LG’s 5K monitor for Macs doesn't like being near routers

LG’s UltraFine 5K Display might be a 27-inch monitor with a massive 5,120 x 2,880 resolution – and a honking price tag to match – but it’s suffering from a serious bugbear after going on sale last month. Namely, the fact that it doesn’t get along well with nearby Wi-Fi routers.

If the router happens to be within 2 meters distance of the display, then the monitor isn’t so "ultra-fine." In fact, things aren’t remotely fine, and the peripheral becomes effectively "unusable", as 9 to 5 Mac reports.

Apparently, users can experience nasty flickering which can turn into a black screen as the router is moved closer, with the tech site noting that the display would keep disconnecting itself from the MacBook Pro it was hooked up to – even causing the laptop to freeze up at times.

  • ...But the best Chromebook doesn't seem to mind routers

Proximity problem

LG’s technical support acknowledged the problem, advising to check whether the monitor is near a router, and saying that this could affect the performance of the display. In further correspondence, the monitor manufacturer said it recommends that any Wi-Fi router is placed at least 2m away from the screen to avoid such interference.

LG also made it clear that this issue only affected its 5K monitors and not other models.

Reviews of the product on the Apple store also complain about this issue, with one buyer writing: “Connecting the MBP [MacBook Pro] to the display causes the MBP to freeze frequently, or not respond at all. Connected keyboards (with required USB adaptors, naturally) constantly need to be unplugged and plugged in again to work…”

We've contacted Apple to see if the company has any comment on this matter, and will update this story with any response we receive.

At any rate, if you’ve been tearing your hair out due to similar problems with your shiny new 5K display, and there’s a nearby Wi-Fi router, you’ll just have to shift the latter a bit further out of the way to resolve any issues (hopefully). But of course this does not reflect particularly well on the build quality of such an expensive display.

  • For now the 12-inch MacBook is cheaper and less of a hassle