I’m doing some digital nomading this summer, and don’t love working on my laptop monitor alone. I have a ThinkPad T590 with a 15 inch screen, but I use a 24 inch external monitor when I’m working at my office (which is 90% of the time), so the laptop alone is pretty painful. I find it particularly hard for remote interpreting, when I need one window for the RSI platform and one for my resource materials, and for translating official documents when I often need two landscape-orientation documents open at once.
An additional factor is that when I’m working in a conference room at my co-working office and I want a second monitor (particularly for remote interpreting), I have to lug my big monitor with me. This problem will soon be solved because I’m moving to a small private office within a co-working office, but it’s a pain. I’d also like to have a fully portable remote interpreting setup, for which a second monitor is essential.
For a while, I’ve been considering purchasing a lightweight portable monitor, but I couldn’t decide what to buy, and I wanted something truly lightweight (a monitor that fits in my laptop case), not something “luggable.” After doing some research recently, I found that, as with most tech gadgets, options for portable monitors have gotten better and prices have gone down. I’ll be working from the East Coast for a week in August, so I decided it was time to make a purchase.
I settled on the Dell 14 (not an affiliate link) which is currently selling for US $300; it arrived a few days ago and I really love it! As the name would suggest, it’s a 14-inch monitor. The pluses are:
- Really light and thin: weighs 20 ounces and is about half an inch thick
- Has an integrated fold-out stand that tilts to whatever angle you want
- Runs power and data through a single cord (USB-C to USB-C) so it doesn’t require a separate power cord
- Has excellent resolution and a brightness adjustment button
- Comes with a carrying sleeve
The Dell 14 is thin enough that I can fit both my laptop and the monitor in my regular laptop sleeve. Here’s what it looks like on my kitchen table, in digital nomad mode
And here’s what it looks like on my desk at my co-working office, where I put it on a small monitor riser
I honestly like this monitor so much that I’ve been using it instead of my massive Acer desktop monitor, to free up some desk real estate. The only negatives/caveats I would give it are:
- Your computer has to have a USB-C port
- You have to make sure to always carry the USB-C to USB-C cable with the monitor, otherwise the monitor is useless
- The carrying sleeve that comes with the monitor doesn’t have a pouch for the cable
- As shown in the demo pictures on Dell’s website, if you want the cable not to be curling all over the place, you need to position the monitor on the opposite side of your laptop to where the USB-C port is, so that the bulk of the cable rests behind your laptop. So if the USB-C port is on the left side of your laptop, you’re going to want the monitor on the right. This works well for me because I like the second monitor on the right anyway, but it’s something to consider.
Readers, any digital nomading tech gadgets that you’d recommend for this summer?