Reviews You Can Rely On

Mobile Office - Best Laptop Travel Set Up With External USB Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard

Mobile Office - Best Laptop Travel Set Up With External USB Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard
Credit: Chris McNamara
By Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Friday April 17, 2015
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

I can't stare at a laptop all day in a coffee shop or my back seizes. And even if I could, staring down at a laptop and using a track pad is not that productive. So began a quest to find a mobile office that delivers the ergonomics of having a screen at eye height, and second monitor, mouse and keyboard. It's all light enough to fit in a backpack, costs less than $200 and doesn't require being plugged in until the laptop battery dies.

There are 6 key parts:
1) Laptop
2) Wireless Keyboard
3) Wireless Mouse
4) Internet
5) Monitor Stand
6) USB External Monitor

7) External Headset

1) Laptop

I am a big fan of the MacBook Pro. It's very light, (almost as light at the MacBook Air, it seems), and has tons of power, long battery etc. But it's super expensive and much less expensive laptops probably work for most folks. Chromebooks are now only $200!

2) Wireless Keyboard

See our Wireless Keyboard review for our latest picks. We recommend Curad Alcohol Wipes to keep the keyboard and your hands clean.

3) Wireless Mouse

With so many to choose from, we just look for the cheapest one with the best reviews.

4) Internet

If you don't have WiFi, you need to get a signal from your phone. Most cell phone companies let you share your cell signal for a fee.

5) Monitor Stand

For the cheap and resourceful, books and cardboard boxes work. Otherwise, there are a number of great vented stands available.

6) USB External Monitor

This was a game changer. Diminishing screen real estate is one of the big sacrifices of traveling. Having a second monitor is a huge improvement. The key variables are power and weight. Most external monitors are both heavy, large, and require being plugged into an outlet. Discovering the portable USB monitors solved those concerns. The AOC draws power from your computers USB port and draws so little power that you only lose 10-20% of your normal charge time.

7) External Headset

Now that most operating systems and browsers have such good speech recognition, I always have a headset for dictating e-mails, stories, and just about anything that is more than a few sentences long.

Keep in mind, if you plug all these things in at once, you might need a portable USB hub.


You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More