In today’s world, whether you're a writer, programmer, artist, student, traveler, or in any other profession, portability is crucial. Working from an office is one thing, but if you're working remotely, at home or on the go, you need devices that will get the job done effectively and without compromise.
And while your laptop is one device that comes in handy, what do you do when you're handling complex tasks, and your screen estate isn't enough?
Well, you'll need to get a secondary screen, and what better to bridge this gap than a portable monitor.
Portable monitors precisely solve this and many more challenges by granting you flexibility. They are user-friendly and are connected to your laptop using a single USB cable to transfer both data and power.
While a bit costly, they have larger screen sizes and offer you freedom of movement as well as the ability to multitask in a light and compact unit. Another benefit that sets them apart is that they look good and increase your productivity while taking insignificant space in your backpack.
In this article, we provide you with a detailed list of some portable monitors together with a guide to assist you to choose the right unit that not only fits your bill but also meets your requirements.
Our Top Picks for Best Portable Monitors for Laptops
Here are our selections for the best portable monitors for laptops with their tech specs. Most of them have a resolution of 1920x1080 with IPS display and 60hz refresh rates. Suitable for work, gaming, video editing and coding.
1. Lepow 15.6 Inch IPS HDR 1920 x 1080 Portable Monitor
Offering a 15.6-inch IPS panel, this monitor has narrow-bezels in a matte-black body. It features 1920 x 1080 resolution visuals, a 60 Hz refresh rate, a 16:9 Aspect Ratio, a 72% color gamut and a peak brightness of 300cd/m². It is equipped with 1W Dual Speakers and supports HDR mode as well as dual-orientation.
Elsewhere, it includes a screen protector and a foldable leather magnetic smart cover that protects its body and acts as a stand. Input connections are made through a USB-C cable or a mini HDMI cable and a 3. 5mm audio jack on the left edge. The right corner hosts a power button, an OSD control wheel, and a USB-C power port.
- Weighs 1.7 pounds
- Color temperature of 6800K
- Visual angle of 85°/85°
- USB-C to Type-C cable
- USB-A to Type-C cable
- HDMI to Mini-HDMI cable
- User Guide
- Weak stand magnet
- Narrow color gamut
The Lepow monitor is one of the best budget monitors in the game. It's super easy to set up and compatible with various types of laptops, consoles, and Type-C smartphones. It's incredibly light and small enough to carry around alongside your laptop with decent built quality. Along with versatile connectivity options, it offers nice sound from the speakers.
In terms of performance, it offers great image quality and holds up well while outdoors, even though not the best in the market. Also, its display settings automatically reset once turned off. Overall, the display is good enough for office-applications or light gaming.
2. ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC 15.6" Full HD Portable Monitor
This display features a 15.6-inch IPS widescreen with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, a maximum brightness of 220 cd/m2, and an Aspect Ratio of 16:9. At 0.78kg along with 0.8mm super-slim bezels, the unit sports an elegant aesthetic that blends a glossy dark-gray color with a metallic finish scheme and a smart and foldable magnetic case.
It has ASUS certified flicker-free backlighting and blue light filter technology, which minimize eye fatigue. Besides, with the DisplayWidget software, it automatically senses its orientation to rotate the monitor between landscape and portrait modes. It also boasts a smart pen hole in the bottom right corner for different orientations.
- Contrast Ratio of 800:1
- Measures 8.9 x 0.3 x 14.2 inches
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- USB Type-C to A adapter
- ZenScreen pen
- Quick start guide
- Sleek design
- Good image quality
- No touch-input
- Low brightness levels
Apart from its charming looks, the ZenScreen MB16A offers a transportable, sturdy design, and great features that complement its asking price. You can either stand on its sleeve or use its pen with the latter doing a good job of protecting the display.
It provides the ability to switch between Type-A and Type-C USB ports with DisplayLink drivers needed for Type-A connections. It also offers customization options for different viewing modes with even eye protection.
Although it has a poor color space and vague light, its contrast is excellent, while the refresh rate is decent enough for videos lacking any obvious motion blur. This is a great addition to anyone who cherishes a dual-screen experience.
3. SideTrak 12.5” Portable Monitor for Laptop
SideTrak monitor sports a 12.5-inch IPS panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 30ms response time. Its brightness clocks at 300 cd/m2, while the Contrast and Aspect Ratio sits at 800:1 and 16:9, respectively.
It features a plastic frame with slightly thick bezels and four embedded adhesive magnets that securely attach with device-safe magnetic plates to your laptop. The monitor has dual sliding tracks that enable you to easily extend the monitor for dual-screen viewing and screen sharing with a 180-degree screen rotation capability.
- Weighs 1.6 pounds
- Measures 0.7 by 12.8 by 8.5 inches
- USB-C cable
- USB-C-to-USB-A adapter
- Pixel density of 173 PPI
- 4.5W power consumption
- Attachable to the laptop even when traveling
- Smart design
- Lacks OSD controls
With a thoughtful design and excellent performance functionality, this is an excellent investment if you want extra view space when working. The fact that you attach the monitor to your laptop and just slide out the screen beats the experience of dealing with wobbly stands.
It boasts great contrast, but other features such as the brightness, responsiveness, and color range are all average given it lacks OSD controls to adjust such aspects. Meanwhile, it's very portable such that you don't have to take it off and support most laptops within its size range.
It specifically fits most laptops ranging from 13 - 17.5 inches and connects via a USB-C cord whilst requiring a DisplayLink software download.
4. AOC I1659FWUX 15.6" USB-powered Portable Monitor
Loaded with a 15.6-inch IPS panel, this USB-powered monitor delivers accurate colors and wide viewing angles of 160-degrees via a resolution 1920x1080pixels, a brightness of 220 cd/m2, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 10-millisecond (black-to-white) response time.
It has a 16:9 Aspect Ratio, along with a Contrast Ratio of 700:1. The panel is fitted in an anti-glare slim, glossy-black cabinet with a built-in rotatable, silver picture-frame stand that functions in both portrait and landscape modes.
- Weighs 2.64 pounds
- Dimension of 9.2 x 1.4 x 14.6 inches
- USB 3.0 Cable
- Carrying case
- VESA mount compatible 75mm x 75mm
- Accurate colors and sharp picture quality
- Average dark-grayscale performance
- Lacks control buttons
As long as your expectations remain practical, the AOC I1659FWUX satisfies your demands with ease. It has a lightweight, compact design and provides decent viewing angles and accurate colors for an excellent price.
Connecting the monitor to your PC is straightforward, so long as you have the required drivers and cables. It supports both mirroring and extending desktops and has a flexible and foldable stand that allows movements and doesn't add extra weight to the unit. The backlit display performance is decent but not suited for the outdoors. If you're in the market for an extra and portable display, this might be just what you need.
Also, an Auto Pivot Mode automatically adjusts the image according to the display's orientation. The monitor lacks controls, with the exception of a single USB 3.0 port for power and signal delivery.
5. Mobile Pixels Duex Pro Portable Monitor
With a 12.5" IPS Screen, this monitor is designed to be attached to the back of your laptop with a pair of included adhesive magnets. At 1.6 pounds and just about half an inch thick, it offers a Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 at 60Hz, a 300 nit brightness, and an Aspect Ratio of 16:9.
Besides, it can be positioned on either side of a laptop screen while allowing a full 270-degrees rotation, or 180-degrees in presentation mode. It is compatible with USB-C devices with first-time users required to install DisplayLink USB Graphics Drivers.
- 12 magnetic adhesives
- 3-foot USB-C cable
- USB-C to USB-A adapter
- User's manual
- Measures 12.8x 9.1 x 0.49 inches
- Accommodates several laptops
- Magnets may be flimsy at times
- Drivers setup can be annoying
With an incredible design, this display clearly features excellent ergonomics. Impressively, it can also be used as a standalone monitor via the kickstand when not attached to your laptop. It performs well by providing sharp, clear images and controls to adjust brightness.
Moreover, it can rotate to face forward or backward for optimum viewing angles. It is an ideal dual-screen for presentations that is compatible with most operating systems, although you need to install the necessary drivers.
6. AUZAI 15.6-Inch USB-C Portable Monitor
Featuring an all-plastic chassis with narrow bezels, the AUZAI 15.6-Inch monitor comes with a flicker-free IPS panel that offers a 1080P Full HD resolution with support for HDR technology, a 60 Hz refresh rate and a 30 ms response time. Its brightness peaks at 250 cd/m² along with an Aspect Ratio of 16:9 together and a Contrast Ratio of 1000:1.
Beyond that, it provides an OSD menu and multiple viewing angles along with a set of built-in stereo speakers while offering full compatibility with laptops, phones, consoles via USB-C or HDMI cable. It has a magnetic case that also acts as a stand, control buttons, and a 3.5mm audio port.
- Weighs 4.05 pounds
- Measures 13.9 x 8.7 x 0.3 inches
- USB Type-C to Type-A power cable
- USB Type-C to Type-C cable
- Mini HDMI to full-size HDMI cable
- Cleaning cloth
- Screen protector
- User's manual
- HDR compatible
- Narrow color gamut
This is a fantastic and well-priced monitor for nearly all basic indoor usage. Convenient on the go, it is easy to use, has clear and bright images with incredible contrast and color experience. You can also adjust such aspects via the menu buttons and set various desired pre-sets.
On top of that, it provides multiple duplicate displays and good viewing angles. With HDR mode support, you should enjoy great video transmission in gaming and other entertainment. Unless you're into loud sound, its speakers provide decent soft sound. The cover allows you to freely adjust the stand angle to your preference but doesn't look capable of protecting the display from damage.
7. IVV 15.6" 1080p Full HD Portable Monitor for Laptop
Equally thin and light, it combines an amazing set of features in an IPS-pro panel, including a 1920 x 1080 resolution at 60 Hz, a maximum brightness of 250cd/m², a visual angle of 178 degrees, and HDR technology.
Again, it has a leather stand cover that not only keeps your monitor safe but also acts as a foldable stand when placed in landscape or portrait mode.
- Weighs 4.38 pounds
- Grey in color
- Measures 14.3by 8.8by 0.4 inches
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Display Color of 16.7M
- VESA Mountable 75x75mm
- Supports HDR
- Average sound
- No OSD controls
This affordable display offers excellent quality in a lightweight and portable package. Its images show a decent degree of brightness and sharpness with color reproduction at wide viewing angles. It also boasts eye protection and HDR technology, which allows the monitor to relay a wide range of colors and contrast.
The controls are user-friendly and intuitive for accessing the menu or switching between input ports, whereas it can be also powered from a power bank. The sound is clear with an option to add an external speaker via the audio input. It is best suited for traveling, business trips, outdoors and is compatible with a large number of devices.
Elsewhere, it features a thumbwheel for OSD menu settings, built-in Dual Speakers, and a 3. 5mm audio jack. Its connection is done using mini HDMI & dual-USB-C ports for compatibility with Laptops, PCs, Consoles, and recognized Smartphones.
8. Cocopar 17.3 Inch 1080P FHD Portable Monitor
At 17.3 inches, this aluminum-alloyed monitor incorporates an IPS A-grade screen packed with a 1920x1080 resolution at 60Hz, a72% NTSC color gamut, and a response time of 4ms. Other features include the remarkable AMD Radeon FreeSync, HDR, a 178-degree viewing angle, dual speakers, and six display modes.
Its foldable smart case protects the monitor from scratches, while a circular hole on display also allows you to use a pen as a stand. The monitor enables dual-orientation and is VESA-compatible via 75 x75mm. With USB-C, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, and USB ports, this monitor is compatible with laptops, PCs, phones, and consoles.
- Weighs 2.68 pounds
- Measures 16.1 x 10 x 0.5 inches
- USB Type-C to Type-A power cable
- USB Type-C to Type-C cable
- Screen protector
- AMD FreeSync
- Blue light filters
- Great image quality
- High power consumption
While usable as a secondary monitor, it also works perfectly well as a primary viewing screen, given its size. The image quality is solid with wide viewing angles and HDR support, which enhances black and bright colors and improves its contrast for a more realistic viewing experience.
It has an anti-glare screen and is reasonably bright, but this setting can be further adjusted using the control buttons, where you can still put your preferred presets. The response rate is fast compared to its competitors, which should entice gamers, whereas the multiple input options enable connections with numerous devices.
Basically, this is a good all-around- monitor that offers good value for money, one you'll not regret getting.
Exclusive Buyers Guide for Portable Monitors
When buying a portable monitor, these are some important things to consider before making the purchase:
- Connectivity and Compatibility
- Panel type
Size isn't everything, but large screens offer a wide range of different features.
A monitor that is easy to carry around anywhere while serving all your needs gives you convenience and flexibility.
Look for at least a Full HD resolution that isn't stressful on the eye. Similarly, check the response rate, refresh time, and color performance depending on your intended use.
It is paramount to get a monitor that is compatible with your laptop's ports and one that offers multiple interfaces to support many devices.
Take into consideration the type of monitor panel you buy as each model is user-specific.
If you are regularly using your display, buy one with multiple adjustability options, eye protection, and both portrait or landscape orientations.
Both trendy and efficient, a portable monitor is one of the best investments you could make. You can either use it as a primary display or as an extended one, but either way; portable monitors are lifesavers.
Resources & References
To learn more about the above monitors, check out their official website:
#1. Lepow 15.6 Inch IPS HDR 1920 x 1080 Portable Monitor
#2. ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC 15.6" Full HD Portable Monitor
#3. SideTrak 12.5” Portable Monitor for Laptop
#4. AOC I1659FWUX 15.6" USB-powered Portable Monitor
#5. Mobile Pixels Duex Pro Portable Monitor