The compact nature of laptops turns out to be a bottleneck if your desk or work setup can't afford a traditional external monitor. Thankfully, there are quite a few options in the form of portable sliding monitors. For one, these sliding monitors mount on top of your laptop's lid, thereby increasing the screen real-estate and letting you do your work with ease.
The best part of having a portable sliding monitor is its good portability. Since most of the monitors mount via magnets, they stay anchored to it, and you can carry them along with your laptop with ease.
When you need the screen to be extended, all you need to do is connect the monitor to your laptop, pull it towards yourself, and get going. Moreover, the display quality is quite decent, and the lightweight form factor means that it doesn't add much heft to your laptop bag. Sounds exciting, no?
So, without further ado, let's have a look at some of the best sliding monitors for laptops. But first,
The highlight of Mobile Pixels' Duex Pro portable monitor is its lightweight nature and its versatility. Not only can it work seamlessly with both Windows and macOS systems, this one can be attached to either side of your laptop's screen. For instance, if your present work scenario makes you more comfortable with the monitor on your left, you can do so. For the record, this sliding monitor weighs just 1.5 pounds and won't bulk up your laptop bag.
If we talk numbers, the Duex Pro displays FHD resolution on a 12.5-inch, and the quality seems apt with text appearing sharp and clear. However, you might find it a tad different compared to the color scheme on your laptop.
Since it's an IPS screen, you needn't worry about the viewing angles. The Deux Pro can be rotated and swiveled, thereby making it easy for you to share your screen with your co-worker.
Installing the monitor is not rocket science. It comes with a semi-permanent steel plate, which needs to be stick to the back of your laptop's screen. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to give the necessary time for the metal plate to settle.
Now, coming to the most important part—how do you connect it to your laptop? Well, it's quite simple. It attaches via a USB-C cable, and that's about it. No hassle of connecting an additional HDMI or DisplayPort cable, nor does it need any extra power cable. However, if you are thinking of connecting an older laptop via an adapter, it might not work as fast as you'd like it to.
Nevertheless, quite a few people have praised the Deux Pro for its performance and ease of access. Do note that you may need to download additional drivers from DisplayLink.com.
If you have a slightly bigger laptop, the Trio Max sliding laptop monitor might prove to be the best option out there. This one is 14-inch and, like its counterpart above, mounts on the laptop lid. The primary advantage that it brings to the table is that you can attach an additional monitor, thereby upping the display count to 3. Cool, right?
Like its counterpart above, the Trio Max monitor is a versatile device and can rotate and swivel. It's compatible with both Windows and macOS operating systems. And guess what? You can use it as an external monitor for your Nintendo Switch (see best Nintendo Switch cases). Cool, right?
And IPS panel translates into great viewing angles. The picture quality is good and is vivid. More importantly, it's glare-free, making it convenient to use, either for an occasional short movie or for doing productivity work. You can even go for the kickstand mode if you want, should you not be comfortable with attaching an additional monitor to your laptop.
The slightly bigger screen size means it'll fit bigger laptops. However, if you plan it for a smaller laptop, do note that the low clearance area at the bottom may limit your ability to tilt the screen down.
Though the Trio Max is a tad expensive than the one above, it makes a great pick, especially since it lets you mount an additional monitor in the long run, thereby making it a tad future-proof.
The highlight of the SideTrak Swivel Portable Monitor is (you guessed it right) its flexibility. This little 12.5-inch is ultra-flexible and allows for 360-degree rotation. It also attaches to the back of the display via a semi-permanent plate and lets you effortlessly carry on your job. Since it's ultra-flexible, you can use this secondary monitor for presentations as well. All you need to duplicate the display on your dual monitor setup and turn it around.
More importantly, the frame weighs just about 1.5 pounds and gives you an extended display that is almost 12.5-inches wide and will fit most modern laptops (13-inch to 17.5-inch).
As it goes with some of the portable monitors, this one also doesn't support ~90 percent of the sRGB color gamut, and you are likely to see a color difference between both the screens. Nevertheless, these external monitors make an excellent option for working on long excel sheets or referencing documents across two monitors.
The folks at PG Mag tested its display and found it to display around 69.4 percent of the sRGB color gamut. It does get bright and, like most monitors, displays up to 300 nits on the upside.
The SideTrak Swivel Portable Monitor also connects via USB-C, and this connector acts both as the power source and a signal source, thanks to DisplayPort over USB-C tech. It's compatible with both macOS and Windows, although you might have to download some drivers.
The Asus MB169B+ is not strictly a sliding monitor. However, it's one of the better options if you are in the market for a portable monitor that connects via USB-A. So, just if you have one of the older laptops, this portable monitor will do just fine. You can mount it on its cover and prop it up next to your screen. And the good news is that it's not as pricey as its counterparts above.
Again, when it comes to connection, you needn't worry yourself with HDMI cables or a separate power cable. All you need is a quality USB 3.0 cable.
The Asus MB169B+ packs a premium look for its price yet weighs almost the same as the ones above. While propping it up on its case is simple on its canvas case, you have to keep in mind not to jostle the table as it might cause the monitor to topple, and quite a few users have pointed this limitation.
Picture-wise, it does a decent job for an FHD monitor. From the occasional movie to letting your excel sheets spillover, there are plenty of options. Plus, it gets bright as well.
Do note that it doesn't play well with the MacBook and the MacBook Pro laptops.
Also on Guiding Tech
Portable sliding monitors for laptops bring several advantages to the table and adds to your productivity as well. Before you attach one, make a note to line the laptop lid with a cover or a thin case since some of the magnets of these monitors tend to leave scratch marks and abrasion marks, especially if you travel a lot (see best USB data blockers). In moments like this, laptop skin or a vinyl cover will bear all the surface marks while letting the insides stay in pristine conditions.
So, which one of these monitors will you buy?
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