Update: LG’s UltraFine 5K Display is now
available to order again after Apple removed it from store shelves on Feb. 13. Apple is offering delivery as soon as March 8 for orders placed today. In-store pick-up isn’t currently available.
Last October, Apple announced the LG collaboration has as the go-to external Retina display for the new MacBook Pro after the company discontinued its Thunderbolt Display.
But the UltraFine 5K Display was plagued by connection issues. Placing the display within six feet of a Wi-Fi router caused interference, resulting in continued disconnections and even the MacBook Pro freezing up. LG confirmed that these issues stem from “poor shielding.” According to
9to5Mac, future builds of the LG display will resolve this, but existing displays will require “retrofitting with additional shielding.” With new inventory in stock, it appears that LG has fixed its shielding issues—at least in hardware it’s selling from this point on.
In early February, Apple pushed back the delivery date for online shipments of the UltraFine 5K from 2-3 weeks to 5-6 weeks. The display is currently on sale for $974 until March 31, when the price will go up to $1299.
The impact on you: Obviously, it won’t be uncommon for people to set up their display somewhere near a Wi-Fi router or access point, so it would have been nice to know of these limitations before the product went on sale late last year.
According to 9to5Mac, the manual does warn that the display should be placed “where no electromagnetic interference occurs,” but there is no mention of Wi-Fi routers. Furthermore, LG has said that this display is the only one that experiences this type of interference.
This hardware issue would have not been so bad if people still had an alternative for an external Retina display to go along the new MacBook Pro, but Apple discontinued the Thunderbolt Display…maybe 5-6 weeks too soon.