It’s 2020 and the world is no stranger to the world of portable monitors. Today, I would like to share with you, one of the best and the most affordable monitors, the Lepow Portable Monitor. I have it now for almost 3 weeks and was impressed by how versatile it is. Whether you are an enthusiast who loves new tech or if you just stumbled on this post randomly, feel free to scroll down and enjoy my review.
Fig. A – Lepow Portable Monitor
When you open up the box, right off the bat you will be impressed by how many accessories it comes with. Here’s a list of the things that come included: 1 x USB Type C to Type C cable, 1 x HDMI to HDMI mini, 1 Type C to USB A cable (Power supply), 1 x Smart Leather cover and 1 x Screen Protector. Accessories are always welcomed and if something comes with ALL OF THEM, I am hooked.
Fig. B – Accessories: Type C cable, HDMI mini cable, Power adapter, Screen Protector
Let’s talk the first and the foremost important thing, the Display. Lepow Portable Monitor comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p IPS screen with a 60Hz refresh rate. Although it has a 72% color gamut which is pretty good considering this price point, the display quality is affected by how and what it is connected to. For ex, when I connected my Galaxy S8 to the monitor using the Screen mirroring mode, the colors lacked some contrast and looked dull. However, when I connected it in the Samsung Dex mode, it had better contrast and vibrancy. To top that, if you connect it to your PC/Laptop, it will look even better, possibly the best possible experience. The screen mirroring quality issue might just be the case with my phone or Samsung phones. It might perform better with other devices. It’s a matte display thus less glare and easier to see in brighter rooms plus the IPS panel provides better viewing angles. The display is quite bright at 300cd nits which people who work in bright places will find handy. You can set the brightness using the rocker on the right side of the monitor. It also acts as a volume rocker which I will explain in detail in the latter part of this review.
Fig. C & D- Connected to Galaxy S8 using the included USB TYPE C cable in Samsung Dex Mode
In terms of video quality, its decent for the price range. The blacks aren’t that rich but would suffice for a movie or a YouTube video. It also going to be affected by video quality. I would recommend setting the brightness, contrast and black levels from the OSD menu in the range of 40 to 50 to get the best out of the display. Also, whenever required, you can bump up the brightness to get better colors. Personally, as a gamer, I feel the display really shines when it comes to gaming. Especially, if you have a Laptop that can handle 1080p 60 FPS gaming, then this should be your choice to go with. I was really impressed by how good my Division 2 looked on this display. The display also comes with an HDR mode. Some might feel that the HDR mode looks super washed out and white but that’s due to the fact that you first need to turn it on from the OSD menu as well. Just turning it on in Windows or in-game settings won’t work. The HDR has two options ‘Auto’ and ‘2048’ but each works better in different scenarios. For ex.sometimes Auto mode won’t change anything visually even when you are watching HDR content but switching to 2048 does. I tried Far Cry New Dawn and tried the HDR mode in the game with the 2048 settings but it looks worse with its super high contrast. I would recommend using the Auto mode for games and also trying different HDR modes in various games as they do have multiple HDR modes that provide different results. Also, peel off the screen film that comes with it or it’s gonna look a little cloudy.
Fig. D & E – Division 2 on the Lepow Portable Monitor using the HDMI cable to a PC.
The all-metal body on the Lepow has the excellent built quality and provides sturdiness. I already dropped it once while trying to figure out how to set it up on my small PC table but had no issues. A nice addition is the foldable leather cover that you can use while carrying/commuting and or a stand that magnetically attaches itself to the monitor.
Fig. F – Backside of the monitor
Lepow has done a really great job of providing support for all almost a variety of devices and connecting anything is just plug-and-play. The USB Type C ensures a fast, lag-free response from your phone to the screen. I had a chance to test it with my Galaxy S8 and I tried it in both the Screen mirroring and the Samsung Dex modes. In both modes, the monitor picks up any input source instantly and I barely noticed any input lag from the phone to the screen. I can’t speak for other devices but as a Galaxy user, I prefer the Dex version for visuals. However, some apps/games don’t go full screen on Dex mode, so you might wanna switch to screen mirroring options from the notification bar to get a better full-screen experience. Although I couldn’t test it, the listing on Amazon claims that an adapter can be used to connect for non- USB Type C phones, I will hold it to be true. If someone has it tested, please comment it down below this post.
Fig. G – Dual Monitor setup
Fig. H – Connection ports on the left side: HDMI mini, USB Type C port, and 3.5mm audio jack
For PCs, use the HDMI to HDMI mini cable and use the power adapter that comes with the box. If your primary monitor has a different resolution than the Lepow, you might have to adjust some settings in the Personalize option in Windows but that shouldn’t be a problem. For laptops, you get more options since nowadays most of the laptops come with USB Type C ports. The only advantage Type C has over HDMI mini is that you don’t need to use the power adapter to power the Lepow monitor since it draws power from the source. Also, I can confirm that there’s no visual difference while using either of the mediums.
To go to the OSD (On-screen display) menu, push the volume rocker on the inside and the OCD will show up. To select something, press it again and to either navigate or increase/decrease something, push it up or down. Press the power button to go back to the menu. The volume rocker also acts as brightness control too. It automatically detects the context, for ex. if you playing music/watching videos or if you are browsing/gaming or if you have set the monitor as a playback device, then depending on that, it will either show the brightness or the volume option. Don’t be too dependent on it as it’s not perfect. You can still adjust this in the OSD if that’s the case with you. The OSD menu comes with a lot of useful options like Brightness/Contrast/Black level control, Image modes, DCR, Color Temp and HDR options.
The Lepow Portable Monitor comes with dual built-in speakers and also sports a 3.5 mm audio jack. The sound quality is subpar in my opinion. It does the obvious job to bring out the sound but lacks the necessary sweetness in it. The audio isn’t that loud at times and sometimes when it is, it’s distorted. Given the fact that it has two speakers, it underperforms. The bass is shallow and the highs aren’t clear. I would still give it a pass considering it has an audio jack that you can use or switch to the ones on your PC or your phone. Also, since it’s USB C, it grants you the functionality to choose the monitor as a speaker as well.
Fig. I – Power button, Volume/Brightness control, USB Type C port
I can think of endless scenarios where the Lepow Portable Monitor would be useful. Here are some of them that I have categorized according to the devices and listed them below:
- Use as a secondary monitor for a dual monitor setup in supported games.
- View discord chats, browse the web while waiting in a lobby, watch a gameplay video for a mission.
- Copy-paste data between the browser and Word, watch a tutorial and practice at the same time.
- Watch movies/videos while searching for a song on Spotify or prepare for a presentation.
- Use reference pictures to draw a portrait in Photoshop.
- Extend your phone’s display and enjoy a movie on a bigger screen.
- Showcase your portfolio to an employer in a career fair.
- A bigger screen for your parents to skype with you.
- Using Samsung Dex, get a PC like experience(Only applies to Samsung Devices, Galax 8 and later :D).
It’s time for the verdict. The Lepow Portable Monitor brings innovation to the table with an affordable price, awesome features, endless connectivity, essential accessories, durability, and versatility. There are some places where it could do a better job like the audio or color reproduction but the good side overshadows the bad by a huge margin. It’s a 9/10 for me. If you are interested in buying one of these, then click here to visit the Amazon page for this product.