FOR DEDICATED DESK JOCKEYS forced to leave the house, there’s nothing quite as frustrating as abandoning a set of beautiful 4K screens and being forced to go caveman, working with a pathetic single built-in panel. In these modern times, it just ain’t right. Thankfully, not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, the mighty bandwidth and power delivery talents of USB-C are here to save us, in combination with AOC’s masterfully thin portable panel. It’s a plug in and go affair: As long as your laptop has a 3.1-capable USB-C socket (there’s no backward compatibility with USB 3.0), you can hook it up, prop it up, and get your multi-screen on wherever you may be, using a single slimline cable for power and data. Even with those chunky bezels, the slender profile, ease of attachment, and incredibly light weight of the 15.6-inch 1601FWUX make it a drool-worthy item to have in your bag.
There’s nothing lacking in the bread and butter. The 1601FWUX offers a decent 1080p resolution, which—given the screen’s relatively small size— doesn’t over-emphasize the pixels. Bonus points, too: It’s a WVA IPS panel that manages damn strong color reproduction and solid viewing angles. Realistically, it’ll probably put the panel that’s built into your laptop to shame.
Portrait mode is a woefully underrated function of modern monitors. You’re not going to game on it unless you’re seriously masochistic (and your chosen title is crazy enough to let you use a vertical resolution), but for idly flicking through the Internet or hitting up high-value spreadsheets, it’s invaluable. The 1601FWUX’s automatic rotation detection means you can switch it up whenever you need it.
The 1601FWUX’s essential accessory is its stand, a foldable magnetic thing that gives you a decent range of adjustment, from lazily laid-back to beyond vertical, perfect to keep the mat screen free of any environmental glare. In a neat twist of industrial design, that same stand doubles as a cover for the screen. Clack its magnets on to the front, and you’re protected on the move.