LG releases awesome Thunderbolt monitors, no webcams.


At CES 2018, life is good. LG released a new line-up of nano-cell Thunderbolt monitors, in various screen sizes and aspect ratios. We love them all; but, still no webcams. Where are the integrated webcams?

As I continue my pursuit of the perfect monitor for me, I'm increasingly impressed by LG. Nano-cell IPS screens look amazing. The picture quality, colour accuracy, black levels, adjustability, and colour gamut are great. The exterior designs are appealing, with narrow bezels, sleek frames, great stands, and practical features like height adjustment, tilt, swivel, and screen rotation.

The perfect monitor, for me

The perfect monitor for me, combines the following features:

  • Thunderbolt connectivity between my laptop and the monitor, or PC and the monitor

  • Thunderbolt daisy-chaining to other Thunderbolt devices or additional monitors

  • Integrated webcam for Windows Hello, Skype calls, Facetime calls, etc.

  • Integrated hub with USB-C ports, Thunderbolt ports, Ethernet port, audio ports

  • Integrated SD card slot, located on the rear, or preferrably on the side

  • Integrated speakers

  • Thin bezels on the left, right, and top. A small chin at the bottom is ok.

  • Optional Qi wireless charger in the monitor stand

  • Great cable management, so I don't see cables from the front of the screen

  • External power supply, with a thin cable from power brick to the monitor.

I realise I'm asking a lot. Well, a little bit less than a lot. How hard can it be?

I understand that creating a symmetrical bezel that is also very thin, makes it hard to integrate a webcam with IR emitters in the top bezel. Give me a pop-up camera module that pops up from behind the screen; or make the bezels just thick enough to accomodate a Windows Hello camera unit.

LG UltraFine displays... almost perfect (and expensive)

LG's own UltraFine monitors, co-developed with Apple, have a Facetime camera at the top. The top bezel was thicker than the side bezels, making the monitor frame asymmetrical (and a bit ugly). It has the USB-C ports I like, and the Thunderbolt port I like, and a chunky power cord. It even has good speakers.

It doesn't have Thunderbolt daisy-chaining, and it doesn't have USB-A, SD card, or an Ethernet port.

They are almost perfect.

They are also incredibly expensive, and are so tightly integrated with Mac that they dont work with WIndows as easily as they should.

The monitor becomes the hub

It would be great if the big monitor that sits on my desk became the hub, that everything else on the desk plugs in to. Keyboard, mouse, backup hard drive, printer, NAS, phone, tablet, and so on.

When I need to go out for a meeting, I could simply unplug on Thunderbolt cable from my laptop and take the laptop with me, leaving everything else connected to the monitor.

When I return, I just put the laptop on the desk and plug in one Thunderbolt cable. My laptop starts charging, and all my gadgets reconnect. Simple.

LG Nano-cell IPS monitors

View the video here.

One last thing.

Someone needs to build a keyboard that has an SD card slot on the back.

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas

XYZtech

XYZ Media Group

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