The 5K resolution on an external monitor is very difficult to find , since everyone is now using 4K resolutions or something close to them to adapt to the new ultra-panoramic formats. But Apple uses that 5K definition to provide retinal scaling at resolutions of 2650×1440 pixels, so it’s what Apple continues to offer on its larger panels with both the iMac and the LG UltraFine 5K display.
But now comes, at last, a new alternative that gives us another option: the 34-inch 5K ultra-panoramic LG 34WK95U , which uses 5K resolution in an ultra-panoramic monitor for all those who don’t want to give up the retinal definition that is already present in almost all current Macs.
This screen has an ultra-panoramic 21:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 5120×2160 pixels . Considering that the resolution of the 27-inch iMac and the LG UltraFine 5K is 5120×2880 pixels, what we see is that these displays “cut” some vertical space in order to adopt the ultra-panoramic format. It’s less working space, but some movies can be seen larger because they fit perfectly with that 21:9 aspect ratio.
And look at the larger size: 34 inches not curved compared to the 27 inches of the largest panels Apple has. That means that at retinal resolutions we’ll see everything bigger, unless we scale that resolution to get more workspace by sacrificing definition (some people prefer to have the 5120×2160 pixels at 1:1 scale). Fortunately we have that flexibility to choose what we like best.
The LG 34WK95U scores well in terms of connectivity: it has a Thunderbolt 3 port, which in turn provides data transfer to the 2 USB 3.0 ports. We also have 2 5W speakers, a DisplayPort and two HDMI ports. The Thunderbolt 3 port is also capable of providing 85W of power to charge the laptops that are connected through this interface.
What about Mac compatibility? Well, since it’s a 5K resolution that’s technically a few pixels lower than the “higher” 5K screens Apple uses, there’s no problem. Here’s the list of compatible computers:
- 2016, 2017, and 2018 MacBook Pro
- MacBook Air (2018)
- Mac mini (2018)
- Mac Pro (latest non-modular generation)
- iMac Pro
- iMac (2017)
The AppleTrue Tone on MacBook Pro will also work with the LG UltraFine and Apple Thunderbolt Display external monitors
However, there is one thing to be aware of: from the Linus Tech Tips YouTube channel, where they have already been able to test the monitor, they report a bug in Mojave macOS that causes the monitor to not work properly on the 15-inch MacBook Pro released in July 2018 . It is expected that Apple will soon locate this bug and fix it for full compatibility. And no, the 12-inch MacBook is not compatible.
We can also think of something interesting: knowing that LG usually provides the screens for the Macs, are we looking at the possible future of Apple’s screens? It wouldn’t be unusual to see how since Cupertino they are launching this ultra-panoramic 5K alternative for those who like this format. Either that or we go directly to 8K resolutions, although I’m afraid that to use so many pixels we would need a modular Mac Pro that squeezes all the power of the Thunderbolt 3 ports.
The future will say so, but for those who like this monitor for the moment, they can buy it for 1,199 euros. Something cheaper than the UltraFine 5K, which has a price of 1,399 euros.