Now here’s something HP has never done before: A portable monitor. At CES 2013 today, HP brought out the U160 flip and fold monitor. The HP U160 sports a 15.6 inch LED backlit TN display with 1366 x 768 pixels of resolution and 180 nits of brightness. The monitor is thin (by external monitor standards) and weighs just 3.4 lbs (1.6 kg), making it portable as it can be. The monitor also has a built-in case which allows you to flip it and prop it up when using it and fold it flat with the display closed inwards for protection when moving around – it works in a way not unlike how iPad cases work.
The HP U160 does not required a dedicated power supply, but instead plugs in via USB for both display output and getting its power. HP says that the U160 draws 5 watts of power (which not all laptops can provide) and may require a Y-split USB cable to draw power from 2 USB ports. The display also has a 90 degree viewing angle, making this a poor choice for watching movies.
The HP U160 will be available this month for $179. Because of its form factor, connection option (anyone who has connected their display via USB will know there’s a noticeable lag compared to using a real display port), limited display resolution and viewing angle, the HP U160 is not suited for being a primary monitor or everyday display. Instead, it’s more of a specialized tool that will likely find its way into the hands of video producers and event crews as well as road warrior telecommuters who may enjoy camping at coffee shops and working extended periods of time.