- Great picture quality.
- Bright display.
- Lots of built-in options.
- Plug and play on both Windows and Apple Mac.
- The stand is easy to use.
- Matt screen coating reduces glare.
- The laptop battery drain is acceptable when the monitor is attached.
- Good aluminum build quality.
- Attaches quickly using magnets.
- Monitor slides out quickly and can be set up in under 30 seconds.
- The monitor can be angled to face you.
- Heavy and bulky if left on the laptop.
- Use of plastic in packaging.
- Sticky magnets hard to remove from the laptop lid
Productivity is an inescapable master we all answer to in our work lives. The constant chase and struggle to achieve more in less time has become the ultimate goal for everyone who ever dreamed of becoming the best at what they do.
And when it comes to work, nothing exemplifies the infinite potential for increased productivity more than the computer.
In our quest for more productivity, the day of desktops has ended, and the reign of laptops has begun. We have notebooks warming our laps on trains, in coffee shops, at meetings, and late at night when we should be sleeping. The laptop is the ultimate tool for increased productivity on the go.
But there’s a problem: Laptop screens are often cramped and tiny compared to their desktop brethren. We endlessly stare, eyes squinting, and our necks craned over in a desperate attempt to decipher documents. What’s the price for increased productivity on a laptop? Wearing glasses for life and a perpetually stiff neck, that’s what.
But it need not be like this. There is a better way. But what is that way?
You can get a second monitor for your laptop.
The Deux Plus is the solution to your multi-monitor laptop productivity problem. Attached to the lid of your laptop, the Deux Plus can double your computer’s desktop area and your productivity.
In the following sections, I’ll explore everything there is to know about the Deux Plus, from its unboxing to its usability. By the end of this review, you will find out why this secondary Laptop monitor deserves to be attached to your laptop.
I’m a big fan of the unboxing experience you get with most modern electronics. Often, the unboxing of a gadget is the first physical touch point a person has with a product and brand. The packaging materials, the design, and the care that goes into an unboxing experience communicates a company’s value and beliefs. Often, how a product is boxed and presented says more about these values than the product itself. These are ideas that go beyond the profit motive. They are the reasons why the business exists and why you should buy.
With these ideas in mind, I was excited to see what the Deux Plus unboxing experience had in store.
The box the Deux Plus calls home was extremely pleasing from a graphic point of view. There’s no minimalist Apple styling here. The Deux Plus box has color spilled across it, a promise that the monitor will serve a dazzling dance of color.
On sliding open the box, which was a tight fit, I was greeted by several A4 sheets. One explained, using simple graphics, how to quickly attach the monitor to a laptop. Another A4 sheet was a template to place the magnets.
A good start.
However, on pulling these A4 sheets out, that promising start faded to something rather unsightly: A plastic protective inlay.
I understand the need to protect an expensive product like this from the trials and rigors of worldwide shipping. But it’s upsetting to think that, in this day and age of environmental awareness, the Deux Plus comes with so much plastic packaging. Plastic packaging that will no doubt end up in a landfill.
This says a lot about the company. Are they happy to release a product to the world, make as much money as possible, and put profits above plastic pollution? I’m sorry, but that’s not good enough. We can no longer make world-changing products while ignoring the consequences of world-changing plastic pollution. I don’t want future children growing up in a world where beaches are more plastic than sand.
I want companies I buy from to have the same environmental values as myself. I fear that Deux doesn’t share those values.
Other materials could have replaced this plastic inlay, such as cardboard, biodegradable foam, or paper-formed inlays. But no, they use hard plastic because it’s cheap.
And I’m calling them out on it. It’s not good enough.
Anyway, rant over.
After removing the monitor, the final two items included in the box were a high-quality USB-C cable to power the monitor and more sticky pads for the magnets. More on these later.
The unboxing experience was pleasant, even if it was marred by the inclusion of needless plastic.
Attaching the Deux Plus Second Monitor to your Laptop
When I first thought about buying the Deux Plus, there was one aspect of the monitor I was particularly interested in: how it would attach to my laptop’s lid.
The monitor’s housing sits on a set of 4 magnets that must be stuck down onto your laptop’s lid with provided 3M sticky pads. This is very easy to do as the monitor acts as a template. You position the magnets in the right place on the back of the monitor, line up the monitor on your laptop’s lid, and stick the entire monitor down onto your laptop. Easy.
The use of magnets is, honestly, ingenious. The alternative would have been a flimsy plastic gripper clamped tight around your laptop’s screen, which would have, in all likelihood, broken at the faintest sense of pressure. Instead, these magnets hold the monitor firmly in place while allowing you to quickly remove the monitor when not in use.
Though this process of attaching the magnets is straightforward, I was extremely reluctant to attach 4 powerful magnets directly to my Macbook Pro’s lid. If you attach these magnets to the top of your laptop, accept that they are not coming off quickly or easily. Once they are attached, removing them takes some forceful persuasion with a plastic spatula and a cup or two of isopropyl alcohol.
Do the magnets look unsightly? Yes, of course, they do. They destroy the flowing lines of my Macbook’s lid. But, the unsightliness of the magnets is a small price to pay for the speed at which you can attach and detach the monitor. And believe me, when you are not using the monitor, you’ll want to detach it if you have a small Laptop.
If you are serious about buying the Deux Plus, consider getting a laptop case cover. That way, you can stick the magnets to the case, knowing that removing them can only damage the case, not the laptop.
Alternatively, you can use the supplied stand to prop your monitor up next to your laptop. Not a perfect solution, but the stand works well enough and is stable.
Weight and Size
Though I love the Deux Plus, it has a weight problem.
The manufacturer indicates on their website that the monitor weighs 1.3lb. But after picking up the monitor myself, I was a little skeptical of this weight. The monitor felt a little – I’ll whisper it – hefty to me.
Not sure who to believe, I placed the monitor on my trusty Salter weighing scale. The digital numbers tumbled and, after a little tooing and frowing, settled on 1.3Ib. The manufacturer’s weight was spot on.
However, when attached, the Deux Plus added substantial weight and thickness to my 13-inch Macbook Pro. My laptop felt much heavier, bulkier, and harder to move and carry. Plus, stuffing it into my Laptop backpack with the monitor attached turned into something akin to a wrestling match. I know this is a fact of physics, an inescapable truth of attaching something to the back of your laptop. I just don’t think I was prepared for how much heavier and bulkier the Deux Plus would make my laptop.
My Macbook Pro weighs in at what I consider a fairly svelte, for a laptop, 1.4kg or 3lb. By adding the Deux Plus, my Macbook Pro felt like it had taken one too many trips to McDonalds. The total weight had increased to a belt-busting 4.3lb. That’s a weight gain of 43%.
Secondly, though the monitor is incredibly thin by all definitions, it still doubles my Macbook Pro’s thickness. The monitor’s chassis has to be strong enough, in this case, high-grade aluminum, to support the pulling and pushing of daily use. I understand that if the monitor were thinner, it would be too flimsy and break easily. But, my Apple Macbook felt like it had jumped to the dark side and morphed into (Gasp!) a bulky Windows laptop whenever the monitor was attached.
Just don’t expect something as thin and light as a sheet of paper glued to the back of your laptop. The Deux Plus will add bulk to any laptop if left on it.
But, this can easily be remedied by only attaching the monitor to your laptop when needed.
Yes, the unsightly magnets will permanently be attached to your laptop. But this is a small price for the flexibility and increased productivity offered by the Deux Plus.
Plug and Play
From my experience, products that claim to be Plug-and-Play are usually exaggerating.
Yet, the Deux Plus snaps that trend of disappointment in two and offers a true plug-and-play experience.
I plugged the monitor into my Macbook Pro’s USB-C port using the supplied USB-C cable, the Deux flickered, and then my desktop appeared on the screen. The monitor gets its image through the USB-C and its power. So there is literally only one cable to plug in, and away you go.
The Deux Plus only takes ten seconds from the USB-C being plugged in to being usable. Ten. Seconds.
So you can double productivity, wherever you are, in less time than it takes to read this sentence.
That there, ladies and gentlemen, is true plug-and-play.
But how does having a second monitor plugged into a laptop affect its battery? Not as much as you would think.
When the monitor is plugged in, it forces my Macbook Pro to eat through its battery just a little faster. Usually, when I’m typing and working as normal, my battery will drop by about 7.5% per hour, if that.
With the monitor plugged in, the battery dropped by about 15% every hour. That’s good when you consider that, even with the monitor plugged in, I could get 6.5 hours of battery life from my Macbook Pro. Keep in mind that other laptops will vary.
Using the monitor
Finally, we come to the most important part of the article, the monitor’s usability.
Quite frankly, this is where the Deux Plus shines. This is where the monitor is, for me, a 5/5 product.
Using the Deux Plus for a few days is a revolution in productivity on a laptop.
I have used successive 13-inch Macbooks to do all my writing and content management for many years. As a writer and manager, I never felt the need for extra screen real estate.
How wrong I was.
The extra 13 inches afforded by the Deux Plus has allowed me to supercharge my writing and management workflow.
Now, when typing up articles or creating graphics, I no longer have to jump between reference material and work. I can have both on screen at once. In the past, I’d be constantly switching between windows. Though this window flipping wouldn’t take long, there is a mental tole to this switching that quickly degrades productity.
Every time I switch to a new window, my brain gets more decision fatigued than it should. With the use of Deux Plus, this switching has been eliminated. Consequently, my article writing workflow has sped up by around 33%. An article that used to take me 3 hours to write now takes only 2. Can there be higher praise than that? What other Laptop peripherals can you think of that can instantly increase your productivity by a 3rd? I can’t think of any.
From a technical point of view, the screen offers a crips 1080p@60Hz panel that is clear, bright, and easy to read.
Is it as good as the Macbook Pro screen? No. But it doesn’t have to be. The Deux Plus is not going to replace your primary monitor. But it can hold your Photoshop tools, productivity apps such as Notion, reference material, or communication apps such as Slack.
Also, even though I found the monitor bulky when folded flat against my Macbook, it’s the exact opposite case when the monitor is folded out. The magnetic system works seamlessly to hold the monitor’s supporting backplate in place. You then grab the USB port end of the monitor and pull. The entire monitor then slides out of its enclosure, revealing the monitor’s screen in all its glory.
Attaching the monitor, plugging in the USB-C cable, pulling it out, and positioning it takes less than 30 seconds.
Once the monitor is fully out, you can tilt the monitor a little toward you. This way, the monitor encircles you, making it easier to read text.
It is the perfect second monitor for laptops.
Though the Deux Plus does have some niggles, it is, without a doubt, the best laptop accessory I have ever owned.
Yes, too much plastic in the packaging needs to change. Yes, the magnets are too hard to remove from the laptop lid once stuck down. And yes, leaving the monitor on the back of your laptop turns it into a hefty, heavy beast.
But none of those slight negatives detract from the fact that the Deux Plus is sublime. It’s been a game changer for my productivity on the go. It’s turned my super laptop into, well, a superhero laptop.
If you are reading this, you obviously think a second monitor could be the right move for you. But I understand. You’re skeptical of the potential benefits. The monitor is a lot of money, after all.
But, from first-hand use, I can say this: If you want to improve your productivity and think a second monitor could help you do that, then the Deux Plus is a must-buy.
It will help you speed up your workflows, improve productivity, and get more valuable work done in less time.
What more could you ask for from any accessory in your work life? What other accessory can offer instant productivity gains of 33%? None that I can think of.
So do your career a favor:
Buy the Deux Plus and rocket your productivity
Check out the DUEX Plus second monitor for laptops now.