I spent a whole week testing out the Mobile Pixels Trio and putting it through its paces. This is my detailed review.
At Gadget Discovery Club, we’re constantly testing new and innovative tech, bringing you detailed and transparent reviews of the best products on the market, to help you upgrade your entertainment and lifestyle.
I’m Edgar Wulf, a tech and entertainment writer. Suffice to say, I usually have a bunch of documents open on my laptop at any given time, so I was looking forward to testing the Mobile Pixels Trio Max!
Mobile Pixels Trio Review Summary
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time upgrading and streamlining your digital work environment. If this is the case, you should consider getting the Mobile Pixels Trio portable monitor.
For the most part, the Mobile Pixels Trio does what it says on the box. It extends your available workspace, allowing you to seamlessly switch between tasks. The default attachment mode is pretty awesome for gaming and the presentation and portrait modes are great when you’re sharing content with friends or in a work meeting.
But it also follows the dangerous “one size fits all” formula. It promises portability and supposedly works with most modern laptops. Due to some design discrepancies, I found the latter to be untrue.
For my full Mobile Pixels Trio review, continue reading or use the links below to skip to the section that interests you the most.
In This Article
- What’s in the box?
- Mobile Pixels Trio specifications
- Design and build quality
- How to set up the Mobile Pixels Trio?
- Using the Mobile Pixels Trio
- Mobile Pixels Trio alternatives
- The verdict
What’s In The Box?
The Mobile Pixels Trio comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard box and contains the following:
- A single Mobile Pixels Trio laptop monitor
- 12 magnets for mounting the Mobile Pixels Trio on up to three laptops
- A USB-C to USB-C or USB-A cable
- An instruction manual
- A Mobile Pixels Trio clip for connecting a pair of monitors
Mobile Pixels Trio Specifications
Mobile Pixels Trio screens come in two sizes: 12.5” and 14”. Both monitors feature a 1920 x 1080 display running at a 60Hz refresh rate (i.e. 60 frames per second).
Screen size: 12.5” (Trio); 14” (Trio Max)
Dimensions: 12.4” x 8.6” x 0.5” (Trio); 14.1” x 9.5” x 0.5” (Trio Max)
Aspect ratio: 16:9 (Widescreen)
Material: PC ABS Plastic
Colour: Gunmetal grey (Trio); Metallic black (Trio Max)
Weight: 1.8 Lb (Trio); 2.2 Lb (Trio Max)
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Power consumption: <4.5W
Brightness: 300N (Trio); 220N (Trio Max)
Compatibility: Compatible with Windows and Mac laptops, Android smartphones and tablets, Samsung Dex devices and the Nintendo Switch
Mobile Pixels Trio Design & Build
The Mobile Pixels Trio works primarily to improve your available workspace. A monitor extends from the frame attached to your laptop, doubling your desktop space.
Taking advantage of the presentation mode, you can also flip the screen to the front of your laptop and present the screen to anyone sitting across from you, whether it’s a funny youtube video to your friends or a presentation to your team at work.
Gamers will also find Mobile Pixels Trio useful as it allows to move supplemental software or chat windows to the secondary screen.
There’s an inconspicuous control panel on the right-hand side of the monitor. It allows you to adjust settings such as backlight and contrast, and increase colour warmth.
For most users, this is unlikely to be an issue, but USB ports on my laptop are located on the side of the screen. Part of my Mobile Pixels Trio was always obstructed by a dongle.
Because of this, I also couldn’t adjust the horizontal viewing angle past a certain point and if I opted for placing the monitor on the left side, it would obstruct the charger. So it’s worth checking the port layout on your laptop before purchasing.
Setting Up the Mobile Pixels Trio Max
Even though the box includes a detailed instruction manual, setting up the Mobile Pixels Trio is fast and easy. The frame of the monitor attaches via magnets to the front of your laptop and is just as easy to remove whenever you don’t need it.
Here’s the basic rundown on how to install the Mobile Pixels Trio portable monitor:
- Place it on a flat surface with the rectangular magnets facing upward.
- Take four circular magnets and place them on each of the monitor’s rectangular magnets.
- Peel off the protective film from the magnets and place your laptop’s front cover on top. Ensure that the side edge of your laptop doesn’t go beyond the last screw on the frame.
- Connect the provided cable into the USB-C port on the Mobile Pixels Trio and either into the USB-C or USB-A port on your Windows or Mac laptop.
Note: Mac users must install the drivers before connecting the Mobile Pixels Trio to the laptop. A step-by-step guide is available in the instruction manual. Skip to step 5. and then return to step 4.
An installation wizard will guide you through installing the necessary drivers. For me, on Windows 10, drivers were installed automatically and the monitor turned on
Using the Mobile Pixels Trio
The Mobile Pixels Trio offers four work modes, depending on your productivity needs.
From the default attachment mode, you can easily transition into the presentation mode by rotating the monitor’s swivel 180 degrees to the front of your laptop. This is great for sharing content with friends and family or when you’re in a team meeting at work and want to share your laptop screen with everyone.
During regular use in the default attachment mode, the weight of the monitor rests entirely on the frame which isn’t ideal and if I lowered the angle too much in presentation mode, the weight of the monitor caused my laptop to close.
While I didn’t encounter any detrimental effects during my use of the Mobile Pixels Trio, this could lead to gradual damage to your laptop’s hinge.
By removing the Mobile Pixels Trio from your laptop, you can use it in portrait mode. Place the frame on a flat surface and adjust the monitor for the desired angle. Portrait mode allows you to take advantage of the greater vertical space, which is perfect if you’re reading articles or for reading code.
Lastly, if you opt for purchasing a bundle, you can attach two monitors simultaneously via the provided clip for the ultimate in productivity. Hence the name - Trio.
Two screens further enhance your productivity options, of course, but they also provide an epic gaming experience!
Bear in mind that the Mobile Pixels Trio draws power through your laptop which leads to greater battery usage. Any additional screens require more processing power and I noticed my laptop heating up after just a couple of hours of use.
Its 1920 x 1080 screen looks crisp and the control panel features, such as those for reducing eye strain during prolonged work, appealed to me personally. On the other hand, it could contrast with the higher resolution of your main screen, as it did with my 2560 x 1440 display. Certain app icons may look blurry or rough around the edges.
The gamer in me was looking forward to connecting the Mobile Pixels Trio to the Switch. Sadly, my Nintendo Switch Lite didn’t allow for connecting an external monitor. It just works for the standard Switch, not the Lite version
Mobile Pixels Trio Alternatives
Besides the Mobile Pixels Trio and Trio Max, the company offers the Duex Series models: Pro, Plus and Lite. The Duex monitors come in different sizes and offer more portability.
There’s also the Duex Pro monitor at £333 (UK only). All three monitors feature similar screen specs to their Pixels Trio counterparts with crisp 1920 x 1080 resolutions. That said, the Lite model only works with Mac and Windows laptops, with additional Chrome OS and Linux support with the Pro model.
The main selling point of Plus and Lite models is the ability to use a separately purchasable kickstand, which allows you to use the monitor without having to attach it magnetically to your laptop. This will suit someone who wants a portable screen standing next to the laptop.
Mobile Pixels Trio Price
For the full RRP, a 1080p Full HD screen feels outdated, especially when 4K is widely accepted as the new norm. I don’t expect 4K on a 14” screen, but any resolution higher than 1080p would’ve been appreciated.
Mobile Pixels Trio - The Verdict
The Mobile Pixels Trio helps declutter your virtual work environment and allows you to multi-task simply by switching your view from one screen to another, instead of looking across multiple tabs.
For people working in teams, this would be a great asset, enhancing their communication using multiple viewing angles and modes. If you’re a keen gamer, then the Mobile Pixels Trio will give you a more immersive experience and also allow you to move things like chat windows out of the way.
The build quality wasn’t as good as I thought it would be for the price and I ran into some issues with the setup (this will depend on your laptop), however that said, I benefited from the extra screen more than expected.
The $399.99 price tag for the Mobile Pixels Trio Max is expensive, but if you can afford it or manage to snag one during a sale, then it’s a great option to consider!