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

AOC E1659FWU And GeChic On-Lap 1502I, Two Portable Monitors

Back in March, I wrote GeChic On-Lap 2501M 15.6" Battery-Powered Monitor, Tested, finding the 2501M to be an interesting, if not high-priced product. With the myriad of smartphone and tablet choices you have, a portable monitor is more of a niche accessory than an indispensable addition to the 'ol gadget bag.

AOC E1659FWU

Today, we're looking at AOC’s E1659FWU, which checks in at a more value-conscious $130 and offers utter simplicity of operation. Install the drivers, plug in the USB 3.0 cable, and you’re ready to work. We also have another unit from GeChic, the On-Lap 1502I, selling at much higher price point. The On-Lap comes loaded with more features, though. It's a 1920x1080 IPS-based screen, for starters; AOC makes do with a TN panel at 1366x768. At 15.6 inches, GeChic's pixel density is in Retina territory: 144 ppi. It’s also a capacitive touchscreen with 10-point multi-touch support in Windows 8.

GeChic On-Lap 1502I

Both products come as complete kits; all you need is a source. The E1659FWU only works with a computer, since its lone input is USB. The necessary cable is included, along with a carrying case. The On-Lap 1502I accommodates computers, gaming consoles, and even standalone Blu-ray players. All the cables come bundled, along with a very cool stand. Unlike its predecessor, the On-Lap 2501M, there’s no internal battery. Power comes from either the connected computer or a wall outlet. The main attraction here is touchscreen support and a native 1080p resolution. Believe us, though; you pay handsomely for those capabilities.

BrandAOCGeChic
ModelE1659FWUOn-Lap 1502I
Street Price$130$400
Panel TypeTNIPS
Touchscreen-Projected capacitive10-point multi-touch
BacklightW-LEDW-LED
Screen Size15.6"15.6"
Max Resolution1366x7681920x1080
Max Refresh Rate60 Hz60 Hz
Aspect Ratio16:916:9
Response Time (GTG)-17.5
Brightness (cd/m2)200220
Speakers-2 x 1 W
VGA-1
DVI--
DisplayPort--
HDMI-1 w/MHL
Headphone-1
USB Input1, v3.0 micro1
DimensionsW x H x D14.8 x 9.2 x .9 in375 x 234 x 23 mm16.9 x 9.8 x .4 in430 x 248 x 10 mm
WarrantyThree yearsThree years

You probably wouldn't expect the performance of a desktop display from a portable panel. But the pricing (particularly what GeChic wants for its On-Lap 1502I) suggests otherwise. In a time when even the cheapest monitors we test turn in excellent results, there’s no reason we can’t hold portables to the same standards.

GeChic takes steps in the right direction with a Full-HD IPS screen and a usable and practical OSD. AOC, ostensibly to keep its price down, forgoes the adjustments and the extra inputs. The company also leans on a TN panel as the basis for its E1659FWU. Straight-up, this is a six-bit part with no dithering, so the available color palette extends to 262,144 shades. As it turns out, GeChic’s offering is also natively six-bit-capable.

Since these are essentially laptop-style displays, they use laptop-oriented components. That is why their color bit depth and gamut volume are smaller. As you'll see on page seven, neither product renders the entire sRGB color space. Why'd the two companies choose the hardware they did? Mainly as a result of lower power consumption and heat output. The extra processing power required to manage an eight-bit color palette would have added bulk. And even a USB 3.0 connection like the one AOC uses only allows 1.5 A of maximum current.