Battery Life And Conclusion
To test the battery life, we’re using the same parameters as GeChic’s spec sheet. The brightness is turned up to maximum and the speaker volume is set to 10. Content is fed via HDMI from a standard Blu-ray player, allowing us to simply loop a movie until the battery is completely drained. The panel is fully charged, of course, and the test starts promptly after we unplug the charger.
The On-Lap 2501M manages to handily exceed GeChic's specification in our testing. At seven hours and twelve minutes, the low-battery indicator came on and we called it quits. At this stage, the On-Lap automatically lowers its brightness and audio volume to stretch the battery as long as possible. Since this is more than an hour longer than we were expecting, we're satisfied with the result. You can extend the battery by not using the speakers at all, or by turning down the brightness.
An Interesting Product, In The Right Context
The On-Lap 2501M is a unique product. While it doesn’t knock our socks off in terms of performance, there really isn’t anything else like it out there. What the On-Lap has going for it is excellent battery life and a thin, lightweight form factor. You can easily carry the thing with you in a laptop bag or backpack. And, with a full set of cables included, it can be used with a wide variety of sources right out-of-the-box. The On-Lap is one of those products that you buy for one reason, but then discover a half-dozen other uses for it.
Then again, for $270, it might make more sense to consider a few other portable products, such as a $250 Chromebook. And there’s no escaping the fact that desktop monitors of this size sell for less than $150. Plus, you'll need to decide whether tethering a smartphone or tablet to another device is even practical when integrated solutions exist.
That's not to say this product is without merit; it's just marketed all wrong. Since the On-Lap lacks a touchscreen, you aren't actually turning your smartphone into a large tablet. You still need control everything from your source device. And seeing as how GeChic prices the 2501M higher than some of last year's most popular 7" tablets sell for, it's simply a hard sell in the consumer space.
Busy professionals, on the other hand, can justifiably benefit from this product. Let's say you're a road warrior, and you want to fully utilize that desk in your hotel room. Using the On-Lap, you can add a second 15.6" screen to your laptop's display and create a mobile multi-monitor configuration. After all, the On-Lap is certainly more portable than any desktop monitor. This could have come in handy for those of us who stayed up late writing CES coverage this year in our hotel rooms, flipping between Word, Excel, Outlook, Skype, and Firefox. Additionally, a wide variety of ports and an integrated battery pack make the On-Lap an extremely portable display for mobile PC techs troubleshooting no-video issues.
So, in the right situations, GeChic's On-Lap can be a useful complement to your mobile arsenal. But at $270, it's hardly a gadget accessory.