Home Apple Your MacBook as Portable or Desktop using the LG Ultra Fine 5K Display

Your MacBook as Portable or Desktop using the LG Ultra Fine 5K Display

by Kerry Dawson


The new MacBooks, whether they are the MacBook Air or Pro, are powerful, pleasant to use devices. They have the power of the desktop iMac with the portability of a first-rate portable. Working on the units themselves is fantastic but to work with it as if it were a desktop gives it the function and capability of both worlds.

Stepping up the Game

In this article, I will deal with the issue of making the MacBook the functional equivalent of a desktop. To do this, you will need an external monitor, keyboard and mouse.

It is more than feasible to just work on your MacBook but if you are spending hours at your computer, there is a functional benefit in it acting like a desktop. Working on a device with a full size monitor and external keyboard and mouse is more rewarding than working constantly on the MacBook as a portable.

To do this though you will want a quality monitor that provides a top notch desktop experience. Apple now produces their own monitors the XDR which they designed purposefully for their high end Mac Pro. This is not to say it could not work with a portable but it is a very expensive unit at $6000. It is a 6k device producing a remarkable image. Yet, for the vast majority of users this is far too much to invest in.

LG Ultrafine 5K Display

Apple sells, to work hand in hand with their portables, the LG Ultrafine 5K Display. Although at first blush this too may seem on the expensive side and it is by no means a cheap monitor it is a high quality unit.

4k monitors are easily had for far less money but they lack the capability of the 5k system. The difference between a 4k and 5k monitor is pixellation. That is, when looking at your image on a 4k monitor it looks not as pleasant as the 5k.

On a 4k monitor pixillation is obvious. The text is pixelated along with the images and other artifacts on the screen. The 5k unit thus is much nicer to work with. It is easier on the eyes and its colour balance is exacting. You are seeing a good rendition of your end product. This makes for not only a more enjoyable user experience but a far more accurate result. For instance, on the LG, it is easier to pick up writing errors.

Combined with a full external keyboard you now have a desktop capable machine. 4k might be cheaper and could sometimes be deemed adequate or it falls within a certain budget but the tradeoff in accuracy might not be acceptable.

You could have a desktop and portable for those situations in which you have to be mobile but this is costly and not as convenient as having things on the one device. Configuration is more difficult on two separate machines. You can easily configure the computer to work in desktop mode where required and simply unplug and take it with you to work on the same unit in portable mode.

To have two separate machines each configured the way in which they work identically is far more difficult than configuring one machine and then just attaching the externals to put it in desktop mode. Now, you have the best of both worlds in one device that is easy to change its mode of operation.

Well Priced Producing an Excellent System


From all angles, working on your portable as a desktop is a far more enjoyable and productive experience. You can type faster, work with a mouse far more accurately and with the right monitor have a feedback system that surpasses that of a portable. If you, for instance write, the writing and research experience is much better on a larger monitor.

If you need desktop space to lay out your work, a monitor provides this. You can easily have multiple windows working side by side in different windowing environments or in the same window. It is next to impossible to create this fluidity on a portable screen. If you outline your work it is nice to have one part of the screen, say your outline, to guide your writing and on the other part of the screen the document you’re creating. The kind of flow that can be produced on a monitor is bar non excellent. Productivity for either the student writing a paper or a researcher developing a document is significant. When sitting at his/her workstation it is easy to pop around and build out the work.

When the time comes though that you must take your work with you, simply unmount any external drives if they exist and take your MacBook to whatever location to continue. Flow is not impinged upon and you don’t waste hours configuring the device. What you’re working on is exactly what you were working on. The benefit is tremendous.

The LG Monitor Sports Some of the finest Technology

LG is becoming well known for their panel technology. Often referred to on any device as Thinq, LG produces some of the finest TVs, screens for smartphones and Monitors for computers.

The LG Ultrafine 5K Display is one of LG’s finest monitors for MacBooks. The monitor itself comes with four USB C ports and a webcam. Taking a FaceTime or for that matter any form of visual call is superb. It is unnecessary to pull out your iPhone, Android or iPad to take the call. It is right there, smack in front of you making taking the call a delight in that it flows into what you are doing as opposed to interfering. If you don’t want to take the call, you do but if you don’t there is no need.

Information from a multi-faceted call can be part of what you’re working on. You could be writing a research document and the information portrayed in the call can be as valid and possibly more so than any other type of information. The MacBook is a fine device often considered the best on the market. They can be fast and powerful systems able to enhance your thinking. They range from the smallest and most agile devices to substantive units that are very powerful in their own right. For some, they have difficulty justifying the expenditure but for others it is a no-brainer. The LG monitor, particularly, is powerful yet with a price that is very affordable.

Apple’s XDR monitor is a stunning piece of technology but it is not for everyone. It is more inclined to someone who is creating a video and wants the absolute best. Here they will find it.

However, for those that need to extend their computing functionality, they can’t go wrong with the LG UltraFine 5K Display. It provides top notch function affordable to most. Often, a person may realize they need this kind of capability but don’t realize just how affordable the screen is when determined what it can do for you.

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