LG has admitted to a design oversight in its high-end Ultrafine 5K computer monitors that causes performance issues when placed too close to a Wi-Fi router. It is understood that the displays, designed for use with Apple's new MacBook Pro, were equipped with inadequate shielding to protect them from interference from Wi-Fi signals.
Buyers of the £884 ($1,000, €1,030) LG Ultrafine 5K Display have complained about their monitors intermittently turning off and on while connected devices like keyboards have to be constantly disconnected and re-connected in order to work. The problems occurred when the 27-inch monitors were placed within two feet of Wi-Fi networking equipment.
One customer wrote in a review on Apple's website: "Unfortunately something is very wrong. Every time I undock from the display, my MacBook crashes and reboots. Frequently when I plug into the display it crashes and reboots. When it isn't crashing and rebooting when I plug it in sometimes the display itself flickers, and has other problems.
"Of course, with a single cable connection, there isn't anything to do but unplug/replug (and then be prepared for a crash/reboot 3 out of 4 times.) I have no idea whether I'm supposed to approach LG or Apple about this issue...but I'm really disappointed in the situation. Beware!"
Another complained: "The flicker is intermittent, but it seems to depend on how much Wi-Fi traffic goes through the WAP. After working as an electrical engineer for 35 years, I have to say that this a fairly serious and shoddy design flaw. Until Apple and LG fix this problem, I wouldn't recommend purchasing this product."
The monitor currently sports a three out of five stars on Apple's website, with other customers reporting no issues. After being made aware of the problem, LG issued a statement revealing it would be adding additional shielding to newly-manufactured displays.
"LG apologises for this inconvenience and is committed to delivering the best quality products possible, so all LG UltraFine 27-inch 5K displays manufactured after February 2017 will be fitted with enhanced shielding," the company said in an email to Recode.
Customers with faulty monitors can contact LG to have their monitors retrofitted with enhanced shielding. In the meantime, moving the monitor or Wi-Fi router should alleviate the problem.