This Useless Thing is Actually Pretty Cool

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We have tablets, mini-tablets, phablets, and even smartphones with screens that are 5-inches big. It sounds like people want bigger screens! But if I carry around a tablet I also need to carry a smartphone for phone calls — and I have to have data somehow available on both devices. Not to mention the fact that tablets aren’t cheap!

Way back in 2008 we had the opportunity to review the Celio REDFLY Mobile Companion, which was basically a laptop without the “computer” parts built in — it was just the keyboard, mouse, and monitor — it used your Windows Mobile smartphone to do all the heavy lifting.

Asus has similar products today, the PadFone and PadFone 2 — they’re essentially a tablet with a dock for your smartphone built in. Motorola has their (now discontinued) WebTop. What about people who don’t have an Asus or Motorola phone? What if we want a large screen, but don’t necessarily want a separate tablet? Is there another option to give us a bigger screen without having to have a separate “smart” device?

GeChic thinks so. I was able to play with the previous version of the On-Lap (the 1302) back in March, but with the tangle of cords it needed, most of the comments weren’t that flattering. The new version (which they call the On-Lap 2501M and will be available through AMOS America) includes speakers, HDMI, MHL, and a battery. All you’ve got to do is hook up your smartphone (or other device) and you’ve got an instant “big-screen” experience. Sure, 15.6-inches isn’t necessarily “big”, but it’s bigger than the screens on our smartphone and tablets!

With Apple’s AirPlay, DLNA, and Android 4.2’s Remote Display via Miracast, I have to wonder if the current On-Lap with its “single cord” requirement is still one cord too many. If they can add all three wireless technologies into their battery-powered monitor, I think they may have a winning product. In the meantime, I can see the potential for an ad-hock in-car entertainment system for your kids, or maybe an impromptu mobile workstation if you throw a Bluetooth keyboard into the mix. For now it’s just a really cool product that needs some practical use-case scenarios.

What can you think of? How would a batter-powered monitor make your life easier, better, or more productive? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy".By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video.Read more about Joe Levi here.