To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

AOC E1659FWU portable monitor review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £99
inc VAT

This cheap and cheerful USB display is highly portable but struggles to produce good-looking images


15.6in screen size, 1366×768 resolution, DVI: no, VGA: no, HDMI:

The AOC E1659FWU is a budget 15.6in portable monitor for mobile workers who use a hot-desk and need to work on multiple screens. The monitor is powered by USB and runs on standard DisplayLink drivers, so it should work on any device running Windows and Mac OS X.

AOC E1659FWU portable monitor

The AOC E1659WU is a little complicated to set up the first time you use it, but once installed it really is plug and play. It doesn’t come with much, just the screen itself, a software CD and a USB3 cable with an extra connector for power. For devices with a USB3 port, only the single blue-coloured connector needs to be plugged in, but you’ll need to use both connectors if the PC you want to use only has USB2 ports.

AOC E1659FWU portable monitor

This could be a big drawback for people who want to use the E1659FWU with older ultraportable laptops that don’t have two USB ports in close proximity. Another point to consider is that you’ll lose two USB ports, which could consume all the ports on your laptop. You could, however, buy a USB hub for use with the E1659FWU.

You can use the E1659FWU in landscape or portrait mode, but you’ll have to install a separate driver in order to get the AOC E1659FWU to rotate automatically when the screen is in portrait mode. This software is not available for Apple’s Mac OS X, but you can still rotate the screen manually through machine’s display options, whether it’s connected to a Mac or a Windows PC.

AOC E1659FWU portable monitor

Weighing just over a kilogram and being less than an inch thick, the E1659FWU will very nicely slide into a bag. It also comes with a neoprene sleeve for protection, which is a definite bonus. Despite being made entirely out of cheap-looking shiny black plastic that attracts unsightly fingerprint marks, the build quality is good. The stand built into the back of the screen is solid and stays in position once adjusted.

If you want to make the E1659FWU a permanent part of your display setup, you can mount the monitor on a wall bracket thanks to its VESA mounts.

The TN LCD panel used by the E1659FWU is a 1366×768 affair. That’s a low resolution, but is acceptable for a cheap portable monitor. The main advantage of a TN panel is that it’s cheap. Unfortunately, TN panels suffer from poor colour accuracy and viewing angles, and this is certainly the case for the AOC E1659FWU. While overall quality may be less important when buying a cheap and light portable monitor, it should still be taken into consideration if you plan on using it as a second screen regularly, or even if you want to use it as a device for giving presentations. It’s also worth noting that the E1659FWU’s glossy screen can suffer from reflections under bright artificial lights.

AOC E1659FWU portable monitor

There are no calibration buttons for the AOC E1659FWU, so you can’t improve the default image. In our tests the AOC E1659FWU displayed just 74.3 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, and we measured brightness levels of 204cd/m2. It’s important to note that by default the device is set to half brightness, which we found to be too dark. To solve this, the DisplayLink software, which can be found in the Windows taskbar, lets you adjust brightness and contrast levels.

Unfortunately, reds, greens and blues looked muted in our test images weren’t as vibrant as they’d look on high end-screens. We measured a contrast ratio of 417:1. Looking at our high contrast test photos, areas of darkness suffered badly with graining from a distance and looked even worse upon close inspection.

Horizontal viewing angles for the screen are fairly good, which will be useful for those using the screen as a presentation tool in meetings. However, vertical viewing angles are narrow, so you’ll need to check that your audience can see the screen before beginning a presentation.

Another interesting quirk of the device is a noticeable amount of lag between mouse movement and the movement of the cursor on screen. While the delay is only a fraction of a second, it’s serious enough to make doing any kind of mouse-intensive work somewhat frustrating. As a result, the AOC E1659FWU is best used as a passive second screen for keeping an eye on things such as email or your Twitter feeds.

The AOC E1659FWU is a good value device but we can only recommend it for a very select group of buyers. As a portable screen, it works pretty well and ticks boxes both for build quality and weight. However, sub-par image quality means it isn’t the best suited for multimedia tasks, though we suppose it could be useful for keeping toolbars and the like out of the way when working.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1366×768
Contrast ratio 500:1
Brightness 200cd/m²
Horizontal viewing angle 90°
Vertical viewing angle 50°
Response time 8ms
Screen depth 23mm
Base (WxD) 365x240mm
Screen elevation 0mm


Portrait mode yes
Wall mount option yes
Height adjustable no
Internal speakers none
Detachable cables yes
USB hub none
Integrated power supply yes
Kensington lock lug no
Display extras USB input, carry case
VGA input no
DVI input no
S-video input no
Component input no
Composite input no
HDCP support no
Audio inputs none


Power consumption standby N/A
Power consumption on N/A

Buying Information

Price £99
Warranty 3 years RTB

Read more