LG UltraFine5k Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Trey M, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Trey M macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #1
    Ever since I watched the demo of the '16 MBP & LG UltraFine 5K at the keynote, I've wanted one. The thought of having basically the same panel as the 5k iMac and one cable connectivity for power & data is very tempting. I've been playing on purchasing one for a while in the March-April timeframe for financial reasons.

    Anyways, there's been a very mixed reaction from the LG UltraFine as evidenced on these forums & Apple Support forums. I'm just trying to get everyone's thoughts on whether purchasing one in March-April makes sense. By then I would assume the enhanced shielding displays will begin being sold.

    My thought is that by this time, we'll start seeing announcements by other manufacturers with similar offerings. I question whether waiting may be the better decision given all the different issues being reported. However, the other half of me says most of the software issues should be rectified by the time April comes around, and with the additional shielding now being made available, it looks to be a promising monitor. What're your thoughts; go or no-go on purchasing an LG UltraFine5k in the near future?

    Note: I know there's other similar threads, but I think it's worth re-evaulating the LG 5k at this point in time given they've now announced that they're adding additional shielding to the newly-manufactured displays.
     
  2. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

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    #2
    Apple is taking back my units I purchased once the new units are released by LG, I'm hoping the glitches of the audio, brightness, etc, bluetooth issues, etc etc are cleared up. I'd say March/April would be more than enough time for them to get the updated units.

    I'm hoping these are cleared up by then myself as I'm using these glitchy displays that randomly freeze and shut off the new MacBook that is otherwise fine.
     
  3. Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #3
    Yeah I hope Apple would use this one-month market freeze, or whatever period of time it amounts to be, to go back to the board and iron the kinks out with these monitors. I've heard the reports you're stating of the odd volume bugs, shutting off randomly, etc. It's hard to justify a monitor coming in at $1000+ when it has any of these issues.
     
  4. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    I just ordered one and it'll be here around March 15th - 22nd. I'll report back if I find any issues.
     
  5. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

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    #5
    It will most likely be on LG's side of things to handle any issues, with Apple rounding out some QA test against their products, anything else is upto LG unfortunately and their support has been dull at best. They did not even know they made these with the few reps I spoke with.
     
  6. Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #6
    It is a rather interesting device given that Apple endorsed it, yet it's still manufactured and (clearly) tested by LG. It's also unique in that it has direct MacOS integration that would require Apple to push a Sierra upgrade to remedy certain software issues.

    Who knows if the bulk of these bugs will be taken care of by the end of March. If not, I'll have a hard time justifying $1000+
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #7
    Agreed. And I am looked at getting two of them. One for me and one for she who must be obeyed. ;)
     
  8. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #8
    I've got two of these 5K displays at the moment, both connected to my 15" MBP and they are lovely displays without a doubt. However, I have seen a few disconnections due to interference from my Time Capsule router which is only about 3 feet away (small office). This was more frequent when the router was in it's original location just behind one of the displays but is still happening since I moved it and I consider this to be unacceptable.

    So, I reported the issue to my Apple Business Team rep and she is arranging for me to swap my displays for revised units when they become available. She gave me several options but this was the option that I preferred as the displays are generally fine and I don't really want to be without them for a few weeks.

    My advice would be to grab one (or more) of these displays while they are still discounted. I'm very confident that Apple will ensure LG resolve the remaining issues one way or another by a combination of enhanced shielding and most likely firmware updates.
     
  9. Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #9
    Hard to know if Apple will really fix all this stuff or not. Given that they've already dropped the ball on this one, and they don't actually manufacture/support the display, they may just be looking to move on altogether. Apple's general attitude towards the Mac market in recent years also gives me little confidence.

    Also, I would really hope Apple just keeps this thing at $975 or whatever it's currently priced at and call it a day. It's be pretty ridiculous for them to raise the price back up to $1200+ when these issues have arisen and consumers really don't have a way to purchase one (shielded) at the moment nor in the near future.
     
  10. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #10
    Agreed that at $1200, go look at Dell or HP...etc.
     
  11. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #11
    Personally, having worked for a company who was an Apple supplier before, I am very confident that Apple will be exerting a lot of pressure on LG to resolve the outstanding issues as soon as possible. Apple is a huge customer for LG so the stakes will be high. It's LG who have dropped the ball here albeit Apple stood and watched from the sidelines.

    LG have already confirmed that the enhanced shielding is in place since February and this has been verified by AppleInsider who even went as far as to transfer the shielding between a revised display and an original display and found that it did indeed resolve the issue.

    I hear what you're saying about the Mac market but personally I don't buy all the doom and gloom stories. My own conclusions are that there have been some setbacks here and there due to Intel chipset availability and perhaps some design problems with the 2013 Mac Pro design which have required remedial action or indeed a complete redesign. I think the Mac Mini will probably be dropped but that's hardly the end of the world. The iMac will be refreshed soon I'm almost certain. Intel seem to be in some trouble these days and appear to have run out of ideas so I'm sure Apple will be hard at work looking seriously at the possibility of ARM Mac's in order to find a good path for the next 10+ years of Mac development. That said, I have no doubt they will also be looking to re-energise the iPad to give more people a reason to use the iPad instead of a PC or Mac.

    This is really a moot point right now as nobody else can produce a 5K display which can refresh at 60Hz. I'm sure in time we'll see more displays on the market which can, but it will take time. Also, despite the initial criticisms about the asymmetric bezels on the LG 5K, having now sat in front of two of them for a couple of weeks, I agree with other owners of this display that this is simply not an issue in practice. The bezels just disappear in real-world use and actually the display is very well made with, crucially, stunning image performance. It still staggers me that my laptop can power over 35 megapixels at 60Hz. Anyone who understands this at a technical level will understand just how amazing it really is!

    That all said, it remains to be seen whether LG and Apple can repair the perception that this is somehow a bad display and return pricing back to $1200 or not. I have no doubt this is a bargain at $974 but I think it would be justified to keep pricing down at least until the display comes into supply-demand balance.
     
  12. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #12
    For me using the Lg is an attempt at being cost effective as the wife and I are retirees. We have 2013 rMBPs that can/do drive 4K displays. I have a 24" Dell and the wife still has her ATD running at 2K. So I want to upgrade to the Lr feeding them 4K via the TB 3 to TB 2 adapter. Maybe next year we will upgrade to new rMBPs. If we were to go with HP or Dell I don't know how a single TB3 cable from a new rMBP could deliver two DP1.2 cables to get 5K from those monitors. Startech makes a TB3 to do dual display port adapter and says it is only for Windows. That would seem to force me to Lg if I want a migration path from 4K to 5k using the same monitor with one cable from a rMBP.
     
  13. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #13
    I don't think that adding more 3rd parties into the mix (Startech in this case) is going to help the reliability of the solution tbh. I presume you are only bringing forward your purchase to take advantage of the reduced prices of the 5K just now?

    My thoughts are that, if you're not able to take advantage of the 5K resolution with your current MBPs then you should wait until you actually do purchase your new MBPs before getting monitors. Firstly you'll save having to buy TB3 to TB2 adapters which aren't cheap and you'll probably have more options in 5K monitors next year and at the very least the LG 5K should be as stable as it's going to get by that time. Even if the retail price of the LG 5K has gone back to $1200, there will be refurbished and lightly used examples available I would expect and there is always the chance that the prices won't go back up at all.
     
  14. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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  15. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #15
    Wait until the end of the discounted pricing then sell them on eBay for a profit. :p
     
  16. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

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    #16
    There's a shipping delay, but you can buy one shielded from Apple.
     
  17. Trey M, Feb 25, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017

    Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #17
    Yes I'm aware, my point being you can't actually get your hands on one today so the discount is effectively useless until they start shipping.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2017 ---
    The whole thing though is that Apple doesn't even make this display. They don't have much incentive to make this a really successful product. I believe the whole reason they even partnered in development was so they could satisfy users who wished for an Apple display while showcasing the latest greatest I/O Thunderbolt 3-- another justification in their back pocket for the move to all USB-C for those particularly salty about the move. I don't think this product is high on the list of Apple's priorities at all in terms of post-purchase support and ensuring customer satisfaction; the majority of net profit for the product is being made by LG!

    If Apple was so concerned, they already would've rectified the known issues with the product (default volume levels being the most irritable example from what I have read). This is a software defect which Apple could easily fix, but it's Feb 25th and still no update. In my book Apple's running out of time before it'll be clear this product is just not a big priority for them.
     
  18. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

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    #18
    I don't understand how the discount is useless. I bought it for $975 and it'll be here in 3 weeks. I saved money.
     
  19. smirking macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    With the issues with the 5K monitors they've managed to enrage the two key types of people who have itchiest forum fingers: the Apple design followers and the Apple's can't innovate grousers.

    I've had close to zero issues with my 5K Ultrafine that I hadn't already experienced before with my previous setup that are likely due to OS quirks instead of the monitor. My Time Capsule routers are about 10 feet away and that appears to be a pretty safe distance. I have other things that could potentially cause interference too and they haven't created any problems for me.

    My previous monitor was a 30" Apple Cinema Display. I owned that beast for about 10 years and I paid around $2500 when it was still considered state of the art. I was bracing myself to pay something similar for the Ultrafine 5K so when I see this monitor going for around $1000, my eyeballs are popping for an entirely different reason than most people's.

    Even though I tend to prefer work off of one screen only, I'm tempted to get a second one because these are so cheap and so good. I won't, but the price point for one of these beauties puts a second one easily within reach for me. I would buy a second one in a heartbeat after the March revisions if I really wanted a second one.

    I do wish there was an external power button though. Sometimes my MBP will just come on for no apparent reason. I sleep in my office sometimes and I have to turn the brightness down in case it comes on in the middle of the night. The lack of a power switch is my one huge complaint.

    Like what craig1410 said, I've found the uneven bezels to be a non-issue. Besides, have you noticed that the bezels on the MBP are uneven too?

    I do think the base is really dumb looking, but I have mine mounted on a monitor arm so that's not something I have to look at or use. Some people have complained that it's not as stable as they'd like on the display stand. On a monitor arm, I've had no problems with wobble or shift.

    Some people mourn the loss of the sleek aluminum look. That was cool, but I'm not really too broken up about that. You just have to pick up my 30" ACD with one arm to understand why. All that metal is really really heavy.
     
  20. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #20
    I disagree, Apple featured this display in their keynote and they have a lot of motivation to make it work properly. I believe they partnered with LG because otherwise how would LG have gotten hold of the new 2016 MBP prior to release? Also, it's clear that Apple have had a hand in certain aspects of design otherwise it would be covered in buttons etc.

    As for fixing the firmware bugs, I suspect this might actually require firmware fixes by LG and they have clearly been a bit preoccupied fixing WiFi interference issues. I expect that issue will be fixed real soon now the wifi issue is resolved. To be honest, I prefer the sound from my MBP than the sound from the displays so I don't even use the speakers.

    Yeah I think a lot of people are conveniently forgetting the many issues experienced with previous Apple branded cinema displays. I also think the design of those monitors, while good in many ways, has aged quite a bit and would look out of place next to, for example, a space grey MBP. I agree with you 100% that the LG 5K is an absolute bargain which is why I have bought two myself. Even ignoring inflation and the massive FX swing between dollars and pounds, I can still buy the 5K display for £864 whereas the previous Apple display was £899. With currency adjustment I expect the Apple display would have been priced at £1149 today.
     
  21. Trey M thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trey M

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    #21
    I guess my point is, I like to see other people's reactions to certain things before I pull the trigger on something this expensive. Until these new (shielded) models are in people's hands, I can't make the decision whether or not I will get one of these 5k displays. My decision is contingent upon at least some of these obvious software issues being remedied by the time the new shielded displays begin arriving in people's hands, so to me, at least, the discount isn't helping me at the moment. Apologize as my previous comment was a bit misleading.
     
  22. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #22
    Have you seen this article by AppleInsider? It confirms the shielding issue is resolved and I'm sure the volume issue will be resolved soon through a software/firmware fix.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17...bolt-3-displays-fixes-rf-interference-crashes
     
  23. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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    #23
    I am glad I have until the end of March before the price changes. ;)
     
  24. craig1410 macrumors 65816

    craig1410

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    #24
    Interestingly, when I mentioned this to a sales rep in the Apple Retail store, they didn't seem to think the end of March was set in stone and they thought the special pricing could end at any time. I'm pretty sure that it was the end of March that was mentioned previously but I've not looked back to find the source of that date.
     
  25. smirking macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    It was reported here that it was until March 31st:
    https://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/20/lg-ultrafine-5k-display-now-on-sale/

    Also look on Apple's page for the LG 5K. Go to the very bottom:
    http://www.apple.com/shop/product/HKN62LL/A/lg-ultrafine-5k-display?fnode=8a

    It says:
    Subject to availability and quantity limits apply. Pricing effective October 27, 2016 - March 31, 2017.​
     

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