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INNOCN PU15-Pre 4K OLED review: A portable monitor to improve your productivity

One of the most limiting elements of business travel with a laptop is the number of displays available. A portable, battery-powered monitor is fantastic, and this one looks amazing.
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Written by Matthew Miller, Contributor on

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is my daily driver and constant companion. While it opens up to reveal a roomy display for getting work done, it also supports Samsung DeX. So with an external monitor, the Z Fold 3 has served as my primary computer on several business trips.

For my engineering work, a Surface Pro 6 is my computer of choice. It's tough to work on the road from just a 12.3-inch display, however, after spending years working with two external monitors connected to the Surface. I also enjoy an occasional break from work with the Nintendo Switch. 

The Z Fold 3, Surface Pro 6, and Nintendo Switch user experiences can all be made better with an external monitor, and for the past few weeks, I've been traveling with the INNOCN PU15-Pre 4K OLED portable monitor.

Most portable monitors are IPS LCD panels with 1080p resolution -- with the highest level of brightness topping out at 300 nits. The INNOCN PU15-Pre is an OLED panel with 4K resolution and a brightness limit of 380 nits. It's a brilliant portable monitor with a 5,000 mAh internal battery, so it can provide a viewing platform for up to four hours without being connected to an external power source.

Like
  • Gorgeous, colorful 4K OLED panel
  • Solid hardware design and quality build
  • Protective and useful cover/stand
  • Four hour battery life
Don't Like
  • Expensive
  • Reflective display

Hardware

The retail package contains the monitor, an HDMI to mini-HDMI cable, USB-C data cable, USB-C charging cable, an A/C charger, a Quick Start Guide, and a TPU protective sleeve. The TPU sleeve also serves as a kickstand to hold up the monitor at one viewing angle. It protects the edges and back of the monitor, with the front display cover rotating backward and folding into the kickstand.

The INNOCN PU15-Pre 4K OLED has a light green aluminum frame and is only 6.8mm thick. It appears to be well constructed and matches high-end mobile technology with a lovely fit and finish.

A power button and LED indicator are positioned in the top right corner, while up and down keys are located on the upper right side of the monitor. The up and down keys are used to control the volume, since all other settings are controlled with the touch panel interface. A short press of the power button launches the on-screen display panel when you are connected to an input source.

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Speakers are found on either side of the monitor, firing outwards from the display. They are decent, but it's better to connect headphones to your input device if you are watching movies or playing games.

Further down the right side are three input connectors. The mini-HDMI and middle USB-C port are both used to connect input devices to the monitor. The top USB-C port is used to power and charge the monitor. Note that in order to use the touchscreen on the monitor, you need to connect your input device to the USB-C port. The touchscreen does not work when a device is plugged into the HDMI port.


Also: Samsung DeX 101: Turn a Galaxy phone or tablet into your primary computer


Specifications

  • Display: 15.6-inch OLED touchscreen with 3840x2180 pixels resolution and 380 nits brightness
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
  • Speakers: Two 1W
  • Display colors: 1074 million
  • Contrast: 100,000:1
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh, up to four hours of typical usage
  • Dimensions: 358 x 233 x 6.8mm and 950 grams
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Monitor controls and settings

When the OSD appears, there are 11 icons available to tap on in order to open up further options. The icons include home, profiles, color temperature, color, type-C source, HDMI source, OSD transparency, gravity sensor, battery display, reset, and exit. From the main home button, you can quickly control the key settings of brightness, contrast, and volume. Profiles is another useful option and includes seven available profiles to choose from: custom mode, reading mode, movie mode, game mode, sRGB mode, Adobe mode, and eye protection mode

The gravity sensor settings let you choose to have auto-rotation enabled or to set the display for PC connection flipped or mobile phone connection flipped. You may need to access the gravity settings if the display does not appear as you desire when you connect your input device. It's great to see an option for using the display in portrait orientation, but the cover/stand does not support this orientation. You will need another method to hold the display in this position.

innocn-4k-monitor-osd.jpg

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review: Room for improvement


Daily usage experiences and conclusion

One of my biggest struggles when traveling with my Surface Pro 6 is being as productive as I normally am with two external monitors connected to my computer at the office. Over the past year, I have also forgotten to bring my Surface Pro charger on a work trip and resorted to using my Z Fold 3 to get work done. With a connected external monitor, my ability to get work done on the road significantly improves. I also enjoy using this monitor for playing games on the road with my Nintendo Switch, but it's an expensive display just for gaming.

The more time I spend with the Samsung DeX platform, the more I appreciate having everything on a single computing device while also having a 5G connection at all times. Plug in the INNOCN PU15-Pre, and the DeX experience also improves my productivity and efficiency. 

This is just a display, though, so you will need to add an external keyboard or use the Samsung device for text input.

The INNOCN PU15-Pre 4K OLED portable display is well constructed and looks fantastic with stark blacks and vivid colors. I've enjoyed watching Netflix while commuting on the train. The battery is solid for portable use; for longer battery life, the display would have to be thicker and less portable. I think a good balance was struck here.

The INNOCN PU15-Pre 4K OLED portable display is expensive at $799.99. But when you compare it to other portable OLED monitors, then it is reasonably priced. If you spend time on the road and find a single display limiting, you may quickly see a return on your investment with this monitor.

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