Portable displays are useful for a lot of things. They give you two screens on devices where you don’t have but might need two displays.
You may think that modern solutions are clunky, but that’s not actually the case. The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is a great example of a good portable display. Let’s take a look at what it can do in our full review.
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What is the Lenovo ThinkVision M14?
The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is a portable display. It features a 14-inch screen, a feather-light 1.26-pound weight, and a built-in kickstand on the back of the device. The package also comes with a fabric carrying bag style case so you can transport it without scratching up the screen. It’s a small, light, very portable package.
Most of the controls and ports rest in the kickstand portion of the display. On the left spine of the kickstand, you’ll find a USB Type-C port, the brightness controls, and the blue light toggle button. The opposite side has the power button, a second USB Type-C port, and a Kensington Lock slot. The back of the display is a rubberized material with an excellent grip. The buttons are all plastic and make an audible click noise when you press them.
The display itself rests in the front. The side and top bezels are reasonably thin, with a chin that isn’t too large either. Lenovo does an excellent job making this feel like a minimal device. It’s not at all flashy and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is pleasant to look at in terms of design. It just won’t blow you away.
The kickstand portion folds back up to the back of the display when not in use. Even folded up, the ThinkVision is surprisingly thin. You should have absolutely no trouble throwing this thing into most backpacks.
How does the Lenovo ThnkVision M14 work?
The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 works like most portable displays. You plug the USB Type-C plug into your laptop, desktop, or phone (if it supports HDMI). The device automatically turns on when it receives power. There is no touchscreen, however, so you’ll need an input device like a mouse. When I tested it with my Galaxy Note 20, I used the phone as a mousepad since it’s a feature offered with Samsung DeX mode.
That’s basically it. You can adjust the brightness along the left spine of the kickstand and turn a blue light filter on and off. The kickstand stays in place no matter how you adjust it. The second USB Type-C port doubles as a USB pass-through of sorts so you don’t lose the USB Type-C port on your computer.
There is one point of note. The device only has two USB Type-C ports with DisplayPort 1.2 and USB PD 2.0. That limits the device somewhat. Those without Thunderbolt 3 may need to purchase additional adapters, and there are multiple reports that this display doesn’t work with every laptop, phone, or PC. We obviously couldn’t test this with every device on Earth so a general warning is the best we can do.
How does the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 perform?
I tested the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 with my PC desktop, my Windows 10 laptop, and my Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It turned on and worked with all of them. As mentioned earlier, this isn’t a touchscreen device so I had to use my Note 20 Ultra as a mouse pad but it totally worked. Before we go further, let’s look at the specs.
|Peak brightness||300 nits|
|Screen tech and resolution||IPS, non-touch screen, 1080p|
|Connections||Two USB Type-C ports|
|Thunderbolt 3 support?||Yes|
In short, the display has excellent performance. The 700:1 contrast ratio and 300-nit peak brightness make it great for productivity and office environments. Additionally, the nearly perfect SRGB and above-average AdobeRGB values make it great for gaming, media consumption, and for all but the most precise creative work like video and photo editing.
There are no speakers so you rely on your base machine for sound. Unfortunately, there is no touchscreen either, and that can be a drawback for people in certain lines of work. Otherwise, the performance is quite good. It should be more than reasonable for just about any task unless you really need a touchscreen.
What I liked about the Lenovo ThinkVision M14
- Good contrast ratio, good brightness, and good color make it suitable for almost any task.
- It’s thin, very light, and easily portable.
- It works with basically all platforms as long as the device can output video over a USB Type-C cable.
- The carrying case is a little flimsy, but appreciated.
- USB pass-through so you don’t lose a precious USB Type-C port.
- Minimal design works with almost any existing setup.
What I dislike about the Lenovo ThinkVision M14
- No touchscreen on a portable display over $200 is a little disappointing.
- No HDMI makes it a little restrictive. It definitely works best on Thunderbolt 3 and PD2.0 devices.
Is the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 good?
The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is an excellent portable display. The design is thin, light, and attractive. It houses a good panel with excellent stats for a portable display. It’s usable for anything you want whether it’s business or pleasure. Yes, the connections are a bit restrictive, but most modern devices have Thunderbolt 3 anyway so it’s only an issue with older devices.
Read more: The best 4K monitors you can get on a budget
The only knock is the price. It runs for $249.99, and that’s on the higher end of the portable display market. For that price, a touchscreen would’ve been nice. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it would’ve turned the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 from an excellent display to one of the best options in the entire portable display market. As it stands, it is an expensive, but very capable portable display that should work for almost any situation.