HomeReviewEvery portable monitor needs this

Every portable monitor needs this

A 4K portable panel with VESA

I received an email asking me to review a portable 17.3″ display, which comes with 4K60 resolution. After reviewing a touch-enabled 4K with a smaller screen size from BlitzWolf, I made a point about the necessity of using 4K resolution at a smaller screen size. I agreed to the review, curious if a bigger display would make me change my mind. Is it good? Let’s take a closer look at Uperfect UGame J5.

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This was the feature I wanted

Straight out of the box, the Uperfect UGame J5 4K60Hz monitor has something that I have been asking to have for ages. If you flip the machined-in-metal body and look at the back of the display, you will find 4 familiar holes spaced 75mm apart. Uperfect UGame J5 is a portable panel that comes with a proper VESA mount for more domesticated scenarios. It’s good on the go and it doesn’t have to gather dust while you are at home.

Uperfect was kind enough to send me a small metal stand, so I’m not limited to the included faux leather folio that protects the screen and doubles as a display support. I’m not too fond of these covers. They always make the ergonomics of monitor positioning imperfect. Within seconds, I left the magnetic cover/folio behind and I fitted the metal stand with two thumb screws provided. It’s so much better than the folios that double as covers on previous displays I tested. I’m glad, I received one with the screen.

I was trying to figure out what was the purpose of the hole in the corner of the screen I gave up quickly, and it was Uperfect support that advised me of its purpose. If you thread a pen through it, it can also act as a makeshift support bracket! Not the most elegant solution, but could work in a pinch! And while we are talking about the display let’s cover the I/O.

Rich I/O

Considering that Uperfect UGame J5 17.3″ 4K60 is a portable display, it comes with a well-featured I/O. On the right-hand side, there is a USB-C PD charge port, USB-C for video, and full HDMI. A 3.5mm audio jack is also included. The other side of the panel includes OSD menu buttons and a micro USB passthrough port to connect… I’m not sure what accessories would use this port in a meaningful way, as most of the micro USB-enabled devices come with USB-A cables.

Audio/Video

Display-wise, the Uperfect UGame J5 pleases the eye, the panel provides a bright and clear image regardless of the task at hand. The IPS panel has great viewing angles and I didn’t have to touch colour settings to have the panel match the colours of my laptop’s display. According to the website, the panel offers 100% Adobe Color Gamut – and while I have no tools to verify it, I would not complain about how things look.

Extra pixels could be handy, but the truth be told, unless required for specific tasks, I found anything under 24″ too small to fully take advantage of the 4K resolution without scaling everything up. On my 32″ 4K display I can use it to split my work area into 4 x 1080P sections – without upscaling, doing the same on Uperfect UGame J5 results in very small text. Just because you can do this, it doesn’t mean it will make your life easier.

Audio

The audio is serviceable. It’s a portable display, so there is very little space to cram decent speakers or create immersive audio. Chances are, you will be using fancy headphones on the go anyway – but the audio can save you in a pinch as long as you don’t mind a laptop-grade sound – in short: good enough for a YouTube video, but for anything more substantial… You will be looking into a different sound solution.

Speakers are surprisingly quiet too. I set them to the max volume and I still wished I could turn it up a little bit.

Gaming

As Uperfect UGame J5 is listed as one of the monitors from the gaming line on their website, it’s time to evaluate the gaming performance.

If you have the hardware to drive it, you can use the enhanced resolution to play games. Granted, the display is clocked at 60Hz, but extra pixels make all games look just this more beautiful. The disadvantage of the higher resolution is the hardware to drive it at reasonable FPS. In my tests, I used Asus Zephyrus Duo 16 with GTX 3070 on board and the gaming was pleasant.

There was no excessive screen tearing often present on panels like this, and the games benefited from a 4K bump and free sync. I even went as far as mounting the screen on my microphone, 3D printing a VESA adapter and having a couple of PS4 sessions in bed while I was poorly! Great times! If your requirements are different Uperfect also has gaming choices with higher refresh rates going all the way up to 240Hz as long as you don’t mind scaling down the resolution.

Where it falls short

The biggest, and only disappointment is the power requirement. Uperfect UGame J5 17.3″ 4K is a power-hungry beast. At first, it left me frustrated, as the panel simply would not work without an external power supply. It was only after I played enough in the OSD menu, I discovered that each time I tried to run this panel at full brightness – the power coming from a single USB-C port of my laptop wasn’t enough.

Lowering the panel brightness or using presets solved the issue for me, and I could use a single USB-C lead to power this beast on. Fortunately, the panel is bright enough in these settings to match my laptop’s screen. If you, however, plan on using this screen on the go and trying to get the maximum brightness out of it – be prepared to take a 3A power supply with you.

To make things more annoying, to set these settings, you must have the panel connected using a separate power supply, as there are no known-to-me ways of lowering the brightness otherwise. If you find yourself without an external power supply, you may not be able to lower the brightness using just a USB-C cable.

Final thoughts

Uperfect UGame J5 4K60Hz is a nice panel to have, but the requirement for a dedicated power supply doesn’t encourage portable use. If you are going to spend more than $500 on a 4K monitor that you don’t want to take with you, there are much better options to populate your VESA stand for that price. I’m sure there are niche uses for a screen like this – I’m just not the target audience. It’s a shame, as the VESA mount on the portable monitor has got me very excited! It should be present on other portable displays. Got questions? Let me know in this Reddit thread.

🆓📈 💵- See the transparency note for details.

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