PackedPixels Portable Monitor Review

Monitors and TVs, Reviews

Whether you’re a developer, graphic designer or are looking for some more display real-estate, an extra monitor is a welcome addition. The guys over at PackedPixels have created the ultimate portable laptop monitor solution, which is super-lightweight, and can be mounted to your laptop or used as a standalone display.


The PackedPixels display started out as a Kickstarter project, which managed to get over £60,000 of backing from its supporters.


Since then PackedPixels displays have been shipped all over the world, and have proved a massive success.


In terms of hardware, the display is rocking a 9.7-inch screen and a max resolution of 2048 x 1536.




The display can be connected to your PC using either DisplayPort or Thunderbolt – if you don’t have either of these, an adapter should suffice.


Among the DisplayPort and Thunderbolt ports, you’ve got a microUSB port for charging.




The outer-bezel is relatively narrow, and doesn’t take up too much space which allows for a seamless transition between usage on the native display and the external display.




Included in the box, along with the display, is a protective carry case, user manual, DisplayPort to mini DisplayPort cable, Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable, a USB to microUSB cable, mounting harness and the desktop stands.




In terms of mounting the display to your laptop, this couldn’t be easier. Simply attach the harness to your laptop by stretching elasticated section to either end of your laptop display, and clip the mounts to either end.


Once the mounting harness is in place, the PackedPixels display simply attaches by interlocking the connector from the display onto the harness, as pictured below.




Unfortunately, if you only have one external display you’ll still have to put up with the mount on the opposite side because this is what keeps the harness in place.




The display itself can be positioned in landscape or portrait, whichever you prefer.




As a web developer, and all-round technophile, I don’t think I’ve ever owned a computer and not had at least dual-monitors, so the ability to extend my MacBook display is brilliant.


The first thing I noticed upon connecting the display and turning it on was how vibrant and clear the display was. It was actually a much higher quality than the Retina display on my MacBook Pro – in fact, it made the MacBook display look quite dull and lifeless in comparison!




There are a range of resolutions you can use on the display, the highest of which – 2048 x 1536 – was almost unusable for everyday use. The only real use I can see for this one would be if you needed to fit quite a few windows on the display. During my testing, the 1280 x 960 resolution worked brilliantly on the 9.7-inch display.




Given that the actual dimensions of the display, and resolution, are near-enough identical to the Apple iPad display, I imagine that this is why the display quality is as good as it is.


Everything from films, email and graphic design looked great on the 9.7-inch display, and thanks to the included desktop stands it’s possible to use the monitor without the harness – a great addition.




In terms of price you’re looking at around the £150 mark for one display. This includes all of the accessories listed above. If you’re after two of the displays to make use of the two display mounts then a dual pack can be purchased on the PackedPixels website, at a reduced cost of £289. Other packages are also available if you’re planning on kitting out a home office, or business.


The only thing to note if you plan on getting two monitors is that each one will require power, either from your laptop USB ports, and also a DisplayPort or Thunderbolt port.




From my time with the PackedPixels display, the experience has been one without any problems.


The display quality is incredible, as are the resolutions available to the user. From the insanely vibrant colours, to the extremely crisp text, the display couldn’t have offered much more if it tried.


My only issue is that if you’re using the mounting brackets with only one external display then the opposite side just looks like the odd one out unless you purchase another display to mount there instead. Perhaps a one-monitor harness could be introduced so that you haven’t got a random mount sticking out of the other side, but if that was my only issue then PackedPixels are certainly doing something right!


I really liked the ability to have the display on my desktop, using the desktop stands, rather than the harness as well – a very handy addition if you need to take the display out with you, but don’t want to use the mounting harness in a cramped coffee shop.


All in all, the PackedPixels display is incredibly good value for money in my opinion. You can’t beat the quality of the display for the price.


If you’re in the market for a high-quality portable display, then the PackedPixels display is the one to check out! You can visit PackedPixels here.