First look: Vinpok Split portable touchscreen monitor

The first thing that will probably strike you about the Vinpok Split is how light and thin it is.
The first thing that will probably strike you about the Vinpok Split is how light and thin it is.PHOTO: VINPOK

Always wanted an extra screen for your laptop to increase productivity when you are on the go? It will soon become a reality with the upcoming Vinpok Split (US$399 or S$584).

Currently an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the Vinpok Split is a portable 15.6-inch touchscreen monitor with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

It is said to work with all laptops via USB-C or mini-HDMI connectivity. It also works with Android smartphones and gaming consoles such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Vinpok sent us an early prototype of the Split to try.

The first thing that will probably strike you about the Split is how light and thin it is. It weighs only 626g and measures 8.8mm at its thickest while the thinner part is a mere 4.4mm. The thicker part takes up the bottom third of the monitor that houses the ports.

On the right side, you will find a mini-HDMI port, a USB-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack. The left side houses a USB-C power-only port, a clickable dial wheel and a power/return button.

The Split Clip, which lets you mount the Split beside your laptop's display, was not available for this first look. This clip is supposed to be included in the final retail version, along with a USB-C-to-USB-C cable and a mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable.

However, Vinpok sent us the optional magnetic kickstand (US$39) case that covers the Split's front and most of its rear. Open this case from the front, fold it to the rear and it becomes a kickstand. You can adjust the angle of the viewing angle from around 60 degrees to nearly 80 degrees.

I connected the Split to a MacBook Pro using the included USB-C-to-USB-C cable and it worked perfectly. There is no need to download drivers - just plug and play.

The Split has a matte display, which means you do not get reflections like with a MacBook Pro's display. You can tap and highlight texts or drag folders around using your fingers with the Split. The clickable dial wheel is easy to use and allows you to easily change settings like brightness and colour temperature.

I also connected the Split to the latest iPad Pro and it worked perfectly as well. Though, due to iOS 12 limitations, the Split can only be used as a mirrored screen.

Next, I tried it with a Samsung Galaxy Note9. The USB-C connectivity did not work. It only worked when connected via a USB-C-to-HDMI adapter with the included mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable. And you get the Samsung DeX desktop interface with the Split. Pretty neat.

I could not get the Split to work with a Nintendo Switch. Connecting via either the USB-C and mini-HDMI ports didn't work. I hope this is due to some issues with this particular prototype model.

Nonetheless, the fact that it worked seamlessly with a MacBook Pro is good enough for me. And users of laptops that have USB-C connectivity will probably want to check out the Split.

You can pre-order the Split for an offer price of US$199 (not inclusive of shipping) at its Indiegogo page. The crowdfunding campaign ends on Dec 16. It is expected to ship some time next month.