Reviews |Mobile Pixels Duex Plus

Mobile Pixels Duex Plus Review

Review

Price when reviewed

£299

$299
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Our Verdict

I love having a compact second screen for my MacBook Pro, one that slips neatly into my backpack, ready for use whenever I need it. The DUEX PLUS almost answers all my needs with its slim profile, innovative attachments, and flip-out design; however, the build quality doesn’t quite match its potential.

The screen attaches with sticky pads to the back of your laptops, which can then be pulled alongside your computer screen. In practice, this works incredibly well, with four magnetic pads enabling you to attach or remove the monitor whenever needed. The other option is to use the stand and connect it whenever you need it, which I opted to do for the most part in this test due to my monitor hinge not being quite strong enough to take the weight when attached.

Overall I was impressed with the clarity and colour reproduction of the screen and when editing video or images, the second screen wass good for previews and keeping an eye on emails.

Overall, the screen is great; some of the colours take a little fine-tuning when profiling with the DataColor SpyderX. Generally, it’s good for basic previewing and excellent for web browsing, email and all those second monitor jobs. Essentially at the price, you can partly excuse the flimsy build.

For

  • Relatively
  • No external power supply is needed.
  • Full HD resolution

Against

  • Flimsy stand
  • Only one attachment option

What is the DUEX PLUS?

The DUEX PLUS is an ultra-slim and lightweight monitor designed to stick onto the back of your laptop, ready for connection and use whenever you need it.

The premise is simple, with two USB Type-C ports, you can connect the monitor directly to your computer’s port, where it will plug and play and then display. Power is drawn from the laptop, which, if you’re on the move, is extremely useful and if you do worry about power then there’s also a secondary Type-C port where a power source can be connected, in the case of this test, the SmallRig V-Lock.

Once connected the monitor acts like any other second monitor with a maximum resolution of 1920x1080p; it’s all very neat and easy to use. Aside from the two USB ports, the only other control is the control strip on the back of the screen. This enables you to access settings such as brightness and adjust them as needed.

Simplicity is the key to this monitor, and there are no other connection options. While the monitor will connect directly to some Android and Nintendo devices trying the same style of connection to a Sony A7 III or Canon EOS R5 C proved that there was no option to use this as a preview monitor, an HDMI would have been a great additional option to the USB Type-C for photographers. However, this is designed as a straight second monitor that’s lightweight and hassle free and to that end it ticks all the boxes.

Performance

The DUEX PLUS is an interesting device, having a monitor that can attach to your laptop’s monitor when you need it and even stay in place to keep things neat. The materials including the screen are of a good quality, however, the actual mechanics are a little flimsy.

Part of this flimsy feel is down to the light weight design and fact that the monitor is designed to limpet onto the back of your computer monitor. Once in place, it does lock solid and feels more robust, however there is also a freestanding option and a stand comes in the box.

The intended application of this monitor is to be stuck to the back of your monitor, and in the box comes a guide on how to do this with all the sticky pads and everything you need. The process is straightforward; once in place, the monitor design makes perfect sense and is very clever.

The slim profile means the monitor can be pulled in and out with the monitor automatically switching on and off as you do so. I feel the whole stick-on system works well however there’s just something with the smoothness and build quality of the mechanics that falls short. It all works but not as smoothly as you feel it should for the price.

The monitor itself works well. The magnetic pads enable the monitor to be attached quickly and remain in place if you so wish. Then to a USB Type-C cable connects between the monitor and machine to supply the display signal and power, to switch on the screen simply pulled out to the side. The sliding mechanism and  way the magnets attach and enable horizontal movement is clever and enables the screen to be view comfortably clear of the side of the laptop monitor. The only odd thing is that the connector is at the far end of the monitor, so the cable runs to the computer for the full length of the DUEX PLUS. It’s not a major thing but aesthetically, it isn’t that neat.

When it comes to the monitor itself, adding a second monitor makes a huge difference. After a week of having it attached to the back of the monitor, I found that I had to remove it. The weight of the additional screen was just too much for the 15-inch MacBook Pro monitor hinge, and in use, the monitor would lay back, meaning a book or bag would need to be used to keep the caption monitor in the position that I wanted.

I then briefly tried to use the monitor stand, but this stand really feels like an afterthought and doesn’t work. In the end, I 3D printed a stand for the monitor which worked well and provided the support I was after. Ultimately the quality of the screen is excellent, but the application of some of the design elements is flawed. The stick-on monitor design is a great, but it does rely on the strength of the computers monitor hinge, maybe the addition of a kick stand for the monitor would have helped.

Final Thoughts

My feelings at the end of this review are mixed; I love the concept and ideas behind this monitor. The company has done a great deal of work to produce a decent workable monitor, and the design, in theory, works.

I have an old Sony Laptop, and the monitor attached to this perfectly without the monitor folding back due to the weight. Unfortunately, that laptop doesn’t have USB Type-C, and the MacBook Pro I used to run this test didn’t have the strength to hold the monitor in the position. Taking the monitor away from the back of the caption monitor meant that I had to rely on the stand, and again this design didn’t work. The folded plastic stand just wouldn’t hold position and kept folding and moving. In the end, I designed my own stand, which transformed the use of the monitor.

Once I was happy with the monitor position, it was excellent. The matt finish to the screen helped with the visuals, and colour accuracy and reproduction was good although I found my main use for it was for tools pallets and the web browser.

At the end of the test, I have to balance the price with the performance, and it’s a real split. Having the second monitor was a huge advantage, and the quality of the screen was good. However, the intended mounting and the stand are both not quite as higher quality as I would have wanted for the money.

At the price, it is OK, but this product could be so good, a bit of a rethink is needed to make this fully attuned for photographers. One of my biggest gripes is that there is no HDMI option, so there’s no option to link this to your camera to use it as a second monitor, which is a shame.

Summary
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Mobile Pixels Duex Plus
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