One of the big promises of USB-C has always been the potential for great accessories, and at CES 2019, those products are finally starting to materialize with things like the Lapscreen: a paper-thin 12.5-inch USB-C monitor that can run entirely off a single cable plugged into your phone or laptop.
Measuring 11.1-inches by 8.3-inches (including a rather large chin that also houses the USB-C and HDMI ports), the whole thing is roughly the size of a sheet of paper, and at 4mm thick for the display portion, it’s nearly as thin as a few sheets stacked together, too. Even the chin at the bottom that houses the ports and components is incredibly slim at 8mm thick, to the point where what I assumed was one screen actually turned out to be a stack of them.
The display itself is a standard 1080p panel, which can be either connected via USB-C (for both power and display data) or over HDMI (although you’ll still need to power the laptop via USB-C in that case). The idea is that at the end of the day, you’ve got a ultra-thin, ultralight extra display that you can literally stick in folder or laptop case and have with you for when you need the extra space on the go.
The biggest problem with the Lapscreen, though, which is that there’s no option for a built-in stand on the back, which seems like a bit of an oversight. Even a pop-up kickstand like the one found on any number of iPhone cases or the Nintendo Switch would probably be enough to prop up the Lapscreen’s 400-gram weight, and the company does say that it’s considering one for a future version. The 178-degree viewing angles seem sufficient if you want to make your own stand, though.
The other issue with the Lapscreen is the price: it’s available now from distributor Faytech starting at $200 for the standard model or $265 for a touchscreen version. Costing roughly as much as an actual, full-fledged desktop monitor may be a lot to ask for a smaller, portable display, but if you need the extra space on the go, the Lapscreen certainly seems like a slick option.
Besides, Lapscreen isn’t the only one trying this idea: LG also has a portable 27-inch USB-C monitor at CES. While you won’t be stuffing that one in your laptop bag, it’s also pretty neat.