Today, its time to review my 3rd portable monitor so far and get down to the basics of what Zissu‘s has to offer us. As always, I will be breaking down my review into sections and dive deeply into the things I like and the things I don’t like about this monitor. I would also be going over some tips and provide some constructive criticism.
So let’s being with the packaging and unboxing. Right off the bat, I was pleased by the overall black theme Zissu’s got going on here. It’s not just the monitor and its peripherals but also on the packaging box and the polyethylene foam on the inside. The box comes with the monitor, 1 x HDMI to HDMI mini cable, 1 x Type C to Type C cable, 1 x USB to USB Type C cable, the manual, a gift card, and a cleaning cloth. I was a bit disappointed as at this price point a lot of monitor brands also provide accessories like screen guard and a leather cover too. However, you don’t need to worry as the back panel on the monitor itself can be rotated to be used as a stand which I found more useful than the leather cover. The leather cover which also acts as a stand has only 2 or at max 3 different angles that you can set but in Zissu’s case, the rotatable back panel can be set any angle you like. Personally, I like to have my monitor quite upright and this allows me to do that; kudos to Zissu for that. Also, there’s an added Gift card inside the box, please don’t throw it away. The gift card allows you to choose one out of the two gifts: Sleeve bag or a 65W 2-Port PD GaN Wall charger. For this, you are required to send an email to Zissu’s on the provided email address. I love freebies, so this was a great addition for me.
Now, let’s move on to the design part. The Zissu’s monitor packs a study body and shows no flex despite being a plastic body. It comes in plastic with a metallic finish. The monitor features super-thin bezels which I feel are a must on to get the most out of the screen to body ratio on a 15-inch screen. Making the I/O panel rotatable was a perfect design choice too. Not only does it serve as an I/O panel and a stand but it also makes the monitor super slim and lightweight; perfect points for that. Specs-wise, its only 0.16 inches thick and weighs 1.7lbs which is insane.
It’s time for the most important part, the display. Coming in at 15,6 inches, the Zissus rocks a 1920 x 1080 Full Hd screen and a matte display. It’s an IPS panel which means you get the best colors and viewing angles compared to VA and TN panels. However, the get the best out of this display, you will have to tweak some settings which I will explain later in this review. I know I keep repeating myself but I love matte displays over glossy ones. Thanks to the matte display, you won’t get any reflections at all so that’s already a thumbs up for me. It’s bright at about 250 nits which is good enough for night use or in dark places but might seem a little underpowered during the day. People who have an AMD GPU will really benefit from this monitor as it has FreeSync and has a standard 60hz refresh rate.
One more great addition is the support for HDR which will prove useful with media consumption but don’t expect too much. During my usage, I found the HDR option to be quite unsettling. I know this problem is not related to Zissus but HDR, in general, is hard to get right as most of these displays are equipped with pretty basic HDR and minimum brightness levels. So, in turn, the content on the screen either looks too contrasty or dark. I would suggest, to leave the HDR setting in the Display Menu to Auto. This doesn’t mean that everything looks bad on HDR on this display, some games do look better with HDR in Auto mode. With default settings, the monitor has a warm tone which isn’t for me and if you are the same, I would suggest switching to 9300K option in the Color settings or you can fine-tune the RGB values in the User option which I will talk about in detail later. Although you can game on this monitor, if you are into competitive gaming, this isn’t for you as It has a response time of a whopping 30 ms. That’s still fine since it isn’t advertised as a gaming monitor or something. Media consumption is great given the portability and connections options to a variety of devices including PCs, Laptops, and consoles. The colors are vivid, have enough contrast but might look overly saturated or undersaturated if not configured well.
HDR MODE: 2048HDR MODE: AUTO HDR MODE: OFF
Zissu’s Portable Monitor is pretty versatile when it comes to connectivity options thanks to the HDMI mini and Type C ports on it. You can basically connect it to almost every device given that both devices support the required connecting ports. So, whether it is your PC, Laptop, or Tablet or any game consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch or even your smartphone, you can connect them all. You get 2 x USB TYPE C ports, 1 x mini HDMI port, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, a power button, a dial button, and an LED indicator. The Dial button is a multifunction button that acts as a rocker for brightness and volume control and can also be used to navigate the OSD(On-Screen Display) menu. These are pretty generic I/O ports that can be found on any other portable monitor nowadays.
There are different ways in which the monitor needs to be connected to different devices. For PCs, you need to use both an HDMI cable and a USB to Type C power cable to power this monitor. For a laptop with a type C port on it, you can get away by just connecting the Type C cable alone. When It comes to connecting to a phone, you need to plug both the Type C display cable and the USB to Type C power cable. Depending on your phone, you might have two modes of connection as with my Galaxy S8, I can use both the screen-mirroring option and the Samsung Dex options. It would have been better if you don’t need to connect a secondary power source to power the display while connecting to a phone as it takes away the whole purpose of mobility.
ON-SCREEN DISPLAY(OSD) MENU and AUDIO
The on-screen display comes with a ton of options but we are going to focus on the most important ones today. First of all, the brightness and volume control can be controlled by pressing the dial button up or down without having to go to the actual menu which is very useful. Once, you are in the menu, you will see a lot of options from Color Control all the way up to Input Source selection. You would need to pay attention to some settings as turning them on disables some other settings. For ex. turning on DCR disables Brightness and Contrast options, changing ECO setting to other than Standard also does the same whereas Turning the HDR on disables the Color Gamut option. One good thing about this monitor is the support and the ability to switch between 4 different Color Gamuts. You get the option to switch between NATIVE, SCI-P3, Adobe RGB, and SRGB which some may find useful if they do some editing work. Now, I would like to talk about some settings that I recommend to get the best picture quality possible. First, keep the HDR mode to Auto and the only time you should switch it to 2048 is when your game supports HDR and switch between these two to find out which works best for you. In other scenarios, just leave it to Auto. Keep the contrast between 50-55, saturation between 55-60, Hue to 50, DCR as Off, Eco to Standard, and Sharpness between 2 or 3. If you don’t like my settings, you can still use the Windows Color Calibration utility to adjust it to your liking.
Almost all the portable monitors I have tested so far have the same type of audio quality which it’s decent and the same goes for Zissu’s too. You get dual speakers located on the bottom on the back panel. They are clear but not loud enough and so I had to switch over to my headsets every time. I think part of the reason is the placement of the speakers but I understand the reason behind doing it since having speakers on the side would mean a thicker body. Anyways, you still get the 3.5mm audio jack which you can use if you need better audio.
The Zissu’s monitor deserves nothing less than a 9 out of 10 for its affordability, versatility, design choices and color quality. There can still be some improvement in the color department here as I would prefer something that comes calibrated at least to some extent straight out of the box without having the need to be configured. However, this is overshadowed by the plus points that I just mentioned above. So, If you are someone who does a lot of documentation and editing or someones who’s looking for a better screen for their Nintendo Switch or just wants something portable to watch or work on a bigger screen, then the Zisso’s Portable monitor is for you. If you are interested in buying one, click HERE to get it for 174.99$ on Amazon.