How I use the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 as a Portable Vertical Monitor to Code while Traveling

Date: 2024-04-12 | create | tech | travel | software-engineering | lenovo | thinkvision | workstation |

I typically travel ~20% of every year all while working full-time as a software engineer. This means I frequently find myself coding and writing on the go and thus I've sought ways to stay productive even when I'm away from my primary workstation.

I've been using the Lenovo M14 portable monitor for the last several months as a secondary monitor for my travel workstation. In this post I'll share how I'm using it and why I like it.

Lenovo M14 Portable Monitor

The Lenovo M14 is an ultraslim, ultralight monitor.

  • Connections: USB-C port (both sides)
  • Size: 14 inch screen (ab the size of a small laptop)
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs

The M14's small size allows it to easily fit into my backpack along with all my other gear (usually 2 computers, camera gear, cords, and notebooks). This is a big differentiator as most monitors are far too big and heavy to fit or be comfortable enough to carry everywhere.

More on what I carry: What's in my Backpack (Travel Edition)

Portable Coding Worksation

I find that having an extra monitor boosts my productivity for software engineering tasks by about 40%. The primary gain comes from keeping more windows of information in context - this means less context switch loss from flipping between windows.

My personal preference is to have my secondary monitor vertical. I typically use this for my primary document - code, notes, design docs, etc. I find this increases my focus on the main thing which is usually the largest bottleneck for deep work.

3 Ways Vertical Monitors Boost Focus and Productivity for Software Engineers

The Lenovo M14 may not seem like a great choice for a vertical monitor but actually its design makes it pretty good at this - its horizontal kickstand can also serve as a vertical one.


I've really enjoyed having a second monitor with me on the go - it drastically improves my focus and productivity when working on non-trivial tasks. The Lenovo M14 is light enough that I can take it anywhere and does an admirable job in vertical layouts even if it wasn't really designed for it.

I'm hopeful that good reviews and increased usage on portable monitors will incentivize companies to keep iterating on them to be bigger, lighter, and more effective for on-the-go workstations.

Q: What are your must-haves for productivity while traveling?

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