The UColor Q3 was provided by UPerfect for review. Thank you!
With the rise of the Steam Deck and portable PCs in general, there has been a lot of talk of them one day completely replacing desktops due to the increased power and versatility of the machines. As the market is growing, there will be tons of innovation, but there will always be a couple aspects of desktops that can't be easily replicated. There are some accessories that can help close this gap, like bluetooth keyboards, but one of the hardest is going to be a monitor.
You can plug your device directly into a monitor via a USB-C hub, but it does eliminate one of the best aspects of these devices: Portability. Taking the devices wherever you go and being able to set up shop where desired is such a wonderful idea, so with this in mind, we do have a solution with portable monitors. And here, I am reviewing one of my favorites that I have tried so far: UPerfect's UColor Q3.
UPerfect is a company that started in 2018 making portable monitors that could be taken wherever you go. Since then, there has been tons of different monitors that have been released that come with a variety of options like OLED, Touchscreen support, wireless laptop shells, external camera screens, vertical monitors, portable HDMI monitors, and even monitors that can extend your laptop's screen to 3 monitors. These are all awesome, but personally, I wanted something that could enhance my experience while saving money and that is the UColor Q3.
Materials and Build Quality
Before we start digging into the features and, most importantly, the screen, I want to talk about the material and build quality. The UColor Q3 is a thin, sturdy device. Made of Aluminum Alloy, this 15.6 inch portable monitor has a fantastic feel to it, not once feeling flimsy even though it is surprisingly thin. The monitor measures around 14 inches wide, 8.7 inches tall, and only 0.43 inches thick. Thanks to how it is built, it also only ways around 1.48lbs, making it feel very light and easy to carry around.
In the weeks of me using it, I had put it in my backpack and taken it around with me. Some of my trips had it in the protective sleeve, while sometimes I kept it in without, but I noticed no scratches or dents even when it was pressed against another device. Even when I pick it up as I am writing this, it feels fantastic.
Screen Quality + Other Features
Now we start getting to the good stuff and what really makes this monitor stand out. The UColor Q3 sports a fantastic 15.6 inch display that uses QLED technology. Compared to LCD technology, which is what the Deck's screen uses, QLED utilizes Quantum-Dot technology, allowing a brighter and more vibrant display.
On top of that, the screen also has HDR and Freesync support. Though the latter won't do much with the Steam Deck, Freesync support will be great for the ROG Ally, making games feel much more smooth when playing on it. The refresh rate of the screen is 60hz as well, but it can support 50hz refresh rates as well. Unfortunately, it can't handle anything below, so some games that are best at 40 may be better played at 30 using the monitor.
The portable monitor also sports a foldable stand in the back, a 3.5mm audio jack, and 2 speakers which work decently well! It also comes with a back cover case, which can double as a stand and protective covering. The cover attaches quite fittingly with magnets. It also comes with a USB-A to USB-C, USB-C to USB-C, and MiniHDMI to HDMI cables, along with the power adapter.
The monitor does have support for video and audio through both the HDMI and 2 USB-C ports, but for whatever reason, I couldn't get the Deck or Ally to output to the screen by plugging in directly via USB-C. This could have been my cables, but I found it worth noting. For me to use it, I had to utilize the HDMI cable and plug it into a Dock. You might be able to use a HDMI to USB-C to go directly to the Steam Deck, but I didn't have a converter to test with.
Personally, this isn't a huge issue as the monitor needs to be connected to an outlet anyways, so setting up a Dock to set the Steam Deck down for a desktop experience isn't a big compromise. Any dock or USB-C hub will do, as long as it has a HDMI port and a USB-C to connect to the Deck. The UColor Q3 is not a touchscreen either, which can be a bummer for navigation on the desktop, but I wasn't missing it much since I never used touchscreens in my desktop experience.
Even with some of the faults outlined above, the price is what makes this a VERY worthwhile deal. While QLED laptops can be quite expensive, easily going into the $500+ range, the UColor Q3 is only $239. This can actually be reduced by $30 to $209 by using our discount code: STDECKHQ30. (This code can be used on any product at UPerfect and will take $30 off any order over $200 and $40 off over any order over $300).
Yes, you will need to have a dock and KB+M, but with the deals around, this could easily stick under the $300 range. If you are pairing this with the Steam Deck or ROG Ally, you will also be getting a lot of gaming out of it, which will usually cost more for a laptop that can perform similarly. With all the gear I have, not counting the Deck or Ally, my total cost was around $350.
While I can talk about what it does and doesn't have, I would rather discuss where this will more than likely be useful. The UColor Q3 is a perfect monitor for a more traditional desktop setup. This means setting it down near an outlet and plugging it in. It does come with a power adapter, but I ended up using my Baseus 65W wall charger. This allowed me to plug in both my dock and portable monitor to 1 outlet. Luckily, the monitor only takes about 8W, giving the Deck the full 45W fast charge it can utilize. You can also plug your dock directly into the monitor and it will charge the Deck as well, but it is a slow charge.
For me personally, this came into play a lot when going to work. Thanks to how portable and light the monitor is, taking it with me to work was very easy. With how everything fit, it was actually lighter to carry my gear with the monitor over the laptop with my Deck. Setting everything up, along with my Deck, was easy to do and while it took an extra minute to set the dock and monitor up, it ended up being significantly more useful and flexible as I could put the monitor wherever I wanted and use the bluetooth keyboard.
I loved using this to write reviews, which made getting photos a bit easier due to it all being on the Deck already. It was also a treat seeing how much more the colors popped and having a second screen made it significantly easier to work instead of just using the Steam Deck's screen.
Situations like this will make the most use of this monitor and utilize it to the fullest extent. Taking it to any spot that will have outlets and can be more stationary like work spaces, coffee shops, or even on vacation, this will really come in hand.
When I saw these portable monitors initially, I was skeptical about how often I would use it. I had a laptop and I was able to use the Steam Deck's screen and work from it when necessary. It did the job, but it wasn't comfortable and sometimes very hard to manage. I am so glad I dipped into this space as it has made working on-the-go significantly easier. The UColor Q3 has been a perfect companion that not only allows me to work more efficiently, but enhances my gaming due to the QLED screen. Paired with its price and build quality, as well as HDR and Freesync support, this is an easy recommendation from me. If you are looking for a portable desktop solution and want the best bang-for-your-buck, this is going to be it!
You can buy the UColor Q3 on UPerfect's website for $209 with our discount code: STDECKHQ30. The monitor is usually $330, but I have seen it on sale for $240 more often than at full price.
The Amazon and UPerfect links above are using an affiliate link which gives us a little back from sales at no extra charge to you. All proceeds go back into SDHQ and its development.
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