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Displays for Designers and Developers

Marc Edwards on the Bjango blog:

If you’re considering an external display for your Mac, there’s a few important decisions to make. Apple doesn’t sell external displays any more, so you can’t just default to their wisdom. That’s an issue, because not all displays are well suited for Macs.

Welp, the display landscape is pretty bleak. If you want a retina (what Apple classifies it as) 27-inch display, you have two options. Two. The Dell UP2715k is not only ugly to me, but requires you to sign away your first-born. The LG UltraFine 5K display is an almost ideal solution, but the I/O is limited, and its design doesn’t scream Apple collaboration.1

I still wonder what some of the thinking behind the latter was. I understand it’s a feat of engineering that the monitor is able to do so much through one cable, but why not offer a more diverse array of connections on the back, while using two USB-C ports? My suggestion feels so obvious, that I’m positive I’m ignorant to other constraints and problems they faced while designing the display.

It’s a tough situation. On one hand, you can wait and see if any other display maker will release something good, but then you risk missing the introductory pricing currently being offered for the new LG monitor. I’m still using my Apple Thunderbolt Display, but it’s going on five years now, and its retina-less screen is more perceptible with every day that passes.

My plan for now is to wait as close as I can to March 31st, when the LG UltraFine 5K will return to full price.

  1. You may be thinking, “Wait, the 5K iMac has a retina display!” I didn’t really count that one because you can’t use it as an external display.