Gechic on-lap monitor review: A second screen for everything

The monitor for people who never have enough monitors.

Ask anyone who knows me, I'm a bit of a monitor hog. My desktop sports a 43-inch ultrawide because I was tired of the bezels in multiple monitors. My laptop never has enough screen real estate for my workflow. I was raised on multiple monitors, and never really grew out of it.

The one place I don't have this problem is when I'm gaming, but my console tethers me unnecessarily to the living room. When I went looking for a fairly inexpensive way to be portable with my console, I found a monitor that not only lets me game on the go but also acts as a fantastic secondary monitor when I'm working remotely. It's called the Gechic On-Lap monitor, and while I'm probably never going to use it "On-Lap" there are a ton of other places it's going to get used.

Gechic on-lap monitor: What I like

I don't often take my Xbox One X out of the house, because why would I? Most of the televisions in the hotel rooms I stay in when I travel are locked down so I can't really connect anything, and I'm not usually in the room for particularly long to begin with. The monitors built into my minivan (#DadLife) when I'm taking my kids on long trips are way too small for the experience to be enjoyable for anything but a movie, and I already have a DVD player in the house. I would take my console with me way more places if it made sense to do so, but even on the train, the chances of my having access to two power outlets are slim.

This monitor removes a lot of these arguments by design. The 7800mAh battery powers this 11.6-inch 1080p display for at least four hours (Gechic claims 4.5 but I landed closer to the 4 mark most days) with no problem. The panel itself has an anti-glare matte coating on it so I can use it just about everywhere, and the 178-degree viewing angle lets the person sitting next to me play as well. And we did, I took this on a four-hour train ride from Baltimore to New York City and it kept us entertained the entire trip.

The best part about this display is I can use it with basically anything. The ports on the side support DisplayPort and Mini HDMI, with cables in the box to connect to both with ease. I was able to use this to extend the display on my laptop when I wasn't gaming, and it all just worked. With the headphone jack on the side of the display, I was able to immerse myself in what I was doing, with no need to involve wireless headphones.

I'm also barely scratching the surface of what this display offers. There's a port on the back of the display for more permanent mounting solutions where hanging cables off the back is inconvenient. You can connect to cameras for a huge display when shooting video, and the carrying case gives you multiple leaning angles depending on where you are sitting or standing when using the display.

Gechic on-lap monitor: What I don't like

Having a battery-powered portable monitor that doesn't suck makes me feel like I'm in the future, right until I try to charge it. Right next to the other ports is a micro USB port for charging, which in 2018 kind of sucks. It means the monitor doesn't charge very quickly (almost three hours to full) and really highlights what a missed opportunity USB-C included would have been. Not only would it charge much faster, but USB-C could have been another display out option for those of us living the dongle life.

This monitor fits nicely into its travel case and carries well, but the speakers on the top of the monitor suffer from the same thing most lightweight displays suffer from. The audio is tinny and occasionally there's a rattle alongside the bass. It's not the worst set of speakers out there, but you're probably going to want to use your headphones if you have them. If the audio quality doesn't bother you, the good news is these speakers do get very loud if you need them to. Not a bad option for doing something outside if you don't have speakers or headphones, but not necessarily the choice I would make.

Should you buy the Gechic on-lap monitor?

If you need a portable monitor for anything, a laptop or a console or just so your kids have something to watch movies while you're doing something with the actual television in the room, this is a solid option. At $299 you're absolutely paying for the privilege of portability, but it's worth it for those of us who aren't in the living room as often as we'd probably like.

So should you but it? For sure. You won't regret buying this product.

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Russell Holly

Russell is a tech nerd who chases the best of everything, from phones to game consoles to laptops and everything glowing or beeping. He's the Managing Editor of gaming content for Mobile Nations and can be found contributing to all of the Mobile Nations sites. Reach out on Twitter!

  • This is good. But how would this compare to the Asus ZenScreen? That one's $60 cheaper, has a 4" larger screen, and does have USB-C. It doesn't have an internal battery, though...
  • Be careful which ZenScreen you pick though, most only work as USB auxiliary displays using DisplayLink tech, which is good for office work but not as fast as HDMI or DisplayPort for games and videos.
    The one you want is the MB16AC as it is 1080p, supports DisplayLink for compatibility, but switches to DisplayPort alternate mode over USB type-C when possible for lower latency and better refresh rate. I expect the Gechic monitors to have the same performances as they are HDMI (and optionally DisplayPort, but I'd rather use a USB type-C to HDMI adapter than a USB type-C to DisplayPort adapter and a proprietary cable). However, if you need to connect them to a computer that doesn't have a free monitor connector or USB type-C with support for alternate mode, you'll need a separate DisplayLink adapter. Also remember that you'll need a separate USB cable for power, taking an extra USB type-A or C port on your computer, or two if power from one isn't enough. This means you probably want a small USB dock with HDMI and USB type-A from your USB type-C port, and hope it provides enough power. The Asus MB16AC on the other hand always work over a single cable and port, regardless if it's using DisplayPort alternate mode or DisplayLink, but if your computer doesn't support USB type-C alternate mode, you cannot connect a second cable to an HDMI port and instead are limited to the DisplayLink performances. I'm considering the Gechic for their touch versions though, as it isn't easy to find portable monitors with capacitive touch.