About a month ago, I bought myself a portable monitor. At least once a week, I like to work from somewhere other than my house. Usually that’s one of our amazing local libraries, but sometimes that’s the café area in a local grocer.
I had been using Sidecar for this, with my 11" iPad Pro, but I find Sidecar to be mostly reliable and mostly without latency. But it never seems to be completely reliable nor completely without latency. Even if I plug in a USB-3 cable.
I wanted something small, light, thin, and bus-powered, so I could have a single USB-C connection between my computer and the monitor — nothing else. For bonus points, a monitor that was at or near “Retina”, so it doesn’t look like pixellated garbage next to my incredible MacBook Pro screen.
I landed on this Arzopa 13", 2K mointor. I’ve been using it on-and-off for the last month, and I like it. As I write this, it’s currently on sale at Amazon for $116, down from the $136 normal price, and cheaper than the $130 I paid for it.
- Extremely thin and light
- Comes with a cover that can be used as a stand
- Looks retina to my [admittedly bad] eyes
- When the settings are tweaked just right, can get reasonably bright
- Can also operate as a portable TV, with the provided Mini-HDMI ↔ HDMI cable
- The cover/stand is extremely flimsy, and depending on what surface it’s on, can sometimes slide about. It’s enough, but just barely
- The monitor defaulted to HDR mode, which sounds great, but ended up being way too dim. Once I turned off HDR and cranked up the brightness, it was much better
- The speaker, naturally, is trash
- It will never be as bright as the MacBook Pro’s screen; it’s only 300 nits, but indoors, that has been plenty
Ultimately, you get what you pay for, but $116 for a pretty-nice portable monitor for use when I’m out and about is perfect.