Lepow 15.6-Inch Portable USB C Monitor Performance
Thoughts after 1-month of testing.
Unfortunately, I was unable to test the color reproduction quality of this monitor because my X-Rite color calibrator has been out on RMA for almost three months thanks to COVID-19 delays, and I simply could not delay this review anymore. So, let’s take a moment to talk about real-world testing and uses.
While my laptop is technically a “Gaming Laptop,” I mostly use it for content creation, storage, and entertainment while on the go. I do game with it at some LAN parties my friends and I hold every so often, but the majority of my Dell G7’s life has been spent editing photos and videos, writing articles, and watching YouTube videos. So for this review, I focused heavily on productivity applications, and only touched briefly on using the monitor in a gaming scenario.
A Boost In Productivity
Overall I found the monitor to be quite useful as a secondary display for menial tasks such as using a web browser, editing documents, or watching web videos, but I did not trust the color reproduction enough to use it as the main monitor when editing photos or video. If you want to move your timeline in Premiere Pro or use it as a display for the histogram in Photoshop or Lightroom, it works well, and that’s where this monitor’s strengths shine.
Having this monitor available whenever I needed a second display was invaluable so many times over the last month, and on days where I needed to work in a spreadsheet at the same time I was writing an article, the ability to not have to switch between active windows saved me so much time. As I mentioned earlier, I like to keep it in the pocket on the back of my vehicle’s seats, and I have used it several times when presenting design plans to my clients in my day job.
I also found the Lepow 15.6-inch portable USB-C Monitor to be extremely handy when working with a Raspberry Pi using the HDMI cable option, but if you are using one of the raspberry Pi variants/clones, you might run into issues with the HDMI option working at all. I tried the HDMI display option across several different development boards from the early 2010s and none seemed to be compatible. This was likely a driver issue on the boards themselves, or some funky early ARM MPU and HDMI version bug. Every modern device I tested with the HDMI port seemed to work fine.
I’m briefly going to touch on gaming with this monitor, but only from a PC gaming standpoint as I only game on PC. Does it work well for gaming? Well, that’s a complicated but simple answer at the same time. Yes and No. If you play games like Planet Zoo, The Sims, City Builder Sims, or app style games that are fairly static without a lot of fast-paced movement, then it works just fine. If you are more of an FPS, MMORPG, RPG, Survival, or Battle Royal Player this is not the monitor you want to buy to the game on.
For fun, I attempted to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare’s Warzone Battle Royale, and to say that it was virtually unplayable on this monitor is an understatement. I experienced a high level of screen tearing, screen lag, and was not landing any of my shots. It’s great if you’re clicking around what’s mostly a static image, but it’s just not powerful enough to do any serious gaming, but I went into this knowing that this monitor’s gaming performance would be exceptionally lackluster.
Overall, I’m quite happy with the monitor when using it for light-duty tasks, and it works exceptionally well as a second laptop monitor. If your mobile phone or tablet supports USB-C video output, it’s a great way to enlarge your screen. Add in a $25 Bluetooth keyboard, and you could turn your mobile device into a very productive machine, while minimizing the number of things you need to have a complete mobile office.
I am a bit disappointed in the included screen protector, but that’s not a complete deal-breaker for me. With 15.6-inch tempered glass screen protectors costing less than $30, it’s easy and cheap enough to add one if you feel you need that level of protection. On the other hand, I really like the included case/stand. It feels well-built enough to withstand the daily wear and tear if you are pulling this in and out of a backpack several times a day, and its magnetic attachment points make setup quick and easy.
The screen’s color reproduction was a little lack-luster, as everything seemed a bit washed out. This was visually apparent, and I honestly did not need my X-Rite to confirm this. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with almost every portable monitor on the market, and I feel it has a lot to do with the screen’s backlighting, and also the use of cheaper, possibly surplus LCD panels; but that seems to be the norm with all of the 15.6-inch and 14-inch portable monitors on the market today.
All in all, I feel that the Lepow 15.6-inch portable USB-C Monitor is a smart buy if you are looking to add productivity to your USB C, Thunderbolt 3, or Mini-HDMI equipped Laptop. This monitor is Android, IOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux compatible making it very versatile for the modern connected family. As I mentioned earlier, this is a great way to add a second screen for video viewing on road trips and works well for professionals on the go who need a second screen for client presentations, or for general productivity. I feel it’s fairly priced at just under $200, but if you are patient, you can catch it on sale for up to $30-50 cheaper on Amazon. Overall I like this monitor and feel confident in recommending it to anyone who’s looking to add a large screen to their mobile setups.