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Lepow Z1 Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Jun 04, 2021 at 10:33 am
Lepow Z1 Picture
6.2
Mixed Usage
6.5
Office
5.7
Gaming
6.4
Multimedia
6.4
Media Creation
5.4
HDR Gaming
Size 15"
Resolution 1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
No VRR

The Lepow Z1 is a mediocre portable monitor that's best-suited for mobile office use. A bit larger than a typical tablet, it has great portability, although this model doesn't have a built-in battery, so you have to plug it in for power, either through USB-C or to a wall adapter. The small size and relatively high resolution give it great text clarity, and it has outstanding gradient performance. Unfortunately, there are some serious issues, including terrible response times, poor accuracy out of the box, and a narrow color gamut. There's an updated version of this monitor, the Lepow Z1 Gamut, with a much wider color gamut. These issues make it a less versatile display overall, as it's not a great choice for gaming or color-critical needs, like media creation.

Our Verdict

6.2 Mixed Usage

The Lepow Z1 is a mediocre monitor overall. It's best-suited as a portable office monitor, great if you want a bit more screen real estate when working from a laptop. Unfortunately, this isn't a good choice for media creation, multimedia, or gaming, as it has issues with color accuracy, even after calibration, a narrow color gamut, and terrible response times.

Pros
  • Amazing gray uniformity.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Great text clarity.
Cons
  • Terrible response times.
  • Inaccurate colors, even after calibration.
  • Very bad ergonomics.
  • Limited 60Hz refresh rate and no advanced gaming features.
6.5 Office

The Lepow Z1 is an okay portable office monitor. It has a relatively high pixel density and great text clarity, good reflection handling, amazing gray uniformity, and low input lag. Unfortunately, the ergonomics are terrible, which we expect for a portable monitor, and the viewing angles are mediocre, so it's difficult to place in an ideal viewing position. It also can't display some colors accurately, so if your work relies on accurate colors, this might not be a good choice.

Pros
  • Amazing gray uniformity.
  • Good reflection handling.
  • Great text clarity.
Cons
  • Inaccurate colors, even after calibration.
  • Very bad ergonomics.
5.7 Gaming

The Lepow Z1 is a disappointing gaming monitor that most gamers should avoid. Although there's relatively little input lag, the response times are terrible, and any fast-moving objects appear blurry and have a long blur trail behind them. It might not bother those playing slower, turn-based games, but we don't recommend gaming on this monitor. It can be helpful as a second monitor when gaming, though, as you can look up hints while gaming on your main display.

Pros
  • Amazing gray uniformity.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • Terrible response times.
  • Very bad ergonomics.
  • Limited 60Hz refresh rate and no advanced gaming features.
6.4 Multimedia

The Lepow Z1 is a mediocre monitor for multimedia. The small size isn't great for sharing videos, and it has terrible ergonomics, which we expect for a portable display. It has mediocre viewing angles, so it's hard to place it in an ideal viewing position. Unfortunately, there are significant issues with color accuracy, and it has a narrow color gamut, so videos don't look their best. Although it supports HDR, it has a poor HDR color gamut and can't get very bright.

Pros
  • Outstanding gradient handling with no banding.
  • Amazing gray uniformity.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • Disappointing color gamut.
  • HDR doesn't add very much.
  • Terrible response times.
  • Inaccurate colors, even after calibration.
  • Very bad ergonomics.
6.4 Media Creation

The Lepow Z1 is a mediocre display for media creation, as some issues could be deal-breakers for some people. It has amazing gray uniformity and superb gradient handling. On the other hand, it has a disappointing SDR color gamut, and some noticeable color issues can't be corrected through calibration, so if your work requires accurate colors, this monitor is not a good choice. Due to its portable nature, it can be helpful as a secondary display to display text while showing a project on your main display/laptop.

Pros
  • Outstanding gradient handling with no banding.
  • Amazing gray uniformity.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • Disappointing color gamut.
  • Inaccurate colors, even after calibration.
  • Very bad ergonomics.
5.4 HDR Gaming

Although the Lepow Z1 does support HDR, enabling HDR adds very little. Combined with the serious issues with the response times, you should avoid gaming in HDR on this monitor.

Pros
  • Outstanding gradient handling with no banding.
  • Amazing gray uniformity.
  • Good reflection handling.
Cons
  • HDR doesn't add very much.
  • Terrible response times.
  • Very bad ergonomics.
  • Limited 60Hz refresh rate and no advanced gaming features.
  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 6.5 Office
  • 5.7 Gaming
  • 6.4 Multimedia
  • 6.4 Media Creation
  • 5.4 HDR Gaming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
1.8 lbs (0.8 kg)
Weight (with stand)
2.6 lbs (1.2 kg)

The Lepow Z1 is a portable monitor with a magnetic folio case that doubles as a stand. The design is simple, with slim bezels and easy-to-access ports on both sides of the screen.

Design
Stand
Width
14.5" (36.8 cm)
Depth
9.2" (23.4 cm)

Instead of a traditional stand, this monitor has a magnetic folio case that doubles as a stand. You can adjust the stand to multiple positions; the dimensions listed are for the configuration shown here.

0.9
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
0.0" (0.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -25°, -40°, -90°

This monitor has terrible ergonomics, which we expect for a portable display. The magnetic stand has no traditional ergonomic adjustments, but by adjusting the shape of the stand, you can set the screen at three different tilt angles. Unlike the ASUS Zenbook MB14AC, the stand can't hold the display in portrait orientation.

Design
Back
Wall Mount No Mount

With the case on, the back is plain, and there's no cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.5" (1.2 cm)
Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
5.2" (13.2 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
0.4" (1.0 cm)

This monitor is extremely thin, especially without the case. The case adds about 1/6 inches (0.4cm) to the total thickness. The total thickness with the stand varies depending on the configuration; the thickness listed is for the configuration shown here.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Lepow Z1 has okay build quality. The frame is sturdy, with almost no flex, but the bezels are slightly loose. The case feels decent and holds the display well as long as everything is connected properly. It's nearly identical to the Lepow Z1 Gamut, but the USB-C connector on the left-hand side of our unit is extremely loose, and even slightly nudging the screen causes it to lose the connection. When it loses this connection, we sometimes had to connect a second USB-C cable to the input on the right to force the monitor to wake up.

Picture Quality
6.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,084 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

This monitor has mediocre contrast, which we expect for an IPS-type display. These results are nearly identical to the Lepow Z1 Gamut we tested, but this can vary between units.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only, so you can see how the local dimming feature on other displays compares to one without local dimming.

6.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
206 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
200 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
200 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
212 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.004

The Lepow Z1 has acceptable peak brightness in SDR. It's bright enough for dimmer environments but can't overcome glare, so it's not ideal for brighter environments. It's a bit brighter than the Lepow Z1 Gamut we tested, but those results were unexpected, as the Gamut is supposed to be brighter than the standard Z1.

These measurements were taken after calibration, in the 'Standard' Picture Mode, with brightness at max. The peak brightness can change depending on which mode you're using.

5.4
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
224 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
224 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
237 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
238 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
238 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
238 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
224 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
237 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
238 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
238 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
238 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.004

The Lepow Z1 has disappointing HDR peak brightness. It's not bright enough for small specular highlights to stand out and nowhere near bright enough for a proper HDR experience.

We measured the HDR peak brightness with HDR 2084 enabled and Brightness set to max.

6.4
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
22°
Color Washout From Right
24°
Color Shift From Left
39°
Color Shift From Right
26°
Brightness Loss From Left
25°
Brightness Loss From Right
28°
Black Level Raise From Left
70°
Black Level Raise From Right
70°
Gamma Shift From Left
25°
Gamma Shift From Right
27°

This monitor has mediocre horizontal viewing angles. The image degrades when viewed off-center, so it appears washed out and loses accuracy and brightness.

6.4
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
24°
Color Washout From Above
22°
Color Shift From Below
28°
Color Shift From Above
46°
Brightness Loss From Below
25°
Brightness Loss From Above
25°
Black Level Raise From Below
70°
Black Level Raise From Above
70°
Gamma Shift From Below
28°
Gamma Shift From Above
27°

The Lepow Z1 has mediocre vertical viewing angles. If you're too far above or below the screen, the image appears washed out and loses brightness. The vertical viewing angles are asymmetric, and the color shift is noticeable more rapidly from below than from above. This shouldn't be an issue, though, as most people will always look at this monitor from above.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.785%
50% DSE
0.107%
5% Std. Dev.
0.300%
5% DSE
0.044%

The monitor we tested has amazing gray uniformity. The bottom-left side of the screen is a bit darker, but this isn't very noticeable with most content. Note that this can vary between units.

6.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.709%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The Lepow Z1 has mediocre black uniformity. The screen is cloudy throughout, and there are small signs of backlight bleed through the top-left corner. This varies between units, so let us know if you get one with different black uniformity.

4.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Game
Luminance
126 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
50
Contrast Setting
50
RGB Controls
45-45-45
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
7,723 K
White Balance dE
4.60
Color dE
5.69
Gamma
2.17

Unfortunately, the Lepow Z1 has poor accuracy out of the box. The white balance is completely off, and most shades of gray have noticeable issues. Colors are even worse; pure blue and pure magenta are inaccurate, and most other colors have noticeable issues. Gamma is close to the sRGB target curve, so most scenes are displayed close to their correct brightness levels. This can vary a bit between units, but we've seen similar reports of poor accuracy from other owners.

9.1
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Standard
Luminance
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
42
Contrast Setting
45
RGB Controls
52-48-44
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6,461 K
White Balance dE
0.50
Color dE
1.97
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, the overall accuracy of this monitor is significantly improved, but some issues remain. Gamma is nearly perfect, and there are no noticeable issues with the white balance, which is great. On the other hand, almost all highly saturated colors still have noticeable errors, and we're unable to correct them due to the limited color gamut. These issues cause the monitor to appear slightly washed out, and this is especially noticeable when placed next to another display.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit due to manufacturing tolerances, even for the same model.

5.9
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
67.7%
Adobe RGB xy
50.4%
sRGB Picture Mode
Standard
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Standard

The Lepow Z1 has a disappointing SDR color gamut. Even in the most common sRGB color space, it can't display the full range of reds, magentas, or blues, which is very uncommon for a modern display. The limited color gamut even prevented us from properly calibrating the monitor. As advertised, the newer Lepow Z1 Gamut has a much better color gamut and can display the entire sRGB color space.

5.6
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
63.6%
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
49.3%
sRGB Picture Mode
Standard
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Standard

Due to the narrow color gamut, this monitor also has disappointing color volume. It can't fill out the entire sRGB gamut at any brightness level, and due to the low contrast ratio, it can't display dark saturated colors very well.

4.2
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
48.1%
Rec. 2020 xy
35.1%
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Mode 2084
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Mode 2084

Surprisingly, the Lepow Z1 does support HDR, but it doesn't add much to this monitor. It can't display a wider range of colors than SDR.

3.2
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
36.6%
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
26.7%
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Mode 2084
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Mode 2084

This monitor has bad color volume in HDR. It can't display a wide color gamut, so it can't fill out the color volume, and due to the low contrast ratio, it can't display dark saturated colors very well.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00%

There are no signs of temporary image retention on the monitor we bought. This can vary between units, though.

9.4
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

One of the better aspects of this monitor is that it does an outstanding job displaying areas of similar colors. It accepts a 10-bit signal, and although we don't know if it's a true 10-bit panel or not, there's almost no noticeable banding at all.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000%
Pixel Column Error
0.001%

There's no noticeable color bleed on our unit, but this can vary between individual units due to manufacturing tolerances.

7.7
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.4%
Indirect Reflections
4.0%
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.4%

This monitor has good reflection handling. The matte finish reduces the intensity of bright reflections by spreading them out over a larger area on the screen.

8.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

The Lepow Z1 has great text clarity. The relatively high pixel density is great for text, as even with Windows ClearType disabled, text looks relatively clear. For sharper text on a PC, we recommend running the Windows ClearType wizard, but some apps ignore these settings.

Motion
2.1
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
20.8 ms
Total Response Time
36.5 ms
Overshoot Error
0.1%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
22.7 ms
Dark Total Response Time
40.0 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.3%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
DefaultChartTablePhoto

Unfortunately, the Lepow Z1 has terrible response times. Most transitions take more than 2 full frames to complete, resulting in blurry motion, especially in fast-moving scenes. Unlike most monitors, there are no overdrive settings.

2.1
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
20.8 ms
Total Response Time
36.5 ms
Overshoot Error
0.1%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
22.7 ms
Dark Total Response Time
40.0 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.3%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
DefaultChartTablePhoto

The Lepow Z1 is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, so these results are the same as the Max Refresh Rate section.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free No
PWM Dimming Frequency
>1000 Hz

The backlight can be flicker-free, but only at the maximum brightness setting. Lower than that, the backlight starts to flicker, but it's at an extremely high frequency and not noticeable.

0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
No BFI
BFI Maximum Frequency
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
N/A

This monitor doesn't have any optional Black Frame Insertion feature.

5.9
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC
No
VRR Maximum
N/A
VRR Minimum
No VRR
VRR Supported Connectors No VRR

The Lepow Z1 is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync or G-SYNC.

Inputs
8.9
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
9.1 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
9.1 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
N/A
10 Bit HDR
8.8 ms
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
N/A

This monitor has low input lag. It's low enough for a responsive desktop experience, and casual gamers likely won't notice any latency.

6.9
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 2.1 MP
Pixel Density
142 PPI
Screen Diagonal 15.6"
Screen Area 103 in²

This monitor has a relatively high pixel density thanks to its small size. When used as a second monitor on the go, it's great for desktop use.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort No
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 1 (Mini HDMI)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB No
USB C 2 (1x DP Alt Mode, 1x Charging Only)
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal

There are two USB-C ports, but you can only use the one on the left as an actual input. The USB-C port on the right is needed to power the device when using the mini HDMI input. Note that we don't know which version of HDMI is in use, as all recent HDMI revisions have enough bandwidth to drive the display at its maximum resolution and frame rate.

Features
Features
Additional Features
RGB Illumination
No
Speakers
Yes
HDR10 Yes
Multiple Input Display
No

This is a very basic monitor with few additional features.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls
Features
In The Box

  • User manual
  • Screen wipes
  • Screen protector
  • Power adapter
  • USB-C to USB-C cable
  • USB-A to USB-C cable (for power)

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 15.6 inch Lepow Z1 (Black). There are no other sizes, but it's available in two colors, black or silver. There's a newer version, known as the Lepow Z1 Gamut, which we've also tested, and there's a Pro version that's advertised to have a more stable system, but we haven't tested it yet and don't really know what they mean by that.

Model Size Native Resolution Max Refresh rate Panel Type Notes
Z1 Gamut 15.6" 1080p 60Hz IPS  
Z1 15.6" 1080p 60Hz IPS  

If you come across a different type of panel, or your Lepow Z1 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Monitors

The Lepow Z1 is a mediocre portable monitor with some serious flaws. It's an okay portable office monitor if you need a bit more screen real estate when roaming, but we don't recommend it for much else.

For more options, check our picks for the best budget monitors, the best USB-C monitors, and the best office monitors.

Lepow Z1 Gamut

The Lepow Z1 Gamut is better than the Lepow Z1. The Gamut version can display a much wider range of colors in both SDR and HDR. The Gamut isn't as bright as the Z1 we tested, but this seems to be a bug, as it's supposed to be a bit brighter.

MSI Optix G27C4

The MSI Optix G27C4 and the Lepow Z1 are vastly different displays, each with a different target audience. The Lepow is designed with portability in mind, whereas the MSI is a desktop gaming monitor that outperforms the Lepow in almost every way. The Lepow supports HDR, but this doesn't add anything, as it can't display a gamut wider than SDR and isn't bright enough for HDR.

Dell S2721DGF

The Dell S2721DGF and the Lepow Z1 are completely different displays that target different uses. The Lepow is a portable monitor designed for office/productivity, while the Dell is a desktop gaming monitor. The Dell vastly outperforms the Lepow in almost every way, but the Lepow is far more portable.

Dell Alienware AW3420DW

The Dell Alienware AW3420DW and the Lepow Z1 are vastly different displays, with very different target audiences. The Lepow is a portable monitor designed for mobile productivity, whereas the Dell is an ultrawide desktop gaming monitor. Other than portability, the Dell outperforms the Lepow in almost every way.

ASUS ZenScreen MB14AC

The ASUS ZenScreen MB14AC and the Lepow Z1 are very similar overall, but the ASUS is slightly better for most people. The Lepow that we tested has significantly better black uniformity than the ASUS, but this can vary between units. The Lepow supports HDR and the ASUS doesn't, but this doesn't add much at all. On the other hand, the ASUS has significantly better response times, and the folio case is a bit more versatile, as it can hold the display in portrait orientation.

Lenovo ThinkVision M14

The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is a bit better than the Lepow Z1. The Lenovo can display a much wider range of colors in SDR and has much better color accuracy after calibration. The Lenovo is a bit smaller than the Lepow, but it's not a huge difference. On the other hand, the Lepow does support HDR, but this doesn't add much.

ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE

The ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE is much better than the Lepow Z1. The ASUS has much faster response times, resulting in clear motion with little blur behind fast-moving objects, and it supports Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate technology (VRR), making it a much better gaming monitor. The ASUS has a built-in battery, and it delivers better picture quality, with a significantly better color gamut, and better accuracy, even after calibration.

ViewSonic VG1655

The Lepow Z1 and the ViewSonic VG1655 are both acceptable portable monitors. They each have a 1080p resolution with a 15 inch screen, and each delivers clear text. They both have two USB-C inputs, but only one supports DisplayPort Alt Mode on the Lepow while both support it on the ViewSonic. The Lepow supports HDR, which the ViewSonic, but it doesn't add much. The ViewSonic has better ergonomics because it has an adjustable incline stand, while you can only set the Lepow's stand to three settings.

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