Review unit on loan from PRISM+
Portable LCD displays are widely available and getting more affordable each year. Portable OLED displays are less common, and 2021 looks like the year these displays are breaking into the market. At the time of this review, the only portable OLED displays I know of are the PRISM+ Ultra 4K 16, INNOCN and UPerfect. These three are 4K 15.6-inch OLED displays with rather similar specs and are priced more than 2 times compared to LCD models.
I've tested many portable displays before and this is my first time using a portable OLED display – big thanks to PRISM+ for the loan unit.
PRISM+ is a company based in Singapore that sells computer monitors and smart TVs. The company has recently released a line of portable monitors under the Nomad brand series and in this review I'll present to you my findings on how they perform.
Because this display has some similarities with the Nomad 16 portable LCD display (review), some parts from that review are repeated here.
At the time of this review, the models available are...
|PRISM+ Nomad 16||PRISM+ Nomad Pro 16||PRISM+ Nomad Ultra 4K 16|
|Size||15.6-inch IPS LCD||15.6-inch IPS LCD||15.6-inch OLED touchscreen|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz||1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz||3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz|
|Colour gamut||105% sRGB, 16.7 million colours||105% sRGB, 16.7 million colours||145% sRGB, 1 billion colours|
|Brightness||420 nits||420 nits||400 nits|
|Speakers||Two 1W speakers||Two 1W speakers||Two 1W speakers|
|Built-in battery||No||Up to 4 hours||Up to 4 hours|
|Ports||2x USB-C, 1x mini HDMI||2x USB-C, 1x mini HDMI||2x USB-C, 1x mini HDMI|
|Price||SGD 349||SGD 459||SGD 999|
The Nomad Ultra 4K OLED display has excellent colour support and accuracy, vibrant colours and extreme contrast levels. It's definitely pricy at SGD 999 when compared to portable LCD displays. The visual quality of this display is what makes it stand out among the countless portable LCD monitors out there. If you have the budget for it, I'm sure you'll be very pleased with what you see, and the build quality is excellent too.
The downsides would be the so-so audio quality from the two side 1W speakers. The built-in battery is useful but battery capacity will drop with usage in years to come. Oh, and there's the usual risk of burn in with OLED but that's too soon for me to tell.
These are the items included:
- USB-C power adapter
- USB-C power cable (1.8m)
- USB-C video cable (1m)
- Mini HDMI to full-sized HDMI cable (1.5m)
- Flip cover case and stand
The longer USB-C power cable (labeled) cannot transmit video signal. The shorter USB-C video cable (labeled too) is 1m long. If you want to place the portable display on the right side of your laptop, and your laptop's USB-C or HDMI ports are on the left, the cable is long enough but the area around the connector will bend more.
This display has a built-in battery with battery life rated at 4 hours. Because the OLED display looks so bright, I'm just using 30% brightness and managed to get slightly less than 4 hours of usage. There's definitely enough battery capacity for you to watch a 3 hour 30 minute movie.
When the battery runs out, you can still power the display at maximum brightness via a single USB-C cable.
Build quality is solid, more so than the Nomad 16 for some reason even though the material looks and feels the same. I can't tell if the back is made with plastic or metal but I like the smooth matte textured surface.
Design of the display looks good. It's really thin at just 6.8mm. Weight is 940g. The top and bottom are rounded while the left and right are flat sides.
The two 1W speakers on the sides have so-so audio quality. I can't tell where the sound is coming from when there's audio. Anyway, these are already better than many portable displays I've reviewed with speakers on the back.
The included flip cover case and stand provides protection on all sides, and can prop up the display at a good angle. This stand is more stable than the one included with the Nomad 16.
The resolution is 4K UHD 3840 x 2160. There's no noticeable pixelation on a 15.6-inch display even when you look real close. Refresh rate is 60Hz.
You can use the touchscreen to adjust settings from the OSD menu and it's incredibly convenient.
The visual settings you can change with the OSD are brightness, contrast, RGB, colour temperature, chroma, saturation, sharpness and colour modes (e.g. gaming, movie, reading, etc).
The finger gestures supported are zoom, pan and rotate. Writing on the display with a rubber tip stylus produces broken lines often.
Colours on the display look good out of the box. After calibration, the colours almost matches my LG Gram 16 display (behind).
I measured colour support for 100% sRGB, 94% NTSC, 96% AdobeRGB, 99% P3 with my Spyder5Pro colour calibrator. The colour accuracy is slightly better than my LG Gram which supports 89% AdobeRGB and 100% P3.
Colour accuracy is fantastic so display is good enough for graphic design, photo and video editing, basically any sort of work that requires colour accuracy.
I measured a maximum brightness of 308 nits. Due to the extreme contrast ratio, this display will give the illusion that it's brighter than LCD even if its actual measured brightness is lower. I use this display at 40% brightness and it's 148 nits.
There's no HDR so there's no so-bright-it-almost-looks-real effect. Shown above is a 4K HDR video found on Youtube. When I played the same video on an LCD display, I could see more contrast on the OLED.
Having an external portable display is incredibly useful and can improve productivity instantly.
As I write this review on my laptop, I have the specifications on the Nomad display as well as uploaded photos. With a dual display setup, I can see all the info and photos I need without having to switch tabs or scroll as often. I can certainly do the same work on one display, but having two displays is way more convenient and productive.
When I'm done with work, I just store the display with my books on my shelf. Portable displays are convenient that way due to the compact design.
You can use the Nomad display as your main display too if you don't mind the look and form of the flip cover case.
This is the backlight of OLED (left) vs LCD (right). The IPS glow is visible on the LCD. The OLED is completely black with black content, and in this case you can only see it's there because of the visible cursor.
When watching movies with black bars, those black bars will not be visible as there's no IPS glow. During daytime, there's no much difference between OLED vs LCD blacks, so it's just the OLED contrast that's visibly better.
The visual quality you get from watching movies on an OLED display is excellent.
The PRISM+ Nomad Ultra 4K 16 is a good looking portable display with good build quality. The visual quality is excellent and I would expect nothing less when you consider the hefty price of this OLED display is more than two times that of the best portable LCD display.
The sharpness of 4K, terrific colour accuracy, extreme contrast ratio and the convenience of a touchscreen makes using this display a very satisfying experience.
Actually for less than half the price of this OLED, you can find a 15.6-inch 4K UHD touchscreen LCD display with over 90% AdobeRGB as well. The main difference between a colour accurate LCD vs this OLED is the latter has visibly better contrast ratio. But with any OLED display, there will always be the risk of burn-in but only time will tell for this particular unit.
The built-in battery has its pros and cons. The battery life is rated at 4 hours and battery capacity will drop eventually with usage.
This display definitely performs. As to whether it's worth the money will depend on what you value.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Simple good looking design
+ Good build quality
+ Thin, compact, lightweight (940g)
+ Good colours (100% sRGB, 96% AdobeRGB)
+ 4K sharpness
+ Extreme contrast ratio
+ Max brightness of 308 nits (measured)
+ USB-C and HDMI support
+ Can be used with one USB-C cable or HDMI
+ USB-C cable can get 100% brightness even without the battery
+ Flip cover case and stand included
- Risk of OLED burn in
- USB-C video cable just 1m
- So-so audio quality
- Significantly more expensive compared to portable LCD displays
- HDMI connection requires additional USB power when battery is out