Innocn 40C1R ultrawide 144Hz monitor review: Plenty of room and fast refresh rate

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Pros

  • Wide canvas to work with
  • High 144Hz refresh rate
  • Ample ports for connectivity
  • USB-C charges portable devices
  • Reasonable price
  • Solid hardware design and quality build

Cons

  • Poor speakers
  • Menu buttons require practice

Specifications

Display 40-inch, 3440 x 1440 pixels, IPS LCD
Refresh rate 144 Hz
Aspect ratio 21:9
Contrast ratio 1200:1
Brightness 500 Nits
Ports DP 1.4, USB-C (90W), HDMI 2.0 (2), 3.5mm audio
Weight 12.65 kg (27.9 lbs)

A few months ago the Innocn 27C1U 4K computer monitor replaced my standard Dell 24-inch monitor and the colors, clarity, and performance has continued to be impressive. Last month, the Innocn 40C1R ultrawide monitor arrived for testing. It is impressive for gaming, multi-input use, and productivity with multiple apps and tabs.

My primary ZDNet writing computer is an older Surface Book while my daily engineering computer is a Surface Pro 6. To connect these computers to the monitor, I simply swap the connection to my Microsoft Surface hub. With these Surface products, I enjoyed using two full size apps side-by-side to get work done.

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Here’s an example of working with two browsers open on the wide display

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

With the support for USB-C and my focus on mobile devices, I connected the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with Samsung DeX with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for a full PC experience. I also tested out my iPad Pro 12.9 running the public beta of iOS 16.0 that significantly improves the external monitor support.

Hardware

The retail package is very long so you may want to have two people present for unboxing and setup. The retail box contains the monitor, a power cable, USB-C to USB-C cable, DP cable, color calibration report for the specific monitor in the box, four mount hexagon irons, stand arm, base, and an instruction guide. The two-part stand is composed of a vertical piece that screws securely into the base platform and then snaps into the back of the monitor so that a very sturdy platform for setting the monitor on your desk is provided. You can also mount the monitor on a wall and those specific instructions are provided in the box. Setup was quick and easy so I had everything ready to go in just a few minutes.

Connection ports are found on the lower back of the monitor and include one full-size HDMI 2.0 port, DP1.4 port, USB-C PD 90W port, 3.5mm audio jack, and DC power port. With this assortment of ports, I connected my Surface dock to the DP1.4 port, Samsung devices and the iPad to the USB-C port, and my Nintendo Switch to the HDMI port. It was quick and easy to switch between the ports and have the cables I needed available near the base.

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The 27-inch model on the left looks tiny next to the 40-inch ultrawide monitor on the right

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

The monitor is height adjustable with a range of 120mm to match your preferred height. You can pivot the monitor left and right 30 degrees, tilt forward 5 degrees, or tilt backward 15 degrees.

Also: Samsung DeX 101: Turn a Galaxy phone or tablet into your primary computer

Monitor controls and settings

Press any button on the lower right corner of the display to access the on-screen display controls. Five buttons are present and working from left to right we find the menu button, down button, up button, exit/hot key, and power button. The menu button is used to make selections. The up and down buttons move through menu options when in a menu and when no on-screen menu is shown they can be used to quickly turn up or down the brightness levels. The exit/hot key goes back into the menu system and also lets you quickly switch port settings with no menu on the display.

The on-screen display (OSD) menu options are plentiful on the Innocn 40C1R with settings for game, professional, picture, PIP/PBP, OSD settings, and other settings. Game settings include RTS/RPB mode toggle, FPS arena mode toggle, adaptive sync, refresh rate, and game crosshair options. The monitor is clearly optimized for the gamer and that experience is better than the work experience with the resolution provided.

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There are a plethora of options available to optimize the monitor for your gaming or work needs

Matthew Miller/ZDNet

Professional settings include standard mode, sRGB mode, Adobe mode, uniformity mode, gamma, CT settings, sharpness, shadow balance, low blue light, hue, saturation, and dynamic brightness. Picture settings include brightness, contrast, DCR, contextual model, HDR, and aspect ratio.

While you can use PIP with a secondary input device, I preferred using PBP for Samsung DeX on half of the display. There are six available settings for PIP/PBP so explore those if you like using this capability.

The OSD settings let you customize three of the hot keys to your preferences so you can set these up for the most common functions that will allow you to control the monitor without diving into the full OSD menu. Hot key options include brightness, contrast, volume, mute, shadow balance, game crosshair, refresh rate, PIP/PBP mode, input signal, dynamic brightness, and HDR.

Other settings include input signal, volume, mute, auto power, eyeshield reminder, reset, and information. As you can see, you can fully customize the monitor for your specific needs. The monitor is also intelligent and everything I plugged into it worked perfectly without requiring me to dive into the settings. I did alter some settings to check to see if everything was optimized, but the auto settings were near perfect.

Also: Innocn PU15-Pre 4K OLED review: A portable monitor to improve your productivity

Daily usage experiences and conclusion

The Innocn 40C1R ultrawide monitor is optimized for gaming and after first connecting my Surface computers I was not impressed by the resolution, especially when having the Innocn 27C1U 4K serving as the secondary monitor. The speakers are also pretty terrible so make sure to use another source for audio or plug speakers into the 3.5mm audio port since good sound is important to the gaming experience. Playing games at a high refresh rate with FreeSync support (requires an AMD GPU or APU) is likely the better experience with this wide monitor.

After a week, my eyes adjusted to the monitor for engineering tasks, document creation, and more as I ran just about everything in a split screen setup with two apps splitting the display. I still prefer the smaller 27C1U for work though. The monitor base is reasonably sized and fitting the wider monitor on my standing desk was perfectly acceptable. I’ve actually moved the Innocn 40C1R to another standing desk that is serving as a gaming station where the monitor is best used.

Setup was quick and easy, the monitor is well constructed, it has performed flawlessly, and it is reasonably priced at $499.99. I’ve also seen an $80 coupon appear for the monitor, making it an even more affordable gaming platform.

Alternatives to consider

The Innocn 40C1R is a solid widescreen monitor, but you may be looking for something else so here are some alternative to consider.



Original Article

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