Working from home (which many of us have been forced to do for the past few months, whether we want to or not) can be more productive than being in an office — provided you have a comfortable and functional place to work within your home. Unfortunately, for many who have been suddenly thrown into this situation, the best space they have to work is on a small laptop at a dining room table.
If you’re used to working at a desk with a large monitor, having to do the same job on a laptop at a table can be frustratingly confining. And since you also need to use this space for other activities when you’re not working, it may not be feasible to set up a traditional monitor or desktop computer there.
A portable, USB-C powered monitor might be just the right thing to upgrade your laptop-only dining room workstation. You can set it up in seconds, it plugs into your computer with a single cable, and when you’re done for the day, you can close it up just as quickly as you close your laptop, allowing you to reclaim the space for other uses.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been testing the Ananta, a 17.3-inch, 1080p portable touchscreen monitor. It’s plug-and-play with most modern laptops — just connect the included USB-C cable to your laptop and to the display; your computer should immediately recognize the monitor and power it on. It then provides you with an expansive second screen that’s likely bigger than the display inside your laptop.
The Ananta can also be used as a display for many other devices, including a Nintendo Switch, a Raspberry Pi, a Blu-ray player, or even a desktop computer, though you’ll need to connect some of them with HDMI. If you have a recent Huawei or Samsung phone, you can use it to access their respective desktop modes. The Ananta comes with a magnetic case that acts as a kickstand, weighs about 2.4 pounds, and is less than six millimeters thick at its thinnest point. It’s about as portable as a 17.3-inch screen can be.