Reviews

INNOCN 27C1U IPS 4K UHD Professional Art Monitor Review

Displays, as one of the long-lasting products, play a very important role in both productivity tools and personal gaming and entertainment devices, directly affecting the final user experience. Recently, I got a new INNOCN 27C1U monitor for review. Innocn mainly focuses on portable monitors and professional monitors. INNOCN is a Chinese brand specializing in screen design of all kinds. With small screens, huge resolutions, OLED or IPS, you will inevitably find what you are looking for in all the brand’s available ranges. Today we are testing one of their monitors, offering a 27″ diagonal with 4K resolution.  The Innocn 27C1U is aimed at demanding office users, web designers, and video and photo editors. To justify its price of around €450, it also offers image transfer via USB-C.

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Specification of INNOCN 27C1U

Specific Uses For Product Professional Color, Photo/Video Editing, Office, Laptop Second Monitor, Mac Friendly
Refresh Rate 60 Hz
Brand INNOCN
Screen Size 27 Inches
Screen Surface Description Flat
Resolution 3840*2160p
Color Gamut 98% DCI-P3
Contrast 1000:1
Brightness 400nits
USB C 1
HDMI 2 HDMI
Display Tech LCD
Stand VESA, Adjustable, Pivot

Packaging & Unboxing

The INNOCN 27C1U monitor comes in a giant box with the display wrapped and secured in styrofoam.  There is not much to say about this packaging, except that the necessary is present. You will find a USB-C cable as well as a DisplayPort cable. The only small negative point, the cable lengths are a bit short. Of course, the power supply is present as well as the foot to keep the screen in place on your desk. The foot is also very well thought out with many possible movements, whether sideways or up and down.

All accessories are well packaged and arrived undamaged. On a positive note, the power supply unit is very long with a 1.8m power cord and a 1.4m power cord. We also think it’s good that Innocn supplies both a DisplayPort and a USB-C 3 cable. The instruction manual is also surprisingly detailed. We will assess whether the calibration report is correct later in the test.

Assembly

The INNOCN 27C1U monitor stand and holder look like they are made of metal, but they are actually plastic. At least there is a metal element on the underside of the stand and on the inside of the bracket. There is also a hole for cable management on the back of the bracket. The assembly is very easy to do and requires no tools. You simply screw the screw with the swivel head on the underside of the stand into the holder. Then attach the monitor with the VESA mount (75 x 75).

Design

The housing of the INNOCN 27C1U monitor is also made entirely of black plastic. The monitor measures 61 x 36 x 6 centimeters and weighs 16 kilograms. This is a fairly slim monitor. The stand measures 23.5 x 19 x 1.5cm. Per se, the stand in matt black looks quite appealing. However, it is somewhat strange that a centimeter measurement (0 to 20 cm) and a degree measurement (-45° to 45°) were attached to the front edge. As a tester of small objects and for everyday office life, this may be very practical for one or the other, but we would have preferred a completely clean design.

Otherwise, the INNOCN 27C1U monitor has an appealing look. The manufacturer’s logo has been placed discreetly in the middle of the front. The edges of 1.8mm at the bottom, 0.8mm at the sides, and at the top are pleasantly small, even if they are not nearly as thin as in the advertising images.

A maximum variety of connections is therefore available for the user. The most advanced method is of course to connect the monitor to the laptop or desktop via the USB-C cable. With the USB-C cable connected, the monitor then acts as a hub at the same time and allows the user to connect devices such as a hard drive or a mouse dongle to the two USB-A ports. In addition, the laptop is charged using the power delivery standard of 65 watts. This means that only two cables are required for a complete desktop setup: the power cable in the monitor and the USB-C cable in the laptop.

All connections are located on the back. Here it is from right to left:

  • 2x 3.0 USB-A
  • 1x 3.0 USB-B
  • 2x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x 3.0 USB Type-C Port with PowerDelivery 65W
  • 1x 3.5mm Jack
  • 1x DC connection

The charging of the laptop in our test was also problem-free and also ensures a tidy desk with just one cable for power and data transmission in the laptop.

This point is probably the biggest unique selling point of the INNOCN 27C1U 27-inch monitor because with well-known brands you usually pay a hefty surcharge for image transmission via USB-C. Image transfer was consistent and error-free on both macOS and Windows.

If you don’t use a laptop with USB-C for image transmission, you can of course also use the older DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 standards. Both standards enable image output in 4K with 60Hz and do not represent any restrictions in this respect. However, USB inputs cannot of course be used via DP or HDMI. That’s why the manufacturer includes a USB-B to USB-A cable that establishes the connection to the PC or laptop.

On the back, there are two speakers with 5 watts. The speakers are usable and have about the volume of a good laptop speaker. There really isn’t that much bass and the speaker overdrives even at the highest volume. For videos and Skype, however, the sound is an upgrade over most laptop speakers. In this respect, one can speak of added value here.

OSD Menu

The Innocn 27C1U 27-inch monitor has an OSD menu that is operated using 5 buttons at the bottom right. There is a power button, a home and confirm button, a back button, and two buttons for navigating the menus. The layout is sufficient for adequate operation of the monitor but is not particularly intuitive. The menu is divided into the following categories: Professional, Picture Settings, PiP/PbP, OSD Settings, and Other Settings.

The display can be adjusted in professional and picture settings. There are settings for color temperature, gamma, black level, hue, and saturation. There are also picture modes based on the sRGB or Adobe RBG color space and of course, the brightness can be adjusted in 1% increments. The settings for a picture-in-picture or picture-after-picture are hidden under the menu item PIP/PBP. With PBP, two input signals can be split between the two halves of the monitor. There is also a smartphone mode here, in which about a fifth of the monitor can be used to mirror a smartphone display.

Finally, in Picture-in-Picture mode, you can adjust the size and position of the second input. Under the menu item “Other” you can select the input signal, adjust the volume and reset the monitor. The position of the menu can be set under the menu item “OSD”. In addition, the menu can be set to German, although the translation is actually fine.

Picture Quality and Performance

This Innocn 27C1U Monitor is not just for gamers in priority. Indeed, with an IPS panel and a refresh rate of only 60 Hz, this screen is rather made for use related to office automation or photography. Indeed, we find many certifications related to colorimetry, such as a 100% sRGB color space as well as 98% DCI-P3. In fact, the colors are rather faithful with a Delta E of less than 2. A rather good score for a screen is available in this price bracket. It should be emphasized here that this is a monitor with a 4K resolution. In the classic 16:9 format with 3840 x 2160 pixels on the 27-inch diagonal, this results in a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch. Compared to a full HD monitor, the image is much sharper, and individual pixels can only be seen if you get unnaturally close to the monitor.

Compared to a 1080p monitor, you get an immensely higher level of comfort when using it. Furthermore, the display works with IPS technology, which should also lead to good color reproduction and viewing angle stability. However, the halos typical of IPS panels are also present. The panel is marginally brighter in the bottom corner in particular. However, this is not noticeable in everyday use. Unfortunately, the refresh rate is at the standard of 60Hz. So far, there are no monitors with 27 inches, 4K, and a higher refresh rate in this price range. In this respect, I can’t really blame the Innocn 27C1U for that.

The manufacturer promises color space coverage of 100% with sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 and a brightness of 400 lux. We checked this information and more with the ColorData Spyder X Pro and came to the following results:

Our measurement deviates slightly from the manufacturer’s specification and “only” 96% of the P3 color space is covered. But it is nice to see that sRGB is actually covered 100% and even 94% of the AbobeRGB color space. With such good values, one is almost surprised that Innocn didn’t advertise the good AdobeRGB coverage more prominently.

In any case, the Innocn 27C1U monitor is also suitable for professional users. This is really a surprising and excellent result! The factory calibration of the monitor is also excellent. Apart from a slightly warmer white and a more subdued red, hardly anything has changed. The gamma value can be set between 1.6 and 2.6 via the OSD menu. With a setting of 2.2, we determined a slight deviation with a measurement result of 2.1. Set to 2.0, however, we get a good gamma curve with a measurement result of 2.2. If necessary, the gamma value should be set to 2.0 in order to come close to gamma 2.2.

The brightness of the panel is not too low at 70 lux in the lowest setting and a very good 492 lux at maximum brightness. The contrast is also good at an average brightness of 200 lux (45% brightness in the OSD menu) at 1060:1. According to the manufacturer’s website, the monitor is advertised with AMD Freesync. Otherwise, the monitor does not show any noticeable tearing during fast movements. We cannot say how high the latency is and whether the monitor is also suitable for demanding action games. Overall, the Innocn 27C1U monitor convinces with good contrast, high brightness, and excellent color space coverage. In terms of image quality, we have absolutely nothing to complain about with the price in mind.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a good quality screen without necessarily breaking the bank, this INNOCN 27C1U IPS 4K UHD Professional Art Monitor is a very good choice. Whether it’s the different compatibilities in terms of colorimetry, or its pretty 4K resolution, don’t hesitate any longer. In addition to that, it is easily positioned in different ways, and above all, it is possible to put it vertically, which unfortunately many screens do not offer. With the Innocn 27C1U, the Chinese manufacturer has launched a product that we are really happy to recommend at this point. The display has an extremely high color space coverage and is therefore also suitable for professional users.

In addition, the Innocn 27C1U monitor can be operated via USB-C and charge the laptop at the same time. The processing is ok according to the price. A plus point is the USB ports on the back and the usable speakers. Points of criticism of the product are the somewhat cumbersome OSD menu and the slight deviation in the gamma value. It is also not very well thought out that the monitor scratches the stand in pivot mode. Ultimately, however, these are only small points on a really very inexpensive monitor.

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