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Screen real-estate is something that many people value greatly. As someone who’s worked in design, you have no idea how adding an additional monitor to your desktop setup can really help your workflow. It’s a great way to move around your applications so that you can always keep an eye on email or important tasks in one window while working on something important in the other. That’s pretty much what the folks at AOC set out to achieve with the release of the AOC E1659FWU, a USB-powered monitor that’s light enough to carry around pretty much anywhere.

Build Quality & Design

The E1659FWU is fairly ordinary – a single USB cable connects it to your desktop or laptop, and an additional USB port can be used if you need to draw more power. At the back there’s an adjustable kickstand to prop the display up, which can be used both in portrait or landscape mode. The E1659FWU feels a little bit on the flimsy side, so when carrying it around I’d advise you to put it into a sturdy laptop bag or carry case. It’s got a glossy black finish, and the 15.6” panel sports a resolution of 1,366 x 768.

Connectivity and Performance

As mentioned before, connectivity comes in the form of a single USB cable. Once connected, Windows will detect the USB display and install a set of default VGA drivers. Setup seemed to vary for myself – on a Windows 8 machine the E1659FWU was detected without any issues, but when I plugged it into a Windows 7 machine, the setup failed and I had to download drivers from the website. But once the display has been correctly configured, you can set up Windows to either extend or mirror your desktop. The bundled DisplayMate software lets you configure a few settings about the display, but there are no OSD controls on the device itself.

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Performance-wise you can’t expect too many things from the E1659FWU, after all it’s a very basic display at best. Colors look respectable on it, though slightly pale at times. Viewing angles are also not too great, so if you’re using this to display a presentation, make sure that it’s facing your audience at a comfortable angle for optimal viewing. There was also a bit of lag when displaying video files full-screen, so you need to take this into account as well.

Conclusion

The AOC E1659FWU may not completely blow you away, but it’s a lightweight and easy to use display that you can take around almost anywhere and connect up in mere seconds. If you need to expand your laptop’s screen or just need a secondary display for your desktop, then this is a quick and affordable solution for anyone. The use of USB 3.0 means that you won’t need to carry around a bulky power adaptor, making it a truly portable screen.

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A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys playing videogames during work hours and tinkering with the latest gadgets.

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