The InnoView 15.6-inch Portable Monitor might be everything you’re looking for in a second screen for your MacBook. First off, it’s beautiful. And it’s very slim and lightweight. Plus it works with a wide variety of devices: Mac, iPad, even iPhone with the right adapter.
I used InnoView’s on-the-go display for both work and entertainment. Here’s all the many ways it impressed me. And its one flaw.
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InnoView Portable Monitor INVPM001 review
There’s an inevitable trade off with MacBooks. Get a slim, light one for portability and you don’t get a big display. And sometimes you need a lot of screen real estate. That’s where a portable monitor comes in.
The InnoView Portable Monitor can nearly double the work space of any MacBook. Its 15.6-inch screen does better than that for 14-inch or 13-inch models.
And you won‘t have to make compromises in quality. The 1080p, IPS LCD looks great.
Hardware and design
The 15.6-inch screen in InnoView’s INVPM001 has a 1920-by-1080-pixel resolution. That gives it a 16:9 aspect ratio and about 141 pixels per inch. That’s the right resolution and aspect ratio for movies, and it works well for work or gaming, too. The pixel density is high enough that images and fonts look smooth.
The refresh rate is 60Hz. That’s fine for work and play, if not the highest possible. The 1000:1 contrast ratio means blacks look black and whites look white.
One thing to be aware of is its maximum brightness is 250 nits. That’s plenty for you in a typical home or office, and OK for use outdoors. It’s not bright enough if you want to use the screen in direct sunlight.
Moving beyond the specs, I used InnoView’s display for work, video and games, and I’m pleased with it for all three. Documents, movies and games all look wonderful — far better than I can capture in a photograph. The colors aren’t muddy, nothing looks pixilated, I can scroll through documents without weird effects. I’m satisfied.
And you don’t have to be directly in front of the screen for it to look good. Two people can watch a film together.
All that said, don’t expect the InnoView Portable Monitor to look as good as a MacBook monitor. The latest 16.2-inch one of these has a 3456-by-2234 resolution, or 254 PPI. And its refresh rate goes up to 120Hz.
But while the Apple display looks better, the difference isn’t so dramatic that switching between the two of them is jarring. It’s a comparison between very good and excellent.
The InnoView Portable Monitor INVPM001 is 14.25 inches wide, 8.9 inches tall and 0.25 inches thick at the widest. The weight is 1.8 pounds. All that makes it very portable.
And more than travelers can benefit from the svelte design. The INVPM001 goes neatly into a drawer when you don’t need it. You can, for example, create a workspace in your kitchen then easily slip the screen into a cabinet when it’s time to cook dinner.
And the whole design looks great. You might get some envious looks when you pull InnoView’s 15.6-inch monitor out in a coffeeshop or classroom. That said, I just wish the InnoView branding was a bit less obtrusive.
A kickstand is built into the monitor. It rotates out from the sides and can hold up the display at a wide variety of angles, from almost straight up to nearly flat. This is an advantage over many rival portable screens that offer a more limited choice of viewing angles.
InnoView’s 15.6-inch monitor can connect via a USB-C port, which makes connecting it to a Mac or iPad Pro/Air/mini as easy as plugging in a cable. The cable you need is included, which is important — most USB-C cables are only for power and can’t handle high-speed data.
Don‘t get stuck on the idea that only Macs can use an external screen. The INVPM001 also supports HDMI, so you can plug it into a gaming console or Switch.
With the right adapter, you can even attach the external display to an iPhone via HDMI. I tested to be sure. I connected the screen to my iPhone, got out my Xbox controller, and played a game on the large display. For RPGs or first-person shooters, this setup beats the heck out of playing on a tiny iPhone screen.
If you connect via USB-C, your computer can power InnoView’s display, making on-the-go use a breeze. Or it has a second USB-C port that you can connect to power to charge your Mac or iPad.
The screen has a mini-HDMI port but comes with the cable needed to plug into full-size HDMI ports. If you use HDMI, you must use the USB-C port to bring in external power.
The InnoView Portable Monitor includes a pair of speakers on the bottom edge. These put out a reasonable amount of sound. In my tests, they consistently passed 60 dB at a couple feet away from the screen. The maximum was 74 dB. That’s loud enough to enjoy a movie in a quiet environment.
Don’t expect huge amounts of bass, but the speakers aren‘t as tinny as they could be.
If you want more/better sound, the INVPM001 includes a 3.5mm audio jack so you can plug in additional speakers. Alternatively, use wireless audio from your computer.
The InnoView Portable Monitor INVPM001 has one significant drawback: it doesn’t come with a case. When it comes time to carry the accessory around, it’s up to you to find a way to protect the screen from scratches. You’ll probably need to invest in a zipper case or sleeve designed for 16-inch laptops for it.
The casing is aluminum so you won‘t casually bend it. But some extra protection is necessary to go on the road.
Admittedly, not every mobile screen comes with a case, so InnoView isn’t an outlier. That said, you’ll really miss it if you plan to carry the display with you.
On the other hand, if your intent is to use the portable monitor around the home or office, a case is superfluous.
InnoView Portable Monitor INVPM001 final thoughts
Years ago, mobile displays looked terrible. The best that could be said back then is they were better than nothing. Happily, those days are long gone — InnoView’s is beautiful. The colors are bright, refreshes are smooth, and the pixel density is good.
True, it can’t compare 1-to-1 with an Apple display, but that’s a very high mark.
This external screen is slim and light enough to be easy to carry around, though you’ll probably have to come up with a case for it.
The InnoView Portable Monitor INVPM001 is available now for $199.99.
Buy from: Amazon
Currently, there’s a coupon for $30 off, lowering the price to $170.
For comparison, consider the Lepow 15.6-inch USB-C Portable Monitor, which costs $189.99 on Amazon. It has many of the same features, but I did a side by side comparison and the InnoView screen looks a smidge nicer.