“Portable monitor” usually refers to a small, secondary screen, plugged into a laptop to expand its multi-tasking capabilities on the road. LG has something different in mind with the Standby Me Go. (Yes, that’s the real name). It’s definitely portable, in that it lives in an old-fashioned suitcase and folds out in a stylish display. But this gadget is more of an all-in-one entertainment center. While it’s possible to use it as a monitor or TV, it can also serve up streaming content or touchscreen games all on its own.
The Standby Me Go (spotted by Ars Technica) is a little 27-inch LG smart TV, complete with the company’s WebOS TV software and four internal speakers with 40 watts of output. The screen is only 1080p, but that’s understandable given the size. The whole package folds down into a stylish briefcase, which can open up and display the screen in horizontal or vertical mode or even lay flat for head-to-head games.
It can run for up to three hours on its internal battery, stream content via Wi-Fi, load it up directly via USB, or cast it from a nearby smartphone. (A neat trick is that when laid flat and streaming music, the screen displays a record player animation). And, if all else fails, you can plug in whatever you want via HDMI. It comes with a handy remote, which gets a dedicated slot in the case.
It’s an interesting spin on the idea for sure, but this is definitely a case (sorry) of style over substance. The 27-inch-wide, 4.6-inch-thick case does look incredibly slick, like a thin modern hard-sided piece of luxury luggage. But aside from its ability to be used untethered for a short time, there’s not much you can do with this design that wouldn’t be possible with a small smart TV, which can be had for $200 or so from many electronics stores.
So, how much does LG want for the Standby Me Go? The listing on its Korean store starts at 1.19 million won, which at today’s exchange rate is about $920 USD. Whether that’s worth it is up to you, or at least it might be, if LG ever decides to sell this thing internationally.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.