LG StanbyMe Go portable bag TV review: impractical fun

LG StanbyME Go 27 inch Briefcase Design Touchscreen

MSRP $1,200.00

“StanbyMe Go is a joy to use, not to mention its practicality.”

Excess

  • Very pleasant

  • Built-in streaming application

  • Solid image quality

  • Very bright for shaded outdoor use

Counter

  • High brightness shortens battery life

  • Quite heavy

  • Expensive

Maybe it’s because I’m a child of the 1980s, but LG’s StanbyMe Go portable TV bag has me serious. Cloak & Dagger vibration (we are talking Dabney Coleman classic, not the newer Marvel series). It looks like some kind of briefcase that holds secret files or some kind of special hacking system. There’s a cool factor coming out of it.

But the important question here is: What’s left when the cool factor is gone? After all, once you’ve surprised all your friends with what’s inside, all that’s left is what it can actually do. What could be – and perhaps more importantly, what Can’t — LG StanbyMe Go works?

Video review

The core problem

The LG StanbyMe Go — yes, that’s StanbyMe, not StandByMe — weighs 28 pounds. That’s nothing for something you want to carry. You’ll have no trouble getting it from the car to the picnic table, or across the parking lot to your friend’s back door. But unless you’re a real hiker, you won’t want to do this for backpacking.

The metal doesn’t feel too heavy, but it feels durable – this case isn’t just for show.

I suspect most of the StanbyMe Go’s weight is due to its lithium-ion battery, but I think some of it may be due to its casing. The metal doesn’t feel too heavy, but it feels durable. This case isn’t just for show; it’s designed to protect the TV and the battery inside, and I think it will. While I would love to have a spare StanbyMe Go that I could exploit by swinging a hammer at it and knocking it down from a great height, I don’t. The job remains open to anyone with $1,200 to spare and no emotional attachment to cool technology.

Speaking of lithium-ion batteries and altitude, the StanbyMe Go seems like the kind of device that would give you problems if you brought it on an airplane. It’s probably okay if you forget that you packed a few small camera battery cells in your checked luggage (editor’s note: No!), but imagine answering this after passing through a checked baggage scanner. I guess you can treat it as luggage. But do you really want more TSA attention in your life? Because this will give it to you. I guarantee it. Plus, unless you’re flying first class, it won’t fit in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you.

So, where can you take it? We’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s discuss other important specifications first.

And what’s in the bag?

The StanbyMe Go charges with a standard two-prong power cable. These are easy and cheap to replace if you lose them.

Flip the two latches, open the case, and you’re greeted with a screen lying flat on the bottom. Behind it is a speaker system — and a little reminder of it Dolby Atmos is now a brand, and not the name of a specific audio experience. But we’ll talk about that audio soon.

LG StanbyMe Go installed in the trunk of the car.
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

Lift the TV panel and you’ll find that it has an incredible range of motion. You can position it at the top, place it at the bottom, and if you want to watch a vertical video, you can simply rotate it.

The screen itself is a 1080p LCD touchscreen. So yes, you can control it like a giant tablet. However, LG also includes a magic motion remote in the kit so you can use it just like you would a television.

Because of this is TV right? I’ve called it that for some time. I’ve seen others call it that. But really? Truly?

Technically, no, it doesn’t. It doesn’t have a built-in TV tuner. So if you want to put up a pole in a parking lot and put up an antenna for the sole purpose of shutting out local broadcast stations, that’s not going to happen.

LG StanbyMe Go monitor in vertical orientation displays applications.
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

That’s the only thing preventing this from being considered TV — and that’s by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) definition, not mine. Apart from the lack of a tuner, it works like an LG TV. And that includes LG’s webOS system and all the apps and functions that come with it, just like the LG TV you can’t take with you. You can stream Netflix, use Apple AirPlay, play stored media, and even connect devices via HDMI. And yes, that includes game consoles.

Battery life

LG claims the StanbyMe Go is just like the original StanbyMe, will last on battery power for as long as until 3 hours. That should be a red flag for you now. Anytime something with a battery claims to last “up to” a certain amount of time, you should immediately reduce it by about 30%. On the best day, in Eco mode and low power mode, you’ll likely get around 3 hours. However, you may not want to use it that way. To get the best brightness from this TV, you’ll want to run it in high power mode, which will reduce battery life. So you may want to provide backup power for longer viewing sessions. May I recommend one of our favorite portable power stations?

Show

Now, we come to what I think is probably the most valuable part of this review: How brilliant is this review?

Before I explain to you how many nits this product can produce and then explain what it actually means for you, let me make you aware of the so-called “Outdoor TV market” and what is going on with it all.

The LG StanbyMe Go TV case opens and rests on top of an external battery supply.
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

My experience of enjoying outdoor TV, especially outdoor TV, goes back a long way. It starts with the first one SunBriteTV 11 years ago – I really tried hard. About a year later, I tried something else SunBriteTV. Recently, I experienced an extraordinary thing namely Samsung Terrace. Along the way, I’ve done a lot of RVing, where I’ve tested many non-outdoor TVs, as well as outdoor-specific models made for RVers like the Furrion.

StanbyMe Go is very much so No Outdoor TV.

I’ve seen it all. And even a TV that claims to be good for full sunlight? Yes, they are visible, that’s right. But they are also very expensive. There are indoor TVs that can be as bright as outdoor TVs, but those really expensive TVs cost a lot of money in processing and don’t come up to anything in terms of weatherproofing and dustproofing.

Outdoor TVs actually have very specific levels, usually very expensive. I point that out because StanbyMe Go is very much so No Outdoor TV. This is a portable TV that can be used outdoors, and I actually prefer it. This is much more flexible and useful for me than a fixed TV that is always outside the room.

But this also means you need to be careful about protecting your StanbyMe Go — and temper your expectations a bit. Take it to the beach? Sure, but be prepared to suck up sand. Taking it camping? Cool, just don’t put it next to the cooler and expect it to catch spilled soda. Taking it tailgating? Awesome sauce — unless that sauce is BBQ sauce, in which case, it’s not very good for this TV.

LG StanbyMe Go bag TV that shows baseball games during tailgating.
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

In general, you’ll want a shade for this TV, either created by nature or provided by you. Without shade, you have to increase the power on this TV, and that decrease in brightness will drain the battery.

This portable TV — in on mode, with all power savings disabled — can output about 500 nits in full screen. In fact, it’s also as bright as it gets for HDR highlights. However, to get that kind of brightness, you have to know how to turn it off all saves energy, which I missed when filming the tailgating scene in our video. The TV wasn’t as brilliant as it gets in that segment.

The built-in battery will help you watch most movies or a few episodes of your favorite shows.

Towards the end of the video, we get a better shot, albeit on a slightly darker day, and it’s a better representation of how bright the Stanbyme G0 looks outdoors, except on a cloudless day in full sunlight. So while 500 nits is great indoors — it’s not enough to put up a fight outdoors against the brightest objects in our solar system.

With a canopy — whether it’s a 10-by-10 pop-up type or a stand-of-Douglas-fir type — you’ll see this TV well. For about 2 hours or so. Which brings me to my next point.

If you’re going to be traveling with this thing or want to watch it for a long time in the car or while camping, etc., I recommend bringing backup power so you can turn it on directly or charge it again. . Or maybe you can charge it from an EV or from your car if you’re driving.

Two deer in the woods are shown on an LG StanbyMe Go monitor leaning on the hood of a car.
Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

The built-in battery will help you watch most movies or a few episodes of your favorite shows. And if you’re in a dim or dark environment, turn on low power mode and you can watch most movies not made by Peter Jackson. But to have more fun, you need power.

I should also mention that the StanbyMe Go’s onboard sound system is really good. The sound is loud enough for listening in the car, watching at the hotel, camping in a quiet place, or even taking a leisurely walk. For noisier environments, I recommend using larger external speakers either via Bluetooth or using the aux-out port.

The main thing is

Look, this is fun. I like it. I really enjoyed playing around with StanbyMe Go. I think the most important thing for you to know is that even on an overcast day, it’s still bright enough outside to challenge the visibility of this and most LCD TVs. Plan to find it and yourself some shade for the best outdoor enjoyment. Otherwise, there’s no reason you can’t take the StanbyMe Go wherever you want entertainment.

The next important thing you need to know is that it costs $1,200. It’ll probably drop back down after a few months, but, I’m not sure LG will make (or sell) very many of these, so this might be one of those times you’d better get one soon if you want one so badly.

And if you get it? Can we start an Instagram hashtag and show our StanbyMe in the craziest places around the world? That’s the only thing I can imagine that would make StanBy Me Go more enjoyable than it already is.

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