Banner graphic for SafeWise's Australian health insurance comparison

Espresso Display 15 Touch portable monitor review

The Espresso Display 15 Touch is a lightweight portable monitor that’s easy to use but pricey to tap into its full versatility.

Espresso Display 15 Touch
4 out of 5 stars
4
Screen type
15.6-inch IPS touchscreen
Connectivity
Two USB-C ports
Resolution
1080p @ 60Hz (300 nits)
Nathan Lawrence
Mar 21, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

We may earn money when you click our links.

Quick verdict: Espresso Display 15 Touch
The Espresso Display 15 Touch is a great portable monitor, thanks to its incredibly thin design and lightweight portability. There is companion software, but you can equally easily just plug and play for a colourful display with responsive low latency. You will want to position the 15 Touch head on to avoid reflections, and don’t expect much out of the onboard speakers. It’s a pricey portable monitor whose full versatility costs more than the starting price, but the 15 Touch does make a strong argument for a higher RRP.
pro
Pros
pro Lightweight mobility
pro Plug-and-play simplicity
pro Very responsive latency
con
Cons
con Shallow viewing angle in bright areas
con Full versatility costs more
con Tinny, quiet speakers

I’ve had my eyes on an Espresso Display for years. While I don’t need a portable monitor, I can’t help but feel restricted whenever I shift from my three-screen desktop PC to a single-display laptop alternative. Sure, laptop mobility is great and all, but there’s no turning back after discovering the productivity boosts of a second (or third) screen. This is where the Espresso Display 15 Touch steps in for laptop users seeking a straightforward and lightweight portable monitor solution.

How much does Espresso Display 15 Touch portable monitor cost in Australia?

A none-too-cheap investment in portable versatility ($848 RRP).

The easy con for any Espresso Display review used to be that you had to pay extra for any type of stand: the stand being effectively essential for practical use. Nowadays, the Espresso Display 15 Touch is sold with the EspressoStand, albeit at an $848 asking price. Comparatively, that puts the IPS portable monitor up against the likes of the Mobile Pixels Glance Pro OLED screen, with a range of cheaper options for hundreds of dollars less: the Lenovo ThinkVision M14t and LG 16MR70, for instance.

Bottom line: there are cheaper portable monitors out there, but the Espresso Display 15 Touch has some strong arguments to make on the value front.

Espresso Display 15 Touch design and ports

A basic design with practical inclusions.

At just 5.5mm thick, the Espresso Display 15 Touch is an incredibly thin portable monitor with an equally impressive 865g weight. On the back of the display is an aluminium shell, which feeds around the sides, top and bottom of the front for about 3.5cm before you get into the 15.6-inch screen real estate.

Outside of that 3.5cm metal strip beneath the screen, there’s only a 1mm bezel surrounding the rest of the screen. On the model I was sent, there are two USB-C ports (no more mini-HDMI port) on the bottom right of the screen and two speaker ports on the left underside. It’s best to use the included USB-C cable to connect to compatible devices as not all USB-C cables are created equally.

Info Box
What is Espresso Displays?
Espresso Displays is an Australian company primarily responsible for portable monitors and related accessories. The company also develops companion software for portable monitors, which includes EspressoFlow and Jot.

Espresso Display 15 Touch setup and portability

Plug and play with extra versatility from companion software.

When you unbox the Espresso Display 15 Touch, you’re prompted to download the EspressoFlow companion software first. The thing is, it’s not essential. A big pro for the 15 Touch is how compatible it is as long as the device you’re connecting it to has a USB-C port.

That means there isn’t really any setup required, unless you do install EspressoFlow and want to go through the guided setup to get a grip on the controls. EspressoFlow also helps track laptop power, which is where the 15 Touch is drawing its power from as it doesn’t have an inbuilt battery. That’s less of an issue if your laptop is plugged into the wall but worth factoring in if you’re on device battery, more so depending on the device (handheld consoles, in particular).

According to estimates while testing with my Anker 737 Power Bank, the 15 Touch didn’t seem to draw any more than around 7W of power. That second USB-C port on the screen can also be used to relay power, which also feeds back to any compatible device connected on the second screen.

Espresso Displays also sent me the EspressoCase and EspressoStand to test with the 15 Touch. The EspressoCase is like a folio tablet case, which folds over to protect the screen during transportation and then folds out into a kickstand. Connection is a simple magnetic attachment at the top of the screen.

The EspressoStand is a bulkier but sturdier magnetic attachment that latches onto the back. It can snap anywhere on the back of the screen, which is easy to get up and going. That said, if you’re a bit obsessive like I am, it can be tricky to find the bang-on-centred spot to keep everything perfectly level. The EspressoStand offers better control over the viewing angle and height, plus it pairs well with the reality that you can use the 15 Touch in landscape or portrait mode.

Espresso Display 15 Touch everyday use and gaming

Very responsive as a portable second screen, and even solid for 60Hz 1080p gaming.

My biggest gripe with the Espresso Display 15 Touch is the missed opportunity to offer landscaped mode the right way up and upside down. Why would you want to do that? Given the shortish length of the included USB-C cable and the right-side positioning of the ports, you’re effectively forced to use the 15 Touch as a second screen that’s placed on the left of your device.

While that’s not an insurmountable con, it does mean you have to bend and run cables around the back if you want to use this as a right-of-device screen. Outside of that gripe, I had no issues with the 15 Touch as a second screen. It takes a few seconds to detect a connection with a compatible device, and you’re looking at a bright screen that really only suffers from reflections in well-lit rooms if you’re not looking at it directly.

The latency is incredibly low, particularly in my comparisons to free wireless Spacedesk software, and the image quality is great. Practically speaking, there’s no everyday-computing difference between a bulky powered external monitor and the 15 Touch display. Touch controls are intuitive and work well enough, even if I’ve never been a fan of leaving grubby fingerprints on my screens. Still, it’s nice to have.

Another optional purchase is the EspressoPen, which syncs automatically with the screen. Tap the only button for right-click functionality, but mainly it’s there to use as a digital pen. While the on-screen actions do lag a wee bit behind what you’re digitally doodling—more than my Samsung Galaxy Tab S7’s S-Pen—I was impressed with the EsoressoPen’s accuracy.

Though it’s not marketed as a portable gaming monitor, the 15 Touch performed better than expected in my tests. Admittedly, the 1080p 60Hz screen means you should be thinking less PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X gaming and more Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch. I tested both of those latter consoles and sunk lots of hours into gaming with the 15 Touch attached. Basically, the 15 Touch is a great way to take 1080p consoles on the road with a better screen, even if the monitor’s speakers leave a lot to be desired.

Is the Espresso Display 15 Touch portable monitor worth buying?

A premium investment in a portable, versatile display.

There are cheaper portable monitors out there, but the Espresso Display 15 Touch has enough value in its convenience and portability to help justify its higher asking price. As a plug-and-play display, it’s a cinch to use, plus its low-latency performance makes it a good choice for 1080p 60Hz gaming as well as everyday computing. The 15 Touch may not be perfect, but I’m still in love.

icon-expertise

How we review monitors

Monitor reviews start with prices relative to features. For example, it’s okay for a widescreen high-resolution monitor to cost more if it has a fast refresh rate, lots of ports and a bright display. Similarly, we appreciate that portable monitors can be pricier relative to their portability, versatility and ease of use.

Before connecting, we have a look at the weight, mounting options and ports to appraise connection options and compatibility. Once connected, we love a monitor that’s plug and play. Companion software isn’t essential, especially if it takes up a USB port to track monitor usage, but it’s nice to have, particularly if physical monitor controls are missing or difficult to use.

The next step is to put the monitor through its paces as an everyday screen. This means using the monitor for basic computing, video playback and gaming to see how it performs in terms of brightness, viewing angles and colour accuracy. Extras like onboard speakers, headset brackets and other perks also help separate an average monitor from one that’s worth paying hundreds of dollars for.

Espresso Display 15 Touch frequently asked questions

By itself, the Espresso Display 15 Touch weighs 865 grams. But if you attach it to the EspressoCase, add another 416 grams; alternatively, the EspressoStand adds another 570 grams.
None of the Espresso Display monitors have an inbuilt battery, which means they don’t charge. Connect any Espresso Display to a compatible device with the included USB-C cable to use as a second screen.
All Espresso Display screens have a 60Hz refresh rate, which is a good fit for everyday computing and gaming on less-demanding platforms, like the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

Related Articles

woman in plaid blanket hugging an oil heater
How we review heaters
If it is too hot in the test kitchen, that probably means we are testing...
laptop for internet plans
Best internet plans in Australia this month (April 2024)
If you're looking for Australia's best internet plans, then stop looking.
5G Modems in Australia
Best home wireless broadband plans
If you're ready to ditch the NBN and find an alternative, then you've come to...
Samsung Galaxy A55
Best Samsung phone for Australians in 2024
Charting the Samsung Galaxies from A to Z.