LG Ultrafine 4K 21" reviewJuly 27, 2018 in Hardware
So I got the LG Ultrafine 4K 21" monitor - the one that was presented with 2016 Macbooks. My general opinion - recommend.
LG Ultrafine 4K in its natural habitat
- Its single Thunderbolt/USB-C cable provides video, sound, and charges your laptop.
- It also has two ports that look like USB-C but only provide USB 2 speeds. And on top of that, they don’t always connect reliably. I recommend ignoring the ports.
- It has speakers that are much, much better than the Macbook’s. Very fine office speakers. Decent bass response. You can listen to music on these.
- It has a built-in Macbook charger! (Do you know how much these things cost?)
- BUT! The charger is only 60W, so the battery will drain under peak load. If you often run your Macbook under peak load, the battery WILL degrade over time. So use a
- Colors are very close to the Macbook.
- It’s a retina display, and the software resolution is perfect for 21" - 2048x1152
- You can control brightness with normal keyboard controls - or only the monitor’s brightness if you hold down ctrl
- You can control volume from the Mac as well (which I never got with previous HDMI monitors)
- It only has a USB-C input port. So forget about connecting anything else but your laptop (or future laptops?). Fine by me though.
- It has no buttons at all - kinda weird, but everything is software controlled. But this means if you don’t have compatible software (and I only run it with the Mac), you won’t get to control the volume or brightness.
- I have a very strange issue - the supplied USB-C cable only provides USB features if connected in one direction, but not in the other - I spent 2 hours identifying this! (The monitor worked perfectly when I connected it for a test, but when I mounted it properly, it suddenly became just a dumb monitor. I tried rebooting, PRAM/SMC resets, tried to update firmware, but finally, the solution was to turn the cable around. Sounds like the promised USB-C nightmare, all right.)
Finally, about the size. I don’t like big monitors, and I don’t like multiple monitors. I prefer to do all my work with maximized windows. 21" is the perfect size where it’s big enough not to strain but small enough to work with all windows maximized. But hey, the larger LG monitors are probably just as good.