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15 Best Portable Monitor Models for Your Work-from-Home Setup

Premium Pick

AOC I1659FWUX USB Monitor

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Best Value

Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AP

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Best Choice

Asus ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT

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Ever since the pandemic hit, more and more people have grown accustomed to working from home. However, it can be cumbersome to work at home hunching over a small laptop screen. That’s why people nowadays opt for a second screen to maximize their efficiency. It’s even better if the monitor is portable so that users can stay productive while on the go. Are you looking for the best portable monitor for your work-from-home setup? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve listed down our top 15 picks in 2021 below.

 

What Is a Portable Monitor?

Portable Monitor
Photo from Adobe Stock

Before we list down the best portable monitor models available, it’s important to understand what portable monitors are. Technically speaking, regular desktop monitors are “portable” in that you can move them anywhere in a space. However, what separates a portable monitor from a regular one is how easily you can bring portable monitors around.

Portable monitors offer all the benefits of a second display while staying lightweight and easy to carry. A good portable monitor should easily fit into a bag and stand on its own without difficulty setting it up. Moreover, it should be light enough to carry without too much strain. Think of it as a mobile tablet with a stand, except without a stand-alone OS.

Apart from this, portable monitors offer the same functionality as other monitors. They can extend or increase your device’s display size and maximize your work efficiency. You can cascade references on the portable monitor while working on your main device’s display. 

 

15 Best Portable Monitor Models for Your Work-from-Home Setup

1

AOC I1601FWUX USB-C Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  Lightweight
  • –  Compact
  • –  Foldable and durable stand
  • –  Able to control computer settings
  • –  Power and video input directly from one cable

 

Cons

  • –  Dull colors
  • –  Imperfect menu navigation
  • –  Low max brightness

The AOC I1601FWUX is the best portable monitor for PC users if you want something large but easy to handle. That’s because the display’s size is at a whopping 15.6 inches, outdoing even regular 13-inch laptop screens. Moreover, it’s the best portable monitor for a Full HD viewing experience at an affordable price point.

However, this display isn’t the best portable monitor if you’re looking to work outdoors a lot. That’s because the max brightness caps at 220 cd/m2, making it sub-par in bright or direct sunlight. Moreover, while the viewing angles are decent, they’re not exactly ideal. The display’s color output isn’t the most accurate, either, so it’s best for non-creative work and casual entertainment.

2

AOC I1659FWUX USB Monitor

     Pros

  • –  IPS Panel
  • –  Sharp image quality
  • –  Color-accurate display
  • –  Wide viewing angles
  • –  Affordable
  • – Rotating stand

 

Cons

  • –  USB 3.0 only
  • –  Heavier than other portable monitors
  • –  Low max brightness

The best portable monitor for Mac and Windows users on a budget just might be the AOC I1659FWUX. It has a crisp and clear 15.6-inch 1080p panel with a very color-accurate calibration. Moreover, the device only costs around $160. These make it the best portable monitor that’s both affordable and has great image quality.

However, the max brightness of this AOC device also only comes at 220cd/m2. Thus, it’s not ideal for taking with you outside during the peak hours of the day. Moreover, it’s got quite a weight to it so it’s not as portable as thinner and lighter alternatives out there. Lastly, it doesn’t have a USB-C, so your USB-C laptop might need a dongle to get it to work.

3

Asus MB168B+ Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  Thin and lightweight
  • –  Great viewing angles
  • –  Allows the use of several monitors at once

 

Cons

  • – Needs USB 3.0 to take advantage of it

Some people might be fine with a heavy portable monitor depending on their work setup. However, the best portable computer monitor if you travel often should be thin and lightweight. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you might want to consider the Asus MB168B+

This monitor provides a solid image resolution at 1080p in its 15.6” size. It also rotates automatically to give you the best possible viewing angles no matter where you are. However, the only downside is that it only connects via a regular USB-A port. Hence, USB-C laptops would need a compatible dongle just to hook it up.

Nonetheless, it’s a decent purchase if you don’t mind the USB port. Moreover, because it outsources graphics processing to the main device, you can connect more than one on a single device. Just make sure to use USB 3.0 instead of 2.0 to minimize the latency.

4

Asus ROG Strix

     Pros

  • –  Huge display
  • –  3ms response time
  • –  240Hz refresh rate
  • –  USB-C and mini HDMI connectivity

 

Cons

  • –  Very expensive

What you consider the “best portable monitor” might depend on your situation. If you’re buying something for work, a simple display with decent portability and accuracy should do the trick. However, if you need a monitor for games, then you might need something more robust.

In that case, the Asus ROG Strix might be the best portable gaming monitor for you. It has all the necessary specs you might want in a regular gaming monitor. That includes a large, 17.3-inch display, a lightning-fast 240Hz refresh rate, and a 3ms response time. 

Moreover, the display uses a USB-C and mini HDMI port, making it versatile for various gaming platforms. You can hook it up to your PC or even a compatible console. The only catch is that the Asus ROG Strix is incredibly expensive, costing nearly $500 per unit.

5

Asus ZenScreen 15.6” 1080p Portable Monitor (MB16AC)

     Pros

  • –  Foldable smart case/stand
  • –  Thin
  • –  Auto-rotation
  • –  Comes with a stylus and USB-A adapter
  • –  Blue-light filter
  •  

 

Cons

  • –  Expensive

Looking at screens for too long can be detrimental to eye health. Hence, it’s important to consider your eyes as well when you’re looking for the best portable monitor. That’s where the Asus ZenScreen 15.6” 1080p portable monitor comes in. Not only does this display provide flicker-free backlighting, but it also comes with a built-in blue light filter.

Moreover, the device comes with a handy stylus to help you navigate your work more easily and quickly. As for the other specs, it provides the basic 15.6-inch size you’d normally expect on portable monitors. The screen also comes in Full HD (1080p) so it should suit both work and entertainment.

The device is also fairly thin and rotates automatically. Hence, you can take it anywhere and use it in any orientation you like. It also comes with a USB-C port and a USB-A adaptor to solve all your connectivity needs. However, the only catch is that this device is pretty expensive, costing about $230 on Amazon.

6

Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AP

     Pros

  • –  Thin and light
  • –  USB-C + micro-HDMI port
     

 

Cons

  • –  250 nits max brightness
  • –  Expensive

Another one of the best portable monitor models on this list is the Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AP. The device, like other portable monitors, comes at 15.6 inches with a 1080p display panel. Hence, you shouldn’t have problems with viewing anything in HD, whether that’s work or movies.

On the other hand, the device also comes with multiple connection options such as micro-HDMI and USB-C. Thus, you should be able to connect it to almost anything you want. It’s also thin and light enough to carry around wherever you go. However, don’t expect it to perform well outdoors as it can only go up to 250 nits in brightness. Moreover, you should prepare to cough up a bit of money for this one as it costs nearly $300.

7

Asus ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT

     Pros

  • –  Touchscreen
  • –  Thin and light
  • –  Up to 4 hours battery life
  • –  USB-C and micro-HDMI
  • –  Foldable stand case
  •  – Blue light filter

 

Cons

  • –  Very expensive
  • –  Limited support for Mac
  • –  No support for iOS

If you’re looking for the best portable monitor with a touchscreen, then look no further than the Asus ZenScreen Touch. It’s the best portable monitor with all the features you might expect. That includes a 15.6” 1080p screen, a thin and light build for portability, and a versatile stand-case. 

Moreover, the device also comes with a 7,800mAh battery that can last up to four hours on a charge. It’s also compatible with USB-C and micro-HDMI, although not every device is supported. More specifically, there’s very limited support for Mac devices and none at all for iOS. Nonetheless, if you have a Windows or Android device, this one’s a keeper. That is if you can afford the $400 price tag.

8

AUZAI Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  Slim and light
  • –  Multiple USB-C ports
  • –  HDMI port
  • –  Affordable
  • –  75Hz refresh rate

 

Cons

  • –  Subpar speakers
  • –  Stand not ideal
  • –  Low max brightness

One of the best portable monitor models on the market right now is the AUZAI portable monitor. At less than $200, you can already access everything you might want from a portable monitor. That includes a slim and light build, multiple ports, and a slightly faster-than-average refresh rate.

Moreover, it comes in your standard 15.6-inch screen size with a 1080p resolution. The screen produces high-contrast images with vibrant colors, although the max brightness could be better. On the other hand, its built-in speakers are certainly convenient, but they do need some work as well.

9

Desklab Ultralight Portable 4K Touchscreen

     Pros

  • –  4K display
  • –  USB-C for power and display
  • –  Touchscreen

 

Cons

  • –  Heavy (with kickstand)
  • –  Very expensive

A lot of the best portable monitor models only go up to 1080p. However, with display technology rapidly advancing in recent years, we’re seeing the 4K standard trickle down to more devices. If you want that kind of high-resolution display on the go, then perhaps the Desklab Ultralight Portable 4K Touchscreen might do.

As the name implies, the device outputs in 4K, is slim, and has touch capabilities. Hence, it’s the perfect device that incorporates beauty, versatility, and power without sacrificing portability. However, it is a little on the heavier side with the stand/case attached.

Nonetheless, it’s still a great device, especially for creators that value great visual output. However, you should be ready to empty your pockets as it costs $400 — and that’s on sale.

10

Eviciv 4K Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  4K resolution
  • –  2 USB-C ports + mini HDMI
  • –  Great viewing angles

 

Cons

  • –  Very expensive
  • –  No high refresh rate

4K monitors are all the rage these days and the same goes for portable monitors. With a 4K portable monitor, you can view all of your work — and entertainment — in extremely high resolution. That’s exactly what the Eviciv 4K Portable Monitor provides.

However, apart from its 4K resolution, it also has many good things going for it. For example, it has a nice selection of ports that can accommodate any device you have. Moreover, the device also has a 300cd/m2 max brightness with a wide color gamut and HDR support. Hence, it’s the best portable monitor for photographers and creative professionals.

The only downside with this device is that it’s still stuck at 60Hz. For a 4K portable monitor that costs over $300, we would have wanted more. 

11

HP EliteDisplay S14 USB Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  Anti-glare screen
  • –  Relatively affordable
  • –  Smaller screen for portability

 

Cons

  • – No speaker
  • –  Low max brightness
  • –  Heavy

HP’s EliteDisplay S14 is one of the best portable monitor models for travelers. Although it’s heavier than some other alternatives, the 14-inch screen makes it smaller and easier to fit in bags. 

On the other hand, it has what you’d want on any portable display, including 1080p resolution and an anti-glare screen. It also has on-screen controls and a blue-light filter to make it easier to use and navigate. Moreover, the price caps at $200 on Amazon, so it’s not as expensive as higher-end models.

However, the device is a little lacking in the brightness department so it isn’t ideal for outdoor lighting. Moreover, it doesn’t have any other output options or built-in speakers. Hence, it’s largely just for presentations and office workers that don’t require anything but visuals. It is relatively affordable, though, so it’s still a good investment. 

12

Lenovo ThinkVision M14

     Pros

  • –  Ultra-light
  • –  Two USB-C ports
  • –  Blue-light filter
  • –  Great color
  • –  Unnoticeable stand

 

Cons

  • –  Very expensive

Lenovo’s ThinkVision series has a lot going for it in terms of color accuracy. Hence, it’s no surprise that the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 also produces the same high-quality colors on a portable display. It’s the best portable monitor if colors are important to your workflow. Moreover, the two USB-C ports on either side make it versatile for both left and right-handed users.

The ThinkVision M14 is also ultra-portable, weighing in at only 1.4lbs. It has a small, unnoticeable stand at the back so you don’t need lots of space to set it up. Moreover, the screen also incorporates blue-light filters to reduce eye strain. It’s also built with the same Full HD resolution as most other portable monitors, so you’re not missing anything. However, it is very expensive, going for over $400 on Amazon.

13

Lepow Z1 Pro Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  Affordable
  • –  HDR IPS panel
  • –  Multiple device connectivity
  • –  Dual speakers
  • –  Light and thin
  • – USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI
  • – Vibrant colors

 

Cons

  • –  Speaker quality
  • –  Colors not as vibrant

If you’re looking for the best portable monitor for PS4 gaming then look no further than the Lepow Z1 Pro. Like its competitors, the screen offers a 15.6-inch panel with 1080p resolution. However, unlike its alternatives, this one comes with an HDR IPS panel, allowing for a more immersive viewing experience. 

Lepow’s Z1 Pro also offers multiple ports options like USB-C, USB-A, and even HDMI. Hence, it’s the best portable HDMI monitor Best Buy can offer for all-around connectivity. It’s also extremely light and thin, so you’ll have no problems working — or gaming — anytime, anywhere.

14

SideTrak Attachable Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  Attachable monitor
  • –  Great portability
  • –  Compact

 

Cons

  • –  Small screen size
  • –  Expensive
  • –  Slow response time

SideTrak’s Attachable portable monitor lives up to its name. Why? That’s because the monitor they’ve created doesn’t simply stand but attaches to your laptop. Hence, you won’t need a large desk or space to access a dual-screen. 

Of course, to do this, SideTrak did sacrifice the screen size in favor of compactness and portability. Hence, you’ll only get 12.5 inches of screen real estate, unlike the normal 15.6 inches on alternatives. Nonetheless, its innovative design doesn’t sacrifice in terms of viewing quality. With ample max brightness, a 1080p resolution, and an IPS panel, you’re guaranteed a satisfactory viewing experience.

However, there are a few cons to this device such as the disappointingly slow response time. Moreover, the actual device is pretty expensive for the screen size you get. Nonetheless, it’s a great option if you lack desk space while traveling.

15

ViewSonic TD1655 Touch Portable Monitor

     Pros

  • –  Touchscreen
  • –  Lightweight
  • –  High-contrast display

 

Cons

  • –  Low max brightness
  • –  Not as thin as others
  • –  Slightly expensive

The ViewSonic TD1655 Touch Portable Monitor is arguably the best portable monitor for laptop users. Why? That’s because it can be powered by your laptop without needing an outside source. Hence, you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet while you’re out and about.

Moreover, ViewSonic’s monitor checks all the boxes for what you might want in the best portable monitor. For example, it has the usual 15.6-inch screen with a 1080p panel for a pleasurable viewing experience. Furthermore, it also has a touchscreen for easy navigation. The display also boasts a high-contrast image quality, leaving nothing to be desired in terms of sharpness.

However, the max brightness, like its alternatives, could use a bump up. Moreover, despite its lightweight build, it’s not as thin as its competitors. It’s a decent choice for the price, nonetheless.

Why Buy a Portable Monitor?

Why Buy A Portable Monitor
Photo by Adobe Stock

Before you purchase the best portable monitor in the market, you might stop to think, “why?” Why is it so important to buy the best portable monitor? Does it truly make an impact on day-to-day life and work? After all, purchasing a separate monitor is an additional expense. Hence, the pros have to outweigh the cons to truly make it worthwhile. So, why is buying the best portable monitor important? Here are at least a couple of reasons we can think of. 

 

Increased Work Efficiency and Productivity

Imagine cascading chat and email apps to one monitor while working on your current task on your main screen. This would undoubtedly make you more efficient because you wouldn’t need to switch apps as frequently. Hence, purchasing the best portable monitor model is a great way to save time. Moreover, this type of workflow can also increase productivity because you can look at all your references at once. 

 

Presentation/Preview Screen

Apart from regular work, purchasing the best portable monitor also offers some benefits for creators. That’s because portable monitors can also act as a preview screen when you’re presenting ideas to clients. You can present anything, whether you’re working on graphic designs, image editing, or anything that needs visual presentation. 

Photographers and artists, in particular, can take advantage of its portability. That’s because they can easily display media files from their camera straight to a compatible portable monitor. What better way to present your work than through a high-quality display with proper scale and quality?

On the other hand, regular workers can also use this feature to conduct more immersive meeting presentations. It becomes easy to visualize ideas and present them with a portable extended display. This is especially useful when you work at a company that conducts meetings and gives presentations regularly.

 

Scaling Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are the future of technology as they become more powerful than even full-fledged desktop computers. However, the one disadvantage smartphones have is that their screens are pretty tiny. That is unless you can use the best portable monitor to maximize your smartphone’s power.

With just a portable monitor and a Bluetooth keyboard, you can easily turn your smartphone into a computing powerhouse. Moreover, if you have a compatible Samsung phone, you might even be able to use DeX, Samsung’s desktop-like Android OS. With it, you can even turn your smartphone into a full-fledged computer without needing a laptop.

 

Immersive Entertainment

Lastly, everybody can agree that having the best portable monitor is great for entertainment. With just a compatible, high-quality screen, you can turn your mobile device into an entertainment powerhouse. You can say goodbye to watching movies and shows on a tiny screen. Moreover, it’s the perfect solution for traveling, so you can have your entertainment anytime, anywhere.

 

How to Care for Your Portable Monitor

Like any kind of consumer technology, portable monitors require great care to maintain. Everything from how you store, clean, and carry your portable monitor can increase its lifespan. So, how can you care for your portable monitor so you can use it for longer? Here are the best tips we can offer. 

 

Use a Hard Case for Travel

In health, prevention is better than cure — and the same is true for portable monitors. If you want to care for your device, make sure to use a reliable hard case for travel. The case should be amplified, sturdy, and have ample padding to make sure it’s safe. This goes for whatever form of travel you may use, whether it’s your commute, a train, or a plane ride. 

 

Ensure Proper Cooling

Unfortunately, lithium batteries don’t last, regardless of what device you’re using. Hence, we can’t do anything to prevent battery damage — we can only delay it. That’s why it’s important to keep your portable monitor cool at all times. Make sure it doesn’t overheat and use the battery only when it’s necessary. Moreover, it’s important to turn off your PC, take out the battery, and work without it while using AC control.

 

Keep Food and Drinks Away

Technology is incredibly vulnerable to grime, dirt, dust, crumbs, and especially liquids. Hence, it’s important to exercise caution whenever you’re eating or drinking near your portable monitor. Even better: try not to eat or drink anywhere near your portable monitor.

 

Clean It Regularly

Lastly, keeping your portable monitor clean is one of the best ways to preserve its quality. You can do this by doing a deep clean when you find that your monitor’s buttons begin to become sticky. On the other hand, you can also keep it in its case to keep the grime away.

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