Every so often, this IT-savvy reviewer comes across something that makes my heart race – excitement. The UPERFECT X Pro 15.6” 4K Lapdock is an external USB-C 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3/4 monitor with ‘benefits’ that brightens my day.
Why? Because if I sat down to design such an item, the UPERFECT X Pro 15.6” 4K Lapdock would be 99% of the way there.
But first – what is a lapdock, and who needs it?
A lapdock is an external 15.6” [email protected] IPS, multi-point touch screen with stereo speakers, an onboard battery, a detachable keyboard and three types of input:
USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 or 2 (5Gbps or 10Gbps) or Thunderbolt 3/4 (TB3/4 40Gbps) supporting ALT DP (Display Port audio and video)
Mini HDMI 2.0 (a smaller version of the standard HDMI plug)
USB-C/TB3 5V/3A/15W downstream – will run the display but not enough to charge the internal battery
30W USB-C PD power pack (supplied) – will run the screen and charge the battery
The 180° aircraft-grade aluminium stand is very Microsoft Surface-like with a fully adjustable fold-out friction arm. Just be careful if you try to close the stand while any cables are in ports – snip.
And as a bonus, it has a magnetically attached, full-size keyboard (no backlight), trackpad and acts as a fold-up screen protector.
What a lapdock can or cannot do
It is not a ‘dock’ in the traditional sense. It is more a ‘laptop or smartphone’ shell. To be clear:
On Windows, via USB-C or TB3, it is a fully functional external touch screen with audio. The magnetic keyboard/touchpad connects via pogo pins and is a Windows HID device.
iPad (not tested) via USB-C should give full functionality.
Compatible smartphones via USB-C will mirror the screen and audio. They do not support keyboard/touchpad functions.
Samsung DeX (Desktop Extensions) via USB-C to USB-C supports the DeX screen, audio and keyboard/touchpad.
Samsung DeX over USB-C to mini-HDMI gives the Dex screen and audio but no keyboard/touchpad support. It does allow the Galaxy Phone to act like a trackpad.
Est 2017 solely to design and manufacture portable monitors and accessories. UPERFECT has a reputation for a solid, reliable company.
Our only other portable display review is here, and it does not have the 4K panel, battery or keyboard.
Considering that I use a 12.3” Surface Pro 7, this screen is huge. It is not so much larger, but it has nice narrow bezels and a 16:9 ratio compared to the Surface 3:2 (13.5:9). Some things like movies and web browsing look better on a wider screen.
The Surface Pro screen is about 350 nits/1250:1 contrast, and the UPERFECT is just a tad lower. Both cover 100% sRGB, so overall it is a terrific marriage. It is not too much to fit in the travel pack at 335.2 x 221.4 x 9.9mm x 1.412kg (plus charger).
For me – if COVID ever allows travel again – I need the extra screen space to do my job when away from my desk where I have dual Samsung 32” 4K monitors (review here 9.4/10). Creators need two screens, and the fact that it also supports DeX with a fully functional keyboard/trackpad is amazing.
But that leads to some initial observations. Do you need:
4K or would 1920x1080p do?
An inbuilt battery if you will use it for desktop only?
A keyboard/trackpad if your laptop or PC already has one?
UPERFECT has a full range of non-lapdocks that, at a lower cost, may fit your needs better than the UPERFECT X Pro 15.6” 4K Lapdock. These include 12-17.3”, HDMI or USB-C ports, touch/no, and even one for Raspberry Pie.
Screen – extremely good
It is a WLED (white LED backlight) panel model NE156QUM-N63 made by BOE with a touch overlay. This is a quality, edge-lit (from the bottom) panel with an approx. 15K life (5-10 years of use).
4K 3840 x 2160, 60Hz, HDR, IPS
300nits (tested 320nits)
More for use under office lighting use under office lighting
1000:1 (tested 1045:1)
Keep out of direct sunlight
Anti-glare 3H glass screen
A little reflective for outdoor use
100% sRGB (72% NTSC, 85% DCI-P3) Delta E 2.2
Allows web designers and creatives to see web colours
8-bit 16.7m colours
Windows 10 HDR Stream HDR USE HDR USE WCB Apps (WinCRD)
Unexpected – this displays Windows HDR content better than the Surface Pro 7
10-point capacitive (not for Mac)
Mac does not support touch
25ms typical Over Drive setting (for 3ms)
There is a 144Hz panel available which would be ideal for gamers
It is an excellent screen comparing favourably with the Surface Pro 7. Its colour accuracy and Windows HDR capabilities are a bonus. We talk about outdoor use and direct sunlight – few laptop screens are good outdoors – this is no different.
We have suggested that UPERFECT develop an ICC colour profile for Windows.
Speakers – pass
A four-pole 3.5mm can connect to a headphone/mic.
It has 2 x 2W stereo rear-facing up-firing speakers behind the screen. The maximum volume was 68dB which is fine for personal use. As you would expect, these micro-speakers are more for use with voice than music. It has no bass, late-mid, strong, low-mid-treble for a clear voice. It is not unpleasant – just a little harsh for many music genres. Read our guide here if you want to know more about sound signature and why it is so important.
You have to regard the keyboard/trackpad as a bonus because it is good, not great. It is covered in Surface Pro like Alcantara-like material (I am pretty sure it is not). The keycap lettering is decal (transparent label), which will scratch off with extended use. Keys are well-spaced with a 1.4mm throw and 45g actuation – good.
Key bounce is OK if you can get the keyboard to lay down flat – it tends to lift at the magnetic connector, so you get deck bound as well.
The metallic feel trackpad is excellent with a full right top to left bottom stroke.
If you are travelling with a Microsoft Surface, Windows tablet, iPad, or Samsung DeX device, it is perfect as you don’t need two keyboards. It also acts as a protective cover.
You can use a capacitive stylus (not active).
DeX – the future
It will connect via USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to mini-HDMI (cable not supplied). Dex only offers 1080p. It is impressive to see a DeX Screen, and it portends the future of mobile computing. While it is DeX specific, I suspect that a firmware update will make it compatible with other smartphone brands introducing desktop experiences. You can also access Microsoft 365 remote apps.
Battery – handy to have
It has 10,000mAh, which gives approx. 4.5 hours use at 4K at 65% brightness (tested). Any higher brightness chews the ‘juice’. The battery charge remaining indicator is always on (top right) – I suspect, so you will notice it running low.
It came with a 30W USB-C PD charger, and we could see that about 15W was to run the screen and 15W to charge. It is smart enough to disconnect any downstream power from the USB-C input socket as this is not enough to charge the battery with the screen on.
Recharge is quite quick at under 2 hours. Using a higher rated charger did not shorten the time. Our advice, however, would be to buy a 100W GaN USB-C charger with at least two ports to charge both the Surface and the UPERFECT X Pro at the same time.
In the box
2x USB-C-USB-C cables x 1m
1x mini-HDMI to full-size HDMI cable 1m
1x USB-A to USB-C cable 1 x
30 Wall charger with country-specific plug (only if you order from their website)
It is everything you need, but I would have liked a USB-C to mini-HDMI cable as well.
After using it for a week or so, I would not change much. Sure we could be picky and mention the tinny speakers or the keyboard bounce, but these are not deal-breakers.
But I would remind you that there are cheaper UPERFECT options if you just want a 1080p or 4K external monitor (no battery or keyboard).
And that brings me to the price. We don’t comment on price (A$825), but we do comment on value – what you get. It is almost unique and worth every cent if you need this, especially as a creator or traveller who needs more screen space.
If it is just to sit on your desktop, you can get 27” decent 1080p/4K monitors from $200/$400
As an external desktop screen, there are better options. As a travellers device, there are no better options, and that is how we must rate it.
UPERFECT X Pro 15.6” 4K Lapdock
There are no better options than the UPERFECT X Pro 15.6" 4K as a travellers device, and that is how we must rate it.
Value for money
Ease of use
USB-C 3.1/TB3/4 or HDMI input ports
Perfect second screen for travellers
100% sRGB means creatives can use it too
Keyboard/trackpad is very handy, especially in DeX mode