Review: Vinpok Split (Hardware)
The Vinpok Split is basically a slim monitor from peripheral manufacturer Vinpok. As its name implies, the Split allows one to split the screen he/she is using so as to better multitask and be more, well, productive in a sense (unless if you are procrastinating, which it will also enable you to do, on more screens). Other than offering more screens for work, it also doubles as a monitor for play with your HDMI console. With all of these promising features, let’s see how this costly, $399 device (Indiegogo backers can get one at $229), fares!
Other than this productivity appeal, the Vinpok Split does have quite the aesthetic appeal. Weighing around 635g (1.4 lbs) and being 8.8 mm (0.35”) thin at its thickest point (the lower end with ports, while the rest measures 4.4mm/0.17” without the cover), this 15.6 inch sleek slab packs quite the minimalist style. Except for the bottom bezel where the multitude of ports originate, the rest of the bezels are aesthetically thin. It comes with a magnetic protective cover (at an extra $39) donning a professional matte finish which flips over to work as a stand somewhat akin to the Microsoft Surface’s stand.
To get it to actually work though, it took me a few tries to figure it all out with all of its ports.
So as with every monitor, you will have to power up the Split which is fed into the device through the left USB-C port. The right side also sports a USB-C port which is for connecting other devices to the screen. On top of this right USB-C port is a mini-HDMI port, and worry not as Vinpok packages its new device with a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable. While the choice for the HDMI port might be divisive, this was most likely done to maintain the device’s svelte look.
Overall, I was satisfied with the build quality of the final product. The matte finish of the front bezels surprisingly complements the glass cover of the back, which along with the rubberized matte magnetic cover groom the Vinpok Split with a posh look and feel.
Regarding power source, if the device you are using the Vinpok Split with is powerful enough (think PCs and laptops), the Split can just be plugged with its included USB-C to regular USB cable to the main device from where it will derive the power to boot (and occupy one of your USB ports). But if you are using it with less power-hungry devices like a new-retro HDMI console (like the *insert retro console name* Classic/Mini) or even a handheld Switch, then you will need to find a power source exclusive for the Split. While this is expected for monitors, the portability of the Vinpok Split is somehow made less efficient with this need of a power source. It would have made for a much more portable device should it have on board a rechargeable battery, but then again, this would add some weight to the device.
Support for power and data over USB-C is also available via the right side USB-C port if your main device sports a USB-C port and the included double-ended USB-C cable will enable just that but this just mirrors the screen of the main device, so split screen is possible only via the HDMI connection.
If this sounds confusing, remember this: the left sided USB-C port is for power source only while the right side USB-C is for feeding the data to be displayed. Or you can just see how it works on different devices in the official video below:
If you’re interested in the specs, you can find them right here:
- Screen type: IPS, 15.6 inches
- Dimensions: 8.8 x 13.93 x 0.35 inches (223.5 x 353.7 x 8.8 mm)
- Viewable area: 13.54 x 7.63”
- Contrast ratio: 1000:1
- Ports: 2x USB Type-C, 1x Mini-HDMI, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Weight: 635 grams (1.4 pounds)
- Touch screen: Ten-point multitouch, capacitive
- Color gamut: 89% sRGB
- Compatible Android devices: Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, Note 8, Note 9; Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P20, P20 Pro; Honor Note 10; Smartsian R1, Pro 2S
Functionality-wise, there is not much to complain with the Vinpok Split. Images are vividly delivered at a crisp 1080p on this IPS screen. The Hylian scenes of Breath of the Wild are sights to behold and the Split do them justice and slashing demon guts in DMC 5 felt as vibrant as ever. I particularly liked the combination of power bank (I used GuliKit's 10,000 mAh one) + Switch + Vinpok Split, which all felt as a minimal and portable setup to enjoy great Switch games on a big screen (however there has been reports of bricks while connecting the Switch directly to a screen; if you want to be on the safe side, you can always use the dock).
Of course, the Vinpok Split comes with built-in speakers which are okay at best but if you want better audio (which you most likely will), you can also plug in your fave headphone via the integrated 3.5mm audio jack.
The device also supports some flagship Android smartphones, beaming your phone’s cute little screen onto the Split’s relatively giant 15.6” one. On top of that the touchscreen feature comes in handy, allowing you to use it like your phone, but on a much bigger screen. It’s a shame that the touchscreen is not available when connected to laptops or consoles for easier control of the display settings. Moreover, only a couple of phones are supported (see details in specs above) which is a downer if you don’t own one in this exclusive club (like me).
On the topic of settings, there is a dial on the left side of the device which allows the user to access an on-screen menu. In it, options like brightness, contrast, balance, sharpness and all the other gamut of display settings can be adjusted to your liking.
Vinpok also seems to be looking to create an ecosystem around its new productivity device. The Split Clip which allows you to clip the Split next to your main screen in a landscape fashion is available for purchase and there’s even a dedicated backpack to safely carry the device around.
At its core, the Vinpok Split is an incredibly thin and portable screen with a nice finish which delivers quality images and that’s the main substance of a screen and the Split does it well. While this is an adequate way to go for the company’s first screen, there is room for improvement, especially at the asking price, and I hope that future iterations will fix address the mention issues.
+ Slim and very portable
+ Minimalist style
- No built-in battery
- Not all smartphones compatible
- Touchscreen feature only available when a smartphone is connected
- Magnetic stand at an extra cost
out of 10
Sleek, stylish, convenient, but pricey; the Vinpok Split is more of a really nice-to-have than a must-have.