I have one of those love/hate relationships with backing things on Kickstarter or Indiegogo; in the early days, so many “great ideas” fell flat and ultimately were never delivered, and having backed a few of these lemons it’s a case of once bitten, twice shy.
However, things are a little different now; these crowd-funded campaigns often do result in decent products, and Espresso Displays is one such success story. Funded just over six months ago, the company’s premise is simple – make portable displays that are affordable, functional, without all the bells and whistles you don’t need, and with just those ones that you do.
What do I mean by this?
Some portable screens from big-name manufacturers are just too complex, and try to do too much. Built-in batteries, on-screen menus that confuse and obfuscate, it all just becomes too hard when what you want is a panel you can plug in to the USB-C on your laptop/mobile and just get on with the job.
With products due to ship this month, you can grab an Espresso Display 13-inch touchscreen for $399, and the larger 15-inch model is $429. Spend a little more at $499 and get a bundle which includes a 15.6-inch display, flip-case, magnetic mounting/stand kit and the cables you need (USB C, USB A – C cable, HDMI, Mini HDMI, cleaning cloths etc).
The use couldn’t be simpler. Grab the display out of your bag, carry case or whatever, prop it up on the foldable stand (or magnetic stand if you’re a little fancy), and plug it in with a USB-C cable. Within seconds, the screen lights up, and your laptop/tablet/mobile is mirrored and ready to go.
I used one for a week while traveling between sites for my day job, and it was a breeze; the screen is the same size as my laptop and razor thin, so carrying it around was easy. Setting it up wherever I went took mere seconds, and I could work anywhere, any time, with the convenience of a second display. Better yet? It’s a touch screen, so I could interact with consoles and systems on that display with my email on my laptop, effectively doubling my productivity.
For devices without USB-C, you can use a USB-A to USB-C cable, or you can power it from any power supply (portable battery, your laptop, wall charger, etc) and use the HDMI to Mini-HDMI cable to get your display going. Doing this, for example, you could readily use the Espresso Display as a portable monitor for your older PC, PS4, Xbox etc as well.
With two convenient sizes – 13.3 and 15.6 inch – there’s likely an Espresso Display for you, and the price compares favourably with other similar displays on the market. Considering these are cheaper and work better (for my 2c worth, at least) these displays area n easy purchase.
If you’re interested, check out Espresso Displays on Indiegogo.