It seems like a great deal: a 40-inch monitor for $540 (normally $609). And if you’re looking for the biggest general-purpose monitor you can find for the money, the 40-inch, flatscreen Innocn 40C1R definitely belongs on your short list, as long as you temper your expectations. It’s a Jack-of-all-trades, but while it’s above average for some of them, it really is a master of none.
If you’ve never heard of Innocn, you’re probably not alone. It’s relatively new for a monitor company (less than 10 years!), and has made its name selling portable monitors on Amazon, though it subsequently expanded to desktop monitors. It doesn’t offer anywhere near the variety of monitors as most competitors. The company doesn’t have localized sites for the UK or Australia (and this model doesn’t seem to be available in those regional Amazon sites), but its manufacturer price converts to about £545 and AU$950.
- Nice and roomy
- Generally solid performance for the money
- Includes VESA mounting hardware
- Minimally HDR
- Action-gaming can have motion blur
- Somewhat low resolution for its size
- Little in the way of documentation
There’s nothing particularly outstanding or atypical about its design, though it’s unobtrusive and does feel solidly built. You can connect two devices to it for picture-by-picture display, but that only works with Windows systems and phones. It doesn’t have a USB hub built in — just a USB-C for display and power delivery — but that adds cost, so it’s not a surprise.
|Size (diagonal)||40 in./102cm|
|Panel and backlight||IPS-ADS with LED backlight|
|Flat or curved||Flat|
|Resolution and pixel density||3,440 x 1,440; 92.3ppi|
|Maximum gamut||95% DCI-P3|
|Brightness (nits, peak/typical)||500 / n/a|
|Adaptive sync||FreeSync Premium|
|Max vertical refresh rate||144Hz (DisplayPort), 100Hz (HDMI)|
|Gray/gray response time (milliseconds)||2|
|Connections||2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DP 1.4, 1 x USB-C (90w PD)|
|Audio||3.5mm audio out|
|VESA mountable||Yes, 100 x 100 mm|
|Panel warranty||30-day return; 1 year limited parts and labor|
|Release date||December 2021|
I have to give Innocn props for honesty in one respect. As has become common, the company includes a factory calibration report in the box for sRGB and Adobe RGB despite the monitor’s mixed results; it’s an object lesson as to why averages, especially when it comes to colors, aren’t necessarily an accurate reflection of reality. In other words, a company can report an average DeltaE less than 2, which is considered accurate, but with a lot of patches having an error upwards of 3, a range that runs from “sufficiently accurate for most people” through “no freaking way.” That’s what my evaluation unit’s report looked like, which saved me some hair pulling when I saw my own results.
Because it’s flat rather than curved, the left and right sides may appear a hair darker than the center, but that’s because of the obtuse angle you’re viewing them at — something that a curved display ameliorates when the screen gets so wide. Moving back from it a little, if you can, will fix that.
|Profile||Gamut (% coverage)||White point||Gamma||Typical brightness (nits)||Accuracy (DE2K average/max)|
|Standard (default)||88 (P3)||6500K||2.5||222 (365 nits peak)||4.49/6.45|
That’s not to say the 40C1R’s measurements were bad or even unacceptable for many people. My test unit at least didn’t stand out as particularly great for color accuracy or brightness. Contrast was typical for an IPS panel at about 1,030:1; white point was reasonably close to 6500K (it gets cooler as brightness increases).
Those readings are without tweaking any settings, though, and there are a lot of potential settings you can tweak. But there’s no useful documentation for the monitor, either in print or online, so some of the settings are shrouded in mystery. Like “contextual model,” which, based on its placement in the menu, seems to have something to do with brightness or contrast, possibly related to the dynamic contrast setting just above it, but has only On or Off choices and no explanation.
HDR mode measurements
|Gamut (% P3)||White point||Full screen brightness (nits)|
The 40C1R’s HDR met the letter of the law for DisplayHDR 400 certification if not the spirit of HDR, but DisplayHDR 400’s requirements don’t even meet the spirit of HDR; if you want HDR that looks like it has a high dynamic range, then you really need a minimum of 600 nits brightness for an IPS display — OLED is a bit different — with a gamut closer to 98% P3, among other things. Brightness in smaller areas didn’t differ substantially from full screen, either. (Unfortunately, “middling dynamic range” isn’t a thing, and probably wouldn’t sell many monitors.) But if you want something a bit better than SDR without shelling out, this should meet your needs.
HDR seems to boost sharpening or contrast, making it uncomfortable to leave HDR enabled full-time in Windows. As it is, the pixel density isn’t great for work or design, but that’s what you get when you spread 3,440×1,440 pixels over such a large area. It’s OK for gaming though and still better than 1080p on a 27-inch display or roughly comparable to 2,560×1440 on a 32-inch display, which are other configurations you’ll find in less-expensive options.
Game mode measurements
The game modes adjust the display settings to make it easier to see what you need to, as well as set the pixel refresh to anywhere from “fast” to “ultrafast.” I still saw motion artifacts, so if you’re sensitive to those, or play games where they’ll be visible, this monitor may not be your best bet. Though it doesn’t support variable refresh with a console, it otherwise worked without issue when connected to an Xbox Series X.
Overall, it’s a solid gaming and work monitor if you’re looking for something big on a budget.
How we test monitors
All measurements are performed using Portrait Display’s Calman Ultimate 2021 R4 software using a Calibrite ColorChecker Display Plus (formerly X-Rite i1Display Pro Plus) and a Murideo Six-G pattern generator for HDR testing where necessary, or the Client3 HDR patterns within Calman, where possible. How extensive our testing is depends on the capabilities of the monitor, the screen and backlight technology used, and the judgment of the reviewer.
On the most basic models we may stick with just brightness, contrast and color gamut, while on more capable displays we may run tests of most user-selectable modes for gaming or color-critical usage, uniformity and so on. For the color work, we may also run tests to verify how white point accuracy varies with brightness.
Color accuracy results reported in units of Delta E 2000 are based on Calman’s standard Pantone patch set, plus the grayscale and skin tone patches. White points results are based on both the actual white value plus the correlated color temperature for the entire gray scale (21 patches, 0 to 100%) rounded down to the nearest 50K as long as there are no big variations. We also use Blur Busters‘ motion tests to judge motion artifacts (such as ghosting) or refresh rate-related problems that can affect gaming.
Keep in mind that individual results can vary from a manufacturer’s reported results for a variety of reasons. For instance, you can be using a different set of color patches for the accuracy tests (as I do), a different colorimeter (as most individuals do), a different way of calculating (such as determining gamut using RGB and CMY primaries rather than the more common RGB only), monitor settings (manufacturers rarely provide the OSD settings used for its tests) and so on. There are actually a ton of variables.