9 Top Picks
30 Hours of Research
30 Options Considered
In this day and age where technology can be used in presentations, school reports, and even on-the-go entertainment, having the best portable monitors is a must-have for people who lead fast-paced lives. Check this guide if you’re on the lookout for a great portable monitor and don’t miss our top 7 recommendations below. In addition, we also point out to the best laptops for travelling here.
3 Top PC Monitor
It’s extremely lightweight weighing in at just 1.6 pounds and extremely thin so it fits in the backpack very easily. It also has its own built-in speakers. It's very easy to set up, just use the cords and plug it in.
The AUZAI portable monitor is designed for maximum portability, so expect a display that’s ultra-slim, compact and lightweight monitors. The display size may not wow you, but if you’re after something small that packs light, this 15.6-inch long monitor definitely fits the bill.
HP Pavilion’s 21.5-inch monitor isn’t something you’d call portable, nor is it advertised as such, but it could definitely cater to the on-the-go crowd in need of a portable VGA monitor with overall good image, audio and response times.
How to Pick the Best Portable Monitor
Portable monitors are not like the traditional desktop monitor everybody knows and grew up with. As such, you can’t use desktop monitor considerations when shopping for portable displays.
What Qualifies as a Portable Monitor?
Any monitor that is portable and advertised as such can be included in this category. In fact, the best portable monitors don’t necessarily have to be super-small, as you’d expect in a portable gadget. It can be sized from 3.5 inches to 22 inches, as long as the monitor can be brought from one place to the next and vice versa.
Best Portable Monitor Reviews
[Best Portable Monitor Overall]
I’ve been using Desklab’s Touchscreen Portable Monitor extensively over the past 1.5 months and it’s easy to say it is one of my newest, favorite toys.
I do have my own monitor to use at home which I enjoy, and this is not a replacement. However, like many others, I’ve been stuck working from home for the past 1.5 years due to COVID. I’ve been going to coffee shops in the past 6 weeks to test this monitor and it is a game changer.
- Full HD 1080P resolution
- IPS screen technology
- OSD menu
- Extremely lightweight
- Mini HDMI
- LCD display technology
Portable Touch Screen Monitor 4K Specifications
725 grams (1.6 pounds)
3.5 mm (0.14 inch)
1080p (FHD) / 4K (UHD)
Type-C / mini HDMI / Micro-USB
I absolutely love working from coffee shops, but only using my laptop certainly hurts productivity. In comes Desklab’s Touchscreen Portable Monitor. It’s extremely lightweight weighing in at just 1.6 pounds and extremely thin so it fits in my backpack with my laptop very easily, even though I have both cases for my laptop AND a cover for the monitor.
The monitor was easy to set up. You just use the cords and plug it in and voila, it works right out of the box, no installation or software required. I will say it took me a while to switch from 4K to 1080P. The 4K resolution made things too small on the monitor - in fact it was very difficult to use and I didn’t like using it while in 4K.
It took some playing around to switch it from 4K to 1080P even though I tried googling around on how to fix it for Macs. I had to make sure the mouse focus was on the screen (not my laptop) and THEN the appropriate settings displayed when I followed the instructions. Once I switched it to 1080P it was a GAME CHANGER - I felt like I could actually use the screen properly.
My biggest complaint is that the cord to plug in the screen is REALLY short. It might be 2 feet but that’s hardly long enough to be used at coffee shops or airports (where most people are probably using their portable monitors) so I bring an extension cord with me. However, this might not be a problem for most people.
I have a 2015 Macbook Pro - newer models and laptops with a lightning cable can serve as a power source to the LED meaning you won’t need the electrical power cord.
The screen also has stereo speakers built in. I don’t use them a ton since I usually use my airpods (I am in public after all). The quality seems decent but nothing to write home about to be honest, but honestly I’m not really looking for speaker quality when it comes to a portable monitor.
Overall, it’s a great monitor with some minor issues that you can easily get around. As you’ll see in my other reviews, I’ve tested monitors that are 2x the cost. Now that I have this Desklab Monitor, I won’t be going back - it’s not only half the cost but it works great with a number of customizable settings.
Touchscreen Portable Monitor 4K Pros
Touchscreen Portable Monitor 4K Cons
[Best For The Money]
The AUZAI portable monitor is designed for maximum portability, so expect a display that’s ultra slim, compact and lightweight. The display size may not wow you, but if you’re after something small that packs light, this 15.6-inch long LED definitely fits the bill.
AUZAI Portable Monitor Specifications
13.94 x 8.78 x 0.14 inches
Out of the box, you’ll see that the AUZAI monitor comes with a hard plastic case that also serves as its stand. And since it is marketed as an on-the-go LED, this portable computer screen already comes with a polycarbonate screen protector.
As for its technology, the AUZAI portable monitor is equipped with anti-flicker IPS LED diodes, which make it perfect for wide-angle views on gaming or other activities.
It’s a perfect second screen, but the built-in sounds are just true stereo with average quality (they’re definitely better than your phone speakers, but not as good as standalone speakers). This LED is also compatible with any headphones with 3.5mm aux port, so you could just bring along your branded headphones if audio is a priority for your work.
The AUZAI portable monitor has full 1080p video quality, which is top-notch for a display this size. It uses HDR technology that gives vibrant color. The IPS results in darker darks, so make sure to adjust settings for a quick fix.
You’ll have several options for charging this portable display, including USB-C to USB Type-A cable, as well as USB-C to USB-C cable.
Good news for raspberry-pi fans – the AUZAI portable monitor is compatible with raspberry units via DVD.
15.6-inch AUZAI Portable Monitor Pros
15.6-inch AUZAI Portable Monitor Cons
[Best For The Video Quality]
HP Pavilion’s 21.5-inch LED isn’t something you’d call portable, nor is it advertised as such, but it could definitely cater to the on-the-go crowd in need of a portable VGA monitor with overall good image, audio and response times.
HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch Monitor Specifications
250 nits of brightness
8,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and up to 1000:1 static contrast ratio
6.73 x 19.65 x 15.16 inches
This HP Pavilion has a micro-edge design, which is ideal if you’re planning to use this as a second screen for multi-screen set-ups. The anti-glare feature is a huge plus, especially if you’re going to bring this display everywhere you go.
Built with the HP Enhance+ resolution, which means you can expect crispier videos, photos and games with less noise and motion blur. It supports 178-degree wide angle viewing and adjustable tilt (from -5° to 25°) so you can ensure your work or gaming continues to provide the best quality images or videos at any angle.
This LED has several ports at the back: the power supply, 1 HDMI and 1 VGA cable connection. Note that you have to purchase an HDMI cable if you need it, since only the VGA cable comes out of the box.
Refresh rates for the HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch LED is only at 60 hertz, so better take note of this if you’re planning to use this for gaming. But for high-level editing, the HP Pavilion’s monitor is powerful enough to display all your work in its glorious borderless display. In fact, this model is a favorite among graphic designers and professional photographers.
HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch Monitor Pros
HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch Monitor Cons
EVICIV is a brand made popular by the Raspberry Pi hobbyists. If you’re looking for a portable monitor with top-notch image and video quality for on-the-go computing, editing or even gaming, then this model will suit you well.
EVICIV 15.6 Inch Portable Monitor Specifications
3840 x 2160
1000:1 strong contrast ratio
14.00 x 8.80 x 0.20 inches
Made with IPS panel technology, the 15.6-inch EVICIV 4K portable monitor is flicker-free with ultra-low blue light and 178-degree wide-viewing angles. It’s plug-and-play, so it is compatible with many gadgets and requires virtually no cables and drivers.
Inside the box you’d get a USB C connectivity power adapter, 2x USB C cables, USB C connectivity cable to USB A cable, and Mini HDMI to HDMI cable. The accessories included are the magnetic folio case and screen protector, which work great to keep your screen protected from accidental falls.
The EVICIV portable monitor looks and feels solid, but it is light enough (below 2 pounds) and compact enough (it measures only 14.00 x 8.80 x 0.20 inches) to be brought everywhere. And since it can be charged by power bank, like most portable USB monitors are, you can virtually have it as your phone’s bigger display, or go-to presentation screen for field meetings.
What I like best about this unit is the ability to use it both in portrait and landscape mode. The LED arm isn’t included in the kit, but having the option is already a huge plus.
The only issue some people may have about the EVICIV portable monitor is the 60 hertz refresh rate, which isn’t really bad per se, but if you’re into heavy gaming, you might see a hint of lag. When it comes to editing, watching, or basic computing, you’ll find this refresh rate ample enough for your needs.
EVICIV 15.6 Inch Portable Monitor Pros
EVICIV 15.6 Inch Portable Monitor Cons
The ASUS ZenScreen portable monitor is a 15.6-inch IPS-type LCD screen designed to be ultra-portable. It weighs at only 2 pounds, and is as thin as a pencil (at around 9 millimeters).
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AMT Portable Monitor Specifications
1920 x 1080 Pixels
19.10 x 12.01 x 2.99 inches
The portable monitors mount, which are included out of the box, is quality made and doubles as a stand too! The foldable smart case cover features a pen hole that can accommodate both portrait and landscape orientations.
Image and video quality is what you’d expect on an ASUS monitor – it has crisp and crystal-clear details, good brightness, and vivid colors. It comes with a Zen stylus that allows you to multitask on a super responsive surface, thanks to its 10-point multi-touch support.
If you’re using iOS devices unfortunately, there is no touch control feature available. You can still use it as an awesome backup screen, or portable monitor.
When it comes to connectivity, you have several options because it is compatible with any mini HDMI port, USB C type and USB A type gadgets. Also comes with a 7800mAh battery that lasts for up to four hours.
I like that the ASUS portable monitors have a built-in battery (7800mAh to be exact). It lasts up to 4 hours and supports QuickCharge 3.0, making it a genuine on-the-go device.
Another cool feature of the ZenScreen is the use of TUV Rheinland-certified backlighting and Asus Eye Care technology to ensure flicker-free viewing and prevent eye strain.
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AMT Portable Monitor Pros
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AMT Portable Monitor Cons
Like the ASUS model that came before this, the ZenScreen MB16AC is another portable monitor 1080p with the same slim profile and exceptional image quality.
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC Portable Monitor Specifications
1920 x 1080 Pixels
8.9 x 0.3 x 14.2 inches
The most noticeable difference between the two models is the menu navigation buttons. In the MB16AMT above, the display has a hybrid button with a tiny joystick. On the ASUS portable monitors (the MB16AC), you’ll have two navigation buttons and a slightly thinner and lighter profile.
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC portable monitor has a 15.6-inch full HD display with the same ASUS Eye Care and TÜV Rheinland-certified ASUS Flicker-free technology, which protects your eyes from long hours in front of the LED.
This is a true on-the-go LED, weighing only 780 grams (1.72 pounds). It is also just 88 millimeters thin, so you don’t have to worry about bulking up your bag. And as portable monitors go, the ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC can be detected as a display and switches from portrait mode to landscape modes whenever you choose.
This portable ASUS monitor is compatible with any laptop with a USB C type or Type A port. It gets power and video from the same cable removing the need for any power outlet. Samsung phones can even power the display, but some brands may not work.
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC Portable Monitor Pros
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC Portable Monitor Cons
Advertised as Raspberry Pi display, the 13.3-inch Elecrow portable monitors can also be used for PS3/PS4, XBOX360 gaming consoles, industrial equipment, medical equipment, car video accessories, and other devices with mini HDMI/HDMI input.
Out of the box, the Elecrow portable monitor includes a 5V/2A power adapter, HDMI cable and metal rack.
The images of this best buy portable monitors are legitimately vivid and clear thanks to the IPS screen’s 1920x1080 resolution, wide-viewing angle, and technology that improve color, brightness, contrast, and sharpness for optimal viewing.
Check the back of the LED and you’ll see four standard Vesa screw holes, allowing you to have options when it comes to mounting it to a well or just using any monitor stand or arm.
Don’t let this fool you into thinking that it is just exclusive as an indoors display because the ultra-thin (it measures just 15 millimeters thin) and weighs only a pound and a half means it is very easy to bring with you everywhere.
Probably the biggest downside to this LED is the sound quality. It has one of the lowest retail prices in this display size group, so expect the quality of its built-in speakers and included rack to be appropriate to its price. However, if you do require top-notch audio for work, there’s always an option of using third-party speakers via the 3.5mm stereo-out jack.
As I stated before, this is a favorite display among the Raspberry Pi crowd because not only in its affordable price; the Elecrow portable monitors can also use any power bank for juice and run up to 5 hours at each charge. Of course, the bigger your power bank size, the longer you can use the display.
13.3-inch Elecrow Portable Monitor Pros
13.3-inch Elecrow Portable Monitor Cons
If you’re looking for portable monitors that feels solid and doesn’t wobble on you when you work on the go, you’d be happy with Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14. This 14-inch IPS display with full 1920x1080 HD resolution is super lightweight. It only weighs 1.26 pounds because it is mostly made of black plastic, which is quite appropriate to the entire Lenovo look.
Lenovo ThinkVision M14 Portable Monitor Specifications
Max. Display Resolution
15.7 x 10.8 x 2.4 inches
Admittedly, the all-black isn’t as stylish as displays with silver steel or chrome, but once you hold the LED, you’d realize this is a quality-made unit with the soft-touch back and sturdy built-in stand with flip-out foot.
As for the image and video quality, the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 portable monitors have high pixel density (157 pixels per inch), which leads to clear and sharp images.
The LED has anti-glare too, which is always a welcome addition to monitors. The brightness and color production is perfect for texts, charts, and even movies/videos. However, this LED isn’t for hardcore competitive gaming since the 60 Hertz refresh rates would be more appropriate for all-around computing.
The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is equipped with two USB Type-C ports on each side to support DisplayPort 1. 2 Alt Mode and Pd2. 0. The only thing I would have loved this LED to have is an HDMI port, so it could accommodate multiple devices like a game console or Raspberry Pi.
Lenovo ThinkVision M14 Portable Monitor Pros
Lenovo ThinkVision M14 Portable Monitor Cons
You can never really go wrong with an ASUS product, but if you’re looking for portable monitors that will help you through on-the-go working day in, day out, the ASUS MB168B won’t disappoint. It is designed with a LED backlit TN display that supports resolutions up to 1366 x 768 and boasts of 11 ms response time and a 500:1 contrast ratio.
ASUS MB168B Portable Monitor Specifications
LED-backlit TN display
Max. Display Resolution
1366 x 768
14.92 x 9.29 x 0.31 inches
Out of the box, you’ll get a USB 3.0 cable, the portable monitor, CD, and the ASUS smart case, which is pretty impressive for its two-way adjustable stand and protective sleeve dual purpose.
The ASUS MB168B portable monitors are USB-powered, which means it can run with USB 3.0 for video signal and power simultaneously. It is also compatible with USB 2.0 connection, but it could affect brightness settings and image quality.
Using this ASUS portable monitor is a breeze. Aside from the enhanced response time, expect to view darker darks and brighter light colors of your pictures/videos. You can also view 90-degree horizontally and 65-degree vertically.
Plus, this model is equipped with ASUS EzLink technology, which is designed to offload graphics processing from the PC to a dedicated hardware in the LED. As a result, even a low graphics capable notebook or PC can drive up to five MB168B monitors simultaneously as long as you have enough USB ports compatible with Linux, Chrome OS, Mac OS and Microsoft Windows.
At the time of its release, the ASUS MB168B portable monitor was ahead of the pack for its weight, so it truly was one of the lightest on-the-go displays in the market. But today, other portable monitors model weighs much less.
ASUS MB168B Portable Monitor Pros
ASUS MB168B Portable Monitor Cons
Thse AOC portable monitors may be an old model, but it still has a lot of things to be desired. For example, this 16-inch is designed with a slim and thin profile, a cool-looking built-in stand at the back, and a Vesa wall mount option, if you’re going to use this LED at a permanent location.
AOC e1659Fwu Portable LED Monitor Specifications
LED-backlit LCD screen / TFT active matrix
Max. Display Resolution
1366 x 768
16 inches (15.6-inch viewable LED)
14.56 x 8.63 x 0.87 inches
There are 3 things that make the AOC e1659Fwu Portable LED Monitor stand out:
- Built-in DisplayLink Technology makes it possible to use multiple USB monitors simultaneously. You just need to install the DisplayLink driver.
- USB 3.0 connection means the LED has high transfer rates and high quality images.
- The flexi-stand accommodates both landscape and portrait modes, and auto-pivots automatically according to the monitor’s orientation.
The main issue you might have here is that there are newer AOC monitors with better features at the same price tag.
Note that there may also be some tweaking to be done if you’re going to pair this with a Mac or Linux. It works flawless with Windows though.
AOC e1659Fwu Portable LED Monitor Pros
AOC e1659Fwu Portable LED Monitor Cons
What Makes A Good Portable Monitor?
Here are important considerations to weigh, so you’re confident that you’re picking the best portable LED for your budget, needs and requirements:
Power and Connectivity
One of the biggest differences between portable monitors and traditional monitors is that the ports can now charge and power the devices they connect. It can never be a truly portable display without these functionalities. Look for the following types of monitors port:
- USB-C – The USB Type-C connectivity is the newest technology of all, so it is most recommended because it allows data and even power pass through just a single USB C port.
- HDMI – Traditional HDMI ports and power adapters are still being used. Many portable monitors with HDMI input models are used for graphic artists working with sketch pens and drawing tablets.
- USB 3.0 – Although this will be phased out eventually, some portable displays still use this connection to draw power from a laptop or other mobile devices.
Software, the Onscreen Display, and Audio
Don’t expect high-quality audio with a portable display monitor, even if the brand advertises that it is equipped with built-in speakers. This is because many owners of portable displays pair them with portable speakers, or just continue to use the laptop audio.
The Onscreen display (called simply OSD) is where you’ll get to access the menu and set controls such as brightness, color levels, picture modes, and more. Expect single-button OSD controls on portable display, but some multi-button models do exist if you’d like your navigation more visible and user-friendly.
When it comes to software requirements, you’re in luck because most portable screens are plug-and-play. The upgrades you might need (usually to update features) are downloadable on the manufacturer’s website.
Size and Weight
If you are going to be bringing portable computer monitors for work (or play) on a daily basis, the size and weight of the unit can be a deal breaker. You wouldn’t want to be dragging a 20-pound monitor everywhere you go, right?
In general, 10 to 13-inch displays weigh only around 2 to 4 pounds. Anything heavier can be problematic for people on-the-go.
Where do you plan to use your portable display monitor? Is it for gaming? To add to your cinematic experience? Or just general computing for use in multiple locations?
Figure out your main purpose for buying portable monitors first. This will help in picking out the unit with the right connection. For example:
- HDMI – Has the fastest response times. HDMI portable monitor is usually cheaper than monitors with other connections.
- DVI – If image quality is more important audio, monitors with DVI can handle 1920x1200 resolution or higher.
- USB port – Those who need to connect their monitors to their smartphones, cameras, Blu-Ray players, and other devices.
- VGA – This is most recommended for portable gaming screen because they transmit fairly high resolution and frame rates.
Resolution is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. The higher the display resolution, the sharper the picture quality, but considering this is portable monitors, do not expect portable 4k monitors in the market YET.
The best you can find are those with FULL HD resolutions, or 1080p = 1920 x 1080. Portable HD monitors are actually good enough if you’re not planning to edit HD raw photos when traveling.
Refresh rate and response time
The refresh rate is the number of times the monitors update with new images each second. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the delivered visuals.
Response time is the amount of time a pixel in a screen takes to change. It is measured in milliseconds (ms).
When it comes to picking desktop or portable PC monitors, refresh rate and response times are important for gaming, editing, or watching fast-paced content.
The Other Specs
Other notable features and specifications to look out for include:
- Energy-saving mode – A portable computer screen that sucks power from your laptop's battery can cause it to drain easily and could cause a decrease in battery life.
- Choosing a monitor designed with energy-saving technology will prevent this from happening.
- Compatibility – The best budget portable monitor you buy should be compatible with all your gadgets, from the laptop or smartphone you plan to connect to, to other accessories like portable speakers and stands you already have.
- Expandability – If the screen size of your current portable monitors is not enough, expanding your workspace to have extra desk space with other portable monitors could solve your issue. Most portable monitors allow you to connect another LED seamlessly, but others do not have this USB port readily available.
- Accessories – Some brands are just new to this niche market, which means no accessories may be available yet. If you need the best portable monitors to have its own stand or case, choose a model with accessories readily available.
1. What are the best portable monitors to buy?
Here are Top 3 portable PC Monitors that we can recommend.
1. 15.6-inch AUZAI Portable Monitor - The AUZAI portable monitors are designed for maximum portability, so expect a screen that’s ultra-slim, mini, and lightweight. The LED size may not wow you, but if you’re after something small that packs light, this 15.6-inch long monitor definitely fits the bill.
2. HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch Monitor - HP Pavilion’s 21.5-inch monitor isn’t something you’d call portable, nor is it advertised as such, but it could definitely cater to the on-the-go crowd in need of a portable VGA monitor with an overall good image, audio, and response times.
3. EVICIV 15.6 Inch Portable Monitor - EVICIV is a brand made popular by the Raspberry Pi hobbyists. If you’re looking for the best portable monitors with top-notch image and video quality for on-the-go computing, editing or even gaming, then this model will suit you well.
2. How do I choose a portable monitor?
When shopping for the best portable monitors, look for one with a high-resolution screen. Low-quality displays produce a dull image of poor quality and can be taxing on the eyes if used for extended periods of time. If you require a more detailed image, HD resolution is an excellent choice.
3. Why are portable monitors so expensive?
Portable monitors are typically more expensive, not only because they must be lightweight and small, but also because they are powered by a single USB port, typically with a USB-C connection. They must be extremely energy efficient, and the market is quite small.
4. Can I use a portable monitor as a second monitor?
You certainly can. When your laptop or computer and your best portable monitors are connected, the screen is automatically extended. You'll be able to drag and drop applications and windows between your two screens with ease. In some cases, Windows will automatically mirror your screens.
5. Are portable monitors worth it?
Portable monitors are an excellent complement to either a mobile work solution or a lean desktop configuration. They're an excellent way to extend the screen of a laptop or to magnify a mobile device. They can both increase productivity and enhance the entertainment experience when equipped with the appropriate features.