Two minute review
The 15A1F is easily one of the cheapest portable OLED monitors you can buy, with an asking price under $400.
What you get for that money is a beautifully designed and lightweight display that delivers remarkably punchy colors and excellent levels of contrast.
The trade-off here is that the screen is only 15.6-inches from corner to corner and the natural resolution is just 1920 x 1080. That may not be big enough for designers or people who work with color.
If these limitations aren’t an issue, this is an excellent design with a magnetically attached stand that allows for portrait or landscape use and inputs that work with both HDMI and USB-C connections.
In an ideal world we would have liked to have included a regionally agnostic USB-C PSU, a soft carrying case and a less glossy finish on the screen. But all these things would undoubtedly have made the 15A1F more expensive.
Prices and availability
If you buy directly from Innocn on the company website, the asking price is $399 plus shipping. However, it can be found on Amazon.com for fifty dollars less, and it is occasionally discounted as much as half.
In Europe, the Amazon asking price is €349, but it’s not listed with online retailers in the UK at the moment.
Before we get to the screen, let’s compliment Innocn on the packaging. Because the box in which the 15A1F comes provides excellent protection to the panel.
According to the documentation, the display comes with three cables, two of which are USB-C, one for power and one HDMI to Mini-HDMI. There’s also a USB-C wall power supply with a flip-out blade design that is an acceptable excuse for a mains connection in some regions.
Our test model came without the USB-C data cable and with an inexpensive adapter to convert the US-style blades to UK outlet standards. We used the device with a USB-C PSU from a laptop that offered a better chance of consistently powering the display and found a USB-C data cable elsewhere.
The other item in the box is a magnetically attached support base that connects to a steel plate embedded in the back of the display.
For those wondering if VESA is an option, it’s not because the panel is so thin that there would be no depth for the threads to go in without damaging the electronics.
Without the metal support foot, it is striking how light this panel is and it weighs only 725 grams with the support attached.
Since all the inputs are on the left, it is possible to put this display in portrait mode even if there are no orientation sensors in it to perform the automatic output adjustments on a connected computer.
There are two possible input paths: USB-C and mini-HDMI, but no DisplayPort options are available. The top edge (in landscape mode) has a power button and rocker for OSD menu selections, which is the full extent of the ports and controls. The lack of a 3.5mm audio jack is a bit disappointing, especially for those who want to use the 15A1F with a games console.
Features aside, it’s hard not to be impressed with the build quality of the display and support arm. But at the same time slightly disappointed with the cheap PSU Innocn that comes with it.
What is much more impressive is the quality of the screen. Once plugged in, a PC produced a remarkably snappy display of the Windows desktop with inky blacks and highly saturated colors.
The resolution is only 1080p, although more pixels at 15.6 inches corner-to-corner would be largely pointless. The frequency range is also limited to 60 Hz, making it less interesting for gamers, but fine for those who work with color and graphics.
If the panel has an inherent design flaw, it is that Innocn coated it with a high-gloss glass finish that reflects any bright light sources such as the sun or ceiling lights.
Panel Size: 15.6-inch
Panel type: OLED
Brightness: 400 nits
Quoted Contrast: 100,000:1
Pixel response: N/A
Color Coverage: 100% sRBG, 98.3% Adobe RGB, 100% DCI-P3
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Inputs: USB-C power (45W), HDMI 1.4, USB-C (display mode)
Testing an OLED screen is a radically different proposition to an IPS or TN technology panel, as the way the image is created and presented is completely different.
Normally, a point of contention is usually backlighting. Cheaper panels have fewer backlight elements, making lighting consistency an issue.
OLED panels have a perfect light consistency because each pixel has its own light source, so the image is equally clear over the entire surface.
The stated brightness for this panel is 400 nits and it reached 406.2 nits at a brightness setting of 100% in our tests. That it gets to those numbers is good, although it’s worth pointing out that 400 nits is still not enough for true HDR, which needs a minimum of 1000 lumens per square centimeter to provide the required levels of contrast.
Where this and most OLED panels stand out is the color reproduction.
At its most basic level, this display delivers 100% sRGB, 98.6% AdobeRGB, and 100% P3 gamut coverage. But to achieve those results, the gamma volume is larger than the triangular area defined by these specifications.
Therefore, the gamma volume is a whopping 176.3% of sRGB, 12.5% of Adobe RGB and 124.9% of DCI P3. With these volumes and an accurate calibrator, it should be possible to configure the display to provide a reasonable degree of color accuracy in a controlled lighting location.
Overall, OLED panels make other display technologies cry when it comes to color rendering, contrast levels, and display consistency. And the 15A1F isn’t an example of an OLED display that contradicts any of those claims.
The OSD offers the typical functions you would expect, although the menu structure is somewhat limited. The menu is accessed via the power button and volume rocker in combination, and this makes for some very inconvenient exercises where the highlight never seems to go where you want it to be.
What this monitor desperately needs is a software version of that menu that Innocn doesn’t currently offer.
While the color capability of the 15A1F is hard to fault, just how useful a glossy 15.6-inch panel with 1080p resolution is for someone color grading footage or designing artwork is more of a debate.
Those who design for a living are looking for at least 28 or 32-inch screens and resolutions of 1440p and 4K, not 1080p.
That’s not to say that this type of panel isn’t usable, but it’s better not to buy this and then realize that you need a bigger screen with a higher number of pixels to achieve your goals.
For those who do buy it, we recommend getting a soft case of the right size to carry the 15A1F around. The base, when not attached to the panel, has numerous metal bezels that can cause significant damage to the screen, and the PSU, if not held, can also scratch the screen.
These items should be kept away from the 15A1F along with the selection of cables you intend to use with it.
The best aspect of this design is undoubtedly the price, which puts OLED technology within the budget of many for the first time. And that cost savings on this technology can’t be a bad thing.
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