A portable, touchscreen monitor is a niche product, but could be a handy solution for those who require the extra screen real estate on the move. The use case for such a device could be anything from enabling touch controls for a laptop or desktop that doesn't have a touchscreen, dual-screen connectivity on the go, or generally having a larger screen to use with a compact laptop as needed. One such product that fits this description is the ViewSonic TD1655 15.6-inch portable touch monitor, which I'm reviewing here.
Priced at Rs. 33,500 officially (but available for as low as Rs. 23,999 online), the ViewSonic TD1655 monitor promises convenience of connectivity and usage, portability, and touchscreen capabilities. Is this unique portable monitor worth the asking price? Find out in this review.
The ViewSonic TD1655 is available in a single 15.6-inch size, and has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels
ViewSonic TD1655 Monitor design
The ViewSonic TD1655 monitor, at first glance, looks more like a laptop than a dedicated monitor. It has a 15.6-inch screen and the thickness is roughly the same as some laptops, such as the Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 (Review) that I used for this review. It's this shape and size that makes the TD1655 so portable; you can slip it into a backpack or laptop bag just as easily as your laptop, and often even with the two devices stacked together. The monitor weighs a little under 1kg.
The 15.6-inch full-HD IPS LED screen naturally dominates the front of the ViewSonic TD1655 monitor, with narrow bezels on three sides and a slightly wider bottom bezel that also has the company's logo on it. There is an included magnetic screen cover that folds away behind it when the monitor is in use, and a kickstand that can be extended to keep the TD1655 standing upright.
There is also a power button which doubles up as a navigation controller to browse the basic settings and functions of the monitor. At the bottom are small speaker grilles for the built-in two-speaker setup, comprising of two 0.8W speakers for a total (and rather basic) rated output of 1.6W.
Connectivity options on the ViewSonic TD1655 include two USB Type-C ports, one Mini-HDMI port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, all on the left side. The sales package of the unit that was sent to me included an HDMI to Mini-HDMI cable, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and a 60W power adapter. However, ViewSonic's product page for the TD1655 also mentions the inclusion of a USB Type-A to Type-C cable and a passive stylus, as part of the bundle.
ViewSonic TD1655 Monitor specifications and connectivity
As mentioned, the key specification of the ViewSonic TD1655 is its full-HD (1920x1080-pixel, 60Hz) IPS-LED touch display, with support for 10-point multi-touch and gestures. The rated brightness is 250 nits. The monitor is further compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Linux.
For my review, I used the Windows-powered Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro laptop as the source device for the ViewSonic TD1655 monitor. This let me use the USB Type-C cable as a single connector, with the monitor drawing power, the display signal, and the touch input from the same cable. That said, this only worked with the provided USB Type-C cable; other cables, including the Samsung laptop's included charging cable, were incompatible with the monitor.
The ViewSonic TD1655 has two USB Type-C ports and one Mini-HDMI port for connectivity
Alternatively, I was able to power the monitor with its own adapter and cable, and then separately connect a second USB Type-C cable or the included HDMI to Mini-HDMI cable to a source device. The convenience of a single cable is excellent, but do keep in mind that the monitor will draw power from the laptop in this case, and you'll see the battery of the laptop drain a lot faster.
Windows allowed me to set up the ViewSonic TD1655 monitor either as the main display, or as a second display to be used alongside the laptop's own screen. Both of these worked as expected, according to how I had set it up. The monitor powered up and displayed the source signal within just a few seconds of being connected, when using the correct cables.
ViewSonic TD1655 Monitor performance
The ViewSonic TD1655 monitor's screen isn't much larger than that of most laptops, but the use case of this device is less about size (usually why you would want a monitor) and more about convenience and enabling touch functionality for a device which may not have it. Indeed, it does a great job with this, focusing on ease of use and function.
As mentioned, the ViewSonic TD1655 monitor quickly powers up and displays the signal from the connected device without any need for user input. That said, if you have two devices and cables connected at the same time, you'll need to access the settings menu to switch between the two. When powered on and with the display active, a single press of the menu button at the back shows the options to do so.
Other controls include detailed settings for sound, picture mode, colour adjustments, manual image adjustments, and miscellaneous device settings. Navigating these menus is a bit tricky with the joystick-style button at the back, but this is presumably not something you'll have to do often. The customisation options themselves are quite detailed, allowing for a fair amount of control on the specifics of the monitor.
The ViewSonic TD1655 worked well to enable a dual-screen setup, when used with a laptop
With the default picture settings active, the ViewSonic TD1655 offered a sharp and detailed picture, and with slight tweaks to the brightness and contrast levels, I was able to get it to look clean and legible even in a brightly lit room. While understandably not as impressive as the AMOLED HDR display of the Samsung laptop, the monitor's 15.6-inch screen was a bit larger and worked well alongside, for an impressive dual-screen, productivity-focused setup.
The touch controls for the screen worked well, with the monitor able to recognise even the lightest of taps and swipe gestures accurately. Of course, this also has to do with Windows 11 itself being a lot more touch-friendly than earlier versions, but the ViewSonic TD1655 was itself able to handle my typical usage easily enough. I liked being able to use it to watch video-based content or read text, while keeping a second browser window with my email and other websites open on the laptop itself.
Productivity on-the-go is, in my opinion, the best use case for the ViewSonic TD1655 portable monitor. The kickstand can be freely used at any angle up to 60 degrees, thereby giving you a wide range of usable angles. With a stylus, it could come in handy for creative and design-focused users as well, providing an additional screen for note-taking, sketching, or viewing documents and blueprints, among other possibilities. Portability is a key factor here, since it is quick to set up and use as a second screen, and it can be stowed and put away just as easily as any typical laptop.
Sound quality on the ViewSonic TD1655 monitor isn't particularly good, given the small size and low rated output. Even at the highest volume, it was only just loud enough to be heard in a quiet room, and the issue is worsened by the fact that the monitor took over audio from my test laptop (and its much better speakers) when connected. Any available alternative (wired or wireless) is recommended here, although it is admittedly better than having no speakers at all.
The TD1655 monitor is among Viewsonic's most interesting products right now, and serves a rather unique set of use cases admirably well. The monitor is easy to set up and use, works well for its intended purposes, and is very convenient to carry around, even alongside a laptop. Additionally, the necessary cables and equipment to use it properly are helpfully included in the box.
I did have trouble using the monitor with anything except its own USB Type-C cable and adapter, and sound quality from the built-in speakers was inadequate, to say the least. However, these are relatively small drawbacks that didn't really hamper my ability to use the ViewSonic TD1655 monitor, particularly for on-the-go productivity and the useful ability to have a dual-screen setup without occupying too much space and creating much clutter.
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