LG 27UD88-W - 27" 4K Monitor

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ascender, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. ascender macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #1
    There's been a lot of chat about this monitor in various threads over the last month or so, but I wanted to start one about it as it will be easier for people to find. Given the prices of the new LG/Apple screens, this one seems to have been a popular option as its retail price is nearly half that of the (albeit) 5K one.

    Its got a USB-hub and headphone jack on the back, so the included USB-C cable covers off data, sound and video which is a neat solution. The main issue seems to be that the power for charging is limited to 60W, so it will only charge the new 13" MBPs and 12" rMB.

    Its a stunning screen, whether watching movies, editing video or photos. With the 15" touchbar, MBP performance is great, although I've found its occasionally doesn't detect the MBP being plugged-in - I don't know if this is an issue with the monitor or the MBP. From all I've read, USB-C seems to be a bit hit & miss at the moment in terms of cable specs in particular, so maybe its no surprise that there's teething troubles.

    Full specifications can be found at the LG page here: http://www.lg.com/uk/monitors/lg-27UD88-W
     
  2. va1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #2
    I also have one of these and use it with a non-Touch Bar MBP.
    My main complaint is that the resolution is wrong: 4K is too small on a 27", 1080p Retina is too big. I end up setting it to the Apple a Thunderbolt Display resolution of 2560x1440, but there some loss of quality and a lot of irritation...

    The thing is, as far as I know there is no 24" 4K display with USB-C and the only 27" 1440p USB-C monitor I know of I that Acer with the ridiculous gold trim...

    The 60W charging is a non-issue in my opinion: any 15" MBP will still charge, just a little bit slower...
     
  3. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    #3
    4K has about 8M pixels and 5K has 6M more on top of that, so the two can't be compared.

    IMO, 4K isn't enough for a 27" monitor. Scaled at 2X, you're looking at 1080p effective resolution stretched to 27". 4K is more suitable for 20" - 24" monitors.

    You can run at 1.5 scaling to get 1440p at some quality loss.
     
  4. Dick Whitman macrumors 6502

    Dick Whitman

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #4
    So even with the loss of quality at 2560 x 1440 are you still happy with your purchase? Would you recommend this monitor for other 2016 MBP owners? Also, even at 2560 x 1440 are you able to view 4K content in 4K (i.e. similar to the 5K iMac)? I like the idea of a 4K monitor because I could pair it with my PS4 Pro but I definitely would not want to run such a display at native 4K.
     
  5. va1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #5
    Ok, so right now I have an LG 27UD88 and an Apple Thunderbolt Display (via Apple's TB3/TB2 adapter) hooked up to the non touchbar MBP 13.

    Some findings:
    1) 1440p is clearly the most sensible scaling for a 27", and that's the ATD native resolution. In spite of this, text on the LG when set to scale to 1440p is still crisper than on the ATD. Unexpected victory for the LG on that front.
    2) the ATD adjusts brightness automatically, the LG doesn't. With them side by side, the difference really shows. The ATD follows the light fluctuations of the room, the LG seems inert in comparison.
    3) I love glossy displays. Yes, the ATD is reflective, but colours truly "pop". I am not a colour-critical user, though, so take that for what it's worth.
    4) one HUGE difference in usability, for me at least: the LG's USB ports go dead when you unplug the laptop. This means you cannot have an iPad charging there while you're on the couch with the MBP. This is so stupid. With the ATD on the other hand, the USB ports keep charging regardless of whether the Thunderbolt is engaged.
    5) in fact, with a USB-A to USB-C charge cord, you can use a USB port on the ATD to slowly charge your 2016 MBP. Not while you're using it -- it's not that much power. But I went to bed with it plugged in just for fun and when I woke up the MBP had charged to 100%.

    For me, the usability issues of the LG probably outweigh how beautiful the display itself is.
    With respect to your questions about how 4K content is handled when the display is set to scale to 1440p: I don't know for sure, but my sense is that if you scale to 1080p, with a perfect retina 2x with respect to the native resolution, then the display knows that it can use every single pixel for 4K content if it needs to. I suspect that if you set it to scale to 1440p, everything gets scaled, thus effectively losing the ability to display 4K content as such. But I am not sure. We would need to hear from an expert on how Mac OS's HiDPI mode works in those cases. I have been trying to figure that out too.
     
  6. dasgooch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #6
    I completely disagree with va1984 on this. I have been testing the LG 27UD88 and up until 2 days ago I had 2 of them on my desk at work. I used them for 2 weeks on my late '16 tbMBP and they look very good. The usb-a 3.0 hub on the back is also a nice perk. As far as the negatives of it not continuing to charge devices after they are disconnected this is not as big of a deal to me. In fact the Apple Thunderbolt display behaves the same exact way. I used a thunderbolt display prior to the 27UD88 almost exclusively for 3 years and besides missing a native ethernet port i'd take the 27UD88 everytime.

    I currently have the LG 5k Ultrafine and the LG 27UD88 sitting side by side and while the color saturation gives the 5k a slight edge there are definitely things I prefer about the 27UD88 over the 5k, the USB-A hub being the biggest right now with the lack of native usb-c accessories. I also prefer the overall look of the 27UD88 more compared to the 5k, smaller bezels and a cleaner look overall but looks are very subjective. If it came down to it and I had to make the choice again I would probably choose the 27UD88 based on the price increase and some of the odd compatibility issues i've experienced so far with the 5k.
     
  7. va1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #7
    Opinions are opinions and I respect yours -- in fact I agree with everything you say about the 5K vs 27UD88 comparison. But you're wrong about the Apple Thunderbolt Display's USB ports: they do continue to charge any USB peripherals even if the laptop is disconnected. I am testing the monitors side by side (ATD and 27UD88), so I am 100% certain. In fact, the USB ports at the back of the ATD can even charge my 2016 MBP, albeit slowly and only if it is asleep.

    For what it's worth, I haven't yet decided between keeping the ATD (which I paid $250 for, plus $30 adapter) and the LG 27UD88 (which I paid $600 for) or, in fact, ordering the smaller UltraFine 4K. It's gonna be one of these impossible decisions. And thankfully my girlfriend banned me from getting the HP Envy because it says "Envy" on it!
     
  8. dasgooch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #8
    I will stand by your comment about the USB charging on the ATD as you have it in front of you and I no longer have access to mine, my mistake. You are well advised from your GF for not getting the HP Envy 4k. I have a few of these we are testing as well and they don't seem to charge reliably over the provided (or any) USB-c cable. We are constantly getting prompted by the monitor that a non-qualified USB-C cable has been connected when its the cable HP sent. We opened a case with HP and they seem to know even less about this monitor than we do. As for the panel and aesthetics of the Envy both are fine and if you plan on using this over HDMI you'd probably be just fine but as a USB-C monitor alternative used to charge the late 2016 MBP look elsewhere.
     
  9. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #9
    I have not seen this specifically mentioned: the LG 5K UltraFine Display continues to charge USB devices even with the MacBook Pro disconnected.
     
  10. va1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #10
    Neat. I wonder if the UltraFine 4K does too.
     
  11. mds1256 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    #11
    Looking to get a monitor for my 13" TB and cannot decide on which one to go for.

    Do you know what the difference is between the LG 27UD88-W and the LG 24 Ultrafine apart from the size?

    Has anyone compared them and which one is more usable at retina resolution, the comments above seem to insinuate that there is a loss of quality be using retina resolution settings on non-5k monitors.

    The 27UD88-W looks more favourable to me at the moment as it's also compatible out of the box with windows pcs as well as having the one USB-C to connect to my mac.

    Any advice would be appreciated
     
  12. va1984 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #12
    There is no "LG 24 Ultrafine". The Ultrafine is 21.5". The LG 27UD88 is 27". It's a big difference in size and for most people that would determine the decision. It's the same difference between the size of the displays of the 'big' and 'small' iMacs currently at the Apple Store.

    But their resolutions are almost the same: in fact, the Ultrafine 21.5" has a marginally higher resolution. Both really want to be used in retina mode for best quality, as "retina" 1080p. This means that the same 'real estate' can be stretched over a surface of 21.5" diagonal or 27" diagonal. In the first case (the Ultrafine) things will look exactly like on a Retina 4K iMac 21.5". In the second case, the same content is stretched over a larger area, so some people will say that everything will look a little too big to them. (big, but still very crisp and clear because it's retina-resolution).
    Alternatively, some people will set the 27" monitor to a non-native resolution (1440p) because at that size things don't look funny big, but that is no longer a 'retina' -- 1440p "retina"= 5K. 1440p is the same resolution as the old non-retina 27" iMacs, but it will look a little better on the new LG 27UD88. The problem is that (according to manufacturers and many others) using a non-native resolution can "affect performance", though you should probably judge with your own eyes (and machine) whether you believe that or not.

    Long story short: if you want to sit closer to the display, have a small space, enjoy running a Retina display natively, don't mind USB-C, get the LG Ultrafine 21.5. If you have a larger desk, want to set your display further back, need old USB-A ports, and do not mind the scaled non-native resolution, get the LG 27UD88.

    Hope this helps...
     
  13. mds1256 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    #13
    That helps hugely! Thanks for that

    Sorry I meant 21.5" rather than 24", just got my sizes mixed up looking at that many different monitors.

    Umm undecided at the minute but now leaning towards the 21.5" due to the image quality.... although no compatibility with pcs unless there is a dongle?
     
  14. Dick Whitman macrumors 6502

    Dick Whitman

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    #14
    Good discussion va1984 and mds1256. I think it was helpful to point out that 1440p "retina" is equivalent to 5K meaning that the non-native resolution of 1440p on a 4K monitor will not produce the same clarity. Personally though I think I was kind of expecting that, and I think that should be fine so long as text and similar artifacts still maintain a noticeable degree of sharpness, which it sounds like they do. A 21.5" display is probably more than sufficient for most purposes but I've always liked the larger 27" size. Unfortunately, there just aren't many options when it comes to 5K displays. The LG 5K UltraFine isn't the most attractive or affordable option either. That leaves 4K monitors as the best alternative.
     
  15. andy9l, Jan 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017

    andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #15
    I’m using a 27UD88-W with my 2015 rMB and a new Windows gaming rig I built myself. Coming from a 2010 27” iMac screen, the difference was night and day. I run it scaled to 1440p and there’s a still a huge quality improvement over the iMac’s native 1440p screen. I have always run any retina MacBook / MacBook Pro at a scaled resolution to simulate more real estate, so I'm used to the minor quality sacrifices by now.

    Whilst the 2015 rMB does run the monitor at 4K / 60Hz, it does not enjoy doing so. I think that’s fair enough, as I’m asking a lot from the little thing! I’ll reluctantly be swapping to a 13” TB soon.

    We also have a 5K iMac and there is definitely a difference. The 5K is sharper, for sure. I'd argue the colours are also better, but I have done absolutely no calibration on the LG at all. However, the iMac was also the best part of £3,000 so I would expect so! I would assume the 5K LG monitor matches this sharpness but as a physical unit it looks god awful, in my opinion.

    Until recently I was very sceptical when buying non-Apple products - sad I know. However, we bought a 4K LG TV in April last year, and this 4K LG monitor in November and I’ve been nothing but impressed with both. I’ve come to accept that the difference in quality between Apple and other leading brands is much closer than it was only a few years ago.

    I would definitely recommend this 4K monitor/hub. It’s simple and worked right out of the box, it hasn’t had one glitch, it charges my rMB and iPhone all whilst I’m gaming in 4K. Switching between my USB-C and DisplayPort inputs is also very fast and easy.

    If I had to give the monitor a negative, it would be that it does take 3-4 seconds to wake from being in power saving mode if your Mac / PC sleeps. I haven’t tried the LG software you can use to control the screen via your Mac.

    And I have to admit, the kid inside me finds playing Battlefield 1 in native 4K really quite impressive.

    PS. I bought it for £499 on Overclockers UK.
     
  16. iBrooker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #16
  17. ascender thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #17
    Interestingly I've now been able to use this monitor with the non-TB 13, (base) TB 13 and the (base) 15" TB MBP. Performance wise, with a lot going on, the screen is ultra-smooth with both TB machines, so I couldn't see any difference with the more powerful 15" machine. I'm running it at the scaled 1440 as others have suggested.

    Its interesting to hear all the different views on this one and I have to say, I'd be genuinely interested to see a 4K screen next to a 5K to see the difference. I don't doubt that there is one and that depending on the work you do, you absolutely need those extra pixels, but 4K in itself is such a leap over what I've had before that I'm delighted with this one, especially for the price.
     
  18. iBrooker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #18
    Anyone know what scaled resolutions you are offered on these monitors?
     
  19. Lou-X macrumors member

    Lou-X

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    #19
    What about the non-tb? Did you find it less smooth?
     
  20. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #20
    This is what I can get in System Prefs.:

    You can also run most of them in low resolution mode too, not that you'd want to...
     
  21. iBrooker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #21
    Ah nice, thanks :)

    Could you take some photos with the monitor at these resolutions please? And also let us know what you think of each setting?

    No probs if that's too much hassle.

    I think 2048x1152 would be the minimum I'd want to run a 27" display at.
     
  22. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #22
    --- Post Merged, Jan 5, 2017 ---
    Yup I'll try to take some photos this weekend when I've got some time.

    I started running it at 2560x1440, but have now moved onto "more space" option 2, or "Looks like 3008x1692".

    In terms of a review - I've just switched between the default ones available without holding the alt key whilst writing this post, and the below is the first review sentence that came to my head for each:

    1920x1080 - everything looks huge and goofy, albeit very crisp
    2560x1440 - seems like a solid trade-off between quality and usability for most people, myself included
    3008x1692 - my new personal favourite - I just love small UIs and big workspaces, I also find it sharper
    3360x1890 - despite my love for small UIs, this is silly and lots of aliasing going on
    3840x2160 - good for nothing but being impressed by how far screen technology has advanced in the past 20 years
     
  23. iBrooker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Location:
    Wales
    #23
    Awesome thanks, look forward to seeing the pics :D
     
  24. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #24
    I've only got an iPhone to hand for the photos and they came out dreadful earlier in low light! I'll do my best...
     
  25. lifeisepic macrumors 6502

    lifeisepic

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    I've got a pretty deep desk (80cm), and want to get the LG 27" 4K to run in Retina. With the screen not too close does 1080p on the monitor look silly big? My only other option would be to get a 1440p monitor and not run any kind of scaling, but I love retina on my 2015 MBP.

    Also anyone connected the monitor up to a PS4 pro or Xbox one S via hdmi 2.0? How does he look and play?
     

Share This Page