Windows Central Verdict
The Hongo 2K 16" portable monitor is versatile, sleek and can be packed away at a moment's notice. If you want a screen for extra workspace, gaming, extending your mobile phone capabilities or all of the above without breaking the bank this is a decent choice, however, you do get what you pay for and the low price does mean some trade offs in both visual and audio.
Portable and sleek
Easy to set up
Versatile, works with most devices
Ideal for space-saving
In daylight, there is noticeable glare
Separate power source is required for some devices
Matte display may not be to some tastes
Sound quality isn't great
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Disclaimer: This review was made possible by a review unit provided by the manufacturer. The company did not see the contents of the review before publishing.
On paper, the HONGO 2K 16-inch monitor seems like the perfect solution for my needs. I have a small desk space, and to use an extra monitor generally means I have to move my Xbox Series S out of the way temporarily, so I need something that can be packed away when I'm not using it. The monitor connects to my laptop with one wire and can be used for extra real estate when running multiple apps and web browsing, or I've enjoyed simply using it as a Discord or Live Chat screen when podcasting. It's been helpful albeit with some limitations with the audio. Limitations aside, it's priced competitively and will be a great budget solution for most people.
2K 16inch Portable Monitor: Price, availability and specs
For a budget device, the box is quite premium.
Inside you get 3 cables with different inputs, a power adapter and a cover which doubles as a stand.
The Hongo 2K 16-inch portable monitor is currently available for $199.99 on Amazon, but there is also a $30 coupon to take it down to $169.99. I've seen the monitor as low as $139.99 around Prime Day sales and Black Friday, so I'd advise you to keep checking back at the listing if you see it at full price.
|Compatible with||Xbox, Xbox, PS5/4, Laptops, PC, Mac, Tablets, and Android Phones|
|Screen type||IPS, 16:10 aspect ratio, 2560x1600 pixels|
|Colors||1.06 million sRGB|
|Ports||2 x USB Type-C , 1x HDMI port, 1x Mini USB port, 1x 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Audio||Built in speakers x 2|
|VESA Compatible||Yes, 75x75mm VESA holes on rear|
2K 16inch Portable Monitor: What's good
My initial interest in the Honko 2K portable monitor was to use for gaming, and gamers will probably be its primary market as it's compatible with so many devices. The screen connects to my Xbox via HDMI so I can play my Series S while someone else is using the television. It also makes an excellent screen for Nintendo Switch, but you'll need to ensure it's also connected to a power source using an extra lead.
I've tried the screen with a few different gaming devices, including the Steam Deck, but it's worth mentioning this is not touch-compatible so won't be of any use for mobile games, you'll need to have a controller or keyboard and mouse connected to your device. The monitor itself features FreeSync technology so if you are going to use it for gaming purposes, you'll have no screen tearing along with the 120Hz refresh rate, and I experience no lag at all while using it. I played about two hours of Starfield, and even during some of the spicier space battles, the screen held up great.
While gaming was my primary use for this, I've now got a bunch of options for gaming on the move and no longer have the need for an extra screen for that specifically, so I've turned to the more practical uses of the Honko portable monitor.
Having recently moved home, I've had to get a much smaller desk, and having two screens on the go generally requires me to move things around. Being able to whip out a second screen on a whim that packs away again when I'm done has been a lifesaver.
My main use for the monitor has been as a Discord screen
The monitor is a space saver and packs up under my desk when I'm done
I don't go on podcasts often, so it's not worth me having a permanent two or three-screen set-up, not that I have room for that anyway, but when I do I need the extra space to keep up with chat. The portable monitor is incredibly useful as either a YouTube chat window or Discord screen, and I've often just propped it into portrait mode to glance at when I need to keep up with the conversation. Adjusting the settings on the monitor directly is relatively simple, with buttons for brightness and contrast.
I'll no doubt be using it in the days to come just as an Amazon Prime ticker, as I'm looking for deals for Windows Central readers. There are endless ways a portable screen like this can be useful.
I was curious to see how the monitor would work just as a mirror for my mobile screen, and it was only when connecting it to my Samsung S21+ did I learn that Samsung Dex existed. By plugging the phone to the monitor, I had a desktop PC in front of me. I connected my Logitech MX Master 2S mouse to my mobile using Bluetooth, and I could use my phone pretty much like a Chromebook. Files, notifications and apps all appeared in the desktop layout.
Samsung Dex lets you use your smartphone as a desktop computer, simply connect a bluetooth mouse and keyboard.
My phone didn't have enough power to run the screen alone, so I did need a power cable running to it.
Testing the screen mirroring was fun...
This feature of course would work with any monitor, but the selling point of this one is that it's portable. If you don't own a laptop, or just want a bigger screen you could simply pack this and your mobile for a trip and have everything you need to work and play (as you can also just use cloud gaming on your mobile phone and beam to the screen).
2K 16inch Portable Monitor: What's not so good
Portability and sleek looks aside, the screen does have some downfalls. Audio is the biggest drawback. The two speakers built into the frame don't deliver the best sound experience, and whilst totally serviceable for games on the move, it doesn't really impress. Higher volumes sound tinny and almost echoey, there is of course, the option to just attach a soundbar but then you are adding more devices to the mix and removing the portability factor.
Secondly, while the display is decent and responsive, the matte screen may not be to everyone's taste, and I did find it struggled with stronger daylight, so I wouldn't suggest using this outdoors. At this price, I wasn't expecting it to blow my socks off in the audio or visual department, so I'm still happy with its performance at this price point.
The screen also doesn't have its own battery, so it will run off the power of the device it's connected to if that device has a high enough wattage. For example, it connected to my laptop with one USB-C wire, but when using it with my mobile, I did have to connect with a second wire to a power source for it to work.
2K 16inch Portable Monitor: The competition
If your primary interest in a monitor like this is for a portable Xbox screen, as mine was, then you may want to consider something built specifically for that purpose. The Xscreen has recently been certified a 'Developed for Xbox' device which fits straight onto your Xbox as if it was a first-party device. I reviewed a similar product myself, the Depgi 14" portable monitor, and the colors performed much better than this fold away screen, in fact it's become my permanent Xbox Series S screen now and I've no need for any other monitors.
Both of the above screens are on the pricier side though, costing around the same price as an Xbox Series S itself, so the Hongo 2K portable still beats them both in price and it can be used easily with other devices.
If the 'fold away' and portability of the monitor is what appeals to you, then there are other brands on Amazon that make similar screens. We've reviewed Lepow devices that perform similarly and are around the same price point, so it may just be a case of picking the monitor currently at the best price as both brands are often in sales.
2K 16inch Portable Monitor: Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a cheap and affordable second monitor
- You want a portable monitor that works with a range of devices
- You have a small desk space
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- Audio quality is important to you
- Color and brightness are needed for creative work
- You want touch capabilities
In summary, while this screen didn't blow my mind, I'd recommend this if someone had less than $200 to spend on a spare monitor that needed to be packed away or taken on their travels. It's certainly got enough features and potential uses to make it worth its price, and even more, being commonly in the sales.
Jen is a News Writer for Windows Central, focused on all things gaming and Microsoft. Anything slaying monsters with magical weapons will get a thumbs up such as Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Diablo, and Monster Hunter. When not playing games, she'll be watching a horror or trash reality TV show, she hasn't decided which of those categories the Kardashians fit into. You can follow Jen on Twitter @Jenbox360 for more Diablo fangirling and general moaning about British weather.