LG UltraFine 5K is back, and now it works with iPad Pro

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LG UltraFine 5K
For a non-Apple design, the UltraFine 5K is pretty fine.
Photo: Apple

LG’s UltraFine 5K monitor is back in the Apple Store, and it’s even better than before. Or at least it does more than before. The 27-inch, Retina-quality monitor now works with the iPad Pro as well as the Mac, so you could use it as a single screen for all your devices.

The UltraFine 5K disappeared from Apple Stores some time ago, and many — including me — thought that it was going to be replaced by an Apple-branded display. But that Apple display turned out to cost $5,000 (or $6,000 if you want a stand for it).

Meanwhile, the smaller 24-inch UltraFine 4K stuck around, and works just fine with the USB-C 2018 iPad Pro.

LG UltraFine 5K monitor

But now the 5K version is back. It’s the same old UltraFine 5K we loved (and missed), with no changes other than the new iPad compatibility (iPad resolution maxes out at 4K). And of course it also still works great with your Mac. It can hook up via a single Thunderbolt cable, and uses that to transfer the actual video, plus audio and data. And it’ll power your MacBook. There are three USB-C ports in addition to the Thunderbolt port used to connect your Mac or iPad. It costs $1,300.

Or you could use this with a Mac mini as a killer alternative to the iMac. Or turn your iPad Pro into a desktop machine, especially with iOS 13’s upcoming support for mice and external storage, and much-improved keyboard control.

What about a new Apple display?

Wouldn't this make for a great iMac design?
Wouldn’t this make for a great iMac design?
Photo: Apple

With the relaunch of the UltraFine 5K, it seems Apple has no plans to make a new “normal” monitor. For the time being, the pricey new Pro Display XDR is the only game for anyone wanting a display that matches their Mac. Or it will be, when it goes on sale.

Still, the LG looks pretty good, if a little fat/deep compared to something like the iMac. If you’re looking for a display that is both good enough to match your Apple hardware, and not too ugly, then this is it. Welcome back.