Skip to main content

This portable touchscreen perches on your laptop’s display

A unique, portable monitor made by Nex perches on your MacBook or USB-C laptop screen to provide a second display for more workspace, to keep an eye on important news and social media feeds, or to watch a video while tweeting or clearing your inbox.

Called, the NexPad, it’s a thin, light, external monitor that’s can be positioned so it sits above your laptop’s built-in display. Priced at $249, the 12-inch, 1080p touchscreen looks like an interesting way to expand your desktop vertically.

The NexPad perches on your laptop's screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Beyond just adding another screen, the height provides a better ergonomic angle for using your laptop on a desk or table. Ideally, a monitor should be placed at eye level. Portable external monitors that stand even with a laptop’s screen don’t provide the same benefit.

You might be wondering how your laptop hinge will be able to support the added 1.6-pound weight. Nex designed a clever magnetic kickstand that supports your laptop’s angle while raising the NexPad display closer to eye level. In theory, this sounds like a good solution but we haven’t had hands-on experience with it yet.

The NexPad comes with a magnetic kickstand to help support the screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The NexPad is powered by your laptop’s USB-C plug so it will affect battery life. The monitor includes one mini-HDMI 2.0 port, two USB-C ports that use the USB 3.1 standard, and one USB-C port that uses the older 2.0 standard. The magnetic mount and kickstand are bundled at the $250 price, providing extra value.

The NexPad is also compatible with some smartphones that allow a desktop mode. Samsung is the most notable with its Dex software. For the full list, see Nex’s website.

Editors' Recommendations

Alan Truly
Alan is a Computing Writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast since his youth, Alan stays current on what is…
Laptop displays got way better this year, and I can prove it
Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3 front view showing display.

I've noticed for a couple of years that laptop displays have been improving. And it's not just the advent of new technologies like OLED and mini-LED. I'm talking about the tried-and-true IPS panel, which remains the most prevalent display technology on most laptops we've reviewed.

Fortunately, we maintain a database of quantitative laptop data that can help shed light on the following question: are laptop displays really getting better, or does it just seem to be the case? While the following data isn't scientific, it's close enough for us to draw some conclusions about just how much better laptops have been getting.
Brighter, deeper contrast, and more accurate colors

Read more
Apple’s mini-LED external display may be delayed until early 2023
The Mac Studio and Studio Display on a desk.

Apple might be looking to release a 27-inch mini-LED external display in 2023 that could serve as a follow-up to the Studio Display that launched in early 2022, according to Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) analyst Ross Young.

This prediction comes after the product release was supposedly delayed twice. Young expected the peripheral would launch during the summer, but Apple instead showcased new MacBook Air laptops featuring a second-generation proprietary chip.

Read more
Apple rolls out fix for Studio Display audio issue
Apple Mac Studio desktop and Studio Display.

Apple has released a software fix for an issue that was affecting the audio output on some of its new Studio Display monitors.

The fix comes just a couple of days after numerous media reports highlighted the problem, which resulted in audio unexpectedly cutting out, sounding distorted, or even speeding up.

Read more