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espresso Display 15 Touch Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Mar 14, 2023 at 09:06 am
Latest change: Writing modified Mar 14, 2023 at 09:06 am
espresso Display 15 Touch Picture
6.0
Mixed Usage
7.0
Office
5.1
Gaming
6.6
Media Consumption
7.1
Media Creation
3.2
HDR

The espresso Display 15 Touch is a 15-inch touchscreen portable monitor with a 1080p resolution. It targets people who work on the go, featuring a small size that makes it easy to carry around. Unfortunately, the stand is sold separately, and there's no kickstand on the monitor. Nevertheless, espresso has some accessories on their website to improve the experience, like a case with a kickstand. The monitor also has two USB-C ports that each support DisplayPort Alt Mode, meaning you can have audio and video on the monitor. In the same vein, you can use the USB-C for entertainment, as you can plug in a Nintendo Switch or even your smartphone. There are also no controls, so you have to download the espresso Flow software to adjust settings.

Our Verdict

6.0 Mixed Usage

The espresso Display is an okay monitor with a focus on office use. It's a good choice if you need to carry it with you thanks to its small size, and you still have reasonable screen space to perform some basic office work. This translates well to media creators, although if you edit photos professionally, it doesn't have wide coverage of the Adobe RGB color space. It's okay to watch movies, but the small screen size doesn't provide an immersive experience, and it doesn't support HDR. You can use the monitor for gaming, but the response time is terrible, so motion looks blurry.

Pros
  • Portable size.
  • High pixel density.
  • Strong build quality.
  • Connectivity with various type of devices through USB-C.
Cons
  • Doesn't perform well in bright environments.
  • Stand sold separately.
  • Image looks inconsistent from the sides.
7.0 Office

The espresso Display is decent for office use as it offers extra screen space for workers on the go. Thanks to its high pixel density, it has great text clarity. The ergonomics are decent for a portable monitor, but the stand is sold separately. Unfortunately, the image is inconsistent when you move off-center. It isn't ideal if you aren't going to sit directly in front of it or if you walk around while it stays in the same spot. Additionally, it doesn't get bright enough to fight glare from very bright environments.

Pros
  • Portable size.
  • High pixel density.
  • Low input lag.
  • Excellent text clarity.
Cons
  • Doesn't perform well in bright environments.
  • Stand sold separately.
  • Image looks inconsistent from the sides.
5.1 Gaming

The espresso Display isn't a good choice for gaming. It has a low maximum refresh rate and terrible motion handling. It also doesn't support a variable refresh rate feature, meaning there's some screen tearing when gaming. Finally, the small screen size doesn't deliver an immersive gaming experience, and it doesn't let you see details from most recent games.

Pros
  • Low input lag.
Cons
  • Terrible motion handling.
  • Low refresh rate.
6.6 Media Consumption

The espresso Display is okay for media consumption. The small screen size doesn't offer an immersive experience. It also struggles to fight glare in bright environments, which isn't ideal for watching movies outside. When watching a movie with someone else, the image looks inconsistent from the sides. On the plus side, you can connect your smartphone to the monitor to watch content on a bigger screen while you're out.

Pros
  • High pixel density.
  • Very good accuracy before calibration.
Cons
  • Doesn't perform well in bright environments.
  • Image looks inconsistent from the sides.
7.1 Media Creation

The espresso Display is decent for media creation. Its portable size is good if you're a creator who's often on the move, and the screen real estate is good for showing your work to collaborators. While it nearly covers the whole sRGB color space, it has limited coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, which means professional photo editing isn't ideal on this monitor. Lastly, the image looks inconsistent if you're viewing from the side, so sharing the screen with a colleague won't fully show your creative intention.

Pros
  • Portable size.
  • High pixel density.
  • Very good accuracy before calibration.
  • Nearly full sRGB coverage.
Cons
  • Doesn't perform well in bright environments.
  • Image looks inconsistent from the sides.
3.2 HDR

The espresso Display doesn't support HDR.

  • 6.0 Mixed Usage
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.1 Gaming
  • 6.6 Media Consumption
  • 7.1 Media Creation
  • 3.2 HDR
  1. Updated Mar 14, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Mar 06, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Mar 03, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Feb 24, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Feb 17, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

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15" Display 15 Touch
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15" Display 15 Touch
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15" Display 15 Touch
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested Version 2 of the 15-inch espresso Display, an updated version with upgraded hardware and software. There are also other models available: the espresso Display 13 and the espresso Display 13 Touch. These models have a smaller screen size and are different products, so our results only apply to espresso Display V2.

The company also offers accessories on their website, meaning you can buy a case, a stylus, and a matte screen protector. You can also buy a stand, which we did for our testing.

Size Name Version Resolution Panel Type Connectivity Notes
15" espresso Display 1 1080p IPS Mini HDMI, headphone jack, USB-C Volume controls
15" espresso Display 2 1080p IPS USB-C -

Compared To Other Monitors

The espresso Display is a portable monitor that performs decently for general work use or content creation on the go. It's better than most portable monitors we've tested for those uses. However, the espresso doesn't have any advanced gaming features, so if you like to game while you're on the move, the ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE is a better choice.

For more options, you can check out our recommendations for the best portable monitors, the best monitors for the MacBook Pro, and the best office monitors.

ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE

The ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE and the espresso Display 15 Touch are both good portable monitors. If you work on the go, the espresso is more mobile-friendly as it offers a versatile stand that's sold separately, and the touch screen is helpful. Unfortunately, the espresso doesn't have any gaming features, so the ASUS is better if you enjoy gaming on the go because of its higher refresh rate and VRR support. It also gets brighter and has better reflection handling, which is good for gaming in bright rooms.

ASUS ProArt PA148CTV

The ASUS ProArt PA148CTV and the espresso Display 15 Touch are portable monitors with a few differences in performance. If you move a lot and need the display with you at all times, the espresso offers more flexibility with the stand that's sold separately. It also has a better SDR color gamut and volume. On the other hand, the ASUS handles reflections better, so it's a better pick if you find yourself working in brighter environments. It has a few additional features for content creators, like a creator hub that's compatible with some creative programs.

Lepow Z1 Gamut

The Lepow Z1 Gamut and the espresso Display 15 Touch are 15-inch portable monitors. The main difference is that the Lepow supports HDR. If you plan on using the monitor in brighter rooms, the Lepow handles reflections better. The espresso, on the other hand, edges out the Lepow when it comes to picture quality as it delivers better color accuracy. The stand that's sold separately for the espresso allows you to get better ergonomics.

Dell C1422H

The Dell C1422H and espresso Display 15 Touch are portable monitors with a similar focus. The espresso is available with a stand that's sold separately and offers better ergonomics, making it easier to adjust. It's ideal if you also spend a lot of time at the office, as it's more versatile than the kickstand on the Dell. However, the Dell has the edge when you work in brighter environments since it handles reflections better and gets brighter.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved
No
Curve Radius
Not Curved

The monitor has a minimalistic design. There are speakers located below the bottom bezel, as you can see here.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is excellent. It's made from aluminum, so there's hardly any flex, and it feels sturdy when attached to the stand. The bottom left part isn't properly attached to the screen, but this isn't an issue.

7.0
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
2.8" (7.2 cm)
Tilt Range
-90° to 90°
Rotate Portrait/Landscape
Yes, Both Ways
Swivel Range
No swivel
Wall Mount
No Mount

With the magnetic stand, sold separately, the monitor has decent ergonomics as it allows for a few different adjustments. You can rotate the screen to portrait mode, as you can see here, and set the height to different viewing levels. Alternatively, the company also sells a case that has a kickstand.

Design
Stand
Base Width
4.8" (12.1 cm)
Base Depth
5.2" (13.3 cm)
Thickness (With Display)
6.2" (15.7 cm)
Weight (With Display)
3.1 lbs (1.4 kg)

This monitor doesn't have a stand, but you can buy one separately. It has a sleek design and uses a magnet to attach the screen. Alternatively, the company also sells a case that has a kickstand.

Design
Display
Size
15"
Housing Width
14.1" (35.9 cm)
Housing Height
10.1" (25.7 cm)
Thickness (Without Stand)
0.3" (0.7 cm)
Weight (Without Stand)
1.9 lbs (0.8 kg)
Borders Size (Bezels)
0.3" (0.8 cm)
Design
Controls

There are no buttons or controls on the monitor. You have to use the espresso Flow software to change the settings.

Design
In The Box
Power Supply
Internal

Included:

  • USB-C cable
  • Cleaning cloth

Sold separately:

  • Stand

Picture Quality
7.3
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
2,179 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

It has a satisfactory contrast ratio. It's better than most monitors with IPS panels, but blacks look grayish in darker rooms. There's also no local dimming feature to improve it.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

It doesn't have a local dimming feature. We still film these videos on the monitor so you can compare the backlight performance with a monitor that has local dimming.

6.5
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene
223 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
216 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
240 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
241 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
241 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
241 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
215 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
240 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
241 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
241 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
241 cd/m²
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
0.008
Minimum Brightness
7 cd/m²

The peak brightness is okay. It remains consistent across different scenes and performs fine in moderately-lit or dim environments. However, rooms with intense light are challenging as the monitor can't fight glare.

These results are from after calibration in the 'Work' Picture Mode with Brightness at its max.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
VESA DisplayHDR Certification
No Certification
Real Scene
N/A
Peak 2% Window
N/A
Peak 10% Window
N/A
Peak 25% Window
N/A
Peak 50% Window
N/A
Peak 100% Window
N/A
Sustained 2% Window
N/A
Sustained 10% Window
N/A
Sustained 25% Window
N/A
Sustained 50% Window
N/A
Sustained 100% Window
N/A
Automatic Brightness Limiting (ABL)
N/A

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

6.4
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
23°
Color Washout From Right
25°
Color Shift From Left
35°
Color Shift From Right
39°
Brightness Loss From Left
24°
Brightness Loss From Right
26°
Black Level Raise From Left
70°
Black Level Raise From Right
70°
Gamma Shift From Left
26°
Gamma Shift From Right
27°

It has an unremarkable horizontal viewing angle. The monitor loses brightness at a narrow angle, making the image look much darker, and colors look washed out when viewed from the sides. This means that it's not a good choice if you need to share your screen with someone else.

6.2
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
20°
Color Washout From Above
22°
Color Shift From Below
30°
Color Shift From Above
33°
Brightness Loss From Below
23°
Brightness Loss From Above
25°
Black Level Raise From Below
70°
Black Level Raise From Above
70°
Gamma Shift From Below
22°
Gamma Shift From Above
25°

The vertical viewing angle is mediocre. It's the same issue as the horizontal viewing angle; there's a sharp decrease in brightness at a narrow angle while gamma shifts and colors wash out, making the image look inconsistent when your viewing point moves away from the center. It isn't ideal since you may use this monitor in various positions, so you might not directly face it. As a result, the image looks inconsistent.

7.8
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.436%
50% DSE
0.149%

The gray uniformity is very good; there are mostly just some darker spots around the corner. The dirty screen effect is minimal and isn't visible with most real content.

7.3
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.113%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The black uniformity is decent. There are some spots of backlight bleed along the bottom and top of the screen but blooming around bright objects is only minor. It's only noticeable in dark rooms.

8.1
Picture Quality
Color Accuracy (Pre-Calibration)
Picture Mode
Work
sRGB Gamut Area xy
102.6%
White Balance dE (Avg.)
4.55
Color Temperature (Avg.)
6,306 K
Gamma (Avg.)
2.17
Color dE (Avg.)
2.73
Contrast Setting
N/A
RGB Settings
No Color Settings
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Brightness Setting
N/A
Measured Brightness
253 cd/m²
Brightness Locked
No

It has very good accuracy before calibration. It doesn't have an sRGB mode, meaning colors aren't clamped to the sRGB color space, so some colors are slightly oversaturated. The color temperature is close to the 6500K target, leaning minimally on the warmer side. The white balance is off with brighter shades of white. Gamma indicates that dark scenes are a little too dark, while brighter scenes are much brighter than they should be.

9.6
Picture Quality
Color Accuracy (Post-Calibration)
Picture Mode
Work
sRGB Gamut Area xy
97.5%
White Balance dE (Avg.)
0.54
Color Temperature (Avg.)
6,504 K
Gamma (Avg.)
2.19
Color dE (Avg.)
0.37
Contrast Setting
N/A
RGB Settings
No Color Settings
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Brightness Setting
N/A
Measured Brightness
99 cd/m²
ICC Profile
Download

After calibration, the espresso Display has fantastic accuracy. The white balance and colors are close to perfect accuracy, and the color temperature and gamma are each close to their targets. Any inaccuracies left aren't visible.

8.9
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB Coverage xy
97.7%
sRGB Picture Mode
Work
Adobe RGB Coverage xy
74.9%
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Work

It has an amazing SDR color gamut; this monitor has a near full coverage of the sRGB color space used for most web content. On the other hand, its coverage of the Adobe RGB color space is limited for photography work.

9.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.2%
sRGB Picture Mode
Work
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
80.5%
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Work

The color volume is remarkable. It can display colors at a wide range of luminance levels. It's a little worse at displaying darker colors because of its low contrast ratio.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
N/A
DCI-P3 Coverage xy
N/A
DCI-P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Coverage xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
N/A
DCI-P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

5.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
7.0%
Indirect Reflections
0.5%
Calculated Direct Reflections
6.5%

The reflection handling is sub-par. The screen's glossy finish makes reflections quite clear and distracting. Also, the peak brightness isn't high enough to fight glare in rooms with intense light. If this is a problem for you, espresso offers a screen protector with a matte finish, which is supposed to reduce the number of direct reflections.

8.5
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Pixel Type
IPS
Subpixel Layout
RGB

The text clarity is excellent, thanks to the monitor's high pixel density. Enabling ClearType (top photo) on Windows 10 makes the text look bolder. This is what the text clarity looks like on Windows 11 with ClearType on and ClearType off.

6.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

This monitor has alright gradient handling. With an 8-bit signal, there's some visible banding, meaning that transitions from one shade of a color to another aren't smooth.

We had some difficulty displaying a 10-bit signal. It only seems to work over USB-C, and we couldn't display an image using our older testing laptop. It works with a newer laptop, but we suspect the GPU might be performing some form of dithering to smooth out banding. The photo above is in 8-bit color depth, and we'll take a new photo once we have a proper USB-C to HDMI cable.

Motion
6.0
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over DP
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over HDMI
N/A
Max Refresh Rate Over DP @ 10-bit
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over HDMI @ 10-Bit
N/A

The monitor uses DisplayPort Alt Mode over USB-C, and it supports the maximum refresh rate.

Motion
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC
No
VRR Maximum
N/A
VRR Minimum
No VRR
VRR Supported Connectors
No VRR
Variable Refresh Rate
No

This monitor doesn't feature a variable refresh rate.

2.0
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
25.0 ms
Total Response Time
45.2 ms
Overshoot Error
0.0%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
39.9 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
70.3 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
0.0%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
No OverdriveChartTablePhoto

This monitor has a terrible response time at the maximum refresh rate. Transitions are slow, translating to long blur trails and black smearing behind fast-moving objects. The monitor has no overdrive settings.

not tested
Motion
Response Time @ 120Hz
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No 120Hz Refresh Rate
Rise / Fall Time
N/A
Total Response Time
N/A
Overshoot Error
N/A
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
N/A
Worst 3 Total Response Time
N/A
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
N/A

It doesn't support a 120Hz refresh rate.

2.0
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
25.0 ms
Total Response Time
45.2 ms
Overshoot Error
0.0%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
39.9 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
70.3 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
0.0%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
No OverdriveChartTablePhoto

As this monitor's max refresh rate is 60Hz, the results are the same as the response time at the max refresh rate.

Motion
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
No BFI
Maximum Frequency
N/A
Minimum Frequency
N/A
Longest Pulse Width Brightness
N/A
Shortest Pulse Width Brightness
N/A
Pulse Width Control
No BFI
Pulse Phase Control
No BFI
Pulse Amplitude Control
No BFI
VRR At The Same Time
No BFI

It doesn't have a backlight-strobing feature to reduce persistence blur.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free
Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The backlight is flicker-free, which helps minimize motion duplication and reduce eye strain.

Inputs
8.1
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution @ Max Hz
10.0 ms
Native Resolution @ 120Hz
N/A
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
10.0 ms
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
N/A

The input lag is low, resulting in a responsive desktop experience.

6.8
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution
1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Megapixels
2.1 MP
Pixel Density
143 PPI
Measured Screen Diagonal
15.4"
Screen Area
101 in²
0
Inputs
PS5 Compatibility
4k @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1080p @ 60Hz
No
HDR
No
VRR
No

The espresso Display isn't compatible with the PS5. If you want to connect your console to it, you can still buy an HDMI to USB-C cable with USB-A for power, which allows you to play at 1080p at 60Hz.

0
Inputs
Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
4k @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 60Hz
No
1440p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1080p @ 60Hz
No
HDR
No
VRR
No

Like the PS5, it isn't compatible with the Xbox Series X|S, and you need to buy an HDMI to USB-C cable with USB-A for power, allowing you to play at 1080p at 60Hz.

Inputs
Inputs Photos
Inputs
Video And Audio Ports
DisplayPort
No
Mini DisplayPort
No
HDMI
No
HDMI 2.1 Rated Speed
No HDMI 2.1
DVI
No
VGA
No
Daisy Chaining
No
3.5mm Audio Out
No
3.5mm Audio In
No
HDR10
No
3.5mm Microphone In
No
Inputs
USB
USB-A Ports
0
USB-A Rated Speed
No USB-A Ports
USB-B Upstream Port
No
USB-C Ports
2
USB-C Upstream
No
USB-C Rated Speed
No USB-C Upstream
USB-C Power Delivery
No
USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode
Yes
Thunderbolt
No

The USB-C ports feature DisplayPort Alt Mode, meaning the monitor can display audio and video from a compatible device. However, it doesn't deliver power to recharge your device while connected. You can also use the USB-C to plug in a Nintendo Switch or an iPad, but you need a second USB-C cable to power the monitor.

Inputs
macOS Compatibility

The monitor works well with macOS. You'll find the espresso Flow software on the App Store, which lets you adjust the monitor's various settings, including one that aims to match the monitor's brightness to the laptop. Colors are great on the desktop and in games. If you're using a MacBook, Windows return to their normal position after waking the laptop from sleep or when opening the lid. It's worth mentioning that when you're using the monitor as a screen extension, you have to click on the screen you want to use to activate it. For example, if you move the mouse cursor over to the monitor and you want to scroll down in a window, you need to click anywhere on the screen so that it's active.

Features
Features
Additional Features
Speakers
Yes
RGB Illumination
No
Multiple Input Display
No
KVM Switch
No

The espresso Flow software is required to change the monitor's settings. It lets you change the following:

  • Colors presets
  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Volume
  • Rotation
  • Mirror the screen
  • Lock rotation

You can use the monitor in portrait mode, and it automatically rotates the screen. It uses a 10-point multi-touch screen with Windows and macOS computers and smartphones. You can also buy a stylus separately.

The monitor works with the Nintendo Switch, but you can't use the touch screen. In this case, you need another USB-C cable to power the monitor. It's worth mentioning that the monitor's volume is locked to the Switch's volume level.

If you use a Samsung smartphone, this espresso portable monitor has compatibility with the Samsung Dex app, as you can see here. It lets you use your phone as a PC on the monitor. The touchscreen works as well and is responsive.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)

To access the OSD, you need to download the espresso Flow software, available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.