Apple’s 5K display of choice starts shipping as USB-C discount extended

Chris Davies - Dec 20, 2016
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Apple’s 5K display of choice starts shipping as USB-C discount extended

Apple has begun sales of LG’s 5K Thunderbolt 3 display, at the same time extending its promotional discount on USB Type-C accessories for several months. The LG UltraFine 5K Display was announced alongside the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar earlier this year as one of the few monitors to support Thunderbolt 3 natively. However, while it appeared – alongside its 4K sibling – on Apple’s online store, it was not actually shipping.

That has changed today. Orders for the 27-inch, 5120 x 2880 resolution display are being taken at $974 apiece, though you’ll need to wait a while before you actually receive it. Although the earliest orders should get their new monitors before December is through, Apple is currently reporting a 2-4 week shipping time for new orders.

It might well be worth the wait, if you’re ready to go all-in on Thunderbolt 3. As well as its IPS, P3 color compliant panel, built-in camera, and stereo speakers, the UltraFine 5K Display also has a trio of USB Type-C ports which act as a USB 3.1 hub for peripherals. That could mean a keyboard and mouse, or a printer or some other device; they’d be connected via a single cable from display to MacBook Pro, which would also handle video output and 85W of charging power.

Meanwhile, Apple has opted to extend the period during which it is offering discounted USB Type-C peripherals. Originally, that promotion was due to end on December 31, 2016. Now, though, it’ll continue until the end of March 2017.

It means a significant discount on LG’s 4K and 5K displays, though for most it’ll be the cheaper cables and dongles that are of greatest interest. For instance, one of the most vital adapters is the USB Type-C to USB A convertor, which is available for $9 instead of its regular, $19 price. USB-C to Lightning cables are also discounted, down to as low as $19 (from $25) for the 1m cable.

The Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter is still $29, from $49, while the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter remains at $49, rather than its regular $69 price. Finally, the USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter is also $49.

It’s a tacit recognition that the switch from traditional ports like USB 3.1 to USB Type-C may take a little longer than some could’ve hoped. Although the port is certainly more flexible – it can handle power, video, and data, and is bi-directional, for instance – there are plenty of legacy devices out there which people still rely upon. Apple’s decision to go all-in on USB-C with the newest MacBook Pro, rather than hedge its bets with a combination of old and new style ports, exacerbated the issue, though arguably it would only have delayed the transition had it included a mixture.

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