InnoView 15.8″ portable display [Review]
The InnoView 15.8-inch portable monitor is one of the newest additions to the China-based manufacturer’s growing inventory of affordable, lightweight monitors.
Carry-around monitors can be a frustrating accessory. Too many variables risk product dissatisfaction. Performance and features may be lacking and they may be compatible with only some of your devices.
With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, there is a need for mobile solutions, and portable monitors like these add more screen space and increase productivity when on the go.
This is the company’s largest screen offering. Three other models range in size and configurations at 14″ and 15.6″.
The biggest drawback of the 15.8-inch device is the lack of a touchscreen. But the inviting price and overall great performance make this model a can’t-miss deal.
Checks most subjects
This capable portable panel costs $189.99 on Amazon and $179.99 on the manufacturer’s website. It is a plug-and-play USB-C portable monitor with Full High Definition (FHD) display capability with 1920 x 1080 resolution and 300 nits brightness. It produces an aspect ratio of 16:9 with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
This makes the device a very suitable secondary monitor for much smaller devices with small screens. The display options are pleasing to the eye.
The 15.8-inch model is an ultra-thin IPS screen with a viewing angle of 178°.
It has dual speakers (make unknown) and comes with three cables that connect most devices. These are a Mini HDMI to HDMI cable, a USB-C to USB-C cable, and a USB-C to USB-A cable.
This device requires AC power. An 18W wall outlet adapter and USB cable to power the monitor are included. It has no batteries and cannot be powered by the connected computer or tablet, even if they do not run on their own battery power.
The monitor has high dynamic range or HDR – a new display technology that improves color presentation. Also built-in are FreeSync and low blue light technology for a better viewing experience.
The monitor has a sturdy metal construction with very thin bezels on the top and two sides. The bottom bezel is 1.25″. The case is 0.212″ wide, 14.37″ x 9″ and weighs 1.5 lbs.
The all-black metal housing is sturdy and has no flex when held. Thicker housing on the bottom houses the extra circuitry and components that make the portable panel plug-and-play. The base also houses the dual hi-fi speakers.
There is no MicroSD slot. On the bottom left corner of the base is a 3.5mm headphone jack, a wheel button to access settings and the power button.
On the lower right edge of the base, when viewed from the front, are a mini HDMI port, a USB-C port, and a micro USB port. One of those ports must have the power connector.
Other than customizing the screen to your specific needs, no hardware and software configurations are required. When connected to a computer, all you need to do is open the computer’s display settings to select how you want the panel to respond.
With the default computer settings, the secondary monitor can usually mirror the primary screen or display the window contents you drag from the primary monitor to the external panel.
Pressing the panel’s wheel button will open a pop-up window in the lower left corner. Use the wheel to select the settings you want to adjust. These include image clarity, color elements and audio.
This InnoView monitor works with a wide variety of computers and mobile devices. Usually Microsoft Windows and Apple computers work with the included cables. However, certain Apple-specific cables or adapters may be required.
Apple iPhones require an adapter. Some Android smartphones will connect, but not all Android manufacturers signal through the USB-C or USB-A port to drive the monitor. That can also be an issue with some Android tablets.
The monitor can also be connected to Xbox, PS3/PS4/PS5, Switches, etc. via the USB-C or mini HDMI ports.
Linux too, mostly
Product information does not state the compatibility of this monitor with Linux. However, I found that the portable panel was fully functional with Linux devices in most cases.
Interfering factors are the hardware standards in the computer and the absence of supporting code in the particular Linux kernel that powers the distribution you’re using.
For example, when I plugged the portable panel into a laptop with the KDE Neon distribution, it recognized the external monitor, but only displayed the screen if the settings configured it as enabled. But that automatically turned off the laptop screen.
Once plugged in, the portable panel had a distorted screen. The Chrome OS device also threw a screen fit. Mouse actions became slow and open windows were only partially displayed.
Chrome OS, the operating system that comes with the Chrome web browser to run the Chromebook, has no system settings related to dual monitor display features. So while on some Chromebook models I could drag windows from one screen to another, on others I couldn’t navigate past the Chromebook’s internal screen with the mouse pointer.
This phenomenon also occurred with other portable monitors connected to my Chromebooks.
The maker of the portable panel never claimed that the InnoView portable monitor was certified to work with the Linux operating system or Chromebooks. Perhaps now the Linux certification can be listed.
Also works with Linux! The 15.8-inch model (right) shown perfectly connected to a laptop running an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution.
This portable monitor is a very good solution to add extra screen space to laptops and portable devices with small screens. It was not intended to be used as a primary monitor.
If you can live without a touchscreen, this model is an ideal choice. If you do need to be in touch, check out one of the other InnoView portable panels.
Good luck if you need a portable device for your Chromebook. Google, which makes the Chrome OS, is only now beginning to certify monitors and other peripherals to work with these computing alternatives.
Two other mild disappointments with this model come into play.
One is the poor sound quality of the dual hi-fi speakers. I thought they sounded very tinny due to lack of base. That was less of a nuisance when listening to speech. Although playing music was less pleasant.
The second weakness is the thin stand that doubles as a protective carrying case for the panel. Other InnoView models have a one-piece metal bar that swings backwards from the edges to form a sturdy tripod with the panel. Instead, this model has a vinyl-covered plastic (or other material) with slots that can be folded into a triangular shape with the panel resting against the back.
Where to buy
The portable InnoView 15.8-inch monitor is currently available on the manufacturer’s websiteor at Amazon.
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