Hands-On with the HP EliteDisplay S14

Posted on August 27, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Windows 10 with 21 Comments

This may be the perfect solution for road warriors looking for an affordable way to expand their Windows desktop to two displays on the go.

The HP EliteDisplay S14 is a Full HD (1920 x 1080) 14-inch portable display with USB-C connectivity, a first for HP, and a modern, thin-bezel design. Yes, it features a 16:9 aspect ratio, but since the HP and other PCs you’d mate with this display likely do as well, I’ll give HP a pass.

That the display is thin, and, at about 2.2 pounds, lightweight, is likewise excellent: You can toss this in a carry-on bag alongside your laptop, and will feel just a bit of additional weight.

As excellent is the connectivity. Yes, the USB-C-based connectivity means you will need not just a USB-C port on your PC but also one that has display capabilities. (Not all do; when I tested this with an HP desktop PC, I wasn’t able to make it work.) HP was an early and pragmatic USB-C adopter, so this likely won’t be an issue for most customers.

And it couldn’t be easier to use: Simply connect one end of the bundled USB-C cable to the display and other to your PC. Windows 10 will silently and automatically configure the PC to duplicate the display on both screens. And you can change it at any time using the Project panel (WINKEY + P). Indeed, it works exactly like any second display. So you can do things like adjust the resolution and scaling independently from the primary display.

Since the display is powered by that single USB-C cable, you’ll want a PC with two USB-C ports, or at least one with another way to power the device, as there’s no USB-C pass-through on the display. (Nor would I expect there to be.) The EliteBook shown in the photos here has a proprietary power connector, so this hasn’t been an issue. But I’ve not tested the display yet to see what the impact would be over battery.

From a quality perspective, the HP EliteDisplay S14 appears well made, and its brighter than the display on the EliteBook, possibly because the latter has built-in privacy technology. The display ships with a nice protective cover, too. It folds back, like an iPad cover, so you can prop open the display in landscape mode.

I’ll test this more, but I’m really interested in bringing the portable display on a work trip. Someone we see regularly in event press rooms travels with a second display, and I’ve always been curious about it. I could also see how duplicating the screen to a second, audience-facing display would be useful for presentations to small groups. This display seems really versatile.

The HP EliteDisplay S14 costs $220 and is available now from the HP website.


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Comments (21)

21 responses to “Hands-On with the HP EliteDisplay S14”

  1. skborders

    AOC make some of these as well. USB powered. I have one 720P that was refurbished for $80. Amazon has one for 140. This looks good for the price as a name brand full HD USB C powered unit.

  2. CHanskat

    The travel monitors are great! I've always been a 2 (or 3) monitor user and missed them on the road. I been using an ASUS MB169B+ 15.6" Full HD 1920x1080 IPS USB-3 Portable Monitor for almost 2 years. It's bigger than the screen on my Thinkpad Yoga, and has never had a problem being recognized as a second screen. It's very durable (I just drop it into the outer pocket of my carry-on suitcase) and also light at 1.75 lbs.With USB-3 I've never noticed any significant lag. The included stand is minimal. I recommend using an tablet stand (search Aluminum Multi-Angle Universal Phone and Tablet Stand on Amazon).

  3. bassoprofundo

    I've toyed around with getting one of these for so long, but it's a tough sell cost- and weight/space-wise when I have an iPad Pro already in the bag that will do the same thing. iPad owners should take a look at the Duet Display app and see if that's a good enough solution for your needs before dropping the $$… (unless the company is paying... then, by all means :) )

  4. dontbe evil

    waiting for next asus model, it features also touch screen

  5. AnOldAmigaUser

    I used a Lenovo ThinkVision display for several years. Dual monitors for a laptop is as transforming as dual monitors on the desktop, especially if you have to connect remotely to other computers.

  6. IanYates82

    Paul, if you've got a USB A (whatever the regular USB 3 port is) to USB-C adapter handy it'd be good to know if that adapter allows this display to still work.

    That is, does this display rely on DisplayPort over USB-C or is it appearing as a USB device to Windows and thus acting like a USB video card.

    The former would be much more efficient and future-leaning but the latter would be more compatible for people. Tricky balance

  7. Alex Taylor

    I've been using an Asus 15.6 inch 1920x1080 USB monitor with my Surface Pro 3 for several years.

    In that case the built in USB port on the SP3 doesn't provide enough current to drive the monitor directly, so I need to use a Y splitter cable to run extra power from a battery pack or the SP3 power brick.

    As a 'road warrior' tool by design I've always thought that the option of a built in or attachable battery makes a lot of sense.

    The Asus uses Displaylink which probably hits the battery more as well.

    I look forward to Paul's further observations on this model - and in particular I'd be grateful for experience with a variety of PCs.

  8. godsack

    Does it work with the Surface Go?

  9. JVarde

    Will it work in portrait mode, with the cord sticking out of the top?

    • Chris

      In reply to JVarde:

      It seems the power button is on the opposite of the display panel to the power/connection cord, so standing it on end would lean it on the power button, and thus you may end up turning it back off instead.

      It would be interesting to see if it can work that way though.

  10. zself

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. lvthunder

    Too bad it doesn't have a battery or a second USB-C for charging. I wonder how many laptop chargers have enough overhead to keep this monitor going and keep the laptop charged. Wasn't it one of the Surface Book's that didn't deliver enough power to keep the laptop charged while it's running under a heavy load?

    • webdev511

      In reply to lvthunder:

      Yes, the original Surface Book with dGPU running under load would use 100% of the power coming in from from the PWS and I think it actually pulled from the battery if the screen was on full bright and the CPU was being pounded as well. (Screen back-lighting takes a lot more power than many people know.)

  12. michael_babiuk

    When I owned the original Surface Pro, I sought to augment it with the AOC e 1659Fwu 16-Inch, 1366X768 res, USB 3.0 Powered Portable LED Monitor. In practice, this monitor worked well with the Surface Pro system I owned. But there were downsides.

    It's 2.4 pound weight impacted and added to the relatively heavy Surface Pro system weight. It's relatively "dim" monitor brightness (200 cd/m2 brightness) rating and non-HiDef resolution was tolerable but not ideal. And, yes, it did impact significantly the Surface Pro's modest battery life significantly. (I could only hope for 2.5 hrs of active use before the Surface Pro's battery was drained.) And, not to be overlooked, this was a 16 inch monitor and it's mobile travel characteristics did stretch the definition of modern "mobile computing" almost to the breaking point.

    Personally, what I have settled on for a dual display mobile system is this: a two pound, fan-less 12" MacBook and an iPad 2 in which both mobile computers are connected by a USB-C to Lighting cable and with Duet Display software providing the dual monitor capability.

    However, the latest version of iOS destroyed the fast and fluid display character of Duet Display so I switched to a better option for enabling a dual monitor mobile system.

    That option involves the wireless USB-C dongle (little less than the size of an adult thumbnail) manufactured by the same company that markets the iOS-macOS app, AstroPad. And that little wireless dongle is called Luna Display. I was one of the initial backers for the Luna Display Kickstarter program and my two Luna Displays arrived just a month after iOS 11.4.1 destroyed the Duet Display dual monitor display robustness. (Note: I have read that the new iOS version in late beta testing now will restore Duet Display to greatness.)

    Using this wireless dongle option, I can get between 4.5 to 5 hours of continuous use before my MacBook battery is exhausted - more than enough for mobile use. IMO, this is a far better mobile dual display option (when considering overall system weight - resolution and brightness of the computer display screens and with the added bonus of the iPad's touch enabled display and iOS app ecosystem. (Oh, when I use my 12.9" iPad Pro instead of my iPad Air 2, I can also enable digital stylus capabilities (with my Apple Pencil).