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GeChic On-Lap 2501M 15.6" Battery-Powered Monitor, Tested

GeChic On-Lap 2501M Portable Monitor

Here at Tom's Hardware, our desktops are complemented by large monitors (sometimes, several of them). Our notebooks tend to have nice high-res displays that let us get work done anywhere we go. But what about our tiny smartphones? We're accustomed to lots of space for productivity, and those four- and five-inch screens can be very straining on our eyes.

Yet, that's the direction mobility is increasingly going. These days, you can’t go to an airport without seeing hundreds of people glued to their smartphones or tablets. Although it's easy to get a bunch of entertainment onto a USB thumb drive, and convenient to burn time watching it on the road, wouldn't a larger screen help you actually enjoy it more?

GeChic looks to answer that question with its family of portable monitors, dubbed On-Lap. Thanks to a beefy internal battery, these thin, lightweight panels give you the larger size of a notebook-class screen, sans the unwieldy wall plug.

GeChic sent us its newest model, the 2501M. Offering a resolution of 1366x768 pixels, it’s just the thing for road warriors who want something larger than a tablet or smartphone to watch videos or browse photos when they’re away from home. You can hook up a myriad of different sources to the On-Lap, and view any kind of content a computer or phone can output. We're putting the On-Lap through our benchmark suite so that you know what to expect from a mobile monitor.

The On-Lap 2501M bridges the convenience gap between a tablet and a laptop. It’s lightweight at just over two pounds, and around half of an inch thick. Inputs and controls are on the upper-right side, so they’re easy to reach when the monitor is in use. A protective cover snaps on to keep the screen from getting damaged, then doubles as a hinged base that works equally well in your lap or on a flat surface.

In the screen's box, you'll find a small clip that can be used to attach a smartphone to the front of the panel. The fit is going to be secure, but you're pretty much limited to an iPhone or similarly-sized handset held in the landscape position. Anything significantly thicker or smaller won't stay attached reliably. Unfortunately, any device you use with the clip also blocks the lower-right corner of the monitor, too.

GeChic On-Lap 2501M Technical Specifications
Panel TypeTwisted Nematic (TN)
BacklightLED
Screen Size15.55"
Max Resolution1366x768
Aspect Ratio16:9
Response Time (GTG)8 ms
Brightness (cd/m^2)200
Speakers2 x 1 W
VGA1
HDMI2 (1 MHL)
Refresh Rate60 Hz
Battery LifeSix hours
Dimensions (W x H x T)15.7 x 10.3 x 0.6 inches395 x 260 x 16.3 mm
Weight2.89 lbs
Warranty1 year
Price$270

A large variety of devices can be connected to the 2501M: the On-Lap can extend the display of a computer, tablet, smartphone, camera, gaming system, or DVD/Blu-ray player. Thankfully, GeChic includes a full complement of cables for the On-Lap’s three video inputs, a practice we'd like to see more companies follow. HDMI is supported via a mini connector, while block adaptors for traditional HDMI cables and jacks are in the kit as well. Since HDMI carries audio too, GeChic integrates speakers and headphone output into the On-Lap.

If you have an MHL-compatible device, the On-Lap supports it directly. MHL, or Mobile High-Definition Link, is a relatively new standard that allows transmission of up to 1080p/60 Hz video and 7.1-channel surround sound, while simultaneously charging the connected device. This interface is showing up on more and more phones, tablets, and other portable devices.

Battery life is obviously dependent on how you use the On-Lap. The rated capacity is 9300 mAh from the internal lithium-ion cell. With the brightness maxed and the audio volume on 10, GeChic quotes six hours typical usage time. Of course, an AC adaptor is included so you can plug-in to charge the battery or simply power the monitor.

  • mayankleoboy1
    So even though the hardware itself is excellent, the final product is too niche-y to sell ?
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    A portable monitor at the conveniently low price of an entry level tablet or chromebook... I see real utility here.
    Reply
  • Fulgurant
    I might be interested in something like this at some point. Nice review.
    Reply
  • Senor Kalyan
    http://us.aoc.com/monitor_displays/e2251fwu
    Reply
  • warezme
    It is an industry artificial block in my opinion. All they would have to do is include a little extra circuitry to the existing pads for an HDMI input and viola, you could use your pad as a monitor to another device. Most pads have at least that resolution on some even better. I would never buy this item unless it was under $150 or less. It is a one trick pony with a low resolution screen.
    Reply
  • groundhogdaze
    I'd love to have one of these portable monitors. I've go a bunch of headless PC's that I need to check every once in a while and don't want to lug a regular monitor around nor hunt for a power socket for the test monitor. If only the price were a little lower...
    Reply
  • Fulgurant
    warezmeIt is an industry artificial block in my opinion. All they would have to do is include a little extra circuitry to the existing pads for an HDMI input and viola, you could use your pad as a monitor to another device. Most pads have at least that resolution on some even better. I would never buy this item unless it was under $150 or less. It is a one trick pony with a low resolution screen.I don't disagree that tablets could easily include an input, but to be fair, this product is far bigger than a tablet. It may only have a niche use, but it is clearly better suited for that niche use than a tablet screen would be.
    Reply
  • Fulgurant
    FulgurantI don't disagree that tablets could easily include an input, but to be fair, this product is far bigger than a tablet. It may only have a niche use, but it is clearly better suited for that niche use than a tablet screen would be.Come to think of it, laptops should include inputs too -- but to my knowledge, they never have.
    Reply
  • g00fysmiley
    interesting concept but would be nice if bluetooth connectivity wee there unless i am missing somethign it s hdmi only. touchscereen i know is pricier but again would add to utility. interesting product just as it is looks very limited
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    Senor Kalyanhttp://us.aoc.com/monitor_displays/e2251fwuNice product, except it doesn't have its own power supply and can only take a USB signal over a DisplayLink driver. Makes for a nice quasi-mobile secondary monitor for computers, but it won't connect to most types of mobile devices like the GeChic will.
    Reply