I heard from more than a few readers regarding my post on the MMT Field Pro mobile monitor last week . The message was consistent -- you missed the Toshiba competitor! You’re right, I did. My bad. BUT --- there’s ALWAYS a but --- it turns out that I’m standing by my original recommendation.
Toshiba’s entry is a 14-inch USB Mobile LCD Monitor for $200. It’s lighter, cheaper, and does not require a separate power brick. Game over, Toshiba wins, right? Not so fast, there Pilgrim, let’s look under those specs and see what’s REALLY going on.
Screen size: MMT Field Monitor Pro, at 15.4” is 20% larger than the Toshiba. I could live with that except the Toshiba screen, when powered only by USB, is so dim as to approach being useless. The standard measurement for screen luminosity is the “nit” and the generally acceptable line between “fair” and “good” is 225 nits. The USB powered Toshiba is rated at <150 nits. With the AC adapter (an additional $40) it’s not as dim, but still gets to only 220 nits. The MMT screen output is a very solid 232 nits. And the Toshiba screen is fixed at a 40 degree tilt while the MMT provides 180 degree tilt AND 180 degree rotation.
The Toshiba requires 2 USB ports and provides none; the MMT uses 1 port and provides two. The Toshiba is ~1 pound lighter than the MMT but the MMT case is die-cast aluminum which I suspect will have a much longer life than the Toshiba’s “faux leather”. Portrait mode? Only with the MMT, the Toshiba can’t do it. Same with Kensington lock. And daisy chaining. The MMT will chain up to 6. No chaining provided with the Toshiba. Oh, and let’s remember the MMT’s numeric keypad --- after all, we ARE accountants, right?
IMHO this is quite clearly a “you get what you pay for” decision. If you’re looking for an extra screen for casual use perhaps the Toshiba will work for you. But for the rigors of day-after-day field work I’m sticking with my recommendation. The MMT Field Monitor Pro is a fieldwork capable, light weight, thinly profiled, portable, durable and affordable dual monitor solution that deserves a hard look by firms doing a lot of field work.