GeChic On-Lap 1301 Portable Monitor Review
Once you use dual monitors, it’s not easy going back. The improved productivity, and extra screen real-estate, really spoils you. Until recently, there was no easy way to extend the luxury of dual monitors to your laptop in a portable fashion. The GeChic On-Lap 1301 allows you to use a dual screen on just about any laptop, and anywhere! With the GeChic On-Lap you can add a 13” display right beside your laptop display anywhere you want: inside, outside, the couch, the office, even in bed. It’s truly a thing of beauty (especially for us power users). Best of all, it’s powered by USB, no clunky power adapter required.
What’s in the Box
-GeChic On-Lap 1301 Display
-4x Suction Cups
-8 Cupule Mylars (Suction Cup Stickers)
-9 Cable Clips
The GeChic On-Lap 1301 really is a thing of beauty. The screen, including its folding stand, is ultra-thin, just over half an inch thick (13.8mm). It’s also pretty light at just under 2 lbs (30 ounces). It’s a widescreen 13.3” LCD display with a resolution of 1366×768. For power, all it requires is USB. The frame/swivel stand is a bit plasticky, but does the job well. There’s a slide-off compartment that stores the USB power cable, along with an input for the HDMI and VGA adapters.
There are three ideal viewing setups for the GeChic On-Lap. First is portrait mode, where the screen is folded up 90 degrees from the stand. In portrait mode, the display is ideal for long webpages or reading/writing/editing documents. The frame/stand is sturdy enough to support the display in this upright fashion. Next, there is presentation mode. This is where you use the four included suction cups to stick the screen to the back of your laptop. Presentation mode will likely be used the least, it’s ideal for mirroring your laptop screen so you can face an audience and have them see the same content as you. The last viewing setup is landscape mode, or dual-monitor mode. From presentation mode, you just swivel the screen out 180 degrees or more from the stand that’s suctioned to the back of your laptop.
The suction cups kept a really strong grip on the back of my 13” Macbook. The tapered edges of had no effect on the tight grip GeChic held. For a proper setup you should use the suction stickers to provide a smoother surface for the suction cups, which won’t let them slide around. Even without these stickers, the suction cups worked just fine. There are cable clips to assist with cord management. The HDMI and DVI adapters, as well as the USB power cable, are just long enough to use the screen in any of the aforementioned viewing setups. You won’t be able to distance the GeChic 1301 too far from your laptop.
On my Mac, using a mini-displayport to HDMI adapter, the GeChic display was recognized immediately. By default, OS X extends your screen rather than mirroring it. This is easily changed. On my Windows 7 laptop, setup was just as easy. I just plugged in the HDMI cable, and the second display was almost immediately functioning. There was no extra software required. Depending on your setup (hardware/drivers), your results may vary, but using the GeChic On-Lap 1301 should be no different than hooking up any other display.
The GeChic display itself is really nice. The resolution is crystal clear and it gets nice and bright. The one drawback of the display is weak viewing angles. Colors distort at more extreme angles. As long as you’re using one of the aforementioned viewing setups, it should look A-Okay. By default, the colors are cooler(bluer) than MacBook’s; this is easily changed by changing the color profile from “DVI LCD” to “Color LCD” on Mac’s display option for GeChic. Additionally, color can be tuned from the panel’s on-screen display. You can also adjust brightness and contrast on the panel.
If you’re big on multitasking, then the GeChic On-Lap 1301 USB-Powered display is the most amazing way to improve your productivity and efficiency. It’s almost mind-blowing how effortless it is to double your screen real-estate without having to dock your laptop at a desk. While there’s room for some improvement, like cord management and viewing angles, the GeChic On-Lap 1301 is worth the $199.99 from NewEgg.com
The Good: USB-Powered (No AC Adapter!), VGA and HDMI Inputs, Clear Image, Nice Resolution (1366×768), Stand Works in Multiple Viewing Setups, No Software Required, Thin, Light, Portable, Ultimate Tool for Multitasking, Can Use In Bed
The Bad: Viewing Angles Aren’t Great, Stand Feels Plasticky, Cord Management with Plastic Cover Could be Improved, No USB Video