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On the road with an external display


Random thoughts, bright ideas and interesting experiments. In short the ramblings of a fulltime nerd.


On the road with an external display

Jakob Westhoff

Due to my job I am quite often on the road. Sitting in trains or airplanes, as well as working from a customers office for one or two days are situations, which happen quite often to me. Of course when at a customer I could ask for workspace with a separate monitor, which I could attach to my laptop, but most of the time this is just to much hassle.

During our last Hackathon Thomas Weinert showed me a portable external screen, the Asus MB168B+. It's a light weight 15" screen with a full hd (1920x1080) resolution. The display is connected using an USB 3.0 port. The connection is used for data as well as power transfer. Therefore only one cable is needed between the display and my laptop. The displays maximum brightness is quite sufficient to be comfortably used in all environments I encountered with it so far.

The picture transfer using USB 3.0 is realized using a DisplayLink chipset. Delays between separate refresh cycles, as well as the perceived frame rate is enough for normal day to day work. In most situations you don't notice any encoding or processing delay. I haven't tested it, but I am quite sure gaming is not an option with this display. However watching a video on it works quite well.

The display is shipped including a travel case. In addition to being the displays transport protection it serves as a stand. Using the case two different inclinations can be achieved for the screen. It is a good fit and has a firm stand within the case.

This stand takes up quite a lot of space behind the screen, as the whole case needs to lie on the table. After a short research session I therefore ordered an Amazon Basics Tablet Stand, which is a perfect fit for the display as well. It is small, provides a firm stand and is completely adjustable.

I really much enjoy the combination of display and stand. I wouldn't want to miss my second display anymore, when I am on the road.