The Mobile Pixels TRIO is a portable 13 inch, 1080p monitor with a unique design. Instead of a traditional stand, it's designed to attach to the side of a laptop in either a dual or triple-screen setup, improving productivity when working on the go. Its IPS panel delivers decent viewing angles, and it has great text clarity thanks to the high pixel density, but only when mounted on the right. Unfortunately, if you mount it on the left, the display will be flipped, resulting in worse text clarity. It has very good reflection handling, so glare shouldn't be a big issue in most rooms, but its peak brightness is just okay, so it's not bright enough to overcome direct sunlight if you like to work outdoors. This monitor isn't recommended for gaming, as it has a slow response time and relatively high input lag, and due its limited SDR color gamut, it's mediocre for watching videos or for media creation.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO is a mediocre monitor overall. It's designed for and best-suited for extra office productivity when working on the go, as the unique design is meant to be mounted on the back of a laptop. It's not recommended for gaming, as it has a slow response time and high input lag. It's also a mediocre choice for watching videos or media creation, and it doesn't support HDR.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO is an okay office monitor. It's designed for extra productivity when on the go. The small size and high-resolution screen result in great text clarity - but only if it's mounted on the right-hand side of your screen. Unfortunately, if you mount it on the left, the display will be flipped, resulting in worse text clarity. Other than that, it has outstanding gray uniformity and decent viewing angles, but like most IPS monitors, it has low contrast.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO is a sub-par gaming monitor. It has a terrible response time, so fast action scenes appear very blurry. It has higher than usual input lag, which might be an issue for fast-paced action games that require precise timings. It's also limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any advanced gaming features. It can be helpful as a second monitor when gaming, though, as you can look up hints while gaming on your main display.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO is mediocre for watching videos. It has decent viewing angles, outstanding gray uniformity, and great gradient handling, so you don't have to worry about banding or a faded image if you're not sitting directly in front of it. On the other hand, it has a mediocre SDR color gamut, low contrast, and disappointing accuracy out of the box, with some noticeable inaccuracies with most colors.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO is mediocre for media creation. The size is okay for making quick touchups, and it has decent viewing angles. It has great gradient handling and outstanding gray uniformity, so you don't have to worry about banding or uniformity issues in areas of similar color. On the other hand, it has a mediocre SDR color gamut, so if you work with the Adobe RGB color space often, it's a bad choice, and it has low contrast. It's also not very accurate out of the box, and color accuracy is an issue even after calibration.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO doesn't support HDR.
We tested the 12.5 inch Mobile Pixels TRIO, but it's also available in a 14 inch size, known as the Mobile Pixels TRIO Max. We expect our results to be valid for both sizes.
|Model||Size||Native Resolution||Max Refresh rate||Panel Type|
If you come across a different type of panel or your Mobile Pixels TRIO doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
We don't know when our unit was manufactured, but you can see the label here.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO is a mediocre portable monitor with a unique design. It's okay if you have a mobile office and are looking for a bit of extra screen space when on the go, but overall it's not a very good monitor. If you're not interested in a triple-screen setup, Mobile Pixels also makes a model designed for a dual-screen setup, known as the Mobile Pixels DUEX Plus.
For more options, check our picks for the best budget monitors, the best USB-C monitors, and the best office monitors.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO and the Mobile Pixels DUEX Plus are very similar overall. The TRIO has slightly better viewing angles, higher peak brightness, and slightly better reflection handling, so it's more capable of overcoming glare in a bright room. On the other hand, the DUEX Plus has much lower input lag. The biggest difference between them is in the design, as the DUEX is designed to be used as a single additional monitor, whereas the TRIO is designed to be used either as a single additional monitor or as a pair of additional monitors.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO is better than the MSI Optix MAG161V for most people. The TRIO has better reflection handling and it's brighter, so it can overcome more glare in a bright room. The TRIO also has better viewing angles. On the other hand, the MSI has much lower input lag, so it feels more responsive, even if you're just using it for office work.
The Lepow Z1 is slightly better than the Mobile Pixels TRIO. The Lepow has much lower input lag, so it feels far more responsive, even for office use. The Lepow supports HDR, but this adds very little, as it can't get very bright and can't display a wide color gamut.
The ASUS ZenScreen MB14AC and the Mobile Pixels TRIO are similar overall, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The ASUS has much lower input lag, so it feels far more responsive, and it has a faster response time. The Mobile Pixels we tested has much better black uniformity, although this can vary between units, and it has slightly better reflection handling.
The ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP is better than the Mobile Pixels TRIO. The ASUS has lower input lag and a much faster response time, so motion looks clearer and it feels more responsive. Although those factors are normally more important for gaming, in this case, it makes a big difference even for desktop use. On the other hand, the Mobile Pixels might be a bit better for some people due to its unique design, and it has better reflection handling.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has a unique design. It's not really meant to be used as a standalone display. Rather it's designed to mount to the side of a laptop in either a dual or triple-screen setup as shown here. There's a clip designed to attach the monitor for a triple-screen setup. It can also be used to hold the monitor in a standalone setup, but it's not really designed for that and not very stable. If you're not interested in a triple-screen setup, Mobile Pixels also makes a model designed for a dual-screen setup, known as the Mobile Pixels DUEX Plus.
There's no real stand for this monitor; it's just a case that supports it when attached to the side of a monitor. The case can also be used to stand the monitor vertically in a portrait orientation. If you prefer using the display as a standalone screen, there's a kickstand available from the manufacturer.
Due to the unique design of this monitor, it doesn't really have traditional ergonomic adjustments. Once mounted on a laptop, it can be rotated to multiple viewing positions at almost any angle, up to 270°, even facing the opposite direction of the laptop screen:
While it's mounted to the case it can't be tilted, but it'll follow the tilt angle of whatever it's attached to, so you can just tilt your laptop screen to whatever's the most comfortable.
Given the unique design of this monitor, we took a few additional pictures to showcase how it looks in various configurations, with and without cables. As there's no traditional stand on this monitor, there's obviously no cable management, either.
The borders are surprisingly thick. The measurements here are for the thickest borders, which are on the left and right side of the screen when it's in landscape orientation. The top and bottom of the screen have slightly thinner borders, at 0.61" (1.56cm) and 0.69" (1.76cm), respectively.
Given the unique design of this monitor, we took a few additional pictures to showcase how it looks in various configurations.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has okay build quality. The magnetic case is made of ABS plastic, and there's a lot of flex to it. The monitor is attached to the case with two metal prongs that follow plastic tracks inside the case. The sliding mechanism is relatively smooth but can catch inside the tracks if it's pulled unevenly.
The case isn't very intuitive, and it can feel as if you're going to break the plastic by trying to adjust it. Finally, the magnets used to attach it to your laptop aren't quite strong enough to hold it in place, and it sags a bit. Other owners have reported that either replacing the magnets with stronger ones or letting the monitor rest on the desk solves that issue.
Unfortunately, the Mobile Pixels TRIO has a mediocre contrast ratio, resulting in blacks that look gray in a dark room. This is expected for an IPS monitor, though, and although this can vary between units, these results are in line with most IPS monitors. There's no local dimming feature to improve contrast.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only, so you can see how the local dimming feature on other displays compares to one without local dimming.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has fair peak brightness in SDR. It's bright enough for most indoor viewing environments, but it's too dim to use outdoors in daylight. Our unit isn't as bright as what the manufacturer advertises, and we're not sure why. There are almost no picture settings, but we were able to get a slightly brighter image by adjusting the contrast at the expense of image accuracy.
These measurements were taken after calibration, with the Temperature setting set to 'sRGB', and brightness at its max. The peak brightness can change depending on which mode you're using.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO doesn't support HDR.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has decent horizontal viewing angles. Colors remain accurate to a wide angle, but brightness decreases and gamma shifts at moderate angles, causing the image to appear washed out. Since you can adjust the angle of the screen when it's attached to a laptop, this shouldn't cause any issues.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has okay vertical viewing angles. Colors appear washed out at a moderate angle, and they lose accuracy at a moderate angle from above, which isn't ideal if you're sharing the screen with someone standing next to you.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has outstanding gray uniformity. There's a bit of vignetting in the corners, but almost no deviation in the center of the screen. Note that gray uniformity can vary between units, but it's rarely an issue on recent monitors.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO we bought has passable black uniformity, but this varies between units. There's a bit of cloudiness throughout the image, but the most noticeable issue is the significant backlight bleed from the bottom corners. Unfortunately, there's no local dimming to improve black uniformity.
Unfortunately, this monitor has disappointing accuracy out of the box. The white balance is okay overall, but bright scenes are a bit off, and colors are bad, with noticeable inaccuracies in every color. The color temperature is a bit warm, and gamma is all over the place. Dark scenes are crushed a bit, and bright scenes are too bright.
After calibration, the Mobile Pixels TRIO has fantastic accuracy for the most part. White balance is nearly perfect, but saturated colors are still inaccurate. Gamma is much better, but bright scenes are still off and are a bit brighter than they should be. The color temperature is very close to our target.
This monitor has almost no picture settings in the on-screen display, but we were still able to calibrate it using DDC/CI from a PC. Unfortunately, if you don't have the equipment/software to do that, there's no way to calibrate it or adjust most basic picture settings.
You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit due to manufacturing tolerances, even for the same model.
Unfortunately, this monitor has a mediocre SDR color gamut. It can't display the entire sRGB color gamut used by most web and desktop content, which is very disappointing. Coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space is too low for professional content creators.
Unfortunately, this monitor has sub-par color volume. It can't fill out the entire gamut, and due to the low contrast ratio, it can't display saturated colors at low luminance levels either.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
Unfortunately, there are some signs of temporary image retention on our unit, but this can vary between units. The image is retained for a while, but it's not noticeable with regular content.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has great gradient handling. There's noticeable 8-bit banding when displaying an 8-bit gradient image, but other than that, there's only a bit of banding in darker shades.
This test was run with the color depth at 8-bit, as our test laptop for 10-bit gradients doesn't support USB-C, and this monitor only accepts a 10-bit signal over USB-C. We don't expect this to make any difference to our test results. We still took the 10-bit photo, you can see it here, but there's excessive dithering due to the configuration of that PC.
Update 02/22/2022: When the text clarity of this monitor was originally evaluated, the incorrect scaling was used, which was done at 100% instead of the recommended 125%. The photos have been updated. The text clarity score has also been decreased for better consistency with other similar monitors.
The Mobile Pixels TRIO has amazing text clarity when mounted on the right side of a laptop, thanks to the high pixel density. We recommend running the Windows ClearType (top photo) wizard if you're on a PC. There are some font issues in apps that don't support ClearType, but it's not that noticeable.
Because the display auto-rotates depending on which side of the screen it's on, if you place it on the left of your laptop it'll have a BGR sub-pixel layout. Text clarity is a bit worse in that configuration, as many Windows programs aren't able to correct for that, even after running the ClearType settings:
|Response Time Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
Unfortunately, the Mobile Pixels TRIO has a terrible response time at the maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. There's no overshoot, but most transitions are extremely slow, resulting in a very long blur trail behind fast-moving objects. There are no other overdrive settings, either, so you can't adjust the response time.
This monitor doesn't have an optional black frame insertion (BFI) feature.
Unfortunately, the Mobile Pixels TRIO is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies (VRR), like FreeSync or G-SYNC.
Unfortunately, the Mobile Pixels TRIO has just okay input lag. It's much higher than the vast majority of monitors we've tested. While most people won't notice anything for desktop use, it's too slow for most gamers. Depending on your exact setup, desktop use might also feel unresponsive.
The small size of this monitor doesn't deliver very much screen real estate to work with, but this isn't designed to be your main display anyway, it's meant for extra screen space when working. The high pixel density results in clear text and a sharp image. The pixel density is a bit better than a 27 inch, 4k monitor.
This is a very basic monitor with few additional features. There's an option to automatically rotate the screen depending on which side of your laptop it's mounted, but that's it.