Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor review

Looking for a reasonably priced portable monitor to pair with a smaller laptop? The Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor ($ 199.99) just might be your second screen. This compact and lightweight 14-inch portable display can be used for both business and entertainment, providing excellent color coverage at a lower price than some competing panels. Brightness levels might need a boost, and we have an issue with the ergonomics of the controls, but this easy-to-carry display is a reasonable productivity companion for the many 13- and 14-inch subnotebooks that power the. daily work. .


A compact and highly portable panel

Based in Shenzhen, China, Lepow sells its products in the United States primarily through Amazon. The Lite H1 is the second Lepow monitor we reviewed, after the Lepow 15.6-inch USB-C portable monitor. In Amazon’s product listings, it is not always easy to distinguish one Lepow monitor from another, as they are first identified by characteristics rather than the name of the product; here is the correct Amazon link for the Lepow Lite H1.

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Black with silver trims, the Lite H1 measures 8.1 x 12 x 0.5 inches (HWD). The top edge of the chassis is even thinner (0.2 inches), while a protrusion at the bottom, on the back, contains the built-in speakers, switches and ports.

The heart of this monitor is its 14-inch in-plane (IPS) switching panel at Full HD / 1080p (1920 by 1080p) resolution in a 16: 9 wide screen aspect ratio. It has narrow borders on the top and sides and a bezel that’s almost an inch thick under the panel.

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (tilted view and dark view)

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Most of the portable monitors we reviewed had 15.6in screens, but 14in (measured diagonally) is emerging as a popular second screen size. Although smaller, this size makes it a better companion for ultraportable laptops with 12-14 inch screens than larger portable monitors. Some of the 14 inches we reviewed included the Editor’s Choice winner Lenovo ThinkVision M14, the HP EliteDisplay S14, and the Lenovo ThinkVision M14t touchscreen.

As is typical of IPS panel-based monitors, the Lite H1 offers wide viewing angles (rated at 178 degrees for vertical and horizontal). Colors were hardly affected when viewing sample images at extremely off-center angles in our testing.

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (back)

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The ports and switches face upward on the back. They include a power switch, a thumbwheel to control the on-screen display (OSD), a 3.5mm headphone jack, a mini-HDMI port, and two USB Type-C ports. Of the USB-C ports, one is for supplying power from an AC adapter and the other is for receiving data and / or video.

The Lepow comes with a matte black protective cover, which folds up around the screen to protect the front, aided by a piece of foam board cut to size of the panel. The blanket doubles as a collapsible stand. One edge contains a magnetic strip that adheres to and supports the back of the monitor. Unlike the 15.6-inch version of the Lepow, which has support limited to landscape mode, the Lite H1 contains an additional strip that you can use to hold the panel in portrait mode. The included user guide shows you how to rotate the screen image in portrait mode in Windows to match the physical rotation of the monitor. (It is not automatic.)

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (cover)

(Photo: Molly Flores)

While its ability to support portrait mode makes the Lite H1’s cover / stand mashup one of the best of its kind, it’s still primitive compared to the Lenovo ThinkVision M14t’s hinged metal stand, which allows for smooth movement, easy storage and a 90 degree range flat adjustment.


A look at the OSD: please move your wheel

You access the Lite H1’s OSD using the aforementioned thumbwheel, which Lepow calls a “rolling key.” Indeed, it is a small button on a tiny cogwheel. You can either press the button (to open the OSD or select a menu choice) or turn the dial up or down (to navigate through menu items or adjust values ​​such as brightness or contrast).

The OSD wheel and menu choices are very similar to the 15.6-inch Lepow, but with one important difference: with this screen, the scroll key is on the right edge of the panel near the bottom, but with the Lite H1, it’s at the back. I much preferred the configuration with the wheel on the edge. Due to its positioning, I found the Lite H1’s wheel more difficult to handle. The poor placement of the wheel is mitigated by the fact that you are unlikely to need to change the settings of a monitor like this that often.

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (ports)

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The first choice in the OSD menu, titled Brightness, allows you to control brightness, contrast, black level, and sharpness over a range of 0 to 100. Next is the Image menu. The first item, called Eco, lets you choose from six picture modes: Standard, Game, Movie, Text, RTS, and FPS. The second, DCR, allows you to enable or disable the dynamic contrast ratio. The third, Aspect, lets you choose between a 16: 9 widescreen aspect ratio or the classic 4: 3 aspect ratio.

In the Color temperature menu, you can choose between Cool, Warm and a user mode that allows you to individually set the values ​​for red, green and blue. Then there are three OSD adjustment menus, which allow you to perform tasks such as choosing a language, muting or adjusting the speaker volume, selecting a port (USB-C or HDMI) for the signal source, enable a low blue light mode, perform a factory reset, and enable or disable high dynamic range (HDR) mode.

I tried HDR mode, which is labeled “2,084”, basically the HDR10 standard used in almost all HDR monitors. I went to the Windows 10 display menu and checked the Windows HD Color settings, but they didn’t show any indication that the Lepow could support HDR. This led me to suspect HDR emulation, i.e. various color, contrast, and brightness adjustments designed to simulate true HDR.

The pair of built-in speakers were weak compared to my entire laptop, but they could come in handy when using a game console or other device that didn’t have its own speakers. Don’t expect too much oomph from them.

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (speaker)

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Lepow backs the Lite H1 with a simple one-year warranty, although you can extend it for an additional 30 months by registering the product. While we’ve seen this occasionally with other monitors, recording really shouldn’t be a requirement for extended coverage.


Lite H1 test: good color and contrast

As usual, I performed our color, brightness and contrast tests using a Klein K10-A colorimeter, Murideo SIX-G signal generator, and CalMAN software from Portrait Displays.

Lepow does not give a specific luminance index (brightness per unit area) for the Lite H1, but instead offers a range: 250 to 300 candelas per square meter (nits), plus or minus 20 nits. I tested it in several color modes, with the brightness set to 100%. It was the brightest in Standard mode, but it still gathered only 160 nits in my testing. This situation is reminiscent of the Lepow 15.6-inch USB-C portable monitor, which was rated at 300 nits but tested at just 196. (Read more on how we test monitors.)

Still, that’s not unusually low for a portable monitor. Most we tested are in the 180-210 nits range. Exceptions include the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 (280 nits) and the ViewSonic VG1655 (245 nits). The espresso (15-inch) display, which we recently reviewed, had a tested brightness of 202 nits despite being rated at 300 nits.

The Lite H1 did better in contrast ratio tests, where its 1,288: 1 ratio exceeded its 1,000: 1 rating. It has also done very well in its coverage of the sRGB color space …

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (sRGB graphics)

When tested in Standard mode, the Lite H1 covered 99% of sRGB, the standard range for line art and many other applications. (See chromaticity or color coverage chart above.) Most mobile monitors only cover between 60% and 72% of sRGB. For example, when we tested it in late 2019, the Lepow 15.6-inch USB-C portable monitor only covered 65% of sRGB.

This suggests a better quality panel. The Lite H1 is a welcome addition to the handful of portable monitors that performed better in our tests, joining the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 and ThinkVision M14t, which scored around 97% each, and the 15-inch espresso screen, which covered 100% of the sRGB space.

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (angle view)

((Photo: Molly Flores))

I also performed our usual ad hoc testing, posting documents, web pages, video clips, and photos. The panel handled colors in photos and videos well, befitting a display with such strong sRGB color coverage. It also performed well with contrast, with a slight improvement in its ability to render detail in dark areas of still images and videos when DCR was on. While the DCR improved the picture quality somewhat, turning on HDR didn’t help, and it even gave the video content a reddish tint. Therefore, between these two contrast enhancement modes, DCR was preferable.


Verdict: for the money, take the right color with you

Compact and lightweight, the Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor is worth a look as an auxiliary monitor for a small laptop. Its excellent sRGB color coverage makes it suitable for entertainment or light photo work, and it is moderately priced for the field.

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor (with laptop)

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Its brightness is low compared to other 14-inch monitors like the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 and M14t, and its stand is more primitive, but it offers good value for money. We always recommend the ThinkVision M14 as our best 14-inch portable monitor, especially if you’re using your panel in difficult lighting situations that require a bit more brightness. But with the Lite H1, you get a performance panel with fine colors for a little less money.

Lepow Lite H1 portable monitor

The inconvenients

  • Brightness tested well below its rating

  • Misplaced OSD control dial

  • One year warranty requires registration for extension

The bottom line

The Lepow Lite H1 Portable Monitor, a compact and easy-to-store 14-inch display, offers excellent color coverage at an aggressive price. We would just like to see a little more brightness from the panel.

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