Gear: Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421, Toshiba 14" Monitor, AOC E1649FWU 16", MIMO UM-710S.
The ThinkVision LT1421 is a USB powered 14 inch LCD monitor. The strong point is that this is a mobile system, and it works very well.
- ThinkVision LT1421
- USB cable (
about 90about 70 inches long)
- CD with drivers
Just like all DisplayLink technologies I highly recommend installing the software before plugging in the ThinkVision.
Screen Size + Resolution
The Mimo monitor that I checked had a 7 inch screen, which was not functional for most web browsing. The ThinkVision with it's 14 inches and a resolution of 1366x768 offers a great amount of functionality. My current HP laptop has a resolution of 1366x768 and with the addition of the ThinkVision it makes me very productive when programming, and editing videos, it's perfect for the job.
Unlike the glossy screen of my laptop this screen offers a very pleasant matte finish. I love matte finish screens because they don't reflect the rest of the world while I'm trying to get the job done.
According to Lenovo it does a 200 cd/m2 on the brightness, and what that basically means is that it's bright enough. With a 400:1 contrast ratio the ThinkVision does a fine job. One important thing is the 16 different brightness levels. During the day you can have the screen bright, and at night time you can dimn down the screen.
The ThinkVision is a USB powered monitor and offers 262 thousand colors. VGA/DVI/HDMI monitors can offer millions of colors. I would not use the ThinkVision for professional level image editing, but I would use it for most other uses. While there's a big difference in the color range the ThinVision does a good job.
The angles matter here. If the screen is at a 90 degree angle and your eyes are looking straight to them it does work. However, when you tilt the screen things change. Left and right angles dimn the screen a bit, viewed from the bottom darkens the screen, from the top it makes things bright.
The monitor has a "leg" that when extended functions as a stand. It can be adjusted to give different viewing angles (12 degrees to 40 degrees). The stand/leg is a bit small which hurts the stability. If you accidentally bumped the monitor with enough force there's a good chance that it would roll to the side (and maybe even fall if put in a small table).
Along with the system you will get a case/cover which can be added to protect the screen when being mobile. This plastic cover does require a bit of practice when attaching/detaching it. The case can also work as a "stand", although it's not required.
The benefit of the Mimo was that because it was so small it meant that it didn't weigh much at all. The Lenovo ThinkVision being a 14 inch system does have weight and volume to consider.
ThinkVision: 0.878 KG, or 1.937 lbs (official docs say 1.8lbs)
With Case: 1.077 KG, or 2.375 lbs (official docs say 2.97 lbs)
Of course this doesn't include the usb cable, which doesn't add much. The screen is portable enough that it won't be too heavy to carry. Of course if you are carrying many other things (including laptop) then the weight is important to know.
On the back of the screen there are two buttons to adjust the brightness. Unlike the Toshiba and the Mimo these buttons work the way they should. Since the buttons are located in the back it makes a bit harder to access than compared to the Mimo and Toshiba monitors. But with enough practice you get used to them.
One thing that is not a positive is that there is no power on/off button. The lack of the on/off button really is a downer for me, to turn off the screen on the ThinkVision you have to unplug the power or manually turn it off from Windows. Turning it off with these methods results in an unpleasant experience in Windows because of readjustments of resolution.
On the back there's also a Kensington lock slot. There may be cases where this is useful, for business I think this is a good feature to have.
Overall text looks crispy clear and easy to read. Videos also look good. When videos are played in full screen and a window is dragged ontop text loses it's sharpness. Lenovo mentions that there's a 8mm response time on the screen, which is not bad considering it's USB powered.
The Lenovo ThinkVision includes a
The cable is a two full USB (data/power) to mini USB cable. It would seem that with such a cable you would need to plug both of those full USB connections, but you don't have to. If you have USB 2.0 ports on your system a single full USB to mini USB cable will work.
If you use a laptop with the ThinkVision the power withdrawn will reduce the battery life. Lenovo states that "Actual power consumption depends on the chosen display mode, the images, displayed, and user control settings".
- Max: 5 watts
- Normal: 4.2 watts
- Standby: 0.1 watts
- Suspend: 0.1 watts
Without the monitor my laptop has a rate of 27,883 mW, when I connect the ThinkVision and play a Youtube video the power consumption goes up to 30,402. Basically it consumes 2.519 watts, which is less than what Lenovo mentioned. I used BatteryBar Pro to measure this.
My laptop has a capacity of 88,733 mWh... so I would get 3.18 hours normally. With the additional power consumption I would get 2.918 hours. So, the difference would be .262 hours, which is about 16 minutes less (15.72 to be more exact). Obviously every system will have different results because of different usages.
Using the ThinkVision with my laptop would consume 16 minutes of battery life, which is not bad considering I'm getting a second monitor which increases my productivity.
At $200 this is a very good monitor. You can obviously get other VGA/DVI/HDMI bigger monitors for less money and they would provide better refresh rates and color range, but they don't offer the portability that USB powered offers. The ThinkVision because it's powered by USB allows you to carry it anywhere and not have to worry about bringing a separate power supply. I'm typing this on a couch with the laptop on my lap, and the ThinkVision to my left, it's amazing.
This is a neat monitor. It is really well made and very well priced. If you buy this product you will be very happy with the results.
I strongly recommend viewing the Toshiba 14 Inch video/post because it covers differences that are important.
Toshiba 14 Inch USB Mobile LCD Monitor
What about portrait mode with the ThinkVision LT1421?
The Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 was designed for landscape mode. With the Display Link drivers you can manually rotate the resolution to portrait mode.
Because the leg/kickstand was made for landscape mode you cannot depend on it for portrait mode. Instead you will have to find something to lean the system against, which is not very stable and may lead to accidents. If you were an expert on building cases you could make a case that holds the system in a more stable method, but most people cannot do this.
The resolution of the LT1421 is 1366x768 which is fine for landscape content, for portrait mode you would have a resolution that most likely won't fit your content properly. If your content doesn't resize to the width of 658 pixels and height of 1366 you will notice that content cuts off.
The viewing angles of the LT1421 suit the landscape mode the best. If the system is placed in portait mode the views from the left and right angles are different, from the left the screen is darker, and from the right the screen is brighter. The best viewing angle is the front.