Mobile Pixels Duex Plus Portable Monitor Review

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The Mobile Pixels Duex Plus might just help to solve a problem a lot of remote workers face – their laptop screens just aren’t big enough.

It’s a portable monitor that can attach to the back of your laptop and gives you the convenience of a second screen, without the bulk of an additional, full-size display.

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Let’s have a gander and see if Mobile Pixels’ monitor is worth a punt.

Table of Contents

Design and build quality

mobile pixels duex plus portable monitor review
Credit: Mobile Pixels

First things first, let’s talk design. The Duex Plus might well be considered quite a nondescript item, with black plastics adorning the monitor’s outer shell. While some may enjoy the minimal aesthetic, some may feel that the use of plastics looks and feel more on flimsy side.

It attaches to the back of your laptop via a series of adhesive pads and magnets, which is clever, as the entire display is kept neatly inside its black plastic shell and can slide out and angle round when required. You get 270 degrees of adjustment, which is convenient, and the display is light enough so it doesn’t take too much effort to manoeuvre. On paper, so far so good.

Bezels are rather thick all round, especially on the top and bottom, which don’t help matters and just forces the Duex Plus to look a little bit old-fashioned.

Once you do attach the Duex Plus to your laptop of choice, it doesn’t half rattle around a lot due to those thin feeling plastics, though, especially if you do want to move round with it attached. The back casing feels especially hollow, and is a fingerprint magnet, which isn’t the best.

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In terms of orientation, the Duex Plus is designed to be used in a landscape configuration majorly, at least when attached to your device. It can be used in a portrait mode, if you detach it from your laptop shell and use it separately.

To use the display just as a standalone external monitor, you’ll need to buy a standard laptop stand to prop it up or shell out for the variant with the included Kickstand, which could push the cost up so much so you might as well buy a whole new full-size monitor, as opposed to this compact offering.

Performance

mobile pixels duex plus portable monitor
Credit: Mobile Pixels

The actual display Mobile Pixels have used, on paper, seems pretty good. It’s a 13.3-inch FHD IPS panel with a quoted 300 nits of brightness, which should, by rights, offer good performance for the money and compare well to laptop screens for more budget-oriented options.

The reality, however, is markedly different. On first impressions, colours look washed out and the display is markedly dim. 300 nits of brightness seems quite a stretch, and to my eye, it looks more towards the 200 nit mark, if not lower. Other reviews of the device would also correlate, with some measuring 170 nits of actual brightness.

Colours look relatively flat on the Duex Plus, especially when compared with the Retina display of a MacBook Pro (2020), which means it wouldn’t be good for watching videos on a second screen whilst you work on the main display of your laptop, for example.

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All of this combines to mean it’s only suitable for indoor use. The low brightness and flat colours mean it can’t necessarily be used for outdoor working, even if the Duex Plus’ panel is matted.

A 60Hz refresh rate is pretty standard, but where this monitor loses out most prevalently is on its response times. It isn’t intended as a display for gaming by any means but it’s so high that you can physically see the cursor’s blur if you move it quickly across the screen.

mobile pixels duex plus portable monitor review
Credit: Mobile Pixels

The notion of things being worse in practice than theory is also evident with the actual installation of the Duex Plus. Attaching it to the back of my MacBook Pro was a bit of a faff, even with the guide bundled in the box.

This is due to the fact it connects via both magnets and adhesive and getting things wrong could leave you with some metal magnets attached to your laptop’s back panel with strong adhesive.

What’s more, if you want to pass this display to someone else to use, you’ll need to reattach the adhesive pads to the magnets yourself, which arguably isn’t the most user-friendly decision.

On the plus side, connecting the display up once it’s attached is easy enough thanks to the bundled right-angled USB-C cable that connects to either USB-C or USB-A at one end into your laptop and into the monitor via USB-C at the other.

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There are two USB-C ports on the Duex Plus, with one for outputting a display signal and the other for charging a device, which is convenient.

Mobile Pixels Duex Plus - Should You Buy It?

For its intended task of being a second screen, the Duex Plus does an okay job. Its colours are passable, and its brightness is alright for indoor work only. If you are looking for a compact method to cure your screen real-estate issues, then this may be a decent purchase.

There are some obvious benefits for those who are working on the go and need a second screen, especially those who travel often, but that is arguably a smaller group, with many choosing to go for a larger laptop screen instead.

So for a small portion of those looking for a second screen, it could well do the job and we imagine they'd be satisfied for the most part.

However, personally speaking, it is fairly highly priced when compared to other portable monitors, and it appears that a couple corners may have been cut with its construction for the sake of a well-intentioned item.

2.5/5

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Review kit provided by the manufacturer.

Buy Now: Mobile Pixels Duex