Whether you are gaming, working, coding, surfing the web, or doing some combination of all of those things, a second monitor is almost a requirement nowadays. That’s easy when you’ve got a desk with a monitor tower to hold multiple displays and all of the associated connectivity and power cables, but what do you do when you need a more portable solution? If you use your laptop in the living room like I do, hauling an entire extra monitor is as disruptive as it is ludicrous. There are small portable devices on stands that you can employ, for sure, but they are often cumbersome as well, requiring space for a small stand or needing separate power. When I stumbled on the DUEX Plus portable laptop monitor, it seemed like I might have found my solution. Let’s unbox the device, wire it up, and see if it could give me the additional work space I need without a dump truck of wires, and hopefully without breaking the bank.
There’s little to unpack, as you can see, with the contents of the box containing just the monitor itself with its integrated stowing mechanism, four neodymium magnets with 3M adhesive, a USB-C cable with integrated Ferrite bead and USB-C to USB-A adapter attached, and the instructions – not that you’ll need them. The DUEX Plus is the very definition of plug and play. Before we get to that, however, let’s talk about how this device attaches to your laptop.
Utilizing four extraordinarily strong magnets (easily placed with the included guide sheet) you’ll place the DUEX Plus on the rear of your monitor – I’m recommending dead center. These four magnets become exceedingly important with what comes next.
One of the most important aspects of portability for a laptop is the overall bulk, and the DUEX Plus adds very little to it. In fact, at its thinnest point (comprising more than 80% of the rear of it), the device is just 6.45mm, with the thicker part, where the monitor attaches to the sliding mechanism, being slightly larger at 14.92mm.
More than likely, if something like the DUEX Plus is of interest, you likely have a laptop you take with you for travel. Whether that’d be a basic one or an ultraportable, there’s one thing you think about when you put it in a bag – the weight. To that end, the DUEX Plus adds 1.3 pounds to the overall weight of your device. Whether that’s a little or a lot to you is entirely subjective, but for frame of reference, 1.3 pounds is roughly the equivalent of a loaf of bread or two rolls of quarters.
There are a lot of smaller screen options out there, and entirely too many are TN displays. If you aren’t aware, TN stands for twisted nematic, and there are several advantages to them, not the least of which being that they are cheap and sport some shockingly high refresh rates. Unfortunately they are also terrible for color reproduction, suffer from input lag, and that refresh rate comes with fairly streaky colors and poor viewing angles. Most folks have moved to the next type – IPS.
IPS stands for In-Plane Switching, and most modern monitors fall into this category. Better viewing angles, deeper black reproduction, and refresh rates in the 200s coupled with response times as low as a sub-millisecond make these an obvious choice, though the price to make these tend to be higher. It’s also why so many manufacturers spring for TN to keep prices low. Thankfully, MobilePixels didn’t choose that option.
The DUEX Plus uses a 300 nit, 60Hz, 16:9, 1080p IPS display. Drawing just 4.5 watts over that USB-C connection, it measures 13.3″, with a viewing area of 11.7” by 6.5” as viewable space, thanks to the slim bezel.
There are two other use cases for this monitor – one is documented and officially supported, and the other is not. First and foremost, the DUEX Plus is certified to work with the Nintendo Switch, and thanks to the two USB-C ports, it does so while charging the device to boot. Plugging in the DUEX Plus, the screen sprang to life, as expected. I did run into one hitch, however: you’ll need to disconnect your Joycons and use them externally for this device to work. Not a big deal, but something to know.
The second use case isn’t officially sanctioned, but the DUEX Plus works perfectly for the Steam Deck. Sure, neither the Switch nor the Steam Deck is going to see regular use with the DUEX Plus in my case, but when I’m on the road, it’s mighty handy on an airplane. If you do end up grabbing a DUEX Plus, you’ll probably also want to nab the “origami” folding stand. Not unlike the stand on a Kindle Fire, this little device will prop the DUEX Plus up in the appropriate position safely so you can position it on your tray table or wherever you plan to play.
The DUEX Plus supports a specific Samsung device, but we are a Pixel 6 Pro household these days, so I wasn’t able to test out that use case.
Obviously you can use the DUEX Plus in landscape mode, and that’s very likely how you’ll use it most of the time, but if you are a coder or somebody who works on webpages and needs a vertical orientation, the DUEX Plus has you covered. In fact, it also has auto-rotation detection, so placing the monitor in portrait mode automatically switches your content and reframes it. Similarly, if you move the monitor from the left side to the right, it will once again re-orient, making it very easy to keep your monitor out of other people’s line of sight.
There are only two real drawbacks to the DUEX Plus, and one is very subjective. The MSRP for the device is $399, though it’s currently on sale for $299. There’s a productivity bundle that’ll run you an extra $30 and it comes with that portable “origami” stand I mentioned. The mobility bundle is a little more pricey at $450, but it comes with a whole bevy of goodies, including a privacy filter, a camera, mini-mouse, a foldable keyboard, and a case to hold the device. The company also offers extended warranties for all of it based on pricing, so you can be sure your device is covered. The second drawback may make you consider that coverage.
The monitor is fantastic, but the sliding mechanism is made of ABS Plastic, with some aluminum bits. The sliding mechanism seems like it’ll work just fine for long periods of time, but seeing the entire thing flex when I went to fold the monitor into that external presentation mode gave me a moment of pause. You’ll want to fold the device closest to the hinge just to be safe.
There is a mode called “Eyecare” that does precisely what’s on the tin – cools the color temp of the monitor to help with eye strain. This is a function you can find within windows, but here it’s native to the device. It’s not exactly necessary, but it’s nice to have.
I’m already shocked at just how much more productive my laptop is with the DUEX Plus. On more than one occasion I’ve been tempted to lug a monitor into the frontroom, but divorce is expensive. Now I have that same flexibility without needing additional power or wiring beyond the single cable to connect it to my system. Sure, I do wish that cable was a little more streamlined, but in the grand scheme of things that’s a fairly small hitch. The price may give you a bit of sticker shock, but just think of how much productivity you’ve wasted debating it. If you are a desiccated laptop user, you need this. Immediately.
DUEX Plus Portable Laptop Monitor
Lightweight, clear, and in HD, the DUEX Plus is a force multiplier for any laptop user. Whether you are coding websites, or simply filling forms on the Internet, this device makes it easier to get work done.
- Incredibly easy to mount
- Simple use – just pull and use
- True plug-and-play – it just works!
- Low-power IPS display is clear from all angles
- Orientation and autorotation support
- Screen frame gets a little “bendy” if not folded at the base
- Asking price is a bit stiff