A unique, portable monitor made by Nex perches on your MacBook or USB-C laptop screen to provide a second display for more workspace, to keep an eye on important news and social media feeds, or to watch a video while tweeting or clearing your inbox .
Called, the NexPad, it’s a thin, light, external monitor that’s can be positioned so it sits above your laptop’s built-in display. Priced at $249, the 12-inch, 1080p touchscreen looks like an interesting way to expand your desktop vertically.
Beyond just adding another screen, the height provides a better ergonomic angle for using your laptop on a desk or table. Ideally, a monitor should be placed at eye level. Portable external monitors that stand even with a laptop’s screen don’t provide the same benefit.
You might be wondering how your laptop hinge will be able to support the added 1.6-pound weight. Nex designed a clever magnetic kickstand that supports your laptop’s angle while raising the NexPad display closer to eye level. In theory, this sounds like a good solution but we haven’t had hands-on experience with it yet.
The NexPad is powered by your laptop’s USB-C plug so it will affect battery life. The monitor includes one mini-HDMI 2.0 port, two USB-C ports that use the USB 3.1 standard, and one USB-C port that uses the older 2.0 standard. The magnetic mount and kickstand are bundled at the $250 price, providing extra value.
The NexPad is also compatible with some smartphones that allow a desktop mode. Samsung is the most notable with its Dex software. For the full list, see Nex’s website.