support, and we were impressed with the stand's build quality. It's a heavy duty stand, which is necessary since the monitor weighs in at 28 pounds. This is a huge monitor and will require a deep desk or a mounting solution to use.

It's important to note that the 49WL95C is a 5K display (5120 x 1440), but it's not a true 5K resolution. Instead, it's a 32:9 dual QHD setup with a resolution of 2560 x 1440.

LG designed the display with the expectation that buyers will be using it with multiple windows open at a time or two full screen apps rather than a single app taking up the entire 49 inches of display real estate.

You're not going to want to use this kind of display for gaming (due to the limited 60Hz refresh rate and no support for AMD's FreeSync or Nvidia's G-Sync), but it's good for those who currently use two 27-inch monitors and want something a little more seamless.

We tested the 49WL95C with a 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro, and we're not sure it's the best purchase for MacBook users. On a MacBook Pro (and a 2018 MacBook Air we also tested with) the maximum resolution we were able to get was 3480 x 1080p, which doesn't look great on such a massive display. Text, images, and other user interface elements just aren't crisp with the 1080p vertical resolution.


We tried a USB-C cable, a DisplayPort to USB-C cable, a Thunderbolt 3 dock, and an eGPU and weren't able to get the full 5120 x 1440 resolution. With an iMac Pro, though, we were able to run the display at full resolution over USB-C. It's probably also going to work well with the 2013 Mac Pro (or one of the new 2019 Mac Pro models, of course), but for Mac notebooks, we don't recommend it.

There have been other reports from Mac users who have also been unable to get the display to work at full resolution with their machines, while others have had no trouble at all, so it's not entirely clear what's going on.

There could be a graphics driver or other issue specific to similar Mac models preventing them from supporting the 5120 x 1440 resolution. If you have a Windows PC though, it works great. We had no problems with the Surface Book 2.

Let us know what you think of the 49WL95C display, and if you have one, whether you've been able to get it to run at the full resolution on a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air.

Article Link: Hands-On With LG's Massive 5K 49-Inch $1,500 Display
 

nvmls

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2011
907
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Obviously at this point any model will look better than the ultra fine series.

Seems LG thought, let's make the ultrafine design as crappy as possible and stick an apple logo on it, they'll be thrilled it doesn't look like a cheese grater.
 
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gugy

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Jan 31, 2005
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I wish Apple could have a stand alone 5k display at the same price point. I love the 6K display but that price is painful to say the least.
 
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Chaos215bar2

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2004
138
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One thing I don’t really understand is, I’m always looking for a taller monitor to fit in my limited desk space, not wider. (16:9 is just too wide unless I’m watching videos, 16:10 is okay, but honestly 3:2 or 4:3 is even better.) I literally wouldn’t know where to put something like this.

I assume sales of these ultra-wide monitors are driven by gaming, but are there really not enough people using monitors for things other than video consumption and gaming to justify producing monitors in anything other than increasingly wide aspect ratios?
 

Sakurambo-kun

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2015
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One thing I don’t really understand is, I’m always looking for a taller monitor to fit in my limited desk space, not wider. (16:9 is just too wide unless I’m watching videos, 16:10 is okay, but honestly 3:2 or 4:3 is even better.) I literally wouldn’t know where to put something like this.

I assume sales of these ultra-wide monitors are driven by gaming, but are there really not enough people using monitors for things other than video consumption and gaming to justify producing monitors in anything other than increasingly wide aspect ratios?
They're partly driven by gaming, but they're great for productivity too. The extra workspace is fantastic for video editors, and for me personally as a Substance Designer guy, having a super wide view of the graph is great.
 
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Winni

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Oct 15, 2008
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I assume sales of these ultra-wide monitors are driven by gaming, but are there really not enough people using monitors for things other than video consumption and gaming to justify producing monitors in anything other than increasingly wide aspect ratios?
Ultra-wides are also awesome when you work A LOT in shell windows and SQL databases -- and no, I am NOT kidding. Having a terminal window that can easily go beyond 132 characters width is extremely comfortable.
 

nesl247

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2008
84
31
Florida
I think there are 3 possible solutions to this:

1) Update the firmware of the monitor and make sure you are on macOS 10.14.4 or newer
2) Go to System Preferences -> Displays -> Alt + Click on Scaled, see if the 5120x1440 resolution is there
3) Download SwitchResX and select the resolution

I have the Samsung CRG9 and ran into similar issues. SwitchResX is how I solve it.

The reason for this from my understanding is a limitation of the EDID specification. macOS has override files for known monitors where it will override the EDID.
 

Onelifenofear

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2019
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London
Needs more vertical resolution really. Looks pretty cool - I have 2x Phillips 32" 4K Monitors with a total res 7,680 x 2160 for £800 the pair... great monitors but let down by crappy unusable menu buttons... they need joysticks like LG monitors.
 

Chaos215bar2

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2004
138
105
They're partly driven by gaming, but they're great for productivity too. The extra workspace is fantastic for video editors, and for me personally as a Substance Designer guy, having a super wide view of the graph is great.
These are definitely not great for productivity if you're primarily viewing text and vertically oriented documents. (But I do see your point. For certain tasks, a continuous, wide view could be uniquely useful.) For most tasks, given the desk space, I'd rather just have multiple side-by-side monitors anyway. That gives you a lot more flexibility when using virtual desktops.

Ultra-wides are also awesome when you work A LOT in shell windows and SQL databases -- and no, I am NOT kidding. Having a terminal window that can easily go beyond 132 characters width is extremely comfortable.
I just stretched a terminal window to 362 characters wide on my old 30”, 16:10 monitor. Certainly there are uses, but I can’t say I’ve ever really wanted more.

Again, though, the point isn’t to say that monitors shouldn’t be this wide. That would be silly. The point is, why not also have tall options, since there’s clearly demand for aspects other than 16:9?
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
5,727
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One thing I don’t really understand is, I’m always looking for a taller monitor to fit in my limited desk space, not wider. (16:9 is just too wide unless I’m watching videos, 16:10 is okay, but honestly 3:2 or 4:3 is even better.) I literally wouldn’t know where to put something like this.

I assume sales of these ultra-wide monitors are driven by gaming, but are there really not enough people using monitors for things other than video consumption and gaming to justify producing monitors in anything other than increasingly wide aspect ratios?
These wide aspect ratios are meant to mimic having dual side-by-side monitors. This monitor is the equivalent of two 27" 1440p monitors... except there's no center bezels separating them.

Oh I agree... if I have a single monitor on my desk... I'd prefer 16:10 or 3:2

But ultra-wide monitors appeal to dual-screen users... (and some gamerz...)
 

peletrane

macrumors member
Jan 19, 2007
86
7
Chicago, IL
As someone who is thinking of buying the Mac Pro for audio mainly (Logic Pro), given that this huge thing costs as much as Apple's, errr, "stand", there really is NO REASON to buy their upcoming displays whatsoever.

Unless this thing doesn't work with the Mac Pro. I mean, no way Apple would do that......would they???
 

ChrisMoBro

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2016
528
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At this point, I have to wonder who in their right mind would use an app in full screen like that. You enough real estate to use about three windows side-by-side.
If you’re doing some intense animation in After Effects or Cinema 4D it would be pretty useful.
 
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HVDynamo

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2011
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One thing I don’t really understand is, I’m always looking for a taller monitor to fit in my limited desk space, not wider. (16:9 is just too wide unless I’m watching videos, 16:10 is okay, but honestly 3:2 or 4:3 is even better.) I literally wouldn’t know where to put something like this.

I assume sales of these ultra-wide monitors are driven by gaming, but are there really not enough people using monitors for things other than video consumption and gaming to justify producing monitors in anything other than increasingly wide aspect ratios?
Get a 16x10 monitor with a stand that rotates, and rotate it vertically.
 

69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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These wide aspect ratios are meant to mimic having dual side-by-side monitors. This monitor is the equivalent of two 27" 1440p monitors... except there's no center bezels separating them.

Oh I agree... if I have a single monitor on my desk... I'd prefer 16:10 or 3:2

But ultra-wide monitors appeal to dual-screen users... (and some gamerz...)
Mostly agree, but this particular monitor probably wouldn't appeal to gamers that much. From the article:
You're not going to want to use this kind of display for gaming (due to the limited 60Hz refresh rate and no support for AMD's FreeSync or Nvidia's G-Sync), but it's good for those who currently use two 27-inch monitors and want something a little more seamless.
34" seems to be about the widest a gamer would want to go. This thing is too wide for gaming imo. This monitor seems to have passed the "gamer diminishing returns" mark about 15" ago. Average refresh and no support for Free or G Sync... :(
 
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Michael Scrip

macrumors 603
Mar 4, 2011
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Mostly agree, but this particular monitor probably wouldn't appeal to gamers that much.
34" seems to be about the widest a gamer would want to go. This thing is too wide for gaming imo. This monitor seems to have passed the "gamer diminishing returns" mark about 15" ago. Average refresh and no support for Free or G Sync... :(
True... not this particular monitor for gamers. It's very wide!

I was talking about ultra-wide monitors in general. The normal variety. 3440x1440 and such. Gamers seem to enjoy those. :p
 
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