If you have a new 16-inch MacBook Pro, want to use it with a big external display, and (like me) can’t afford Apple’s $5,000 Pro Display XDR, arguably the best choice is the LG UltraFine 5K Display.
It doesn’t have the finesse of an Apple product but does sport a 5120 x 2880 resolution, a P3 wide color gamut, 500 nits of brightness and built-in stereo speakers, camera, and microphone. Note that the camera is, like that of the biggest Mac laptop, a disappointing 720p, and the speakers are adequate at best. However, the monitor does integrate superbly with macOS, allowing you to control the display’s volume and brightness without the need for physical buttons on the display.
You can use the included Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable to connect your MacBook Pro. The LG UltraFine 5K has one Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port that delivers up to 94W of charging power to the host device and three USB-C ports that function as downstream USB-C ports (5Gbps).
The LG UltraFine 5K Display requires a Mac with a USB-C port or Thunderbolt 3 port running macOS Mojave 10.14.6 or later. (You can also connect it to an iPad Pro with a USB-C port running iOS 12.4 or later, though it will only display 4K). If your Mac has Thunderbolt 2 ports, you can use a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter to connect to the display.
One of my favorite features is that the UltraFine supports Apple’s True Tone technology. Connect your Mac to the display and True Tone automatically actives on the UltraFine — as long as your laptop is open. Close it, and True Tone is disengaged.
True Tone automatically changes the White Point and color balance of the display based on real-time measurements of the ambient light falling on the screen. I like the technology, but if you don’t, you can turn it off (or on) in the Displays pane of System Preferences:
Choose Apple menu () > System Preferences, then click Displays.
Click the Display tab.
Use the True Tone checkbox to turn the feature on or off.
If the LG UltraFine 5K Display doesn’t power on or you don’t see an image after following the steps in the article above, contact LG to get service.