amazon LG UltraFine 4K Display (24MD4KL-B) reviews
While Apple’s laptops and desktops have many advantages, the ease of finding compatible peripherals is not one of them. We’re excited to have the opportunity to review LG’s $699.99 4K UltraFine Monitor (24MD4KL-B), one of the few Mac-focused monitors to hit the market. This 24-inch display shows seamless compatibility with the MacBook Pro we’ve tested, and it’s also compatible with the recent iPad Pro. It provides some essential, forward-looking ports (while eliminating some of the other, more common ones), and it’s geared toward supporting Apple’s standard color space. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s a good choice if you have a Mac desktop setup and need a sharp, not-too-large display. Be forewarned, though: It won’t work as well in lighting as a Windows-PC connected display, and the chassis’ interface won’t.
An underserved niche
You won’t find all those 24-inch 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) monitors — that native resolution is almost exclusively available on monitors with larger screens. The available ones tend to retail for under $500. Even fewer screens have been introduced specifically for the Mac. In addition to the 24MD4KL-BL, LG has a 27-inch, 27MD5KA-B 5K monitor, but that’s all you’ll find.
What makes a good Mac monitor is largely the same set of things that make any monitor good: sturdy, adjustable frame, complementary native resolutions and screen sizes, accurate colors, and useful port selection. Throughout the review, I’ll discuss how the 24MD4KL-B holds up against these criteria, but let’s discuss some of its Mac-specific advantages first.
As mentioned, this display can be used with a recent MacBook Pro and iPad Pro or as a second display for a recent iMac Pro or iMac. (You’ll want to connect it via the Thunderbolt 3 port in the case of Macs or via the USB Type-C port found on the latest iPad Pro.) The display integrates well with macOS, and you can change its settings directly from the Show dialog box on your Mac. Additionally, it covers more than 97% of the DCI-P3 color space, a version that Apple uses as its standard wide-gamut color space.
Note that the 24MD4KL-B is Mac-focused, so it’s not a model to consider if you’re looking for a Windows monitor (or even dual-use Windows/Mac). We were able to use it with some Dell XPS and Razer laptops that use DisplayPort over their compatible Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C ports, but in the long run, not all laptops have this type of connection.
Indeed, the display turns on automatically when you connect the laptop to it via the Thunderbolt 3 port, and the monitor doesn’t have a dedicated on-screen display (OSD) to control the settings. Mac users can change some display settings within macOS, but Windows users don’t have that option. (The only setting I can control through my Dell XPS 13 is the volume for the monitor’s built-in speakers.)
The 24MD4KL-B features a 24-inch IPS panel (measured diagonally) with a native resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels for an aspect ratio of 16:9. That means a pixel density of 186 pixels per inch (PPI). While this is impressive for a monitor in its overall size classification (for example, the two 27-inch 4K models we tested, the Acer Predator X27 and the ViewSonic VP2785-4K, have pixel density. 163ppi), but it’s low for the Mac world. (In general, the higher the pixel density, the sharper the image.)
For example, the display in the 2019 Apple iMac 27-inch with Retina 5K Display. It has a pixel density of 228ppi. Meanwhile, the latest 15-inch MacBook Pro measures 220ppi and the iPad Pro (12.9-inch 2018 version) measures 264ppi. Now, accepted, you’ll be viewing content up close on your iPad (for that matter, your laptop), so the very high pixel density there makes a lot of sense. The 24MDKL-B’s 186ppi isn’t surprising, though — it can produce sharper images than almost any monitor we’ve tested at its size.
The design of the 24MD4KL-B is simple and refined, though not unattractive. The cabinet and stand are both matte black and look classy enough. Including the stand, the 24MD4KL-B measures 41.6 x 55.3 x 22.9 cm (HWD), with a height increased to 54.4 cm when fully extended and weighs 6.8 kg.
The screen has a border of more than 1 cm at the edges, top, and bottom. The back of the cabinet is beveled, tapered to meet the base, which helps stick to the screen with a removable plate. The stand supports height and tilt adjustment. It can even be rotated a few degrees for equalization purposes, just like you adjust a warped photo frame. It comes with a 100mm VESA mount if you want to mount it on the wall.
where can you get a LG UltraFine 4K Display (24MD4KL-B) online
LG 24MD4KL-B 24″ Ultrafine 4K UHD IPS LED Monitor with Built-in Speakers, 3840×2160 (Renewed): Buy it now
LG 24MD4KL-B Ultrafine 24″ IPS LED 4K UHD Monitor – Black (Renewed): Buy it now
All USB-C and Thunderbolt
The ports on the back have five in a row: three USB Type-C ports and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. They all use the same physical connector, but the Thunderbolt 3 port allows for much faster data transfers (up to 40Gbps, compared to 10Gbps for USB-C alone). Newer MacBook Pros are equipped with USB Type-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports; The 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro that I used in the test has four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports (its only port, aside from the headphone jack). My own Dell XPS 13 has two Thunderbolt 3 ports and one USB-C.
It’s great that the 24MD4KL-B includes so many USB-C and Thunderbolt ports. (With a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, you can pair devices together, connect a display to your Mac using one of the ports, and forward to several other Thunderbolt 3 peripherals with the other. .) The Thunderbolt 3 port supports up to 85 watts of power delivery, so you can quickly charge your late-model Mac laptop at the same time you’re streaming content from it.
While the ports on the 24MD4KL-B are powerful, useful, and forward-looking, they are limited in their assortment. Your display may be future-proof, but we’re still living in the present, where many devices lack USB-C connectivity — not to mention Thunderbolt 3. They can connect via HDMI, USB Type-A, or even Thunderbolt 2 ports (like my five-year-old 15-inch MacBook Pro), the last of which uses a completely different connector than Thunderbolt 3. You can buy solutions, of course: adapters and docking stations, although they are an extra charge and can be a hassle. You’ll only want to use this LG monitor if your Mac and peripherals are USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ready.
Look, It Has No Button
As I noted earlier, the screen lacks any keys or controls, and it doesn’t even have an on/off switch. You control it directly from your Mac, using the options in the Display dialog box. The settings you can adjust are more limited than most monitors, but you can control brightness and resolution, change the color space, and switch to “night mode,” making colors warmer (reduces blue light). You enable the 24MD4KL-B simply by connecting your MacBook to one of the display’s Thunderbolt 3 ports.
You can also enable the 24MD4KL-B by connecting it to a Windows machine, but your experience will be very limited when I tried it with my Windows laptop (Dell XPS 13). It will display the laptop’s screen content, even display video, but without the “seamless” integration of the Mac, I have almost no control over the settings. The monitor won’t charge my laptop over the Thunderbolt 3 connection, nor can I change the brightness or color space. The only thing that worked was the volume control of the 24MD4KL-B built-in speaker.
In the support forums, I’ve seen that some people have gotten this monitor to work with Windows machines, but only by adding a Thunderbolt 3 expansion card to the computer’s motherboard (in the case of a desktop PC). BIOS tweaks and many other fixes. Even then, many had only partial success, with some functions still disabled.
Amazing brightness, video, and photo-friendly
I measured brightness, color accuracy, and black levels with a Klein K10-A colorimeter and SpectraCal CalMAN 5 software.
The brightness of the 24MD4KL-B (that is, its brightness per unit area) is rated by LG at 500 candelas per meter squared (nits); it measured at a brilliant 538 nits, the highest brightness I’ve recorded in a non-gaming monitor. Also, I calculated its contrast ratio to be 1,350:1, which is slightly better than its 1,000:1 rating.
According to LG, this monitor is factory calibrated to cover 98% of the DCI-P3 color space; CalMAN got very close to 97.5% in our testing.
In addition to these official tests, I watched our selection of test clips and was delighted to watch the video on the 24MD4KL-B. It displays vivid colors and has a good dynamic range. A pair of built-in 5-watt speakers provide reasonable volume and sound quality for the in-display speakers. Photos have good contrast, and colors appear to be realistic.
LG includes a standard one-year warranty with the 24MD4KL-B, which is pretty meager, especially considering the product’s price. Most monitors come with a three-year warranty.
A boon for Mac users
The LG UltraFine 4K monitor (24MD4KL-B) has a lot to offer Mac users. (Again, please note that it is a pure Apple game, not designed for Windows users.) Its advantages include bright images with good colors for both photos and videos, Good coverage of Mac’s standard DCI-P3 color space, seamless integration with MacBooks, and compatibility with recent iPad Pro. Its relatively small screen, combined with its high native resolution (4K), produces high pixel density and sharp images. But like most things in the Mac world, you pay a premium for it—though, not as much as you’d shell out for LG’s 27-inch 5K device, the UltraFine 5K Display (27MD5KA-B), priced at $1,299.99.
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