Driverless USB and HDMI Travel Screen

Four years ago, I bought a 15″ travel screen that connected over USB-3 to my notebook. A second screen while traveling was a dream come true. The slight disadvantages: The display link protocol ran on the CPU and hence the notebook’s fan was always running, and some parts of the Linux driver were not open source. Some time ago the LCD panel unfortunately broke in the suitcase so I was looking for a replacement. And it looks like things have progressed in the last years as there are now much better options!

Especially for USB 3.1 notebooks that support the ‘Alternate Mode’ for Display Port output over the USB connector, there are now 15″ travel screens available that have a USB-C port for direct Display Port output + power over a single cable. No driver required on the notebook side as it’s treated as a normal DP display. And as with the old solution, a single cable is enough, as the display also receives power over the USB cable. A perfect solution!

For older notebooks, the USB-C port can be used for power with a power adapter, while the display signal can be piped in via a mini- (or micro?) DP adapter cable. In other words, that’s two cables with older or cheaper notebooks but again, no driver is required.

Excellent, that makes things much simpler.