Toshiba 14-inch USB Mobile LCD Monitor Review

Toshiba’s travel-friendly 14-inch Mobile LCD display makes a reasonably affordable addition to any business traveler’s repertoire of road gadgets, and effectively turns a midsize notebook into a desktop replacement.
Toshiba’s travel-friendly 14-inch Mobile LCD display makes a reasonably affordable addition to any business traveler’s repertoire of road gadgets, and effectively turns a midsize notebook into a desktop replacement.
Toshiba’s travel-friendly 14-inch Mobile LCD display makes a reasonably affordable addition to any business traveler’s repertoire of road gadgets, and effectively turns a midsize notebook into a desktop replacement.

Highs

  • Stylish, practical leather folio case
  • Thin, lightweight folding design
  • Uses USB for signal and power
  • Large 14-inch panel

Lows

  • Weak backlight
  • Dismal image quality
  • AC adapter sold separately

DT Editors' Rating

What do you miss most when away from home? Sleeping in your own bed? The company of friends and loved ones? The reassuring purr of a furry friend? If you answered “a dual-display setup,” you’re both sick and in luck, since Toshiba has recently made the luxury of extra desktop real estate easier than ever to secure with its 14-inch USB Mobile LCD display. Compact enough to fit in a standard laptop bag, the mobile display deploys beside your notebook to bring extra screen space wherever you happen to set up shop.

Toshiba 14-inch USB Mobile LCD Display AngleFeatures and specs

If you have the patience, any LCD monitor can pack down for travelling, but Toshiba has optimized its Mobile LCD with a number of a helpful features that make it a literal snap to set up. First and foremost: The 14-inch screen packs down into a leather folio that looks like it could hold a couple tablets of legal paper. Just yank open a Velcro flap, unfold the display and prop it up like a birthday card. The second biggie: No HDMI cables or power bricks necessary. The Mobile LCD uses a single DisplayLink cable with a miniUSB plug on the display end and two USB plugs for your notebook on the other. Plug them both in and you’ve got another 1366 x 768 pixels sitting next to your coffee mug.

Setup

Before you can fire it up, you’ll need to install DisplayLink drivers that come on an included CD. No dealbreaker, but we have to admit to being spoiled by USB devices that “just work” with Windows 7, and others that come with the requisite drivers ready to load via USB. In the not-too-unlikely event to manage to lose the CD altogether, you’ll need to pull down a 58MB file from Toshiba.

Performance and testing

At only 2.8 pounds and 0.6 inches thick, the Mobile LCD really is quite easy to toss in a bag with a midsize notebook, and the leather folio provides both protection and a quick setup. Anyone can figure out how to set it up the first time around, and the velour interior provides a non-slip base to prop it up at more than one angle. We also appreciate that Toshiba didn’t totally cheap out on stiff pleather — the black leather wrapping up the LCD feels both durable and surprisingly supple.

Toshiba 14-inch USB Mobile LCD Monitor Case SideThe same can’t quite be said for the screen itself, which is… utilitarian to say the most. The specs tell the story: With only 256,000 colors, 220 nits of brightness and a sluggish 16ms response time, this panel is no performer. It only even reaches maximum brightness with a $40 AC adapter accessory, which most travelers will forgo for the sake of price and convenience. At the brightness achievable via USB, whites look like zombie-skin grey, and colors appear heavily muted. The only real plus is a matte anti-glare coating, which effectively cuts down reflections from overhead lamps and sunlight. The viewing angle, too, is reasonably wide — a smart spec for a side monitor not likely to line up perfectly with your field of vision.

We found the screen ample enough for typing (most of this review was written on it) and reading websites, but watching movies on it was less than satisfying, and we wouldn’t trust it for any kind of graphics work. Surprisingly, though, the slow response time never caused abhorrent ghosting in movies or games. The Mobile LCD has a power button and two brightness adjustments, but one would have sufficed for toggling through the two brightness levels — dim and dimmer.

Toshiba 14-inch USB Mobile LCD DisplayWindows 7 treats the Mobile LCD like any other monitor, meaning you can get it to mirror your desktop or just provide adjacent desktop real estate for dragging windows to. If you’re used to keeping your IM windows, e-mail or just another browser window slid safely off the screen, it feels right at home. Keep in mind, though, that it can be tough to shimmy a mobile LCD square up against a notebook screen — especially due to the lean angle — so spanning anything between the screens is out of the question.

Conclusion

Like an inflatable travel pillow, mini toothbrush or airport coffee, Toshiba’s travel-friendly 14-inch Mobile LCD is nowhere near as good as the real thing… but it hits the spot when you need it. For $200, the display makes a reasonably affordable addition to any business traveler’s repertoire of road gadgets, and effectively turns a midsize notebook into a desktop replacement, in terms of screen size. As long as screen quality doesn’t appear anywhere on your list of priorities, Toshiba’s 14-inch USB Mobile LCD may provide just the bonus pixels you need to get stuff done.

Highs:

  • Stylish, practical leather folio case
  • Thin, lightweight folding design
  • Uses USB for signal and power
  • Large 14-inch panel

Lows:

  • Weak backlight
  • Dismal image quality
  • AC adapter sold separately
Product Review

Portable but unbearably slow, the Asus NovaGo stops well short of greatness

Our Asus NovaGo review takes a first look at one the first Qualcomm-powered PCs. It can last 22 hours on a charge and has built-in LTE, yet pricing starts at just $600.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. BlackBerry Key2: Productivity powerhouse punch-out

If you're after a top-notch business companion and productivity is paramount, then Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 and BlackBerry's Key2 are devices you're going to want to take a closer look at. We put them head to head to see which is best.
Mobile

Best Samsung Galaxy Note 9 cases

Samsung’s top-of-the-line productivity powerhouse is positively packed with features, but the design is a glass sandwich that’s prone to scrapes and drop damage. It’s time to shop for the best Galaxy Note 9 cases.
Product Review

Flexible and fast, HP's Spectre x360 is the 2-in-1 for every occasion

HP’s late-2017 refresh of the Spectre x360 13 convertible 2-in-1 leverages Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs for significantly improved performance and battery life. The thin and light frame is also tweaked, and looks better than ever.
Smart Home

Samsung SmartThings adds A.I.-based Wi-Fi for faster, smarter home networking

Samsung introduced the SmartThings Wifi, an A.I.-based multifunction mesh networking router with an integrated smart home hub. The device intelligently allocates network speed and bandwidth based on device and application needs.
Mobile

MetroPCS Alcatel 7 boasts a dual-sensor camera and FHD+ screen for $180

Alcatel has taken the wraps off of the new Alcatel 7, a phone that's uniquely available from MetroPCS. The new device boasts a full HD display with a dual-sensor camera and a relatively nice design, and it comes in at only $180.
Product Review

Someday it will do 5G, but the Moto Z3 is already a great phone

Motorola’s flagship smartphone of 2018 looks exactly like its mid-range smartphone of 2018, but powered by a processor from 2017. It’s still a great-performing phone for $480, and it will be the first upgradable 5G smartphone next year.
Mobile

Bloatware could be putting millions of Android devices at risk

A study has revealed that changes to Android's firmware and added bloatware from carriers could be making millions of Android smartphones vulnerable to massive hacks and potential data theft.
Mobile

Marco? Polo! Let's explore the app known as the 'video walkie-talkie'

Marco Polo has been dubbed the "video walkie-talkie," but how does the video messaging app stack up against competitors like Snapchat and Instagram? From unique filters to personalized video messages, we explore the Marco Polo app.
Mobile

Samsung confirms the Galaxy S10 won't be the first 5G phone

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.
Mobile

Samsung confirms the debut of its foldable smartphone isn't far away

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years now and a folding smartphone might finally become a reality. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Apple

Apple's AirPower charging pad may cost $150, sport 22 wireless charging coils

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yer been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs. Apple iPhone X: Battle of the ultra-premium smartphones

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the company's latest ultra-premium smartphone. The device boasts top-tier specs, an excellent design, and more. But can it take out the Apple iPhone X, Apple's own ultra-premium device?
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.