Content creators and gamers know the struggle caused by working or gaming on the go. Productivity is reduced by limiting yourself to one’s screen. If you are used to multiple monitors, but have to use your laptop while traveling, readjusting to only one monitor can be frustrating. Fortunately, Lepow has introduced an answer to those problems with the Z1 Gamut Portable Monitor. It is an elegant, smart solution to keep workflow and gameplay at their maximum efficiency.
The Lepow Z1 Gamut can be found on Amazon for $200. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Inside the tidy packaging is the panel itself, a screen protector, a magnetic carrying case that serves as the stand when in use, a USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable, an HDMI to mini HDMI cable, a 10w power adapter, and various instruction and warranty manuals.
First impressions are good ones. The screen, while not incredibly slim, has smooth, beveled edges and thin chrome lines that give it an upscale, classy look. The metal unibody construction has weight to it and a brushed finish for a premium feel. The I/O is minimalistic, with only a button and selector switch on one side and the input ports on the other. The carrying case is professional and sleek with two indents for placing the screen at different angles. There are magnets in the ends which allow the case to snap to the edges as they should for travel.
Portable and sophisticated
Overall, the presentation of the Lepow Z1 is elegant. It feels as if it wants to be placed into a messenger bag and carried to work or school. While the idea of packing in an entire second monitor might seem ungainly in theory, the Z1 makes the practice of it quite effortless.
The Lepow Z1 has two methods of input. One is a USB-C display port input, the other is a mini-HDMI. On the same side as the video inputs is the headphone jack. On the other side lies the power button and menu button which also serves as the volume rocker. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about having either of the compatible cables on hand, as both come in the box. There’s no drivers or setup to worry about, the Z1 functions just as any other monitor would. Plug it in using your preference of cables, and your computer takes care of the rest.
The panel itself boasts some impressive specifications. Lepow claims their 1080p, quantum dot technology boosts colors by 60% over other monitors. It has an IPS panel which means the viewing angles are greater at 178 degrees. The Z1 will go up 320 nits if using the included 10W wall adapter or a 10w USB port. That’s about 6% higher than a standard laptop screen as in the pictures here. It can display up to 8 bit, 16.7 million colors. This is not a barebones, 6 bit, low light display packaged in a nice aluminum body. The Lepow has the numbers to back its style.
Whenever you use two monitors, especially ones of two different brands, there will be a difference in color and brightness. However, for some reason I couldn’t get the Lepow Z1 to match my laptop screen. It didn’t matter what calibration program I used or how much I played with the contrast, saturation, gamma, or RGB levels. The screens were simply too different to match appropriately, which was a bummer. The Lepow, at its best, was still not consistent with my laptop screen. It has a cooler tint to it and blasts reds and greens while leaving grays, yellows, and oranges more dull. Hours pouring into different ICC profiles and recalibration yielded slightly better results, but nothing groundbreaking.
Some people will be more sensitive to screen color, and realistically, no two screens will ever match perfectly, even those of the same brand, but it was odd to have such a drastic inconsistency.
The colors, apart from being uncalibrated, are vibrant and bright. In gaming and video scenarios, the colors pop to life. There was no screen tearing or artifacts by fault of the monitor. There were also no dead or stuck pixels. Backlight bleed is kept to a minimum. I’ve seen much worse on pricier monitors. Dead pixels and bad backlight are incredibly distracting. It was nice that the Lepow came distraction free.
Interestingly, when looking at the display properties for the Z1, the monitor code comes up as the AUOA0ED. Panelook.com lists this monitor capable of 10 bit color, 500 nits, and 144hz. None of these traits are advertised as being capable by this monitor from Lepow. It makes one wonder. If the panel used by Lepow really is capable of 500 nits and 144hz, why is Lepow limiting it to only 320 nits and 60hz. I can’t say for sure if this is indeed the same monitor as listed by Panelook. However, if it’s true, Lepow has downgraded what the hardware is actually capable of.
The speakers aren’t great. But the fact that they managed to put them in at all is considerate. For the times when all you need is to hear what’s happening on screen for a conference call or work meeting, they will do just fine. The Z1 also has a decent amount of options inside the on screen display menu built into the monitor. Once can adjust sharpness, contrast, blue light levels, and display profiles all with the single and surprisingly intuitive menu switch.
Twice the screen space, twice the workflow
The convenience of being able to use two monitors on the go is great. Music or movies can be played while doing homework. Digital books and media can be one screen while a research paper is on the other. In media workflows, files and browsers can be separated from media timelines or 3D modeling software. Those who already have two monitors for their desktops systems can feel a bit thrown off when limited to one screen. The Lepow Z1 allows you to continue your efficient work flow at a coffee shop, library, or wherever else you take your laptop.
In gaming, completionists out there will appreciate the second screen for walkthroughs and tutorials on how to get that final trophy. Discord could occupy one screen so you can keep an eye on your chat and game at the same time. Streamers could always use a second screen for monitoring follows, comments and their streaming stats. Investing in a second screen is really an upgrade that anyone could use.
Lepow makes that an easy decision with their Z1 Gamut. The out-of-the-box readiness and ease of use makes this accessory something that you will get used to having on hand. The vibrant colors could use some fine tuning, but still look great watching movies or playing games. If you feel like your mobile work or gaming laptop could use an upgrade in efficiency, the Lepow Z1 will satisfy that need.
This review unit was provided by Lepow.