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Apple ships first LG UltraFine 4K Display orders ahead of MacBook Pro w/ Touch Bar

Apple on Friday began shipping the new LG UltraFine 4K Display to customers who placed orders in late October, with current estimates showing deliveries scheduled to arrive in the middle of next week.

An exclusive to Apple, LG's UltraFine 4K Display went up for order on Apple's website alongside the new MacBook Pros just after both product lines were announced on Oct. 27. At the time, customers able to snag a unit from LG's initial batch were quoted a delivery date between Nov. 15 and Nov. 25.

For reference, AppleInsider's own test unit was purchased about five minutes after preorders went live and is currently showing a delivery date of Nov. 15.

Developed in partnership with Apple, the LG UltraFine 4K Display, and its larger 5K sibling, debuted as a surprise accompaniment to the redesigned MacBook Pro lineup at a special media event in October. The standalone displays serve as a replacement for Apple's erstwhile Thunderbolt Display, which ceased production in June.

Like the Apple-branded monitor, LG's UltraFine 4K Display acts as a breakout dock for port-limited notebooks like the new MacBook Pro without Touch Bar models that come with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The better equipped, and more expensive, MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models sport four Thunderbolt 3 ports, but lack USB-A inputs.

As for LG's new hardware, the 4K version comes in at 21.5 inches on the diagonal with a resolution of 4,096-by-2,304 and P3 wide color gamut support. On the back are three USB-C ports limited to USB 2 specification speeds. The display's internal power supply is also capable of charging external devices, but is limited to 60W over Thunderbolt 3.

LG's UltraFine 5K Display measures 27 inches and supports resolutions up to 5,120-by-2,880 with P3 color. The display boasts three USB 3.1 ports on the back for attaching high-speed accessories, and also includes stereo speakers, a microphone and front-facing camera. An uprated power supply produces enough juice for 85W of charging power over Thunderbolt 3.

Last week, Apple quietly announced a special discount that takes 25 percent off retail pricing for both LG UltraFine models, dropping the 4K model down to $524 and the 5K version to $974. The limited time offer is good through Dec. 31, 2016.

The 4K version can be purchased now with current a ship time of five to six weeks, while the 5K variant is expected to become available in December.