I had this clever and tactical plan a while ago. Get a portable display for my laptop, and double screen estate and productivity while I’m working away. Being limited to a 14-inch display leaves a lot to be desired when my desktop computer comes with a 32 inch BenQ 4K display. Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 15.6 inch 4K display quadruples the resolution available on my Lenovo Yoga without taking unnecessary space in my carrying bag. It looks like this screen is pretty useful for other things as well!
Four awesome use cases, one Blitzwolf BW-PCM5
My cunning plan of doubling (or quadrupling) the screen estate had been killed by lockdown restrictions in the UK. My work asked me to work from home and suddenly I had no need for this panel. At least that what I thought. I don’t know if this was just me trying to justify its existence, but I came up with excellent use cases despite the access to 32″ BenQ monstrosity.
Tonor Mic Stand (review) isn’t something I would associate before with display, but thanks to the lightweight design, 3M tape and various “GO-PRO compatible” adapters from my action cam, I was able to stick a 1/4″ mount on the back of the Blitzwolf BW-PCM5. As it happens, this works brilliantly with the stand.
My wife was shocked at first when I dragged this contraption to bed, but she got to enjoy her Chinese dramas played on Xiaomi DLP projector (review), while I had 4K gaming at my fingertips (technically it’s 1080p via SteamLink or PS4 but you get the point).
Despite having 32″ 4K monitor, from time to time I do feel like I could use extra space. Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 is connected to my PC via 3m long USB-C cable, which means I can position the second screen where I want. This has huge benefits for productivity reasons, especially for livestreams where I can cast my main display to my audience, have touch controls from the Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 and be engaged with the public.
I’m sure you are completely aware of this. When I’m working on a project, I tend to follow other videos, refer to datasheets and other material. Even though my project desk carries my computer, it’s not always convenient to turn the head around to check something.
With a long USB-C cable I’m able to suspend the Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 on the microphone stand and follow the on-screen instructions without interrupting my work. It’s the agility that I love even if the screen is quarter the size of my main display.
While Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 cannot act as a wireless display, it works really well as a wired tablet. I sit in the same position for long hours. Editing the footage, reading, watching video guides etc and having the ability to lay back, put my legs on the desk and use the screen as some sort of tablet to continue my work is super handy.
Yes, I could use an inexpensive tablet like the one from Vankyo I reviewed earlier, but I won’t have the same interface, application and my progress (unless I use remote desktop). Plus Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 is massive if you consider it’s screen size.
Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 in detail
Blitzwolf introduced a series of well priced portable monitors on Banggood. The selection starts from around £100 and 1080p resolution, up to £217 for a touchscreen version of a 17.3 display variant:
- BW-PCM2 – 13.3 Inch FHD 1080P ($129)
- BW-PCM3 – 15.6 Inch Touchscreen FHD 1080P ($169)
- BW-PCM4 – 15.6 Inch UHD 4K ($239)
- BW-PCM5 – 15.6 Inch Touchscreen UHD 4K ($279)
- BW-PCM6 – 17.3 Inch Touchscreen FHD ($289)
In case you wondered, BW-PCM1 comes with the 11.3-inch panel but is discontinued, which is probably for the best. You don’t need a tablet screen!
Having one of them in hand, the screen looks solid, enclosed in a shell made of brushed aluminium, without excessive bezels. All screens come with a plastic stand, a faux leather cover and a remote. Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 takes as much space as my laptop, which is precisely the form factor I’d expect from a portable display.
The I/O is also generous, full-size HDMI, 2 x USB-C ports, headphone jack, USB-A 3.0 and speakers. These 2 USB-C ports offer different functions: one to power up the screen, especially if you use Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 with HDMI cable, the other one is a fully-fledged USB-C 3.0 port with power delivery, hub and the video input. If your source comes with a compatible USB-C port for video output, you will need a single cable to use Blitzwolf BW-PCM5.
What’s really confusing is the panel type, the official page lists both IPS and TFT panels in the specification. Looking at the screen at steep angles doesn’t reveal discolouration associated with TFT technology, so I’m going to assume this is an ISP panel.
While 15.6 inch isn’t a lot, having 5 times the estate to do your work (1080p from my laptop and 4 times that much at 100% Windows scaling on Blitzwolf BW-PCM5). is always worth having. Bear in mind that scaling Windows at 100% will give you four 1080p spaces, but the text and icons will be very small. To manage that space, take a look at PowerToys – as I consider it essential to manage windows snapping and organising your workflow.
The quality of a product is very good. The screen looks sturdy, it looks like it could handle a bit of abuse (not going to test that) and one cable operation keeps the clutter on the desk to a minimum.
This display comes with 350 nits of brightness and it’s as bright as my laptop’s screen which means I can use it comfortably anywhere I use my laptop. It’s not bright enough for direct sunlight, but it’s a small trade-off. 3840*2160 UHD resolution gives plenty of pixels to organise the workflow and support for 60 FPS when used through the USB-C cable. HDMI is limited to 30 Hz in the 4K mode, but lower resolutions will get the 60Hz refresh rate.
Finally, a screen that uses touchscreen (even in HDMI mode) to display all OSD menus. I cannot stress enough how I hate the overly complex menus mapped to rubbish buttons. Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 makes any screen adjustments quick and easy (even if the menu looks a little dated).
Out of the box, colour and brightness needed a lot of tweaking. The colour reproduction is much to be wished for, but once you tinker with OSD menu a bit, you will find something that looks half decent. I strongly recommend visiting the preset menu and selecting “landscape” and HDR options to get you started.
Speakers are present, but it’s not a pinnacle of sound. I consider it average even pitted against my laptop’s speakers. They will be louder than the mobile speakers for sure, but that’s the only consolidation.
The panel bleeds light a little bit to the right. This will be unique to each unit, mine isn’t excessive and it doesn’t distract me from my work, but it’s something you should bear in mind. It’s not an expensive range of monitors, and QA isn’t very strict.
There is one more thing I should mention. The touchscreen gets confused if the screen isn’t set to a primary display. If you have any problems with registering touches, make sure that Blitzwolf BW-PCM5 is selected as primary display in Windows to fix it.
Assuming that you have headphones, the gaming experience is ok. I tried the screen with PS4 and my desktop computer. I played the level of Battlefield 4 in 1080p on PS4 and a bit of Cyberpunk 2077 on PC in 4k resolution. I had to adjust the picture settings before play, but once completed I could enjoy this weirdly portable gaming setup.
There was no noticeable input lag, no screen tearing either. You should be able to enjoy yourself. That semi portability could be explored further with the addition of one of these gripper arms. Mounted to a bedside table, you could make a very interesting gaming setup in bed while letting your partner enjoying the content (in my case on Xiaomi DLP projector (review) that is also in the bedroom).
It’s nice to see a screen orientation button just in case you have different plans for it, but I would love a VESA compatible mount. It’s not all lost, as the screen is light, the back panel has enough space to add an adhesive mount to the back.
Thanks to the screen portability, you can take the advantage of the touchscreen and simply use it as a tablet. I had a silly thought of perhaps embedding it into a desk as using as a permanent tool panel – as I won’t be working away any time soon! A crazy idea, but who knows, it might just work!
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Colour reproduction might be the weak spot, but reasonable price, 4K resolution and extreme portability make this display worth having. I’m no longer working away, but I found it very useful for live streaming as a second display. I can take the advantage of the touch interface while the primary monitor displays the content I want to share. The size, portability and a reasonable price make this screen a perfect option if you lack flexible screen estate. If you have any questions, let me know in this Reddit thread.