HONGO 18.5 inch portable monitor review – See more on the go

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REVIEW – Have you ever tried to show someone something on your laptop and just spin the screen around? Or do you have to connect a large monitor or projector just to share to a small group? Sometimes I’m just presenting to one or two other people and I need something in between my laptop screen or a full-sized projector. A display such as the HONGO 18.5 inch portable monitor fits right in there.

What is it?

The HONGO 18.5″ monitor is a portable LCD display with a 100 Hz refresh rate at 1920 x 1080 pixels.

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What’s in the box?

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The outer box appears unbranded. Look through any Amazon listing, and you’ll find dozens of lookalikes. The manual is branded HONGO.

  • HONGO 18.5 inch portable monitor
  • USB-C power adapter
  • HDMI to HDMI cable
  • USB-C cable (black) for video and power
  • USB-C cable (white) for power only
  • USB-A to USB-C cable (power)
  • Detachable coverHONGO 18 5in monitor 03

Hardware specs

There aren’t specs listed in the manual, but the Amazon listing cited some basic stats:

  • 18.5″ display, 1920 x 1080
  • 8 bit, 350 cd/m^2 brightness
  • VESA mounting holds (75×75)
  • Aluminum alloy construction
  • HDR 16:9 screen
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio

I measured the monitor myself and this is what I found:

  • With cover: 17″ x 10-1/8″x 11/16″, 3 lbs 7-5/8 oz
  • Without cover: 16-3/4″ x 9-15/16″ x 1/4″ or 1/2″, 2 lbs 4-3/4 oz.

Sure enough, the screen measures 18.5 inches diagonally. It’s a matte display which resists reflections.

Design and features

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I was very surprised to see VESA (75) mounting holes in the back. Screws not included. But options are GREAT to have!

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On the bottom, I spied two sets of slots. This monitor has stereo speakers built in. They won’t blow you away, but they work. To the left of the circle is one of two rubber feet on the bottom edge.
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If you’re a port dork like me, feast your eyes. The side controls are a bit tricky to use since the labels are on the back. The bottom button acts as a “back” or “esc” button when you’re flipping through the on-screen controls.

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I have a 14″ MacBook Pro, which is fairly compact. It’s dwarfed by the monitor’s footprint.

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What isn’t gigantic is the thickness. Without the case, it’s a mere 1/4″ thick at the top, and about 1/2″ at the base.

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The HONGO 18.5 inch portable monitor’s “case” is a segmented faux leather-like cover that attaches to the back of the screen with magnets.

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Per the instructions, one end of the cover is folded in on itself in order to keep the stand in place.

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That flap holds in place with magnets. In this setup, the monitor is locked at one angle. You can physically tilt the screen at different angles but it would probably slip.

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Like most of us, I grabbed my assortment of junk-drawer USB-C cables and plugged the HONGO 18.5 inch portable monitor into my Macbook Pro. It didn’t work. Not all cables with a USB-C connector will work. It works just fine once I used the cable included with the monitor. I eventually found one other cable in my house that would also work.

This is a big deal to me. Connecting one cable for power and video is really easy! Not all laptops or video sources will work with the one-cable solution, but the monitor does have a full-sized HDMI input as well. You will need to use an external power source when using HDMI as the input.

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Out of the box, the monitor’s colors were a little “off” to my eyes, but there are presets to choose from and even a user-configurable RGB setting. I adjusted it to my liking, and the monitor remembered my settings.

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It’s not as bright as my laptop, but my MacBook Pro screen is REALLY bright so it’s to be expected.

What I like

  • Very large (18.5″ diag)
  • One cable connection, when supported
  • Comes with a cover/stand

What I’d change

  • Cover/stand is slightly flimsy
  • Stand has only one angle

Final thoughts

Although the HONGO 18.5 inch portable monitor’s brightness isn’t as crazy bright as my Macbook Pro cranked up to full, the colors and sharpness are just fine. I don’t plan to edit video or photos on this, so I can’t speak for color accuracy (though it looks “fine” to me). I wish the cover was a little sturdier as it doesn’t protect the corners very well, but it keeps the monitor pretty steady when used as a stand. It’s pretty big, so I’m going to need a deep bag to stow this in when I leave the house!

Price: $199.99
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by HONGO.

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