Toshiba Mobile USB Monitor 14in review

5 Jan 2012

A neatly designed USB display with reasonable image quality, although it isn't cheap

Price when reviewed: 
139(£139 inc VAT)
4

If last month’s GeChic On-Lap 1301 took an unusual approach to the USB monitor, this offering from Toshiba looks a much more sensible alternative. The uninspiringly named Mobile USB Monitor has a 14in 1,366 x 768 display in a portable frame that’s light, neatly designed and easy to move around.

It weighs 1.29kg, and comes in a leather case that wraps around it for carrying, and unfolds to form a stand when in use. Rather than anything too elaborate, it simply uses a Velcro-clasped flap of the case to keep the foot of the screen in place, and a loop in the leather at the rear is perfect for threading through the cable.

Toshiba Mobile USB Monitor 14in

And it only requires one: it’s powered entirely by USB, and the bundled cable has two connectors at one end to plug into two ports on your laptop or PC. It isn’t USB 3 yet, but at this resolution and with the maturity of today’s DisplayLink drivers that isn't an issue. We played 720p YouTube video full-screen without a hitch.

The screen itself won’t win any quality awards, but by general laptop standards it’s perfectly usable. It only has two brightness settings, and even the brighter one measured at a mere 112cd/m[sup]2[/sup] on our colorimeter, but with a decent 6,333K colour temperature and reasonable colour accuracy it’s fine for an extra email or Twitter display. Viewing angles are a bit iffy, but unlike the wobbly GeChic this screen won’t move about with your laptop, so it’s easy to find a good position.

Once folded up it fits neatly next to a laptop in a bag, and when open it can be swivelled around to face any direction you like – in a far less clumsy manner than the hinging, suction-padded GeChic. So while the price for all of these USB monitors remains higher than we’d like – the Toshiba costs £139 and the GeChic £121 – if we were to delve into this niche market the Toshiba is the one we’d go for.

Details

Price ex VAT £116
Price inc VAT £139
Overall rating 4
Image quality 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Main specifications

Screen size 14.0in
Aspect ratio 16:10
Resolution 1366 x 768
Speaker type N/A
Speaker power ouput N/A

Connections

DVI inputs 0
VGA inputs 0
HDMI inputs 0
DisplayPort inputs 0
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support no
Upstream USB ports 1
USB ports (downstream) 0
3.5mm audio input jacks 0
Headphone output no
Other audio connectors N/A

Accessories supplied

Other cables supplied USB
Internal power supply yes

Dimensions

Dimensions 341 x 28 x 240mm (WDH)
Weight 1.290kg