Taobao product recommendation – portable monitor

Ok, actually, this monitor i got is not so portable. It weighs almost 2kg. There is another option here that is only 850g. You might wonder what is the purpose of such a monitor. Well, it is mainly promoted for use as a second monitor, or for entertainment (e.g. gaming and movies).

I use it as a second monitor. Well, actually, i use it as my primary monitor, since i don’t use my laptop display. My laptop, bought from 8 years ago, comes with a 13 inch monitor that has terrible colour reproduction and a measly 1366 X 768 resolution. Simply abhorrent, and unusable, except when i really have to bring my laptop around, which i hardly do. The battery is dead anyway (not surprising for an 8 year old laptop), so there is an even lesser chance that i will want to bring it outside of my home. However, i do want to bring it around the home, and i can’t do so without a monitor that is at least somewhat portable.

There is another more expensive option available – DisplayLink, which allows the use of a second monitor simply through a USB connection. Even the power is drawn from the USB. The downside is, it must be used in conjunction with a PC that has the proper DisplayLink driver installed. And of course, it is much more expensive.

Sellers on Taobao offer a much more flexible option – portable displays with HDMI input that can be powered by USB as well. Most of them come with built-in speakers (HDMI audio). Touch and battery options are available too. Most importantly, they come in Full HD resolution at a fraction of cost of the DisplayLink monitors. I got my 15″ monitor for 795 Yuan (S$164), bundled with a protective casing.

Bubble wrapped
Branded, rather than being an OEM or generic display panel
Bubble wrapped on the inside too. Comes with a free stand for tablet, and also two HDMI adapter cables (one short one long), and thus it can support hooking up with two HDMI sources at the same time
Properly protected

The display is very crisp and the colour is decent. In comparison, the display quality is better than my 7 years old Dell 24″ monitor. When powered by USB (from a USB outlet with max 3.1A output), i did not notice any drop in brightness. Despite the weight, it suits my need just fine. I don’t need to carry it around much anyway. I just need to be able to stash it away once in a while. The built-in speaker is very loud too, and you can connect your gaming device or DVD or Bluray player and use it right away.

Some people may suggest using a tablet, or a new laptop. Well, the tablet with the largest screen is still only under 13 inch, and it comes with an astronomical price tag. I really want a LARGE screen, and 15 inch is the smallest size acceptable to me. And i don’t want to get a new laptop if my present one is still working fine. Laptops that come with a 15 inch screen don’t come cheap, too. Despite being 8 years old, my laptop performs admirably for my daily computing tasks, and it has just gotten a new lease of life, so to speak.

In fact, now that i pair it up with my Intel Compute Stick, the setup looks like a huge expensive tablet (people would not be able to guess on the onset that the tiny dongle that the Intel Compute Stick is supplies the computing muscles) when actually the entire setup cost less than S$250.

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