Image: Jack Wallen

How often have you been on the go, with only a smartphone or a laptop, and needed an external monitor (either to better empower your mobile workspace or to be able to better show others what you’re working on)? If that sounds like many a situation you’ve found yourself in, then you might want to give the Lepow external monitor a look.

This USB-powered, 15.6″ IPS monitor can work with most platforms and is connected to devices via USB-C and mini HDMI. The specs aren’t jaw-dropping, but considering this monitor’s purpose, they are impressive. What are said specs?

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9/ 4:3
  • Resolution: 1920*1080
  • Display color: 16.7M
  • Color temperature: 6800K
  • Visual angle: H:85°/85°Min V:85°/85°Min
  • Contrast ratio:1000:1
  • Brightness: 300cd/m²Color gamut: 72%
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz

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I’ve spent a good amount of time with this device, and I can tell you, for anyone that might need a portable external monitor, the Lepow is worth the $169.99 USD price tag. The monitor includes:

  • A protective carrying cover that folds to convert into a stand.
  • A screen protector.
  • USB-C to USB-C cable.
  • HDMI to mini HDMI cable.
  • A three year warranty.

How does it work?

It’s actually quite simple. To use the Lepow monitor, you simply plug it into a supported device, and it is automatically detected. No need to plug it into a wall outlet, or install third-party software. This is simply “plug and play” at its finest.

What does it support?

The Lepow works well with macOS and iOS devices. I’ve also used it with a Linux desktop (Pop!_OS, to be specific) and a Chromebook. The only disappointment I found with the Lepow is that the monitor’s Android support is iffy. The device worked with Samsung and Essential smartphones, but not Pixel or OnePlus phones. According to the specs, the Lepow supports:

  • Laptops
  • PCs
  • Phones
  • PS3/4
  • Wii or Nintendo Switch

Based on my Android experience, your mileage may vary, so purchase with caution (if using the Lepow with Android).

Why you need this

For me, it’s not about mobility as much as it is extending smaller screens so they are more efficient. This is perfectly illustrated on a Macbook Pro, when working with video editing. I prefer to do such work on multiple monitors, so I can have Final Cut Pro running on one monitor and Finder in another, (Figure A) so drag and drop is much easier). The Lepow external monitor turns my Macbook Pro into a video editing station worth using (without disturbing my desktop computer). So if you’re looking to easily extend your laptop screen, in nearly any situation, the Lepow is the perfect solution.

The caveat

So far, I’ve only found one caveat (outside the iffy Android support). That caveat only applies to connecting a mobile device. If you want to use the Lepow in portrait mode (so your mobile screen fills the display), you have to play around with rotating your device. I’ve yet to actually get the Lepow to work properly in portrait mode, however, making it work well in landscape mode is really simple. To get this to work correctly in Android, you must enable home screen rotation. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Long press a blank spot on the home screen.
  2. Tap Home settings.
  3. Tap the On/Off slider for Allow Home screen rotation (Figure B).

Once you take care of that, go back to your home screen, rotate the device, and the Lepow will reflect that rotation. Use the device in this mode to fill the Lepow screen with your Android device display (Figure C).

The conclusion

Now that I’ve used the Lepow with certain devices, I cannot imagine not having it. If you’ve been longing to attach an external monitor to your mobile devices, you cannot go wrong with the Lepow (so long as your device is supported). Drop the cash for this device, so your on-the-go business experience (or your at-home laptop usage) is significantly more efficient and better displayed.