Verbatim’s Portable Monitor Makes You Wonder Why You’re Even Bothering

Verbatim’s Portable Monitor Makes You Wonder Why You’re Even Bothering

Many PC users (be that at home or in the office) have multiple monitors, which is an advantage of fixed setups but not something easily done when you’re on the go – say, in a hotel room or staying at a friend’s house. This is one of the tradeoffs with a laptop, with the ability to easily, lightly, move the computer from one place to another countering the disadvantage. But often, your laptop display isn’t enough.

As someone who travels a lot with a laptop, and as someone who uses a dual monitor setup both in the office and at home, having access to more screens is something I would like at times, but I’m not sure if it’s something I need. Now that I’ve taken the 14-inch Verbatim portable touchscreen monitor for a go, I think I have an answer.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

More screen, please

Let’s run through the specs quickly, because a portable monitor is actually a really simple piece of tech. This Verbatim monitor we reviewed offers a 14-inch display with touch capability, a 1080p resolution on an IPS panel, 6ms response time, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a maximum brightness of 250cd/m2. It’s encased in plastic, with a weight of 760 grams, and a sturdy stand folds out of the back. 15.6-inch and 17.6-inch models are also available, along with a touchless 14-inch model.

On the sides, you’ll find an HDMI port, two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a USB-A port. Power is supplied through the USB-A support, which connects to an included wall port.

The lack of an inbuilt battery might have you questioning the entire point – wasn’t this thing meant to be portable? And yes, it is, and to be fair you could power this display entirely through your laptop, but you’d be running out of power quickly.

Additionally, 760 grams for only a 14-inch display feels like your efforts aren’t balancing out. It’s not too cumbersome, but you certainly notice it when you have it in the same bag as your laptop.

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

So what do you even use it for?

As a display sized above tablet screens and at the lower end of laptop screens, you can find use cases for it, but you will do so sparingly. For example, my home setup includes my single 32-inch monitor (the Gigabyte M32Q, which I highly recommend) and a tablet in a stand off to the side – with this smaller screen, I get a bigger display in my periphery (for stuff like Twitch and guides for when I’m playing games), all without needing to rely on a separate operating system – it all just works through my computer, and if I want to move things around, this is easily done.

This is an extremely niche use case, but a use case nonetheless. It’s difficult to really go through other advantages of this portable monitor when they’re so easily offset by the disadvantages, and I imagine for most people, taking a separate display altogether to a hotel is just not worth it.

It’s not a terrific display for watching content on (the maximum brightness and colour depth aren’t too impressive, and it’s a 1080p resolution), so realistically there are very little pros to it, even if it is more maneuverable than a normal display, which is… Really the only thing going for it.

But the good news is that Verbatim isn’t asking for a lot with the entry-level touchless monitor – $270, the cost of a fairly basic 27-inch display, with higher prices when you go up as size goes up ($379 for the touchscreen 14-inch, $399 for the 15.6-inch, $679 for the 17.3-inch). At that price, it’s the kind of tech you could cheaply use for a loose-end like I have above, but then we’re kind of skewing away from the whole ‘portable’ thing, aren’t we?

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Should you buy the Verbatim portable touchscreen monitor?

I recommend Verbatim’s portable monitor if you have a niche use case for it, but I highly doubt this is the kind of thing you’ll be needing when travelling unless you absolutely need it – say if you need to do some video editing in a hotel room, and do it best with multiple screens.

If your only use for this screen is that you don’t like how small your laptop screen is, I think you’d find the disadvantages outweigh the advantages – the weight, price, need for a power point, and extra space needed for luggage, unfortunately, don’t really justify the need to include a 14-inch 1080p display.

But at the end of the day, it’s reasonable to look at Verbatim’s portable monitor like this: it’s a small monitor that’s easy to move around, without too high a price, perfect for a niche use-case.

For most purposes, though, you’re either better off with a normal monitor, or just with your laptop.

Where to buy the Verbatim portable touchscreen monitor?

Note that 14-inch, 15.6-inch, and 17.6-inch monitors are available – the monitor we reviewed was the 14-inch.

Harvey Norman ($270)

Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

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