ViewSonic VP16-OLED Review

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There is a wide range of 15.6-inch portable monitors available on Amazon, many priced at around £100. Given this, you might question why anyone would consider paying over four times that amount for the ViewSonic VP16-OLED. However, the answer lies in the display technology it offers: OLED instead of IPS. This immediately sets the ViewSonic VP16-OLED apart from the competition.

ViewSonic VP16-OLED
ViewSonic VP16-OLED

The primary reason to invest in the ViewSonic VP16-OLED is its superior quality. Cheaper portable monitors often suffer from issues like poor color coverage, low brightness, and lackluster color accuracy. In contrast, ViewSonic promises a level of performance more in line with that of professional monitors. With Pantone validation and a guaranteed average Delta E of less than two, you can have confidence in the colors you see on this monitor. Our review unit confirmed these claims, with typical average Delta E values of around 0.5.

What sets the ViewSonic VP16-OLED apart even further is the variety of color modes it offers. Along with the user mode, it includes DCI-P3, sRGB, REC.709, and DICOM modes. DICOM is a medical standard, while REC.709 is commonly used in broadcasting and is similar to sRGB. Choosing the DCI-P3 mode will give you the most vibrant and punchy colors, although it’s worth noting that DICOM and REC.709 modes offer more conservative color coverage.

When we test profiles like this, our goal is to achieve the most accurate color representation possible. That’s why it was reassuring to see that the sRGB profile locked the panel to 96.4% coverage out of a 98.6% volume. In this mode, only a small fraction of the colors displayed on the VP16-OLED fall outside the sRGB gamut.

ViewSonic LCD Display VP16-OLED
ViewSonic LCD Display VP16-OLED

Similarly, in DCI-P3 mode, the monitor produced results of 95.4% and 96.9% coverage. Switching between profiles is also a breeze. ViewSonic has placed four buttons on the monitor’s base, and the text-based OSD (On-Screen Display) is incredibly user-friendly, making me wonder why all monitors don’t adopt this approach.

The only minor drawback of the panel is that it’s not a true 10-bit display but rather 8-bit with FRC (Frame Rate Control). FRC flashes alternate colors at an incredibly rapid pace to mimic colors that aren’t supported by the 8-bit panel. While it’s effective, purists generally prefer 10-bit panels.

ViewSonic has obtained DisplayHDR 400 certification for this screen, although it’s important to note that the images won’t be eye-searingly bright. However, OLED technology naturally provides better visibility in brighter conditions compared to IPS displays, thanks to its “infinite” contrast ratio. During our tests, the VP16-OLED reached a peak brightness of 402cd/m2, and I can’t imagine a situation where you wouldn’t be able to see its contents clearly.

Additionally, the monitor comes with a hood in the box. While hoods are typically included with professional monitors to prevent ambient light from affecting color accuracy, in this case, it’s particularly useful for blocking the screen’s light from interfering with darker shoots. I had also hoped that the hood would offer protection during travel, but the folding mechanism isn’t quite clever enough to wrap perfectly around the screen.

Otherwise, ViewSonic’s design deserves no fault. One of the cleverest elements of their design is the adjustable height stand. The photos below illustrate most of the story; all that needs to be added is that it moves smoothly through every stage and locks perfectly into position. The VP16-OLED does not come with a battery, but it can draw power from a host laptop via USB-C or vice versa. By plugging in the supplied USB-C power supply, you can power your laptop. However, it only delivers 40W, so it is better suited for keeping a laptop charged rather than charging it from empty. Additionally, it includes a microHDMI input.

ViewSonic provides a pair of 1W speakers, which, as the power rating suggests, are not designed to fill a room. The sound quality is mediocre with no depth and weak bass. However, if you need to check audio while on a video shoot, they will suffice, or you can use the 3.5mm jack for alternative audio options.

There is one final downside to this monitor, and that is its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. You can find 4K portable monitors for half the price if you search online. However, personally, I did not find this to be a problem in practice. Text, photos, and videos still look sharp at normal viewing distances.

For its target audience, this OLED monitor is worth every penny. It offers accuracy, flexibility, and images that pack a punch you won’t find in IPS rivals.

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