My opinion on the Ultrafine 4K

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Chparigi, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. Chparigi macrumors regular

    May 25, 2013
    Switzerland, Europe
    In a couple of threads regarding the Ultrafine 4K, people have asked me if my opinion about the display. So here is a rather brief review/opinion, and why I think this is the best monitor you can get!

    I actually was quite sceptical in the beginning, not because of bad reviews, but like many others, this was not the Apple Thunderbolt Display replacement I expected. But I ordered one anyway.

    First, the design is actually pretty cool. It's subtle, minimalistic, and in that way very apple-like. As a Dane, loving minimalistic design, this is a huge plus! The foot is big, but is actually okay considering the extra stabilization.

    You can tilt the screen and adjust the height. On many displays, Therese adjustment just doesn't really feel right with the plastic mounts and bearings. Here, it's really smooth, and leaves you with a good impression of the build quality, though it's mainly made out of plastic.

    First of all, the resolution is amazing, and 4K resolution with a p3 color gamut? Come on, the specs are great for a photographer like me! And it is just as good in real life as you would expect!

    The USB ports on the back is quite a turn-down, with the limited speed. But there's a good reason for that since this is a USB c display, and not a Thunderbolt Display.

    And coming to the connector - it's a breeze to use! Like the larger model, it connects through the USB c cable with 60 w of power, meaning that you (in most cases) only need that cable.

    This leads me to the downside - the power. This display only charges with 60 w, making it to less for my MacBook Pro 15". So when I use CPU hungry apps, I actually loose charge while being plugged in. As a result, I have my charger connected as well, which is quite a bummer, but the only solution I could find so far.

    I really like my Uktrafine 4K display! I was thinking about getting the 5j in the beginning, but this is definitely sufficient for my needs. And I actually love it so much that i ditched my Dell P2416D and bought another one instead in The Apple Store in Malmö - apparently the last one, so sorry swedes ;)

    But hey, if you have a better solution for the power problem, let me know!
  2. mctrials23 macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2013
    I'm tempted to sell my 27" iMac and get a couple of these to go with my new 13" MBP but i haven't seen any reviews of this setup yet and whether it impacts performance to any extent in the OS. I am also a little wary about it only being 21.5" as the 27" iMac is amazing and my other monitor is a 24" 1080p panel.

    One of the things I disliked about my old macbook setup with external monitors was the amount of cables I would have to plug/unplug when I left the desk. This would pretty much get rid of that issue.
  3. user74246 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2016
    Did you already test if having two 21" UltraFines connected supplies your 15" with sufficient power?
  4. Chparigi thread starter macrumors regular

    May 25, 2013
    Switzerland, Europe
    I went from a setup with a Mac Mini and two external displays, actually after experiencing how good they were! About the perfomance, my Macbook 15" has no issues, and i reckon that your 13" will be just "as good" with this setup. I can highly recommend it!

    The Macbook only charges from one port at a time, which is the port with the highest amount of power. This means that two displays will not charge it with a higher amount of power.
    But looking at how USB C works, there must be some kind of splitter, so that power and USB C for the monitor can be combined into one input, or not?
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Frankly, I can't see why anyone would buy a 21" monitor in this day and age…
  6. Chparigi thread starter macrumors regular

    May 25, 2013
    Switzerland, Europe
    For me, it's perfect! My Desk is not the largest thing in the world, and I like to sit rather close to my monitors
  7. Lou-X macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2016
    Agree, coming from a 24' 1080p the only possible upgrade is a 27' 4k. The LG 27ud88-W looks interesting, but I'm not 100% sure yet about buying it
  8. user74246 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2016
    I am with you, retina screens allow to get closer to the screen when needed and there’s a couple of nice scaling modes available in macOS for the little UltraFine, up to the "looks like 2560x1440". This is the same pixel space I had on my 27" iMac and it’s totally usable on 21.5". I am impressed with the quality of these scaled modes, Apple does a great job with rendering in 5120x2880 in the GPU and scaling the image down to the native resolution.

    See, people are different. For my use case there is no reason to go with 3840x2160 on 27" (163 PPI) when I can have 15% more pixels with the UltraFine 4096 x 2304 on 21.5" (219 PPI).
  9. hollandog macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2014
    How's the quality of the built-in speakers? I ordered the 5K but thought they should have the same speakers.
  10. riptidewahoo, Dec 22, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016

    riptidewahoo macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
    I had the 4K version and ended up returning it because it did seem a bit too small, even relative to the 13" ntMBP I have. I was also getting kernel panics and flickering pixels, which made me think something was wrong with the cable it came with or a hardware issue.

    Regarding the speakers, I was disappointed because even on step 2 of the volume, they get loud VERY quickly. I couldn't go past 2 notches on the volume or the entire monitor would shake and the sound would distort (bass primarily). It almost seems like a firmware issue because there's no way the volume stepping should not be more subtle than that - maybe it will be corrected in a firmware update. It basically went: Mute > Decent Volume > Loud > Unlistenable with 3 taps.

    Debating whether to go 5K or just skip it altogether...
  11. Fireball Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Fireball Dragon

    Nov 26, 2012
    Chigwell, England
    I am also having sleep-wake issues with the LG 4K and my 15" 2016 MBP. Cannot leave the MacBook connected and put it to sleep; if I do it won't wake up and restarts.

    Have ordered a 27" 5K. Hoping it arrives before my return date for the 4K.
  12. sctw macrumors member


    Jun 8, 2016
    Anyone know where LG will post info if it does a firmware update to address all the issues above (waking from sleep issue, no auto brightness setting, speaker goes to super loud at step 2, etc.)? Debating whether to return before apple's extended return policy on Jan. 8th.
  13. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    Exactly what I'm thinking ... let me know if you find anything yet ..... I would love the 5k as I would be ditching but I the 27" iMac with 3TB and 32gb ram ... but I think the new MBP with 2 4k's could sway me ... especially if I get a decent price on my iMac ...

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