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AOC E1659FWU And GeChic On-Lap 1502I: Portable Monitors, To Go

Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories


AOC includes a nice neoprene carry case with its portable screen, along with a USB 3.0 cable and a CD-ROM containing drivers and manuals. It’s a minimalist package, but this product is all about simplicity and there’s nothing else you need to make it work.

The bezel is fairly narrow on the sides and top, and slightly wider at the bottom. It’s made of a glossy black plastic that resists smudges well and seems quite durable. There are no physical controls of any kind, just an AOC logo molded in silver in the bottom-center.

The stand is permanently installed, fitting flush against the panel’s back when you don't need it. A suitably stiff hinge mechanism keeps the stand in whatever position you set. AOC's E1659FWU works equally well in a landscape or portrait orientation. If you want to bolt the display to a bracket, there’s a 75 mm VESA mount. 

Inside the triangular cavity formed by the stand, you can see the monitor's one input, a USB 3.0 connector that carries signal and power from the PC you hook up to. That means the only way to get an input is through a desktop or laptop. Unlike GeChic's panel, there is no HDMI-MHL port.

From the side, the E1659FWU has a slim profile. And the stand is made from cast aluminum, conveying a bit of a high-end touch. The whole hardware package is quite lightweight at a mere 2.6 pounds (1200 grams).

Again, the stand works equally well in either portrait or landscape mode.

While this portable monitor is technically limited compared to GeChic’s submission, it also costs less than one-third of the On-Lap 1502I. As an easy-to-use desktop extender, AOC's E1659FWU appears to be a viable choice.

GeChic On-Lap 1502I

The 1502I represents a significant step up from the 2502M we reviewed a few months ago. GeChic eliminated the nine-hour battery, but more than made up for that loss with several new features. Included in the box are cables for HDMI/MHL, VGA, USB, plus an AC adapter. There is also a stand with stick-on rubber feet. Rounding out the package is a printed manual.

GeChic shows the Windows 8 home screen in most of its stock photography, and with good reason: the On-Lap 1502I is 10-point multi-touch-compatible. It has a capacitive layer that works just like the one on your iPad or Android-based device. The front surface isn’t super-slick, but GeChic’s anti-glare coating is better at cutting reflections. Yes, Apple’s products have more slippery-feeling screens. However, we acclimated to the 1502I quickly. In Windows 7, the touchscreen works like a mouse; it supports cursor movement and selection only. You won’t need to install any extra drivers to do this, which is good because GeChic doesn’t include any. If you want to use the panel with an Android-based device, you need to download drivers from the company's website.

The 1502I can be connected to your source in a number of different ways. Like the AOC, it can receive power via USB, either from a computer or a wall outlet. You actually need to use the USB connection to enable touchscreen functionality. Video signals can arrive via HDMI with MHL or VGA. All of the necessary cables and adapters are included in the box. Audio is enabled by two speakers and a headphone output. To get sound, you need to send a signal over the HDMI connection; there is no analog input. The speakers are understandably small due to the On-Lap's thin profile, and they sound fairly tinny. The audio quality you get from the headphone jack is far better.

You can also see the controls in the above photo. Starting at the top is power, then exit, up, menu, and down. The exit key doubles as an auto-setup for analog signals, and the up and down buttons adjust volume when the menu is not engaged. The buttons are touch-sensitive, of course, and require a committed press to activate. The OSD is similar to what you find on a desktop monitor. There is only one picture mode, but you do get brightness, contrast, and color temp controls. If you choose the user preset, there are RGB sliders that let you to dial in an accurate white balance.

The coolest accessory in the package is this stand. It’s a two-piece design consisting of a cradle and stamped metal piece that snaps on the back. You can set it at four different angles, and it appears to be very well-made.

If you want to mount the On-Lap 1502I, you can buy a VESA kit that creates a slide-in bracket for the panel. This bracket works with any 100 mm mount.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.