If you’re like me, you have two or three monitors set up in your office or home for your computing needs. This product review is worth the read if this sounds like you. GeChic recently developed the On-Lap 1301, an add-on monitor for laptops, which went on sale in the UK in October. This external monitor sports a 13.3″ display with a max resolution of 1366 x 768. For $199, it’s a pretty good value, considering that a typical portable dual-monitor setup would cost much more. For example, a dual-screened laptop such as the Acer Iconia can set you back $989 on Amazon.
As laptop prices go, that’s not too bad. However, higher-end products like the Gscreen laptop will cost more than double that price for the dual screen. So to have an extra screen for less than two hundred dollars the On-Lap 1301 is much kinder on the wallet. The display will easily fit any laptop or Macbook from 13″, probably up to 15″. Attempts at attaching to my 17″ Gateway did not go very well at first but after a bit of cord management it fit. One of the reasons for the issues is the cables that come with the device are too short/oddly shaped to mount correctly. Unfortunately they do not offer any longer/different shaped cables at this time. You can set it beside you on a flat surface if you are on the go, though.
One characteristic of this monitor that makes it a great travel companion is that it is USB powered, versus requiring a separate power source. When you’re travelling, it’s hard enough finding one outlet, never mind a second one – so only needing one is helpful. Also, you can choose HDMI or VGA input, depending on what your laptop or Macbook supports. Both cables are provided in the box. As a bonus, you can connect the On-Lap 1301 to other devices that have HDMI or VGA input/output, including iPads and Blu-Ray players (headphones or speakers need to be attached for sound) in case you need a show a presentation and your current screen size isn’t big enough. Sadly, it is not compatible with the Xbox 360 (we tried…no luck). We couldn’t get the video to show on the screen, even with the resolution set to 480p. Perhaps the HDMI cord doesn’t fit correctly?
Many people do not consider the viewing angle when considering secondary display purchases; with this device, you get about 40 degrees of normal colouring. After that, it somewhat inverts, but for most people this is not an issue, as most laptops have similar issues.
All things aside, this is a good display for people as long as you are ok with the extra battery drain on your laptop or other device. I really wish longer cables or different-shaped HDMI cables were available, but for the current price, you can’t complain. The On-Lap 1301 is currently sold exclusively on Newegg, but at the time of writing it is sold out.
Edit: You can now purchase the monitor on NewEgg through this link