theand aren’t the only games consoles that work on the go these days. With the xScreen, a new clip-on monitor for the Xbox Series S, Microsoft’s smallest system can now travel with you.
The $250 xScreen, from Upspec Gaming, is a small monitor that connects to aand makes the console experience extremely portable. The Series S is a fantastic current-gen console, and while it’s not quite as powerful as the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, the lower price and small size make it a great value to get into. the flow. generation of console games. The xScreen capitalizes on this small size to make your console more travel-friendly.
The xScreen is an 11.6-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 60Hz. The screen does not support HDR, which would be too much power consumption for a small portable device . But it’s that small footprint that allows the xScreen to sit against the Series S when folded up, like a clamshell laptop, to stay as compact as possible. It attaches directly to the back of the Series S and draws its power from the console, so the only cable you’ll need is the Xbox’s power cord.
Upspec also offers a few additional accessories to customize and transport your gaming setup. The first is the xScreen case, which houses not only the monitor, but also the connected Xbox console and a controller, and has extra space for cables or other small accessories. The case costs $60.
You can also get the xScreen Stand Feet, which are small plastic parts that allow the Series S to stand sideways with the screen pointed directly overhead. These sell for $25.
Finally, you can get additional colored latches. These are used to attach the monitor to the console using the Xbox vents, and they hold everything in place. Buying the xScreen alone will include white latches, so it’s just a fun add-on if you want some color. Colored latches are $10.
The xScreen attaches to the back of the device. It plugs into the power slot and uses a USB port. Don’t worry, the Series S still has a USB port on the front, and the expansion slot on the back is still accessible if you want to plug in one of Microsoft’s proprietary hard drives. A drawback, however, is that the xScreen prevents the use of the Ethernet port. This means that you are blocked from using Wi-Fi for any downloads or online games.
You’re most likely to position the Series S flat on a table when using it, but the support legs allow the console to sit on its front side. You can then rotate the screen up. The console feels sturdy enough when doing this, and there’s no disc drive to worry about getting stuck. It’s not exactly clear why you would want to position your Xbox this way instead of laying it flat – maybe you have a really cluttered desk or something? But anyway, more options are better.
On its own, the Series S weighs 4.25 pounds (1.93 kg) and with the xScreen attached, it’s a total weight of 5.7 pounds. If you get the carrying case and fill it with everything you’ll need to play, including a controller, it will weigh up to 8.5 pounds. That’s still a pound lighter than the Xbox Series X alone. The screen adds an additional 1.5 inches of depth.
In practical use, the xScreen looked great. Games like Tunic,and Apex Legends felt great throughout testing. Setup is simple, just plug and play. Being able to throw it in a backpack and carry a full-fledged console and display is awesome. It is comfortably usable on a desk in the office, on a coffee table in the living room or even in bed. The Upspec Gaming website even shows some of the developers using it on a plane trip. Not the easiest situation to test, but something I’m looking forward to trying. I managed to get it to work by plugging the whole setup into a car’s power port.
The xScreen also includes built-in speakers. You can control the game volume as well as the screen brightness using physical buttons on the top. It also has a power button and a menu button to access panel color functions. The final button will overlay a crosshair in the middle of the screen, sometimes used to alleviate motion sickness, with several different crosshair options to choose from.
The possibilities of xScreen are really exciting. This device is ideal if you are someone who travels a lot for work or a student living in a cramped dorm room. With the ease with which it just closes and slips into a bag, it enters the conversation where only my Nintendo Switch was previously an option. As a kid who grew up going back and forth between my parents’ houses, lugging game consoles and a TV back and forth was necessary. I always take a Series X with me whenever I return to my hometown to visit my parents. Not anymore. For me, the xScreen is a game changer.
Let’s talk about the only downside I encountered: the screen size. You’re definitely trading screen real estate for portability. An 11.6-inch screen is tiny, like a cheap Chromebook, and you’ll probably have to sit quite close to it. I found that anything involving fast timing required sitting 2-3 feet away from the screen. It also means that the text appears quite small and may need to bend even closer to make out all the details. Hopefully, the game you’re playing has accessibility features that include increasing text size.
Another thing to watch out for is the amount of heat coming out of the Series S’s top vent. When the console is on, and even for a while after it’s turned off, the Xbox vents a lot of heat from this top circular grill. Upspec points out that you should not turn off the monitor when the console is on to avoid overheating. However, even when you turn it off first and then close the panel, the Xbox still produces a lot of heat for a while when turned off. I recommend turning off the machine a few minutes before closing the lid.
An Xbox Series S costs $300 but is often discounted to nearly $250 or so. The xScreen itself costs $250. So that doubles the price of the console, and it doesn’t include the case or any of the other accessories.
Compared to a standalone TV or monitor, the xScreen is also expensive. A decent 40-inch TV costs around $250 – but a 40-inch TV would be a lot harder to transport.
Even if you don’t move around much, the xScreen is still a very cool and very premium accessory to have. Although the S-Series lacks the performance and power of the X-Series, this accessory makes getting around a lot easier. If you are someone who likes to take game consoles on the road, I recommend it.