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At a Glance: LG UltraFine 24MD4KL-B 4K Display Review

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LG’s UltraFine 24MD4KL-B is a rather unique display. Obviously it’s a monitor, but it doesn’t have any HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI jacks. LG designed it specifically as a solution for users of Apple devices, and as such, it was designed to accept video over USB Type-C. Clearly, the LG UltraFine 24MD4KL-B fills a specific niche in the market, but unless you own an iPad or MacBook, you should probably steer clear.

Design and Features

In addition to the unusual video connection options, this display is also rather unique in that it features a 24-inch 4K Nano IPS panel. Most 4K monitors on the market today use larger panels with 24-inch monitors such as this one being quite rare. The small physical size of the screen has a negative impact on desktop real estate, but it does give the LG UltraFine 24MD4KL-B a pixel density of 186 pixels per inch, which is unusually high for a desktop monitor.

The monitor has a modern set of ports consisting of three USB Type-C and two Thunderbolt 3 ports that also use the Type-C connector. The decision to build this monitor with just USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 connections for video reflects the growing influence of these solutions on the market today, but it still feels like a mistake that LG didn’t add at least one HDMI or DisplayPort. It’s also worth noting here that the display’s stand supports height and tilt adjustments, and the display can be removed from the stand and mounted on a wall using a 100mm VESA bracket.

Continuing the trend of odd features is this display’s controls, or lack thereof. This display doesn’t have a power button or indeed any buttons at all. Instead, the display powers up automatically when a compatible device is connected to one of the Type-C ports. If you are using a Mac, you will be able to access the display’s internal settings to adjust the display’s brightness, color, and various other options. While you can use this display with a non-Mac computer, you will be unable to make changes to the monitor’s settings on a Windows or Linux based system right out of the box.

The LG UltraFine 24MD4KL-B reportedly also has excellent color accuracy and brightness. In PCMag’s review of this display, the monitor was tested with a Klein K10-A colorimeter and the SpectraCal CalMAN5 software. These tools showed the display to have a max brightness of 538 nits and a contrast ratio of 1,350:1, both of which exceed LG’s official rating. LG also reports this display ships factory-calibrated to cover 98 percent of the DCI-P3 color spectrum, but PCMag’s tests showed the display slightly underperformed here with just 97.5 percent of the DCI-P3 color space covered.

The reviewer at PCMag also noted that the monitor’s built-in pair of 5W speakers had reasonable volume and sound quality for a monitor.

Conclusion

LG’s UltraFine 24MD4KL-B retails for $ 699.95 and all things considered, it appears to be a well-made display, but only if you use a Mac. LG’s decision to not add a single HDMI or DisplayPort jack to this monitor feels poorly thought out as it would have allowed the monitor to work for countless other devices as well as for Apple’s iPads and MacBooks. The lack of access to the display’s settings on non-Mac systems also limits its use, with the end result being that this display simply shouldn’t be used with non-Apple products.

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