Mobile Pixels TRIO Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Aug 16, 2021 at 10:52 am
Mobile Pixels TRIO Picture
6.1
Mixed Usage
6.6
Office
5.6
Gaming
6.1
Multimedia
6.2
Media Creation
4.5
HDR Gaming
Size 13"
Resolution 1920x1080
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
No VRR

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 amazing 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.

Our Verdict

6.1 Mixed Usage

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.

Pros
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Amazing text clarity.
  • Outstanding gray uniformity.
Cons
  • Terrible response time.
  • Low contrast.
  • Higher than usual input lag.
  • Text clarity changes depending on which side of the screen it's mounted.
6.6 Office

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 amazing 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.

Pros
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Amazing text clarity.
  • Outstanding gray uniformity.
Cons
  • Low contrast.
  • Higher than usual input lag.
  • Text clarity changes depending on which side of the screen it's mounted.
5.6 Gaming

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.

Pros
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Outstanding gray uniformity.
Cons
  • Terrible response time.
  • Low contrast.
  • Higher than usual input lag.
  • Limited 60Hz refresh rate and no advanced gaming features like VRR.
6.1 Multimedia

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.

Pros
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Outstanding gray uniformity.
  • Great gradient handling.
Cons
  • Mediocre SDR color gamut.
  • Low contrast.
  • Higher than usual input lag.
  • Disappointing accuracy out of the box.
6.2 Media Creation

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.

Pros
  • Decent viewing angles.
  • Outstanding gray uniformity.
  • Great gradient handling.
Cons
  • Mediocre SDR color gamut.
  • Low contrast.
  • Higher than usual input lag.
  • Disappointing accuracy out of the box.
4.5 HDR Gaming

The Mobile Pixels TRIO doesn't support HDR.

  • 6.1 Mixed Usage
  • 6.6 Office
  • 5.6 Gaming
  • 6.1 Multimedia
  • 6.2 Media Creation
  • 4.5 HDR Gaming
  1. Updated Aug 16, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 11, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
N/A
Weight (with stand)
1.7 lbs (0.8 kg)

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.

Design
Stand
Width
13.0" (33.1 cm)
Depth
8.8" (22.3 cm)

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.

1.5
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
0.0" (0.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape Yes, Clockwise
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range No Tilt

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.

Design
Back
Wall Mount No Mount

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.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.9" (2.4 cm)

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.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
0.6" (1.5 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
0.4" (1.0 cm)

Given the unique design of this monitor, we took a few additional pictures to showcase how it looks in various configurations.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

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.

Picture Quality
6.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
979 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

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.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

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.

6.7
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
241 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
228 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
240 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
240 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
240 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
240 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
226 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
239 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.004

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.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
N/A
HDR ABL
N/A

The Mobile Pixels TRIO doesn't support HDR.

7.2
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
27°
Color Washout From Right
26°
Color Shift From Left
65°
Color Shift From Right
63°
Brightness Loss From Left
31°
Brightness Loss From Right
32°
Black Level Raise From Left
70°
Black Level Raise From Right
70°
Gamma Shift From Left
31°
Gamma Shift From Right
33°

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.

6.8
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
28°
Color Washout From Above
28°
Color Shift From Below
50°
Color Shift From Above
33°
Brightness Loss From Below
28°
Brightness Loss From Above
28°
Black Level Raise From Below
70°
Black Level Raise From Above
70°
Gamma Shift From Below
31°
Gamma Shift From Above
32°

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.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
1.798%
50% DSE
0.089%
5% Std. Dev.
0.230%
5% DSE
0.039%

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.

6.3
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.813%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

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.

5.9
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
sRGB
Luminance
166 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
80
Contrast Setting
50
RGB Controls
No Color Settings
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6,239 K
White Balance dE
3.59
Color dE
5.06
Gamma
2.05

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.

9.0
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
No Setting Options
Luminance
100 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
46
Contrast Setting
50
RGB Controls
No Color Settings
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6,513 K
White Balance dE
0.45
Color dE
2.10
Gamma
2.16

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.

6.1
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
69.4%
Adobe RGB xy
51.6%
sRGB Picture Mode
No Picture Modes
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
No Picture Modes

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.

5.9
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
66.2%
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
51.5%
sRGB Picture Mode
No Picture Modes
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
No Picture Modes

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.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
N/A
DCI P3 xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

8.8
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.30%
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.17%
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.10%
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.04%
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00%

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.

8.3
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

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.

9.4
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.001%
Pixel Column Error
0.123%

There is a very slight vertical color bleed on our Mobile Pixels TRIO, but it's not noticeable with regular content.

7.9
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
4.6%
Indirect Reflections
2.8%
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.8%

The Mobile Pixels TRIO has very good reflection handling. Although it's not very bright, glare shouldn't be an issue in most viewing environments.

8.5
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

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:

Motion
2.9
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
17.5 ms
Total Response Time
31.0 ms
Overshoot Error
0.2%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
15.1 ms
Dark Total Response Time
31.1 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.8%

Response Time SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
DefaultChartTablePhoto

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.

2.9
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
17.5 ms
Total Response Time
31 ms
Overshoot Error
0.2%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
15.1 ms
Dark Total Response Time
31.1 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.8%

Response Time SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
DefaultChartTablePhoto

The Mobile Pixels TRIO has a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. These results are the same as the max refresh rate section.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free No
PWM Dimming Frequency
>1000 Hz

The backlight is nearly flicker-free. It flickers at such a high frequency that nobody will notice it. With the brightness setting at 0, the screen is too dark for our measurement equipment, so we can't tell if it's still flickering or not.

0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
No BFI
BFI Maximum Frequency
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
N/A

This monitor doesn't have an optional black frame insertion (BFI) feature.

5.9
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
60 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC
No
VRR Maximum
N/A
VRR Minimum
No VRR
VRR Supported Connectors No VRR

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.

Inputs
6.9
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
25.1 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
25.1 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
N/A
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
N/A

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.

6.8
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 2.1 MP
Pixel Density
169 PPI
Screen Diagonal 12.6"
Screen Area 70 in²

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.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort No
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI No
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB No
USB C 2 (2x DP Alt Mode, 1x PD)
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm No
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal
Features
Features
Additional Features
RGB Illumination
No
Speakers
No
HDR10 No
Multiple Input Display
No

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.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)

The on-screen display is extremely basic, offering only a few controls over the picture settings.

Features
Controls
Features
In The Box

  • User manuals
  • Attachment guide
  • Magnet location template
  • Adhesive stickers
  • Additional screen clip for 3-screen mode (requires a second TRIO monitor)
  • USB-C to USB-A adapter
  • Case

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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
TRIO 12.5" 1080p 60Hz IPS
TRIO Max 14.1" 1080p 60Hz IPS

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.

Compared To Other Monitors

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.

Mobile Pixels DUEX Plus

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.

MSI Optix MAG161V

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.

Lepow Z1

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.

ASUS ZenScreen MB14AC

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.

ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP

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.

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