2018 MacBook Pro extends True Tone to external displays

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This week brought the first True Tone MacBook Pro.
This week brought the first True Tone MacBook Pro. And that also goes for some external screens, like this Apple Thunderbolt Display.
Photo: Apple

The 2018 MacBook Pro models just released are the first with True Tone, adjusting the display to match ambient lighting. Even better, these new laptops can do the same trick on some external screens.

True Tone can “automatically adapt [the] display to make colors appear consistent in different ambient lighting conditions,” according to Apple.

The True Tone effect debuted first in iPad Pro, and it’s been a frequently-requested feature for macOS laptops. Apple answered these hopes yesterday with the mid-2018 MacBook Pro models in 13- and 15-inch sizes. 

A True Tone MacBook Pro

The addition of True Tone to these models surely pleased but didn’t surprise many people. What is a surprise is that the effect can be extended to certain external displays.

Specifically, Apple says it works with:

  • Apple Thunderbolt Display, using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter
  • LG UltraFine 5K Display
  • LG UltraFine 4K Display

Of course, these are somewhat pricy products. Apple asks $1299.95 for the UltraFine 5K, for example. The UltraFine 4K is $699.95. The Apple Thunderbolt Display is no longer in production, and used units go for $300 to $600.

The 2018 MacBook Pro models have some other tricks. They boast 8th-generation “Coffee Lake” Intel Core processors, And their keyboards have been redesigned to be quieter, but not to be better at keeping out damaging grit.