Technology

The perfect screen companion for your MacBook?

The perfect screen companion for your MacBook?

The LG DualUp Display… is unique. With its almost square aspect ratio and slightly vertical, it definitely stands out. However, in a way, I really like this thing. It’s an HDR display with a resolution of 2560 x 2880 which is two 1440p screens stacked on top of each other. Trying to watch a movie or play games can be a little awkward on this screen, but it’s productivity property — especially for a device like the M2 MacBook Air that’s limited to just one external display.

Video: Is the LG DualUp the Perfect M2 Companion?

I have a lot to say about LG DualUp . phonebut before we get into that, here’s a quick look at the specs:

LG DualUp . Specifications

  • Resolution: 2560 x 2880 pixels
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Size: 27.5 inches
  • Brightness: 300 Typical
  • HDR10, color 98% DCI-P3
  • Inputs: USB-C, 2xHDMI, DisplayPort
  • USB Hub: USB-C or USB-B upstream port, 2x USB-A downstream

Do you play on DualUp?

Games are by no means the focus of this monitor, but people will ask, so I have to take it. For most games, DualUp is pointless. The funky aspect ratio can put menus and on-screen items in weird locations, and the peripheral vision offered by ultra-wide screens really spurred their popularity for a reason. But it’s based on the same resolution – 1440p – that most ultra-wide screens use. It’s a good mid-resolution that’s easier to play at higher frame rates than 4K, but sharper than 1080p.

DualUp works in reverse for Ultra View and makes the screen taller — but that doesn’t mean games *don’t* make sense on the screen. The retro games built for the bulky TVs of yesteryear play great, without the huge black bars you’d get on most modern screens. It’s a big experience made easier by the fact that you can flip the screen sideways for a slightly broader gaming experience. If you enjoy simulation and retro games, DualUp does a great job with them.

DualUp Retro Mario Simulation

Its ability to function primarily as two separate displays – the top 2560 x 1440 pixels showing one display entry while the bottom 2560 x 1440 pixels shows another – could also be useful for streaming devices monitoring multiple devices.

M2 . Productivity Limitations

The base level M1 and M2 devices offer a massive increase in efficiency and power from the MacBook Air of yesteryear. But one limitation preventing them from being true productivity machines is the inability to connect to multiple external displays. (there some solutions, but they have their own limitations.) Sticking to a single external monitor (without some limited workarounds) won’t affect most people, but for seasoned users who like to set up multiple monitors, it sure can get in the way. With entry level chips, you are limited to the screen locations of your included laptop screen and one external screen. So something like DualUp, which has a resolution and size of two 21.5 x 1440 pixels screens stacked on top of each other, could provide additional productivity options.

LG DualUp . Productivity

In keeping with this focus on productivity, DualUp offers a large screen and good color accuracy rather than focusing on a high refresh rate or pushing resolution to the extreme. In LG product photos, they focus on creative work – such as video editing in Premiere. Its use of the same use case was excellent. Of course, you can have a large source window at the top with your video, with plenty of additional vertical space for your timeline, effects panels, project, color grading, and more. I love working with such a huge preview without the need for another dedicated screen.

DualUp also excels when working on short vertical videos. The use of a 9×16 frame in a 16×9 screen has always been limited, but the extra vertical space for rearranging windows with DualUp makes it so much better. With a high-end PC or MacBook / Mac studio You can get to a similar solution by stacking multiple monitors, but DualUp does it more elegantly — and multiple monitors aren’t an option with the MacBook Air.

My primary use of DualUp was for video work, but whether you’re working in Photoshop, editing raw files in Lightroom, compositing in After Effects, or even just working with huge spreadsheets and many windows, you can find use for more real estate. on the screen. I’m sure there are plenty of use cases for this 16×18 aspect ratio, so if you have any feel free to share it in the comments.

Work environment

LG calls the stand that comes with the DualUp an “Ergo stand,” and it definitely earns that name. The stand mounts to your desk, then the arm lets you basically position the monitor as you like. It offers height adjustment and the ability to move your monitor forward, backward, swivel and pivot. You can use it to position your screen in its standard portrait orientation a bit or rotate it sideways for a slightly landscape view. It’s really excellent for the included stand, providing more versatility than Apple’s $1,000 Pro Stand for Pro Display XDR (and for less than $300, with the actual monitor included).

The size is about as large as I can take it – much longer and some items at the top of the screen can be hard to read. As it stands, the 27.5-inch screen with its unique aspect ratio is a reasonable size to look at.

The mount also includes routing all cables down, and you might have quite a few, since there are a few different connection options.

Connection

For Macs, the only necessary connection will be the USB-C cable (included). The display can provide a significant amount of power to keep your MacBook running, and with two USB-A download ports, you can keep your keyboard and mouse (or other peripherals) connected to your display for a single-cable solution.

But the DualUp isn’t designed exclusively for Macs, so you also have two HDMI inputs and a display port input, as well as a USB upstream port, headphone jack, and power input. LG includes a USB-B cable, a USB-C cable, and an HDMI cable in the box.

LG DualUp Input.  USB-C, DisplayPort, 2 HDMI, 1 USB Type-B upstream, 2 ports.  USB-A downstream ports, headphone jack, and DC input.

One potential downside compared to the likes of Apple’s studio monitor, or even LG Ultrafine 5k, is to rely on physical screen controls rather than the macOS software controls – although some may find this better. Fortunately, though, the joystick at the bottom of the screen makes it very easy to switch between settings, change inputs, adjust color, or do whatever else you might need in the menu.

Negatives

Low pixel density

If you are used to higher resolutions for Apple devices, especially something like 5k studio viewSwitching to a lower 4K display may seem like a big cut. Depending on your request, it can be. The studio monitor has its advantages, with very high resolutions, good colors and MacOS integration. It also costs about $1,000 more than the DualUp, has a standard aspect ratio, and doesn’t include such a convenient and versatile stand. If you really want a higher resolution, you can get it with the studio monitor, but if you want to maximize some form of productivity, DualUp is the way to go. I also had no problem with the DualUp’s low pixel density while sitting at a standard distance from the screen.

matte vs glossy

This basically comes into play if you want to use the DualUp in conjunction with your MacBook’s integrated display and you’ll regularly look between the two. While MacBooks have built-in glossy screens, the LG DualUp has a matte screen. Neither one is “good” or “bad,” but they are different, and having a matte screen next to a glossy screen can make the two look different based on the lighting conditions in the room. It’s not a deal breaker for me, but it’s definitely worth being aware of before you pick one.

LG DualUp Matte Screen next to M2 MacBook Air's glossy screen
Reflections on the LG DualUp (right) and the screen of the M2 MacBook Air (left)

Take 9to5Mac

The LG DualUP has its pros and cons, but it excels in its focus area – productivity. DualUP has been a very useful tool whether writing with lots of reference material, video editing, or just during general multitasking. If you’re looking for a new gaming monitor, definitely look elsewhere, but if your office setup is productivity-focused, I can’t think of another monitor that matches what the LG DualUp can offer.

You can pick up the LG DualUp On Amazon for $690

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