If you want a secondary screen but can’t quite fit one onto your desk, you might want to check out ASRock’s latest invention — a PC side panel display.
Large and bright enough to serve as a proper monitor, this is certainly a fun gadget. Unfortunately, many of us won’t be able to use it.
PC owners have all that space on their chassis, and nothing to do with it. As long as you’re willing to give up being able to easily peer inside the case (and admire the RGB light show, if that’s your thing), you might like ASRock’s 13.3-inch Side Panel Kit. This is essentially a monitor, similar to that in a laptop, that is attached to the inside of your case.
As the panel is installed within the chassis, your case needs to have a side panel made of transparent tempered glass. It has to be sturdy enough to hold the screen, but it also needs to be see-through so that you can see it in the first place.
For a little side monitor, the IPS display sounds decent. It measures 13.3 inches, has a 16:9 aspect ratio, 1080p resolution, and a basic 60Hz refresh rate. The display seems to be fairly bright and suitable for all kinds of things.
You could use it to simply monitor your PC’s temperatures and speeds, or you could turn it into a proper secondary screen for productivity or entertainment. Granted, needing to view it through the case will probably diminish the experience a bit, but it’s still a fun gadget if you’ve got limited desk space and want an extra screen. If you do get one and plan to use it for productivity, you might need to re-think the placement of your PC case to avoid constantly having to turn and look to the side.
With all that said, there’s one catch — not that many people might be able to use this gadget, and that’s all because of the fact that it has an embedded DisplayPort (eDP) connector. This means that it runs both power and video through just one cable, and while that’s handy, most motherboards don’t support this kind of connection.
— 188号 (@momomo_us) November 1, 2022
As of right now, only ASRock boards support this side panel. Tom’s Hardware reports that only some of the best motherboards for Intel and AMD will qualify, including the Z790 PG Lightning, Z790 Pro RS, Z790 Pro RS/D4, Z790 LiveMixer, Z790M-ITX WiFi, Z790 PG Lightning/D4, Z790 Steel Legend WiFi, B650E PG-ITX WiFi, and lastly, H610M-ITX/eDP.
This availability is likely to affect the popularity of ASRock’s new gadget. However, if you have one of the required motherboards or you’re planning an upgrade soon, it seems like a fun addition to a PC build.