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Innocn 15A1F Portable Monitor Review: OLED Value

Can a $349 portable OLED monitor really pack a punch in a competitive field?

InnoCN 15A1F
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

Innocn delivers a winning combination with a value-laden 15.6-inch OLED monitor.

Pros

  • +

    OLED delivers vibrant colors and inky blacks

  • +

    Bright panel

  • +

    Value pricing

  • +

    Excellent build quality

Cons

  • -

    Glossy finish isn’t for everyone

  • -

    Thick bottom bezel

  • -

    No headphone jack

The portable monitor category is expanding at a rapid clip, and we've already reviewed a lot of compelling options from the likes of Asus, Lenovo, KYY  and countless others. Now, we're looking at an entry from Chinese OEM Innocn, which offers portable OLED monitors that are priced more like IPS panels that we typically see in this category.

Last month, Innocn 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch portable OLED monitors were sold at less than $200 each, undercutting some of the best IPS panels that we've reviewed. Here, we're checking out the Innocn 15A1F, which is the 15.6-inch model. The monitor offers premium build quality, a detachable (and adjustable) metal stand, stereo speakers and plenty of ports.

Innocn doesn't offer features like a built-in battery or touch capabilities, but with an MSRP of $349, the 15A1F packs a value punch. And with frequent sales that put the monitor below the $200 price point, the Innocn 15A1F looks like a prime contender for our best portable monitors list. 

Innocn 15A1F Portable Monitor Specifications 

Panel Type / BacklightOLED
Screen Size / Aspect Ratio15.6 inches / 16:9
Max Resolution &1920x1080 @ 60Hz
  Refresh Rate 
Max Brightness400 nits
Response Time5ms
Contrast Ratio100,000:1
View Angles178 degrees (Horizontal and Vertical)
Screen CoatingGlossy
Ports1x Mini-HDMI, 2x USB-C (DisplayPort 1.2 Alt Mode).
SpeakersYes
Weight1.6 pounds

Design of the Innocn 15A1F

I'll start off first by saying that 15A1F has good build quality that belies its affordable pricing. There is minimal flex in the aluminum alloy chassis, although I doubt that you'll be regularly twisting the 15A1F to its limits in normal operation.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The overall design is smooth and minimalist, without superfluous touches. The front of the monitor presents a design with thin bezels around the top and two sides. However, the bottom bezel is massive in comparison, with centrally-mounted InnoCN branding.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The right side of the monitor only features perforations for one of the two integrated speakers. Moving to the top, you'll find two buttons: power and a rocker switch. The power button also doubles as "Enter" when navigating the OSD. 

An LED between the two buttons glows blue when the monitor is operational. The left side of the display is home to a Mini-HDMI port and two USB-C ports. This is also where you'll find a second set of perforations for the second integrated speaker. Interestingly, there is no headphone jack, something which most portable monitors have.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Turning our attention to the back of the 15A1F, you'll see an Innocn logo in the lower center and a product label in the bottom right-hand corner. But if you look closely, you'll notice a printed circle above the Innocn logo. Behind that circle are magnets, which allow you to attach an adjustable stand to the 15A1F. 

The stand is made of metal and is just as sturdy as the monitor itself. You can use it to adjust the 15A1F from flat to 90 degrees (and anything in between). Although the monitor doesn't have rubber feet to help it grip the desktop when propped upright, the stand does. These feet, combined with the stand's stiff hinge, help to keep the monitor from sliding around on a tabletop.

On-Screen Display for the Innocn 15A1F

The on-screen display (OSD) comes up when you press once on the power button. Then you can use the rocker to navigate horizontally through the menu system. Pressing and then releasing the power button executes a command, while pressing and holding the power button for two seconds serves as a "back" command. Holding the power button while on the OSD's main screen exits the interface.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Surprisingly, the OSD is mainly icon-driven, with few descriptors for the settings you are changing. You could, of course, reference the included paper user manual, but who honestly reads those things? 

Most of the icons were rather obvious, like the artist's palette that represented adjustment for color while the eye represented the blue light filter. And the icons for selecting HDMI and USB-C inputs along with enabling/disabling HDR should also be pretty easy to recognize.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The rocker switch used in conjunction with the press and hold operation of the power button is not my favorite method of navigating an OSD, but at least it's better than the rotary Asus Dial found on the ProArt PA148CTV. I still prefer a simple five-way joystick to make quick and easy settings changes.

Image Quality and Performance of the InnoCN 15A1F

The Innocn 15A1F is a 15.6-inch portable monitor with a 60 Hz, Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel. However, unlike most monitors in this segment which feature an IPS panel, Innocn instead went with an OLED panel. OLED displays are known for their rich colors and inky blacks (afforded by their insanely high contrast ratios).

Innocn claims that the 15A1F's ratio hits 100,000:1, and it boasts a maximum brightness of 400 nits. We didn't quite hit 400 nits in our testing, but we did get close. Our instrumented testing came up at 373.6 in its default mode. That figure put it well ahead of its IPS-based competitors like the Asus ProArt PA148CTV and Lenovo ThinkVision M14t. It even outpaced the Zion Pro, which is a fellow OLED monitor that we rated highly.

Given the Innocn 15A1F's OLED panel, we weren't surprised to see the elevated DCI-P3 and sRGB color scores. The 15A1F was able to reproduce 139.6 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut, putting it comfortably ahead of the Zion Pro. It was a similar situation with the sRGB coverage as Innocn's monitor reached 197.1 percent compared to 164.2 percent for the Zion Pro.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

In practice, the 15A1F is an incredibly colorful monitor and very saturated. I'm used to deep blacks with the Mini LED display on my 14-inch MacBook Pro, which serves as my daily driver. However, the 15A1F takes those black levels to another level thanks to the OLED panel's ability to individually turn off pixels.

To test the monitor out in the real world, I put on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on Disney Plus, which was an excellent showcase for the 15A1F's capabilities. The black levels were especially noticeable. For example, I'm used to the letterboxes framing films taking on a more dark grayish color than actual black. But on the 15A1F, it was really black, which better blended in with the display's bezels.

If there was a downside to the rich colors and inky blacks, it was that it further accentuated the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch's hair looked at times like a glorified hairpiece or like he took a can of spray-on hair to his widow's peak. That's not a knock against the 15A1F, but rather a testament to the detail it brings out in film. 

I also took the time to watch the final episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was packed with action and lightsaber battles. The clashing of lightsabers against the night sky looked glorious on the 15A1F. 

The enhanced colors of the 15A1F were also helped by the glossy display, which is typical for OLED panels. But while the measured 373.6 nits brightness was enough to overcome indoor reflections, the glossy finish couldn’t overpower reflections when outdoors – even with brightness cranked to the max in overcast conditions.

But for even more mundane tasks like my everyday workflow with multiple applications open or watching YouTube videos, the 15A1F handles everything with aplomb. I prefer to work with 4K monitors, but it's hard to complain about a lack of 4K resolution at this price point.

As for the stereo speakers, they won't impress audiophiles, but they get the job done. Compared to the $20 Logitech desktop speakers I have sitting on my desk, they're far inferior. But there's only so much sound that you can generate from a device this thin. 

Bottom Line

The Innocn 15A1F is an amazing buy at its $349 MSRP. But if you can grab it on sale at less than $200 — as it was recently — it's hard to resist this monitor. Sure, we wish the bottom bezel was smaller and the speakers were better. And some may lament the lack of a headphone jack. But neither of those detract from an OLED monitor that gives us rich colors, near 400 nits maximum brightness and an adjustable stand in a well-built chassis. 

The closest competitor to the InnoCN 15A1F that we've tested is the Zion Pro. That monitor also features a 15.6-inch 60Hz OLED panel, but comes with a 4K resolution instead of Full HD. However, those extra pixels will cost you dearly, as the Zion Pro retails for $599.

If you're in the market for a portable monitor to augment your workflow, you should give the Innocn 15A1F a look. And if you can score one for under $200, consider it a steal.

Brandon Hill
Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.