Setting up a second monitor isn’t always easy if your workspace tends to change from day to day. Thanks to the Zissu 15.6-inch Portable Monitor, it’s easy to take your second monitor with you wherever you go. But how well does a portable monitor stack up next to a dedicated second screen? In this hands-on review, I got the chance to compare, and this lightweight portable option blew me away.
Easy Setup Out of the Box
Does anyone else get tired of driver and compatibility issues when trying to connect a new monitor? I used to use a desktop monitor with my laptop, and every time Windows updated, I had driver problems. The Zissu 15.6-inch Portable Monitor doesn’t have any software or drivers to install. It’s literally connect and you’re ready.
Of course, you may have to adjust the display settings from your laptop, phone, tablet, etc. A few quick adjustments to extend the monitor versus mirroring it and changing the resolution, and I was done. Everything you need to connect and power the monitor is included in the box. There isn’t a built-in battery, so you will need to connect this to a power source when in use. The box includes three cables:
- USB-C to USB-C – provides both power and video/audio
- USB-C to USB-A – for power only
- Mini HDMI to HDMI – for video/audio only
If you’re connecting to a device with a USB-C port, you can just use the USB-C to USB-C cable. If you’re like me and have a slightly older laptop without USB-C, you’ll need to use both of the other cables.
Lightweight and Adjustable
Flat-screen desktop monitors aren’t exactly heavy, but they’re not made to move around much. The 15.6-inch screen is 0.16 inches thick and weighs just 1.7 pounds. For reference, this weighs just slightly more than an iPad and is thinner.
I’ll admit to being concerned with how easy it was to adjust and how well it’d stay in place. However, a small built-in stand at the bottom of the monitor adjusts to give you the perfect viewing angle. The stand also includes your ports, adjustable brightness, and more, but more on that momentarily. Rubber grips keep the monitor and stand in place.
It definitely won’t slide unless you really try to push it. When you’re done using the monitor, disconnect the cables, fold the stand back in place, and you’re ready to go. It took approximately 30 seconds to go from using the monitor to slipping it into my laptop case.
Picture and Audio Quality
The Zissu 15.6-inch Portable Monitor is mainly made for productivity, so it doesn’t have the best audio quality. However, you can still hear well enough. But you can easily change the audio source to your main device versus the monitor. Plus, there’s a 3.5 mm audio port to use with headphones or a speaker.
Audio quality wasn’t any big issue for me, but I did want a clear, high-quality picture. And yes, this monitor delivers. In fact, it was actually better than my laptop screen. While some newer devices have higher picture quality, Zissu’s default is 1920 x 1080, along with a 30-ms response time and 60 Hz refresh rate.
For normal use, this is amazing. However, it may not be the best option for gaming. The monitor auto-adjusts based on the device you’re connecting to. You can also adjust the resolution in your device’s display settings. The 178-degree viewing angle makes it the ideal presentation tool. Even when people stand to the side, they’ll still see whatever is on the screen clearly.
Connect to Various Devices
Anyone else hate watching videos on a tiny phone screen? If your phone supports USB-C, use the USB-C to USB-C cable to use the monitor as a larger screen for your phone or tablet. This cable will use your device to power the monitor. Or, if you don’t want to drain your device’s battery, use the USB-C to USB-A cable along with a USB charging adapter to power the monitor.
Since the monitor is portable, it’s great for taking with you and using it with your phone or tablet. And, while you may notice some issues with some games, it’s also compatible with many gaming systems, such as PS3, PS4, PS5, XBOX, and Switch.
Connections and Power
I personally love this monitor. However, if I could change just one thing, I’d add a battery. But, I do see the benefit of not having one. After all, it’d be yet another device to have to keep charged.
Because of that, you will always have to connect it to a power source when using it. On the other hand, it’s not going to accidentally get turned on in your bag and run the battery down. While having to always connect the monitor to a power source is a limitation, you’re likely going to be using this in an area where you can easily connect it to a power source, such as an office, home, hotel, or coffee shop. On the left side of the monitor, you have three ports – two USB-C and one mini HDMI.
On the right, you have a 3.5 mm AUX port, a brightness switch, and a power button to turn the screen off while it’s connected.
The power light turns green when you have a stable power source. If the light turns red, there’s a problem with the power source, and you may see the screen flicker or it may turn off entirely. If you’re powering the monitor with a laptop or mobile device that’s running on battery, it could also be an indicator that your device’s battery is starting to die.
With plenty of choices out there, it can be difficult finding the right portable monitor for yourself. Despite the one main limitation, aka no battery, I’d still highly recommend the Zissu 15.6-inch Portable Monitor. It’s ideal for anyone who needs a second or dual monitor setup while still being able to move their workspace to other areas.
It’s also perfect if you want a larger screen for streaming video from your phone or tablet but don’t have Wi-Fi to cast to your TV. For anyone who needs a bigger screen for showing presentations from their mobile device, this works great for this.
If you need a portable monitor that works completely with cables, then this isn’t the right one for you. For instance, if you need a monitor to use even without any power source, you’d be better off with something else. Gamers may also prefer something with a little better specs, but the average user shouldn’t have a problem with the picture quality.
The Zissu 15.6-inch Portable Monitor is a great productivity investment, especially if you’ll be using it regularly. It’s so lightweight and slim that you can slip it inside your laptop bag and go. Yes, I’m enjoying mine and have already recommended it to friends and co-workers. If you’d like your own, use the code MONITOR0 through August 23 and pay just $154.99.