Lepow Portable Monitor Review — Gaming on the Go

Lepow Portable Monitor Review — Gaming on the Go

If we weren't in the middle of a pandemic, the Lepow portable monitor would be my best friend. It takes the qualities of a solid monitor and makes them portable.

If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, the Lepow portable monitor would be my best friend. Not only does it take most of the qualities of a high-quality monitor and condense it into a sleek, portable form factor, but it helps transform my laptop into a full-on work station; it even helps me realize my dream of playing Persona 5 Royal (almost) portably. That said, I did have a few issues making some of the connections work the way they were supposed to. Clocking in at just under $200, Lepow’s 15.6-inch portable monitor is a steal.

Lepow promises that their monitor will connect with any HDMI or USB type C device, and for the most part it does. Between my 2017 Macbook Pro, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 Pro and Google Pixel 3a, I only encountered issues with my smartphone, which didn’t connect to the screen properly, despite my following the instructions included with the device.

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The monitor itself is lightweight and relatively slim. Smaller than most laptops, Lepow’s monitor fits comfortably in most laptop pockets in standard backpacks and laptop cases. It even comes with its own cover that acts as a kickstand of sorts. It’s surprisingly sturdy considering how soft it is.

From a functionality standpoint, the monitor is full of surprises. It features two USB type C ports, one for power and the other to connect to devices that use USB type C, a mini HDMI port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, speakers on each side, and a slider to adjust brightness and volume.

The monitor’s biggest surprise is that it supports high dynamic range — or HDR. When I booted up Ghost of Tsushima in bed, I was floored that this device offered something that no other screen in my apartment did, and equally impressed by its range of colors. On the topic of using it with gaming consoles, because the monitor is powered by USB type C rather than a proprietary power source, you can plug it into a gaming console to keep it powered, so it only needs to take up one outlet, allowing easy setup.

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The monitor’s main drawbacks come from the constraints of making a cheap monitor with a good display; its speakers. Not only were they tinny, but the volume sounded inconsistent, which, although minor relative to the rest of the monitor’s offerings is pretty disappointing. The other notable problem with the device is that sometimes when the brightness is high, especially when something bright is on screen, distracting rays of light show through at the edges. This muddles the colors on the screen, thus making the otherwise stunning effect of HDR lose its appeal.

As someone who prefers to write and do a lot of work on his laptop, the monitor’s biggest appeal to me is that it gives me a second screen to work with, allowing me to be more productive wherever I choose to set up my workspace. It’s certainly an attractive and cheap option for gaming compared to buying a gaming laptop. That said, I’d rather stick with my Switch than lug my PS4 Pro around just so I can play games on the go. If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic I’d be at a coffee shop, monitor in tow, writing this review from my laptop.