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3 Killer Mobile Monitors

Check out these lightweight displays for dazzling demos.
Seeing Double: Mobile monitors, like this one from Lenovo, offer screens the size of laptop's, with a fraction of the bulk.

When you want to share a presentation or product demo, having everyone hunker over your laptop can feel a bit too intimate. That's where new mobile monitors come in handy. Much lighter than the standard desktop monitors, they are designed for portability, folding up to stash like a laptop and drawing power from your laptop via USB cable. Here are three to consider: 

AOC 16-inch Portable USB Monitor

Though bright, this monitor lacked the color quality of the Lenovo. The glossy screen has a good 500:1 contrast ratio, but it suffered from quite a bit of glare. It lacks brightness controls, and the USB port is inconveniently tucked into a cubbyhole near the stand. On the other hand, the rotating stand lets you flip easily between landscape and portrait orientation, which is a nice feature. The 2.3-pound, 1.4-inch-thick monitor does not come with a carrying case.
Cost: $139

Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 Wide Monitor

Rugged enough for the travails of a mobile warrior, this 14-inch monitor had the best color and brightness of the bunch, with a 400:1 contrast ratio. At 1.9 pounds, it was also the lightest. Though the display is just half an inch thick, a protruding motherboard on the back adds a little bulk. A hard plastic cover doubles as a base, and the monitor remains stable as you change the viewing angle from almost upright to a 40-degree tilt. Other pluses: easy-to-find brightness controls and an easily accessible USB port.
Cost: $199

Toshiba 14" USB Mobile LCD Monitor

This 0.6-inch-thick monitor comes with a case that converts into a stand (total weight: 2.8 pounds). Velcro strips hold the monitor in place. With a 400:1 contrast ratio and brightness-control buttons, the display looked bright and clear, but color quality was poor. Though the AOC and Lenovo use a cable that requires two open USB ports on older-model laptops, the Toshiba offers an optional AC power adapter ($39.99) that frees up one port on the computer.
Cost: $200

IMAGE: Courtesy Company
Last updated: May 29, 2012

JOHN BRANDON | Columnist

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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