You might think that extending a workspace with an additional monitor is a feature only available to desktop-bound Macs, or MacBooks tethered to monitors via an awkward cable. The people at GeChic have tried to dispel these assumptions with a convenient portable monitor called the On-lap monitor.
Installation was easy, with four sturdy suckers being screwed on to the monitor housing, and then suctioned onto the back of our MacBook Air. Four stick-on plastic circles are provided if you have a Mac with a less compliant surface.
The display can be folded out to use in landscape mode next to your main screen or kept rear-facing for presentations. You can also stand it next to your notebook and use it in portrait orientation.
The monitor is powered by an attached USB lead so you don't have to worry about finding a spare plug socket in a wall. A word of warning though – the GeChic On-Lap Monitor only comes with HDMI-to-mini HDMI and VGA-to-mini HDMI cables, so we needed to use an adapter for it to work with our MacBook Air.
With the monitor connected and the MacBook powered up, the monitor was detected right away and our desktop was shown. Setup couldn't have been easier then, which is just as well considering the manual isn't particularly helpful.
When the monitor is tucked away behind the MacBook it doesn't add too much bulk. And while it doesn't quite match the sharpness and clarity of the MacBook Air's screen, it's not too bad.
In our tests the default settings performed badly colour-wise, but they were easily fixed. But if you're working with images and photos and depend on the best possible image quality, we wouldn't recommend the GeChic On-Lap Monitor – certainly not as the main monitor anyway.
On the other hand, if you want an easy way to add more space to the desktop for extra programs and websites to be open at once, this is a handy gadget for a pretty good price.
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