Lenovo didn't hold back on announcements at this year's Mobile World Congress, introducing a ton of new laptops for consumers and businesses, as well as a 7-inch phablet, and noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones. When I got to see the new devices on the show floor, though, what I was most interested in was the ThinkVision M14 portable display.
Portable displays are a relatively new segment of the market, but we've already offerings from ASUS, HP, and even some Kickstarter initiatives. I really liked Lenovo's take on it, though. For starters, it's very thin and light, and while I can't claim to have seen other displays in person, I was surprised at just how portable it was, and I could immediately see myself throwing it in my backpack along with my laptop.
A lot of the display's thinness is owed to Lenovo's unique take on the kickstand. Rather than including a foldable cover to serve as support, the ThinkVision M14 has a base that spins on a hinge at the bottom of the display, but the base is actually where all of the components - aside from the display itself - are located. This puts most of the bulk in the base, which makes the display look pretty sleek. The hinge is also pretty good, and you can tilt the display at a wide range of angles.
There's even another, smaller kickstand, which you can use to raise the display a little more if you want it to be on the same level as your main screen. The bottom bezel is already pretty big, but if you still need the extra height, you have that option.
Another thing that's cool about this, especially if you compare it to HP's EliteDisplay, is that there are two USB Type-C ports on the kickstand, so you can put the ThinkVision M14 on either side of your main display without worrying about it. Even cooler is that it supports power passthrough, so if you're taking up the only charging port on your laptop, you can just use the other USB Type-C port on the display to charge up.
There are only two things that really bother me about the ThinkVision M14. The first thing is that colors can appear a little washed out, and the other is how plasticky the whole thing feels. Both of these things, however, are necessary sacrifices to achieve other benefits. The screen is anti-glare, which means it has a matte finish, and that's why the colors don't feel as vibrant. As for the materials, using aluminum would have made the whole thing much heavier and less suitable for carrying around, especially when you already have a laptop.
It's not yet clear when the ThinkVision M14 will be available, but it will start at $249 or €229 when it launches.
Neowin is at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona taking place between Feb 25-28 to bring you coverage direct from the show floor, click here for our other articles at the event.