I remember long ago when having a single computer monitor for work was common. Thinking back, I’m not sure how I was ever productive in those days.
Having at least two monitors has become commonplace at the office. I actually prefer having at least three.
If you’re still working remotely, I understand that space could be limited and adding a second screen to your home office setup might not seem feasible. You might not know it, but there are very compact monitors made for that purpose and to take along with you on your travels.
Meet the SideTrak Solo Portable Monitor
Check out the SideTrak Solo Freestanding Portable Monitor. Here are some of the key specs:
- 15.6-inch full HD LED IPS anti-glare monitor with 16:9 aspect ratio
- Weighs 1.22 lbs. and only 0.37-inches thick
- Ports: Mini HDMI, USB-A and USB-C
- Works with Mac, PC, gaming consoles, etc.
- Can be powered by device it’s plugged into
- Built-in, folding stand
- $299.99 at Amazon
- Remote workers with limited space for a home office
- Business travelers needing a second screen
As you can see from the size and weight, this thing is built to be very portable. So not only can it sit next to your laptop on a small desk, it can be packed right along with it in a laptop bag without much noticeable difference.
The SideTrak is supposed to solve two problems in that regard, but is it worth the not-so-cheap price?
How it performs
Even knowing the specs beforehand, I was still a little surprised to see just how small and lightweight the monitor is. The stand is simple to operate. You have discreet controls on the side and included are three cables depending on the situation.
The first thing I plugged the SideTrak into was my HP x360 Spectre laptop through the USB-C port. The monitor powered right up with a crisp (but pretty average) image mirroring my laptop’s wallpaper. Then I adjusted the display settings on the PC and got a little work done.
It works great as a second monitor, aside from one gripe (more on that later), and it takes up very little space no matter where you’re working. As far as entertainment goes …
You can connect a streaming device to the monitor under the right circumstances. Let’s say you have one of Roku’s media players (NOT a stick). Just use the HDMI to mini HDMI cable that came with the monitor to connect it. To use a streaming stick, such as a Fire TV, you’ll need an HDMI adapter to connect it to the mini HDMI port on the monitor.
The good and the bad
The best part about this SideTrak Solo is that it really is portable. It’s easy to move around your home and fits right into my laptop bag. Because of how thin and light it is, along with the plastic casing, I occasionally wonder about its long-term durability.
The only other problem I had involved the power situation. When the SideTrak was connected to my HP laptop via USB-C, I could not raise the brightness level above 50% without it restarting. It just wasn’t able to draw enough power from the laptop over the single connection.
Otherwise, it achieves what it’s supposed to. But you still have to get over that price tag …
Is the SideTrak portable monitor worth it?
Shop around Amazon and you’ll find other portable monitors, probably from brands you’ve heard of like Asus, Lenovo and HP. While a few are a little more expensive, some are $50 to $100 or more cheaper than the SideTrak Solo, which costs $299.99.
That, and if you don’t need a space-saving monitor or one to travel with, you can find all sorts of standard monitors for even less. You can even get an entry-level smart TV for about half the price of the SideTrak.
For those who need something more compact or for on the go, give the SideTrak a closer look. Personally, I didn’t know a portable monitor was missing from my life until actually getting my hands on one. While this is the only portable monitor I tested, I would advise that you shop around for similar displays with comparable specs before making a decision.
One final note: SideTrak also has other options, including one that attaches to your laptop via magnets and a 4K version. See those options below.
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