Dell just announced its first portable monitor, the C1422H, and it has a lot going for it.
The 14-inch, 1080p IPS monitor connects via USB-C, and while it doesn't enjoy the InfinityEdge display that helped land the Dell XPS 13 at the top of our best laptops, the monitor offers unmistakable Dell styling and a solid feature set that could land it among the best portable monitors.
The Dell C1422H offers you a pair of USB-C ports — one on each side of the base — to ensure that you can keep cables out of your way regardless of your setup. The ports deliver a 1080p image from your system either via USB-C or a DisplayPort 1.2 alt mode and draw power from the laptop.
Both USB-C ports can provide passthrough charging to your laptop. The only caveat is that it won't deliver the full power of your charger; Dell provided the chart below to illustrate. A 90W charger will only give 65W to your system and the common 65W charger will only offer 45W.
Those top tiers shouldn't present an issue for most traditional laptops, but if you use a travel charger that delivers 45W or below, it will likely have trouble keeping pace. This isn't an issue if you have more than one USB-C port on your laptop because you can simply plug into the laptop directly.
The display itself isn't remarkable; the 14-inch IPS panel is LED-backlit and offers a standard 60Hz refresh rate with a 6ms response time. Needless to say, this isn't going to be a companion for your gaming laptop, but the 300 nits of brightness should allow you to work in brighter environments.
The design is far more attention-grabbing as the silver rear panel, with its large white Dell logo, resembles that of an XPS laptop (or a Latitude), and the hinged stand looks sturdier than the many generic portable monitors on the market. The stand can tilt between 10 and 90 degrees to give you more comfortable viewing angles.
The C1422H comes in at just under two pounds, which isn't bad for a full second screen experience. And if you are worried about the exposed screen in your bag, Dell includes a protective sleeve to keep it safe.
Pricing is where things get a little odd for the Dell C1422H. At $349, it is one of the more expensive portable monitors in its class. The $241 Lenovo ThinkVision M14 swaps the Dell XPS aesthetic for the ThinkPad but is virtually identical. We recently reviewed the slightly pricier Lenovo ThinkVision M14t, which adds a touchscreen and Active Stylus and that rises just above the Dell at $388. Depending on your needs, there are also numerous 15.6-inch options available below $300 from brands like Lepow, Asus, AOC and others.
In defense of Dell's pricing, the C1422H offers a considerably more robust warranty plan than you will find on other portable monitors. If there are any defects during its three-year limited warranty Dell will ship a replacement to you next-day delivery. That level of service combined with the overall design may be enough to justify the added cost for some users.