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Cheap, plastic, and good enough: not the best descriptors for something you want to use with your Mac. But AOC’s 16-inch USB monitor, the less than charmingly named E1649FWU, really is “good enough.” It’s an OK second monitor for a laptop. It’s light and the kickstand folds flush with the case, if you want to bring it to a small presentation. It doesn’t need a power cord, the height of convenience. And you can find it online for just $100. But for a price that affordable, you can’t have everything.
Setup is almost too simple to call “setup.” You need to install the DisplayLink driver, restart your Mac, and plug in the USB port. On most recent Macs, only the main USB cable is needed, but a second plug is provided in case your USB ports are underpowered. As soon as it’s plugged in, it flickers on and your Mac will auto-detect the display.
The resolution is 1366x768, and it’s easy to notice vertical and horizontal lines on the bright LED display. The cast is blueish, with some blowing out of red tones too, but cold overall. You won’t want to edit photos, but for pushing text around, it’s fine.
And nothing is adjustable, not the resolution, brightness, even the orientation. If you use this with a PC, you can stand it up in portrait orientation, and the screen image self-corrects, but this doesn’t work in Mac OS X, which is majorly frustrating. I really wanted to turn the brightness down—reading black text on a white background gave me a headache after about 20 minutes. (Green-on-black was much better.)
The bottom line. Any MacBook screen will look better than this, with much better pixel density of course, but if you need a rock-bottom-priced portable option for a two-monitor setup in hotel rooms, this will do the job.
Lightweight. No power cable. Can be foound for as little as $100 online. Second USB cable in case your laptop's ports aren't powerful enough.
So-so quality. Portrait mode is Windows only. No brightness control.