InnoCN may not be a household name but the 27M2U carries all the hallmarks of a great product. Keen price, a headline feature (MiniLED) and a few other tricks like a pair of sensors and 90W power delivery. There are some rough edges - like the plastic finish - but they can be easily amended.
90W Type-C power delivery
Superb color reproduction
Impressive peak brightness
OSD controls could be better
No extra USB ports or KVM features
Cheap-looking, plastic finish
Lights at the back
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InnoCN 27M2U: 30-second review
What InnoCN has achieved with 27M2U is nothing short of a major breakthrough: a great monitor with Mini LED technology, exceptional visual performance, solid OSD controls and superb build quality with a price tag that’s barely believable: One for creative professionals and prosumers with a keen eye for color reproduction.
Mini LED provides a visual experience closer to OLED with deeper blacks, better contrasts and more vibrant colors, without the inherent issues associated with it, most notably burn-in issues and higher production costs. The notable highlights of this 4K monitor includes a custom-produced factory color collaboration report, a smart sensor that adjusts the brightness depending on surroundings and a USB Type-C port that delivers up to 90W.
Content producers and creatives wanting to make their tech budgets go further should keep an eye on this monitor; it is a sublime option regardless of whether you’re looking for the best monitor for video editing, graphic design or a photo editing.
InnoCN 27M2U: Pricing and availability
- How much does it cost? $529.99 (with Amazon Prime and the coupon code M2ULED4K), that’s about £480 or AU$800.
- Where is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? You can buy it from Amazon
At the time of writing the InnoCN 27M2U is only on sale at Amazon US; it will be rolled out later this year to other territories where Amazon operates. Note that you should be able to buy it from Amazon US even if you are not a US citizen, however, expect some significant shipping and import fees to be added by the retailer; trying to ship it to the UK would cost you about a third extra. Is it worth it? Your call.
InnoCN 27M2U: Design
- Underwhelming chassis
- Good selection of ports
- Lights at the back serve no real purpose
Most monitors you come across usually go for an anthracite finish but InnoCN had other ideas. It went for a gray plastic chassis which is not what you’d expect from a premium product that sells for several hundred dollars. It looks cheap and tacky, something you’d expect to see from an entry level TV manufacturer.
Had it been matte black, we wouldn’t probably be so harsh. We will let this one go though as it doesn’t impact the visual performance of the overall product. However, first impressions count.
The bezel on the 27M2U is as thin as it gets on three sides. The lower edge is - understandably - thicker than the rest as it carries the branding as well as buttons for on screen display (OSD) controls. The connectors - one type-C, two HDMI, a full size DisplayPort, a barrel-type connector for the power supply and an audio-in port - point downwards, which is preferable if you want your screen to be close to the wall.
That box also includes a brick power supply unit as well as four cables and a color calibration report that’s bespoke to each monitor.
A word on the packaging that InnoCN used. It can be best described as thoughtful as we didn’t have to wrestle with polystyrene as much as we usually do when testing other monitors. Taking the panel out and assembling it was a doddle, something we’d encourage other manufacturers to follow.
Thanks to a versatile stand, the monitor can move up and down by about 30cm, pivot right and left as well as tilt front and back. You can of course rotate it to move in portrait mode although the presence of the thicker lower edge gives it an ungainly look. Note that there’s some lights at the back that serve no real purpose; they create a very subtle glow against the surface behind your monitor but that’s about it.
InnoCN 27M2U: Features
- MiniLED is a game changer
- Lacks extra USB ports
At the core of what this monitor stands for is the Mini LED technology which, as its name suggests, is all about smaller light emitting diodes that are used to literally shine a light on the LCD panel. This is the same technology used by Apple laptops and has garnered a lot of attention across the industry and is integrated in the 27-inch 4K IPS matte display.
InnoCN 27M2U: Performance
Screen size: 27"
Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
Brightness: 1000 cd/m2
Contrast ratio: 1220:1
Ports: HDMI (x2), DisplayPort, USB-C, Headphone Jack,
Year of launch: 2022
More of the smaller-sized diodes translate into more evenly illuminated panels and much, much more in terms of brightness, contrast etc. For a complete lowdown on the technology, check out the write up from our esteemed colleague, Simon Lucas, entitled, “What is mini-LED? The TV display tech explained”. Jeremy Laird has also written an extensive comparison of OLED vs Mini-Led that’s worth a read.
Outside of this headline grabbing feature, the 27M2U sports a built-in automatic lighting sensor which, when turned on, adjusts the screen's brightness depending on the ambient lighting. Another built-in gravity sensor changes the orientation of the screen depending on whether it is in landscape or in portrait mode.
We’d love to have more USB ports and other features; there is a definite missed opportunity to transform this monitor into a real productivity powerhouse by integrating a USB hub; add KVM switch functionality, Picture-in-picture (PiP) and a webcam camera and that’s almost hybrid work nirvana.
The showstopper is the panel used; it supports 99% Adobe RGB, 99% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB color gamuts which means that it scores highly on color reproduction and fidelity thanks to the MiniLED technology. That translates into clean, crisp whites, excellent viewing angles and superb color saturation and vibrancy. But this is no OLED; so black levels remain a little disappointing and color accuracy is merely middling. But this monitor still has great all round image quality given its price.
While the overall visual performance of the 27M2U was great out of the box, it does require some adjustments to fit a working environment in situ, highlighting what we consider to be the biggest flaw of this InnoCN product; its OSD controls. It is - by no means a strong criticism - but even a cheap TV has better control mechanisms albeit thanks to a remote control. Using four buttons to control the myriad of menus and options on offer is cruel especially if purists want to fiddle with the settings often.
Elsewhere, two 5W speakers, firing at the rear, provide a reasonable aural experience within their limited capability. They are good enough for a quick Youtube video or for a Zoom video conferencing call but won’t impress otherwise. Tilt and swivel and the general behavior of the stand and arm can only be commended.
Should I buy the InnoCN 27M2U
Buy it if….
You want an affordable monitor with MiniLED technology.
That’s the headline selling point of the InnoCN 27M2U and a staggeringly good one on top of that.
You want superb image quality.
MiniLED means better picture quality with more granularity on brightness, colors and hues.
Don’t buy it if….
You want a big screen. It’s only 27-inch so if you’re looking for extra physical real estate, look elsewhere
Monoprice has delivered a very balanced product in the shape of the 28-inch CrystalPro 4K. It doesn’t offer the visual richness and complexity of its rival but has a more modest price making it a perfect match for productivity and creative jobs that do not require near-perfect color reproduction.
The Samsung M8 Smart Monitor is a bigger display with both USB-C and wireless connectivity, plus SmartTV functionality and some slick Apple-esque styling. But it doesn’t offer the best image quality at this price point and the Smart features and build quality are a little patchy.
First reviewed: October 2022
Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.