Obscure Belgian startup wants you to connect four monitors to your laptop in a bid to boost your productivity — great for those looking to create their own hydra workstation

Press shots of The Portable Monitor's five-display laptop via two devices
(Image credit: The Portable Monitor)

The Portable Monitor has turned heads at CES 2024 with its bizarre modular display system that can combine several displays to turn your laptop into a five-screen monster.

The startup has launched three new products in a bid to one of the best portable monitor makers at the trade show, including its foldable 24-inch offering, the Twins, alongside a device with two slideable 14-inch display, the Flex, as well as a single 15.6-inch display, called the Mono.  

But the firm has caught the eye with a particular demonstration involving two 14-inch Flex displays – plugging two of these into a single laptop through two USB-C connections to augment it with four additional screens. The result is a five-screen (overall) display for productivity in multiple directions.

Unleash the beast

Although adding four additional displays rather undermines the portability of using, say, just one of these devices, it's an option for users who perhaps lack access to multiple monitors in the workplace or at home.

The Flex includes two full-HD LED IPS displays with a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution and a brightness of 300 nits, the manufacturer claims. The display, which also has a 1000:1 contrast ratio, operates on just a single USB-C connection. The device also weighs 1.95kg and its measurements are 208 x 305 x 30 mm.

This device is compatible with all major systems including Mac, Windows, Linux – as well as Android – although flipping the displays into portrait mode is only compatible with Windows. 

The Flex is somewhat a larger successor to the 13.3-inch Slide model, which is 2kg heavy but just 20mm thick. The 15.6-inch Mono, by contrast, is just 700g heavy and has a 7.6mm thickness in light of the fact it offers just a single display. 

This single-display system is comfortable with PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox, and Switch, while also being adaptable to iPhone with the help of a power adaptor that isn't sold separately.

The Twins, meanwhile, offers prospective customers a much larger portable display thanks to its foldable nature. The startup is pitching this at professionals and creatives, in particular, who may need a much larger canvas without compromising on portability.

More from TechRadar Pro

Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Channel Editor (Technology), Live Science

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Technology Editor for Live Science. He has written for a variety of publications including ITPro, The Week Digital and ComputerActive. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, having previously held the role of features editor with ITPro. In his previous role, he oversaw the commissioning and publishing of long form in areas including AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation.