Recent research shows that multi-tasking is a myth. That research states that our brains cannot actually do more than one thing at a time. So when AOC reps offered to send me a 16″ portable LED monitor as a temporary media loaner for product review purposes — for my laptop no less — I balked.
Why would I bother to carry a second monitor around with my laptop?
Well, after just a short time of using this portable LED monitor (pictured), I could easily fall in love with this lightweight extra device in my bag. Here is how it starts:
- First day: “Two screens is silly; I have worked with one for years.”
- Second day: “Hmm. This is interesting. Maybe I cannot multi-task, but I sure can switch between email or Web and document editing faster by looking between two screens.”
- Third day: “I get a lot more done with two screens … . Okay, I’m sold.”
This monitor attaches to your laptop with a USB cable. Once I plugged in the USB cable to connect and power the monitor, I opened up the Windows 7 control panel to check the display settings. There were three main settings. I could duplicate my laptop display, extend it (almost everyone is planning to do this), or run solely on the additional LED monitor.
To be fair, I wouldn’t carry this screen everywhere, especially short trips. But on trips where I know I will be hunkered down in a hotel room or making presentations in small settings, it would be a lifesaver.
Rather than have everyone huddle around my laptop, which can be pretty uncomfortable, I could simply duplicate the screen on the second monitor. Then I can turn the AOC LED monitor around to face the group. Sweet.
The “power” cable has two USB connections on one end because the manual states that you may need both USB connections to provide enough power. But I was able to run on one, even while on battery, so I was thankful for that. USB ports are often at a premium. The LED monitor is compatible with both PC and Mac.
There is at least a warning in the documentation to avoid touching, applying any pressure to the LED screen if and when you change the position or angle. I did find that it feels a bit fragile, but even with a lot of handling it is still going strong.
What I Really Liked about the AOC brand monitor:
- This portable LED monitor receives both power and signal from a single USB 3.0 cable that you plug into your laptop. It does not require a separate power cord or VGA cable. Some systems require two USBs to operate the monitor and it comes configured that way.
- It comes with a basic padded case that fits in a laptop bag making it easy to carry it along. Lightweight, at under 3 pounds.
- It also comes with a fold-out stand on the back.
- Simple to set up with plug-and-play connection. It took a couple of full restarts on my laptop computer for it to acknowledge the additional AOC display, but that’s not uncommon. I probably have a lot more drivers on my system that confused it.
- Excellent image quality with the LED display. Resolution is 1366 x 786.
- Can be viewed in portrait mode (great for productivity) or landscape mode (perfect for PowerPoint presentations).
What I Would Like to See:
- The location of the USB port is awkward. Frankly, I don’t know where else they could move it, but it sits behind the fold-out stand. Once you get used to it, you remember to plug the USB in after you extend the stand.
If you have wondered about simple ways to improve your productivity, adding a second monitor might boost your daily efficiency. It does not matter what the research shows – having faster access to your applications, and more of them, helps you get more done. And if you travel out in the field on sales calls or to meet with small groups, having a portable monitor makes the experience so much better.
The AOC 16″ portable LED monitor makes it easy on the eyes and on the budget. You can find it online at Amazon and other eCommerce sites for under $100.