This article first appeared in HWM Sep 2012.
The Prolink PRO1301WE is essentially a 13.3-inch LCD monitor illuminated by edge-lit LEDs that was first launched in May 2012. You may fool your friends into thinking it’s a tablet, although it’s neither a tablet nor a touch-screen device. It functions mainly as a secondary monitor, designed to expand the work screen work space of your notebook or other peripherals.
The PRO1301WE features a glossy panel to boost contrast levels. However, the same treatment also makes it prone to fingerprints and reflected glares. It weighs 654g, which makes it reasonably portable compared to an average 13-inch notebook which weighs 1kg or more. Although the screen’s rear is fashioned out of plastic, it offers a relatively robust feel when handled.
Prolink’s display input uses a proprietary connector, which connects to a cable equipped with a USB and HDMI port. The display gets power via USB, while the HDMI connector takes care of video. Prolink also offers optional VGA and mini-DisplayPort cables, each at additional cost.
The PRO1301WE is equipped with a bracket that swivels. To attach the display to a laptop, however, you’ll need to stick a separate bracket to the notebook’s lid via supplied adhesive tape, before locking the two brackets together. To stow away the entire contraption, simply fold the Prolink screen over the laptop’s hood. On its own, the monitor’s bracket also doubles up as a makeshift stand.
Navigating the monitor's control interface can be a frustrating experience, since it takes a fair amount of pressure to activate the touch-sensitive controls. The basic options are all there, including settings like contrast, brightness, color adjustment (RGB values), color temperature (9300K, 6500K, and User), OSD timer, source selection, and so forth.
Like most 13-inch laptops, Prolink’s screen carries a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, coupled with a mild contrast ratio of 500:1. Configured as an extended display, the portable screen offered ample clarity and sharpness when paired with a Sony VAIO T. However, the LCD’s default contrast and brightness were a little too dim for our liking, and some adjustments were needed to boost the display’s performance. The panel offers decent horizontal viewing angles, although we can’t say the same for its vertical axis.
For S$229, Prolink’s PRO1301WE isn’t too compelling but it makes a nice-to-have accessory for always-mobile laptop users looking for a portable secondary screen to extend their work space and yet folds on to the notebook for easy stowing.