If the global pandemic has taught us anything (apart from how important it is to be nice to people and how often we should wash our hands), then it is just how different our work lives can turn, quite quickly.
Strangely then, this year has been a really good time to look at gadgets i.e. a video doorbell is no longer ‘just a video doorbell’, it’s a way of being able to answer the door safely when you’re in quarantine.
The Inspect-a-Gadget elves felt kind of the same way about the Vissles Monitor i.e. it was a way of taking a laptop on holiday and actually being able to create a dual-screen office experience… and for those of us that ‘never turn off’, that is a good thing.
The Vissles-M, 15.6-inch Portable Touchscreen Monitor is priced at $199.00 USD, which (at the time of writing) should translate to £152.03 in UK Sterling.
The unit works as an on-the-go external touchscreen monitor that is compatible with your laptop, PC, Android phone, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox – we tried all of these apart from the Nintendo Switch and PS4 with good results.
With a net weight of around 620g, Vissles-M is a touchscreen monitor with a resolution of 1080*1920. The unit connects through USB-C or mini-HDMI port and both cables are supplied in the box.
Vissels has built this device with what feels like high-quality materials and there is a built-in (magnetic detachable) cover that can be folded back to create a stand.
Turns a smartphone into a tablet
We plugged the unit into an Android phone (Huawei Mate 20) and found it worked well. The touchscreen experience on the phone is translated straight over to the monitor. The idea here is that you can turn your phone into a tablet… and, for the most part, the experience does step and deliver that look and feel.
Your smartphone screen is broadcast in perfect form onto the monitor in portrait size in the middle of the screen, but as soon as you open up any app that displays horizontally (BBC iPlayer, movies etc.) the monitor also automatically switches to full screen landscape. It really comes into its own if you play a game (we tried Asphalt 9 Legends and Miniclip Pool) because you can leave your smartphone on the table and play in full screen tablet mode using touch. The responsiveness from the screen is flawless and the larger screen experience is excellent.
We also connected a wireless keyboard and mouse to our smartphone to work on the desktop-style interface. When the monitor is connected to an external power supply, the Vissles monitor will work as a power source to charge your smartphone as well.
The touchscreen experience also worked fine when connecting to a Microsoft Surface 4. Connecting it to a non-touchscreen PC doesn’t ‘magically’ create touchscreen functionality on the Vissles screen, obviously right?
The unit draws its power from the source ‘broadcasting’ to it. We found that when connected to a PC via micro-HDMI the monitor also needed a USB-C connection for power.
“Having a second monitor may be the best return on investment in terms of productivity and general computing comfort. According to Microsoft’s Research Center’s findings, users can improve productivity by 9% to 50% by adding an additional monitor to their computing environment (depending on the type of task),” noted Vissels, in a press statement.
When a user connects the monitor to an Android smartphone without an external power source, the monitor will automatically enter into energy-saving mode and restart again if the display brightness is above 50%.
Vissles-M supports Windows, macOS, Android and Linux systems. There are 2 full-featured USB-C ports and a mini HDMI port.
There’s also a combo power/return button, OSD (on screen display) menu button and a 3.5mm audio jack. The OSD menu button allows the user to adjust brightness, colour, volume and enter commands into an on-screen menu to control.
The unit is thin, at the thinnest point (panel thinness), it’s about 0.21 inches (5.3mm) at the thickest point (on the bottom) it’s 0.38 inches (9.7mm) without the cover on.
We can see this being useful for high-intensity workers who want to turn a single screen laptop experience into a dual-screen experience. It could also work well for on-the-go executives who might have movies stored on their phone, who want to watch them on a bigger screen. It’s also a nice way of having a dedicated monitor for your Xbox if you’re with another person and can’t get the TV to yourself. Overall, it’s a nice good-quality unit with no real need to read the instructions, which is always a good sign of an intuitive product.