Every year the number of remote workers increases. Forbes expects that 22% of the workforce will be remote in the next two years. Many companies provide laptops to remote workers so they can work from home or the office. As a fully engaged remote worker, I have a full desk setup with a USB hub that connects my laptop to two 24” monitors, keyboard, mouse, speaker and more. But what about when I disconnect, work on the road or am at the office in a meeting? This is where the SideTrak Swivel FHD saves the day.
Solving a problem
If you are like me, you want more than a single monitor. After years in the office with two or three monitors, reducing it to a single small monitor just doesn’t cut it. I marvel at people working from a single monitor and wonder if they are as productive. In researching this it appears the statistics (and many, many opinions) do not seem to settle this issue. One site suggests significant improvement, while others balk at the need for additional monitors.
What does appear to be true is that those using a second monitor seem to enjoy the organization and comfort it provides. For my second screen, I have long carried around a 17” USB monitor. My current USB monitor does not really fit well in my laptop bag. While I appreciate the size of the monitor, it is a bit of a burden, and lately I find I don’t carry it along. This leaves me working with a single 14” monitor.
Working remote doesn’t have to mean working from home. In an office there are conference rooms, open seating areas, cafeterias and more. Outside the office, some choose to work from parks, vacation homes or travel to other worksite locations. All of these scenarios limit the use of multiple monitors and formal workstation resources. The SideTrak Swivel is a great addition to support these exact situations.
Installing the screen
What I like most about the SideTrack Swivel monitor is the ability to extend your display without having to carry another monitor around. The monitor has an adhesive backplate that adheres to the backside of your laptop lid. This allows for the monitor to then rotate around and fold shut on the back of the monitor. SideTrak includes an installation guide and instructions to ensure the proper position of the backplate.
I would suggest laying both monitors flat and running a non-stick test to see how it will look. The backplate’s mounting location determines how close the Swivel is as well as how high it appears with the other screen. Using the guide and a quick test I was able to get it to mount exactly where I wanted it on the first try. The monitor slides easily across the mounting plate to bring the monitor a bit closer after opening.
Depending on your available laptop ports, SideTrak has you covered. The box contains both USB-C to USB-C Cord with USB-A Adapter and a Mini HDMI to HDMI Cord.
Removing the backplate
After testing this unit, I needed to remove the backplate. The box includes a plastic card to help separate the adhesive. I found this difficult and really bent up the card and grew concerned about hurting my laptop screen. Though I was able to remove it without issue, it was not an easy task. My portable monitor has lasted through three laptops so I expect that the odds of removal for others would be high.
I would suggest using something like Command Strips for installation. Perhaps SideTrak would even consider partnering with 3M or someone else to provide removable adhesive. The good news is that the Swivel comes with two backplates so you can mount it on two different devices and swap it back and forth. The magnet holds strong and doesn’t slip while folding or twisting the screen.
One of my concerns at the time of first testing was how the added weight might affect my already weak laptop hinge, but it wasn’t an issue. SideTrak is clever enough to have added a monitor stand so even if your laptop has that weak hinge, you will not have any trouble.
Using the Swivel
I am impressed by the design technology of the monitor. I appreciate the clarity of the screen and the way it unfolds, rotates, and has a sturdy kickstand for supporting your existing monitor. Each of these features was clearly considered.
When not in use the monitor folds on the back of the laptop monitor. During use the monitor “swivels” up and down as well as in or out for the perfect angle. Since the monitor includes a kickstand, you can even disconnect it and leave it free standing.
The Full HD screen provides great clarity and is available in multiple formats. The 12.5” comes as a single or double monitor. If you utilize a dual Swivel setup, SideTrak sells a USB-C Hub. You are able to purchase the dual 12.5” and hub as a single kit. There is also a 14” version available for a larger viewing experience.
The SideTrak Swivel FHD is a well-designed, sturdy and versatile tool to add to your work environment. With a Full HD screen one can clearly see this is a product to seriously consider. The Swivel pairs mobility with productivity. Life in our adaptable work world just got better!
Our reviews are always 100% independent, but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.