I have always been an advocate of using multiple display monitors for computing. I have been using dual monitors for more than 15 years. Around 2014, with the development in power-efficient LCD displays, battery-powered monitors started to be made available from AOC and ASUS. After I had an opportunity to do a hands-on review of the ASUS MB16AC USB-powered monitor, I believe portable monitors should be one of the must-have computing accessory for heavy users. In 2019, I bought an OEM touch-screen monitor at around S$200 from Lazada and used it sparingly because it is rather cumbersome to set up, Still, in times of need, a portable monitor is very useful to provide more screen space for better productivity.
When Mobile Pixels reached out to me with their portable monitor products, my initial response was lukewarm, because I was wary that it might be just as hassle to use as my current portable monitor. But being a tech blogger, I am also curious of how their unique design can be better than other portable monitors. So I agreed to write a review and they promptly sent over this review unit, DUEX Plus.
- 13.3-inch, 1920×1080 IPS display
- 300 nits, 60 Hz refresh rate
- Compatible with MacOS, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Android devices (Samsung DeX, ASUS ROG Phone, etc.)
- Auto-landscape rotation (position it on the left or right of laptop screen)
- 12.25″ x 8.46″ x 0.25″
- 590 grams
- 4.5W USB powered
The DEUX Plus is about the size of my laptop, the LG Gram 13, so they both pair very well. Fixing the four round magnets onto the back of the laptop was very easy: just remove the adhesive tapes, press it against the laptop, and you’re done. The long metal mount on the DEUX Plus is designed for a good reason: it allows the mount to be slid in order for the DEUX Plus pivot mechanism to protrude out next to the laptop so that the monitor can pivot next to the laptop. If affixed properly, you should be able to slide the DEUX Plus in either left or right side.
The DUEX Plus is constructed mainly out of PC ABS plastic which is a balance of lightweight and sturdiness. While the overall construction does not feel very rigid, the design warrants merit. The sliding mechanism has a locking system and the pivot joint is tight enough to hold the DUEX Plus as a stand in portrait mode. Utmost care should be taken when operating the DUEX Plus to ensure the sliding mechanism does not give way and you do not break the pivot joints.
I was surprised that my sub-1kg laptop is able to hold the DUEX Plus monitor without toppling backwards. Somehow, the bottom of the DUEX Plus also helps to hold up the laptop to prevent from falling over. There is no power button on the external monitor, but when the monitor slides into the back of the laptop for storage, the display turns off and disconnects automatically.
I like that I can swivel the DUEX Plus 180-degrees to face behind the laptop, turning it into Presentation mode. I can then duplicate the laptop screen and allow the other party to see the screen without crowding behind me.
While the connecting cable is the most unsightly part of the set up, it is a necessary inconvenience to allow flexibility in connectivity. After all, the DUEX Plus can also work with other devices, including Nintendo Switch, Android phones that support display-out (Samsung, Huawei, ASUS ROG Phone). If your device is unable to power the monitor, you have to connect the power via USB-C separately.
The on-screen display allows user to adjust backlight, contrast, saturation, temperature, eyecare mode, and G-Sensor. Display quality appears to be good for me. The matt surface eliminates unwanted reflections and produces good display contrast at default setting. While you can adjust the colour saturation, you cannot finetune the RGB palette unlike most desktop monitors.
I have always loved using multiple displays but despite owning a portable monitor for more than 3 years, I rarely took it out to use because it is a hassle to set up and find proper table space to place it down.
After testing the DUEX Plus portable monitor set up, I am loving the convenience. I can easily attach the DUEX Plus to my existing laptop and enjoy a dual-monitor experience without the hassle of the need to find space on my table to put the additional monitor. Since the DUEX Plus is supported by the back of my laptop, I do not have to set aside desk space to place the additional monitor. Right now, the DUEX Plus is “floating” beyond my table space, like having a monitor arm. If I don’t need the DUEX Plus, I can easily slide and store it behind the laptop, or detach it completely and use my laptop alone. When moving around, I can keep the DUEX Plus attached to the back of the laptop instead of having to carry it separately.
The DUEX Plus is available from the Mobile Pixels website at US$299. It is also available at Amazon. There are definitely other alternative products that offer a bit better display quality and features (like larger display, touch screen) but I am happy to pay a premium for the convenience.