LG Gram +View portable screen

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With the Gram +View, LG has released the ideal companion for its Gram laptops. Depending on the laptop model, it is not only exactly the same screen, but you also get the separate screen ‘for free’. The Gram +View can also be purchased separately, for around three hundred euros. That’s barely more than many competitive portable screens, but you get a lot more pixels in return. The resolution is namely 2560 by 1600 pixels, where 1920 by 1080 is much more common. The IPS screen has an excellent display and a handy sleeve-cum-standard. With two USB-C inputs, you can still choose which side to stick out your single cable.With its higher resolution, better image quality and slightly higher price, it is recommended for those looking for an extra screen for on the go.

Pros

  • Relatively high resolution
  • Easy sleeve cum standard
  • Good picture

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than competition
  • Virtually no setting options

Anyone who is used to a workplace with two monitors will probably have to get used to working on a laptop with only one screen for a day. In all probability, that is also a much smaller screen than your permanent setup, unless you are still working on a CRT from 2002, of course. You can, of course, carry your LCD with you and while those types of screens are a lot more portable than CRTs, it’s still not ideal. Fortunately, you can also buy truly portable LCDs that go into your bag with your laptop, such as the LG Gram +View, which we’re looking at for this review.

Various manufacturers have already released a portable screen with a USB-C connection: almost three years agowe put three next to each other. At the time, these were all three full HD screens of 1920 by 1080 pixels. The LG Gram + View, however, is an IPS screen with 2560 by 1600 pixels. That is twice as many pixels in a comparable package. This makes the Gram +View quite unique in its kind. Not entirely coincidentally, the Gram +View is almost identical to the screen in some Gram laptops. LG, therefore, praises the screen as the ideal companion for those laptops and sometimes even bundles the separate screen with the laptops.

The +View costs about three hundred euros, which puts the screen a bit in the middle compared to the other portable screens. Calculated in price per pixel, it is one of, if not the cheapest, because of the portable monitors in the Pricewatch, it is, together with the Intehill Studio Display not available in web shops, the only screen that exceeds 1080p. If you are interested in that, you can buy Studio Displays directly from the manufacturer.

The Gram+View

What do you get for those three hundred euros from LG? First of all, a compact screen with a fairly high resolution. The 16″ panel has a density of 189ppi with 2560×1600 pixels, whereas competitors have to make do with 141ppi. The screen has a familiar structure for those who have ever looked at a portable screen. The panel is in a thin, light housing, and a magnetic cover doubles as a foot when folded. Without the cover, the screen weighs only 670 grams and with the cover and foot, the weight is 990 grams. With that cover as a foot, you can position the screen at two angles, 105 and 120 degrees, use and put it in portrait or landscape mode. For us, the portrait mode did not work automatically, but we first had to download a piece of software.

Ports

The +View has two USB-C inputs, on either side of the screen. This way you can choose the most convenient position for the screen next to your laptop. After all, you can’t place the screen tightly next to your laptop if a large cable is sticking out, and with the entrance on two sides, you can go in all directions, so to speak. At the right entrance you will find the only button: a ‘rocker’ to set the brightness. Of course, a separate power supply is not necessary, because the USB-C cable supplies both the power supply and the video signal. However, your laptop or another device must support DisplayPort alternate mode and be able to deliver 7.5W over the USB-C port.

That lack of buttons and options translates into the number of options. There is no power button, no option to switch between picture modes and no contrast or other setting. Apart from that brightness, there is nothing to adjust. It’s really a screen that’s meant to plug in a USB-C cable and use as a second monitor, no frills. Spoiler alert: Aside from the software tool to enable auto-rotate we needed, the screen also works without any fuss.

Software

If you still want to be able to play with a few settings, the manual recommends downloading LG OnScreen Control. However, this cannot be found on the support page of the +View, but you can also set additional options with the OnScreen Control software of another screen – we use that of the 34UC98-W. First of all, we wonder why its installer must be 280MB in size and secondly why we are looking at a Windows XP installer. For example, the software allows you to set different zones for your content and divide the screen into two, four or more segments. You can also unlock some profiles with the software, where you can set the brightness per profile. If you want to get started with an alternative tool, ClickMonitorDDCmight is a good option for you.

We obtained the following profiles in this way, although we did not see real differences in display in all profiles:

  • Cinema
  • FPS
  • Color decrease
  • reader
  • RTS
  • Vivid
  • Amended

There is no difference in grayscale and color temperature between Cinema mode, Custom, and Color Drop, although Color Drop mode does display red differently to help color blind people. The RTS and FPS game modes are also not the most useful modes; the colors are not true to nature. Reader provides a calm picture for screen reading, with excellent colors, but reduces brightness for comfortable reading. This leaves the essentially identical Cinema and Custom modes as the best viewing modes. We, therefore, tested the screen in Custom mode.

Test method and test field

We measure brightness, contrast, and color rendering using a SpectraCal C6 colorimeter, an X-rite i1 Photo Pro 2 spectrophotometer, and Portrait Displays Calman Ultimate analysis software . We test monitors as they come out of the box, adjusting the brightness for color measurements to a value as close as possible to 150cd/m². We measure any sRGB or Adobe RGB modes separately. We do the same for any HDR mode.

We measure response times with a photo sensor and the LeCroy Waverunner 6100 oscilloscope, determining the input lag with a Leo Bodnar tester. To determine viewing angles, we measure residual brightness and color change at a 45-degree angle from a perpendicular measurement. For the uniformity measurement, we look at the ratio between the brightness at fifteen measuring points, measured on a completely white and completely black screen. We also determine the relative color differences along the edges in relation to the center. Finally, we measure the energy consumption of the monitor, both at the maximum brightness and at a fixed brightness of 150cd/m².

Test field

We compare the +View with some other, older portable screens, although we tested them a while ago. Not all the results we collect today are therefore available. We have reused the test data from those older tests here. In addition, we included the two smallest 2560×1440 screens that we tested. Since those two 1440p screens can’t display a Display P3, we’ve also included two more 24″ Philips screens in the charts for that display, so you have something to compare to.

Brightness and standard display

There is no sea of ​​adjustment options with these portable screens; basically the idea is just plug in a USB cable and you’re done. In addition to that standard display, we also measured the sRGB color space, if possible with the settings that the screens set for it. Because we only have ΔE 2000 test results from the screens with which we compare, we limit ourselves to that dataset for the LG Gram +View in this review.

Default view

Let’s first take a look at the standard view, in this case also the only possible view mode for most screens. The portable AOC screen has no brightness setting; therefore it is 145cd/m² in all cases. The Zenscreen can be very dark, but the +View has an excellent range with a minimum brightness of 30cd/m² and a maximum brightness of 358cd/m². In fact, that range is more extensive than that of many ‘real’ screens. Although all screens have an IPS panel, the contrast of the Zenscreen and the +View is considerably higher than that of the other screens. This is mainly due to the much lower black brightness that these two screens produce. That is 0.11cd/m² for both screens, where the rest is at 0.17 to 0.25 candela per square meter.

Looking at the color space, it’s much bigger on the +View and the other LG, as they’re both tuned in Display P3 by default. The other screens are in sRGB mode by default, which results in a more limited gamut.

The color reproduction of the +View is good. Only the separate LG screen performs slightly better, but the other portable screens all show much larger color deviations. The gray values ​​of the +View are slightly less neat, but still slightly better than with the other screens. The ‘real’ screen shows how it should actually be done, with excellent gray reproduction. Being at the top of the color temperature chart is not as fun as it seems, because with a deviation of more than 600 Kelvin above 6504 Kelvin, the screen is much too cool. It suffers from that in all modes; only in Reader mode is the screen a bit warmer. Logical, because then the blue channel is turned away.

Display sRGB and Display P3

SRGB view

The sRGB gamut is excellently filled by the +View, despite the lack of an sRGB mode. After all, the default Display P3 gamut includes the color space of sRGB. The other screens, with the exception of the LG 24QP750 with its dedicated sRGB mode, are much less able to display all colors correctly. We see that in the significant color deviations of those screens, while that is a lot better with the +View. The Gram +View does not display the colors completely correctly due to a higher saturation. However, a real sRGB mode produces an even better image, as the regular monitor shows. It also has a neat gray display, while that leaves something to be desired with the other screens, including the Gram screen. With that screen, the color temperature is again considerably too ‘cool’,

Display P3

The portable displays we’ve tested before don’t have P3 support. That’s why we’ve added two small ips screens to the equation that do. With these two 1080p Philips screens, we do have some comparison options to put the +View’s P3 display in perspective.

First of all, we look at the brightness and contrast in this mode. Fortunately, the Philips screens allow the brightness to be set in Display P3. This is not possible in sRGB mode and the backlight is fully on. The LG screen has a somewhat higher contrast, but as is known, the color temperature is too cool, which is neatly adjusted, especially with the Momentum screen. The gamma is quite close to the desired value of 2.2.

In addition to a higher contrast, the LG +View also has a significantly better coverage of the P3 color space, which also provides a better display of colors. As we saw earlier, the grayscale is not great. However, they are certainly not bad either. This results in an overall picture that is reasonably good but leaves room for improvement.

Uniformity and viewing angles

We move on to the viewing angles and uniformity, with the viewing angle from above being perhaps the most important, as you may find yourself placing the screen just a bit lower than ideal.

We measure the residual brightness and color deviation of the screens at angles of 45 degrees. We do this for horizontal viewing angles, to the left and right, and for vertical viewing angles, above and below. Under any viewing direction, the remaining brightness of the +View is almost the same and quite low compared to regular screens. If we look at the direct competition, the screen is slightly better than those other portable screens.

The color deviations show exactly the same image as the brightness. It is almost the same under all viewing directions and again a lot less good than with the normal screens, but clearly better than with the portable competition.

Uniformity

To assess uniformity, we look at the ratios between the brightest and darkest cells in a four-by-three-cell matrix. The white uniformity of the +View seems to be in order, but when we look at the chessboard, there is considerable variation in brightness, with significantly less light at the bottom than at the top. The black uniformity is also not perfect; there we measure considerable differences between the highest and lowest black value, and also between the average and the highest outliers. In our review model, this is mainly caused by a lighter top left corner, where the black is clearly not black.

We can illustrate the black uniformity of our screen with a photo of the screen during black display. We shot a five-second exposure to exaggerate the uniformity, or lack thereof.

Please note that this is our review sample; we cannot extrapolate to all monitors.

Response time and input lag

We measure the response times of all our screens and have of course also done this with the Gram +View. We do not attribute a lot of weight to these properties for this screen. After all, a portable laptop screen is not made for applications that require fast transitions. Plus, we can’t imagine too many scenarios where a user looks at the screen and wishes the response times were a little smoother. After all, if you were going to game on your laptop, you would be doing it on your primary screen, not a USB screen.

As with the other screens, the LG Gram +View cannot be adjusted to the response times. There are no overdrive modes to choose from, not even via software tools. We therefore only display the measurements as the screen comes out of the box. Unfortunately, we cannot test input lag with these screens; our test equipment is not suitable for this.

The response time tests show that LG has certainly not delivered a speed sample. With response times of 13 to 14 milliseconds for the black-and-white transitions, it’s not fast enough. With gray transitions, the screen has so much trouble that it did not complete the transitions within one frame despite the rippling refresh rate of 60Hz. Again, that is not a disaster and will not be disturbing with some office use, but a little pepper in the pixels would have been welcome.

Conclusion

You may have noticed that this review does not contain a power consumption page. This is primarily because the screen is only connected via USB-C and our measuring devices that can measure power over USB-C cables do not transmit a video signal. That only yields a kind of idle measurement of 2.3W, but that is not a realistic consumption for this screen. According to LG, the power consumption should be around 8W.

In terms of screen performance, we’re again somewhat limited, this time not by our measuring devices, but by the screen itself. There is very little to adjust to the image, the picture modes or other properties. Only the brightness is adjustable by default, although the LG manual does mention OnScreen Control, which makes settings accessible. With that software and ClickMonitorDDC we were able to set something, but it is not a fat pot. That doesn’t matter, because the whole idea of ​​​​a screen like the Gram +View is plug-and-play connecting a screen to your laptop.

The screen succeeds in this nicely and with two inputs you can also keep the USB cable neatly on the side that works best for you. The sleeve that serves as a standard also works well. The screen is stable with it and thanks to the strong magnets, you don’t have to fiddle around for a long time and look for a stable position in front of the screen. Because a battery is missing, the weight, including the sleeve, is less than a kilogram, but your laptop will of course drain faster than if your screen had its own power supply.

The rendering is actually not that bad. In fact, it’s quite good. Especially compared to the portable screens we’ve tested before, the +View is a clear step forward. The image quality is close to that of a full screen, although that is sometimes hindered by the lack of setting options. The big step up in terms of resolution is also welcome: the +View has 2560 by 1600 pixels, where many competitors have to make do with 1920 by 1080 pixels. So twice the number of pixels, but at a slightly higher price than many full-HD competitors. Few screens are available with a higher resolution than that 1080p, so LG is quite unique in that respect. You can also go to foreignshops such as those of Intehillto look. There you can buy portable screens with a high resolution and a relatively low price.

In short, with the LG Gram + View you buy a screen that achieves a higher pixel density than almost all competitors and also transforms those pixels into excellent image quality next to your laptop. Availability is not great and the price is a bit higher than the competition, but the performance and features justify it. If you are looking for a handy extension for a powerful mobile workstation, the +View is a great portable screen.

AdobeColorfootHDLGPhilipsPhotoPortraitRGBUSBWindowsWindows XP