Review: INNOCN 27 4K mini LED monitor
If you want a monitor with Mini LED technology, there aren’t many options on the market yet.
What if we told you that you could buy a Mini LED monitor for under $700?
Yes, really, thanks to a lesser-known brand called INNOCN. They recently released a 4K, 27-inch Mini LED monitor with HDR1000 certification, and we’ve been testing one.
You get an IPS panel with a Mini LED backlight for the price. The technology promises close to OLED performance, with deeper blacks, impressive contrast, and vibrant colors.
Additionally, you don’t get the drawbacks of OLED, like burn-in and a higher price.
This is exactly the kind of monitor that creative professionals or content creators have been waiting for. Video editing, photo editing, and graphic design all shine on this panel.
Is the INNOCN 27M2U the productivity monitor for you? I’ve been testing it out for a few weeks now, and while it’s not as polished as other alternatives, it’s a great bang-for-the-buck monitor. Here’s why.
There are reasons that most computer monitors on the market have similar colored housings–black anthracite blends into the periphery, so your eyes don’t pick it up after a while.
INNOCN has eschewed that with the 27M2U, instead opting for a gray, silvery plastic housing. It’s a strange choice, given that the market (and every other INNOCN monitor) uses matte black.
Maybe it was supposed to echo the smooth aluminum of MacBook housings, but it just feels a little tacky on a plastic-housed computer monitor.
The included stand clips onto the back with tilt, height, and swivel adjustments. It can also rotate by 90 degrees to make the normally-landscape screen into portrait orientation.
You can also unscrew the four screws and use a VESA-compatible arm to mount the monitor.
All the ports are underneath the monitor mounting point, with one DP 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C. That USB-C port has 90W of power delivery for powering your laptop.
Oh, and INNOCN put some RGB LEDs on the back. We’re not sure why, as they only glow on the surface behind your monitor.
The bezels on three sides are mercifully small, with a wider bezel on the bottom edge. The bottom right edge has small buttons for the on-screen display (OSD) controls.
These are serviceable but made us long for a four-way joystick like on many new monitors.
The power supply is handled by a 180W power brick. That’s way over the needed wattage for the monitor, but it needs to be that high because the USB-C port has 90W power delivery.
The INNOCN 27M2U has a 27-inch 4K IPS matte display. It uses Mini LED with 384 zones for the backlighting, with 1,000 nits peak brightness and an average of 700 nits.
Connectivity consists of one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C port with up to 90W power delivery. That’s enough to power most MacBooks while also providing a second screen.
It also has an auto-brightness sensor that adjusts the screen according to the ambient light levels. This can be turned off if you prefer.
There’s also a gravity sensor, which knows if the monitor is in landscape or portrait and adjusts the image to match.
So, how does this Mini LED monitor measure up?
The standout feature of the INNOCN 27M2U is the IPS panel, with its Mini LED backlight. It’s the same display tech used in Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro and some MacBook Pro models.
Regular LED monitors use strips of LEDs to provide the backlight. This leads to uneven color reproduction or streaking, as the illumination is stronger where the individual LEDs are.
Mini LED uses many tiny LEDs behind the entire screen. It’s the closest thing we have to the self-emissive pixels on OLED panels until Micro-LED comes out.
The panel INNOCN used is rated to cover 99% of the Adobe RGB color space, 99% DCI-P3, and 100% sRGB. That should result in impressive color reproduction, which wowed me in use.
This panel looked nicer than my MacBook Pro’s screen, and that’s no easy feat. Top marks to INNOCN.
Alternatives to consider
Should I buy the INNOCN 27M2U?
If you want a monitor with Mini LED technology, there aren’t many options on the market yet. None of the alternatives are anywhere near this affordable, and INNOCN should be commended for that.
Seriously, this monitor has impressive color reproduction and image quality. We highly recommend it to creative professionals who need a color-accurate monitor to work on.
The only drawback we can see is the unfortunate choice of plastic color for the housing. Matte black would have been much easier on the eyes or any color other than silvery-gray.
Maybe a future revision could remedy this.
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