- Great image quality
- Multiple inputs
- Easy setup and lots of options
- Bland design
- USB-C video would be simpler
- 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel IPS display
- Weight: 798g
- 2x mini HDMI input
- 2 x USB-A to 1 x USB-C power cable, 1 x HDMI to mini-HDMI cable
- Adjustable stand
- Plastic cover
- Manufacturer: Gechic
- Review Price: £320.00/$480.00
WHAT IS THE GECHIC ON-LAP 1503H?
The On-Lap 1503H is a portable monitor that’s packed with more features than you’d expect. This makes it a versatile piece of kit for those wanting to extend their laptop’s multi-tasking ability on the move, create their own large (and expensive) digital photo frame, – or, like me, if you want the ability to work outside without sacrificing screen space.
For all its feature and excellent image quality, the On-Lap’s 1503H’s high price slightly detracts from what is an otherwise superb product.
GECHIC ON-LAP 1503H – DESIGN AND FEATURES
There’s plenty to like about the On-Lap 1503H, but styling isn’t at the top of the list. It has a large black plastic bezel and curved edges. Weighing in at 798g, it’s a little heavier than I expected, making carrying it around with a regular laptop a slight ordeal.
Since it’s a 15.6-inch screen, you might struggle to fit it into some bags. My bag can perfectly accommodate my 14-inch laptop, but add a gigantic portable monitor and it’s a very tight fit.
A plastic cover is supplied with the monitor, which is a nice addition for protecting the screen – although a sleeve would have been better. The rear of the monitor remains vulnerable to scratches and dents, even when the cover is attached.
A stand at the rear provides the capability to place the monitor upright in three positions. It’s a little fiddly and flappy, but once in place with the help of embedded magnets, it feels secure. None of the positions are suitable to leaning the screen back, though, which limits its usefulness.
Thankfully, the stand’s foot is fairly grippy, ensuring that the monitor maintains a decent hold on most surfaces and won’t wander at the slightest movement.
Also on the rear, you’ll also find a port that’s used for the optional docking station. This comprises an additional full-size HDMI port and a full-size USB port for hosting a stick PC or a Chromecast. This will set you back an extra £79, which is steep.
The built-in connectors consist of an USB-C, 3.5mm headset and two mini-HDMI ports. In the box you get a 2.1m bundle of cables, which includes two full USB type-A connectors with a USB-C connector at the other end.
With all the laptops with which I used the monitor, I only needed one of the Type-A connectors to fully power it, leaving the other Type-A connector dangling. It’s just as well, really, because the two type-As are attached closely together, making it difficult to reach a second port.
The bundle of cables also includes a full-size HDMI to mini-HDMI cable. It all comes attached together by a pair of Velcro cable tidies.
My bugbear here is that GeChic has all the ingredients to offer an USB-C-only solution – but doesn’t. Many of today’s laptops now offer proper USB-C power and video delivery, meaning it’s possible to run a monitor such as this from a single cable, instead of three.
Undoubtedly, this would add to the cost, but when you’re already paying £320 for a monitor, a little extra for a more convenient form factor is unlikely to be an issue.
The GeChic On-Lap 1503H doesn’t require any drivers; it just works like a regular HDMI display. The USB ports on your laptop simply provide power. Just plug and play.
The on-screen menus offer a surprising amount of depth. You can switch between colour presets and even tweak individual colour settings if you wish. There are contrast and brightness options, too. The buttons that control the menus aren’t particularly pleasant to use, but it’s unlikely you’ll be using them very often.
I took the On-Lap out and about, even going as far as to set it up at a coffee shop. My experience is that this monitor is really too large to take anywhere; GeChic sells a 13-inch model that would arguably be more practical for most people.
I work from home a few days a week, and using the On-Lap while working from the sofa made me significantly more productive thanks to the extra screen real estate.
GECHIC ON-LAP 1503H – IMAGE QUALITY
The 1503H’s Full HD, IPS screen is excellent – and far better than any of the portable monitors I’ve used before. You’d expect nothing less; this is essentially a mid-range laptop screen without a laptop attached.
It actually exceeded GeChic’s claimed brightness and contrast figures, outputting 301-nit brightness levels (bright enough to use outside, in the shade) and 0.32-nit black levels for an excellent contrast ratio of 944:1.
Colour coverage is fine, at 76% of the sRGB colour gamut. This means that although colours are vibrant, thanks to the brightness and contrast ratios, they aren’t good enough for accurate photo editing. But this isn’t what the OnLap 1503H is for.
Viewing angles are superb, however: there was no reduction in image quality even when I viewed the monitor from some very oblique angles. This means it will be easy to share what’s on the screen with people around a meeting table, for example.
The monitor doesn’t suffer input lag, either, which can be a problem with cheaper USB-A-only monitors. At a stretch, you could use this monitor as a screen for playing console games in bed.
SHOULD I BUY THE GECHIC ON-LAP 1503H?
If you’re after a large portable monitor, the GeChic On-Lap is a great choice. Image quality is excellent and it has a range of features and accessories that let you tailor it to your own personal needs.
You pay for this convenience, mind – but if you have your heart set on a portable monitor then this GeChic is probably your best option. Other USB-only alternatives are available, but in my experience they aren’t as responsive as proper HDMI.
A great-quality portable monitor.