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Best Portable Monitors to Boost Your Productivity and Creativity

Best Portable Monitors
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Updated January 10, 2024

As someone who travels regularly and often ends up working in all sorts of places (hotel rooms, airline lounges, restaurants, and random conference rooms), a portable monitor boosts my productivity. It allows me the freedom to work the way I like (i.e., with entirely too many windows open and a dizzying array of projects going on at once) no matter where I am.

Portable monitors are also widely utilized for one-on-one presentations or for watching entertainment on a screen other than your phone while outside the home. With the ability to connect to multiple devices, they’re extremely versatile, and now that USB-C connections (which have the ability to transfer data and power over a single cable) have become the norm, there are an overwhelming number of options available. Keep reading for our picks for the best portable monitors, as well as advice on what to consider when choosing one for yourself.

How to choose the best portable monitor for you

Size and weight

Many portable monitors are bigger than standard laptop screens, but when deciding which size is best for you, consider how you plan to utilize it. If you want to expand your workspace while on the go, a bigger one makes more sense. If you’re going to use it primarily as an auxiliary viewing device for your child in the back seat of the car, a smaller screen will probably suffice. As far as weight goes, think about how you plan to transport it, and where—if you’re planning to schlep it deep into the wilderness in your pack, every ounce matters.

Display and screen quality

If your main objective is to edit media or spend hours with multiple spreadsheets and documents, you’ll probably want one with high resolution. If you just intend to use it for meetings and Netflix watching, you can likely get away with a lower screen resolution.

Orientation control

The ability to keep what you’re working on right side up while switching from landscape to portrait mode is especially useful when photo editing or coding. Most desktop monitors don’t possess this capability, which makes a portable one a useful addition to your workspace.

Connectivity

Obviously, the most important thing to consider is connectivity. If your new portable monitor won’t connect to your host computer and other devices, it’s really nothing more than an expensive rectangle.

Our top picks for the best portable monitor

Best portable monitor for travel/general use: LG gram +view 16-inch QHD+ Monitor

The high-resolution display of the LG Gram +view means you’ll have a better viewing experience when working with small text and endless spreadsheets and documents (essentially, my writing life). It’s also extremely lightweight for its size, making it exceptionally portable. If you’re like me and keep an inordinately large number of windows open at all times, adding a second monitor to your setup is infinitely helpful, and this one allows you to easily do that, whether at home or in a random hotel room on the other side of the world. The USB-C port is handy for peripherals—or even just a place to charge your best smartwatch on the go.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 16 inches
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Weight: 1.45 pounds
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $349.99

What we like:

  • Works well with Macbooks
  • Lightweight
  • High resolution display

What we don’t like:

  • No HDMI port 

The bottom line:

A lightweight, highly portable monitor that provides a high-resolution display, ideal for viewing business documents and spreadsheets.

Best portable monitor for travel/general use
LG gram +view 16" QHD+ Portable Monitor (Silver) 16MR70.ASDU1

LG gram +view 16" QHD+ Portable Monitor (Silver) 16MR70.ASDU1

 Best budget portable monitor: ViewSonic VG1655 15.6-inch 1080p Monitor

As far as budget monitors go, this one from ViewSonic stands out, in part, due to its full range of OSD (on screen display) controls including brightness, contrast, input select, volume, view mode, manual image adjustment, and setup menu. Plus, it comes with a built-in stand that supports a 45° range.

The display is bright with an adequate contrast ratio, but it does have a rather limited color range. For this reason, it’s best suited for documents, spreadsheets, and everyday photo and video viewing (you won’t be able to successfully accomplish any type of photo editing or be able to enjoy life-like images in your videos with this monitor). However, at less than $200, it’s a solid budget-minded choice if you’re in need of an additional screen that you can easily transport.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Connectivity: USB-C, micro-HDMI
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $179.99 

What we like:

  • Built-in stand
  • Five-way mini joystick controller
  • Excellent value

What we don’t like:

  • Limited color range

The bottom line:

With a built-in stand, bright display, and full OSD, the ViewSonic VG1655 offers excellent value for the price.

Best budget portable monitor
ViewSonic VG1655 15.6 Inch 1080p Portable Monitor with 2 Way Powered 60W USB C, IPS, Eye Care, Dual Speakers, Built-in Stand with Smart Cover , Black

ViewSonic VG1655 15.6 Inch 1080p Portable Monitor with 2 Way Powered 60W USB C, IPS, Eye Care, Dual Speakers, Built-in Stand with Smart Cover , Black

Best portable monitor with touch input: Asus ZenScreen Touch

The Asus ZenScreen touch supports 10-point multi-touch input, so you can zoom in and out using your fingers as you would on most smartphones. It also comes with a ZenScreen writing pen that can be used with the smart pen hole at the bottom of the screen. The ZenScreen Touch app allows you to control and view any Android phone and the thin, portable design makes it the perfect travel companion when you don’t want to bring along a laptop.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 1 pound, 9 ounces
  • Connectivity: USB-C, micro-HDMI
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $365

What we like:

  • Built-in battery
  • Foldable smart case
  • Excellent color and contrast

What we don’t like:

  • Limited features when used with Macs

The bottom line:

Sleek, thin portable monitor with a foldable smart case that connects easily to a wide range of devices including smartphones, cameras, laptops, and game consoles.

Best portable monitor with touch input
ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT 15.6" 16:9 Multi-Touch IPS Monitor MB16AMT

ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT 15.6" 16:9 Multi-Touch IPS Monitor MB16AMT

Best portable monitor for gaming: Asus ROG Strix XG16AHPE

While on the pricier end for 15.6-inch monitors, the Asus ROG Strix comes with a full range of features that make it worth the cost. This includes those you definitely want in a gaming monitor, like a high refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility. On top of those, it has a built-in battery, speakers, soft carrying sleeve, and a kickstand that works in both portrait and landscape modes. The 3ms response rate and adaptive sync means wherever you’re gaming, you’ll experience both speed and clarity in your display, which notably delivers a sharp enough contrast to easily spot any threats lurking in the shadows. If you aren’t a fan of wireless gaming headsets, the USB-C and headphone jack can support most gaming headsets.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Connectivity: USB-C, Micro HDMI, headphone jack
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $349.99

What we like:

  • Fast refresh rate (144Hz)
  • Built in battery and speakers
  • Kickstand for landscape and portrait modes 

What we don’t like:

  • No touchscreen compatibility

The bottom line:

Full featured gaming monitor with onboard battery and speakers, delivering a vibrant display with sharp contrast, no matter where you are.

Best portable monitor for gaming
ASUS ROG Strix 15.6" FHD 1080P Portable Gaming Monitor XG16AHPE, 144Hz, IPS, G-SYNC Compatible, Built-in Battery, Kickstand, USB-C, Micro HDMI, for Laptop, PC, Phone, Console

ASUS ROG Strix 15.6" FHD 1080P Portable Gaming Monitor XG16AHPE, 144Hz, IPS, G-SYNC Compatible, Built-in Battery, Kickstand, USB-C, Micro HDMI, for Laptop, PC, Phone, Console

Best wireless portable monitor: Ricoh 150BW 15.6-inch OLED Monitor

For a premium, full featured portable monitor with wireless capabilities, the Ricoh 150BW can’t be beat. The OLED* screen delivers excellent color with ultra-high contrast. The other great feature of this portable monitor is its wireless capability: You can easily connect to a PC or smartphone via Miracast (and you can connect two devices at once). Keep in mind that Macs and Miracast don’t play very well together, though.

*OLED–a relatively new technology–stands for “organic light emitting diode,” which means that each pixel in the display emits its own little light that is controlled individually. This allows for higher levels of contrasts and 100% blacks (OLED screens can turn off specific pixels completely). If you’re interested in more of the science, check out this explainer from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 1.58 pounds
  • Connectivity: USB-C
  • Panel Type: OLED touchscreen
  • Price on publish: $736

What we like:

  • Built-in battery
  • Touchscreen capabilities
  • Slim profile 

What we don’t like:

  • No other ports aside form USB-C

The bottom line:

A full featured portable monitor with wireless connectivity, touchscreen capability, and an impressive high-contrast, vibrant color OLED display screen.

Best wireless portable monitor
Ricoh 150BW 15.6" Multi-Touch Wireless Portable Monitor 514910

Ricoh 150BW 15.6" Multi-Touch Wireless Portable Monitor 514910

Best large portable monitor: NexiGo NG17FGQ 17.3-inch Monitor

With a 300 Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time, this NexiGo portable monitor delivers vivid colors and stunning details with an impressively fluid visual experience. It’s compatible with smartphones, PCs, laptops, Macbooks, and the Surface Go/Pro. It also comes with a handy remote control, and has a 3.5 mm aux port in case you’re not a fan of wireless headphones. No software is required to use this monitor, it just runs off the power of the device you plug it into.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 17.3 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Connectivity: USB-C, HDMI
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $449

What we like:

  • Foldable magnetic smart cover
  • Built-in speakers
  • Great color accuracy

What we don’t like:

  • No internal battery

The bottom line:

Large-screen portable monitor with a high refresh rate and response time, suitable for gaming and other computer tasks while on the go.

Best large portable monitor
NexiGo NG17FGQ 17.3-inch Monitor

NexiGo NG17FGQ 17.3-inch Monitor

Best portable monitor for creative professionals and media pros: Asus ProArt PA148CTV 14-inch Monitor

Designed with creatives in mind, the Asus ProArt supports 100% of the sRGB and Rec. 709 color spectrums. There’s a convenient dial control located on the back of the monitor that works with the full range of Adobe products, and the Asus ProArt Palette interface allows you to completely customize your display. The tripod socket means you can easily set it up as a display monitor next to your camera, while its compact size and low weight mean you can easily pop it into your backpack for work and take it with you while on location.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 14 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 1.63 pounds
  • Connectivity: USB-C, micro-HDMI
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $399

What we like:

What we don’t like:

  • Designed for PCs, not Macs

The bottom line:

A compact, light, portable monitor with Calman verified certification and a tripod socket, designed specifically for creative professionals.

Best portable monitor for creative professionals and media pros
ASUS ProArt PA148CTV 14" 16:9 Full HD Multi-Touch Portable IPS Monitor PA148CTV

ASUS ProArt PA148CTV 14" 16:9 Full HD Multi-Touch Portable IPS Monitor PA148CTV

Best triple portable monitor for laptops: Oiiwak Triple Portable Monitor 

The Oiiwak Triple portable monitor transforms your laptop into a three-screen viewing area, helping to boost your productivity and efficiency no matter where you are. (Just add an ergonomic office chair and get ready for the most comfortable workspace ever.) Each foldable screen works independently, so you can connect two devices if needed, and there’s an included metal bracket that stabilizes your laptop screen when the panels are connected to it, so you don’t have to worry about wobble.

The Oiiwak features a 1500:1 contrast ratio and 16.7m colors for a clear and bright display, as well as HDMI and USB-C ports on each screen. They can also be used to charge your laptop in reverse, making them a great choice for laptops with fewer interfaces. Comes with 2 USB-C cables, 2 mini-HDMI cables, and 2 USB-A to C cables. 

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 14 inches each
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1200
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Connectivity: HDMI, 2 USB-C each
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $699.00

What we like:

  • Can connect two devices simultaneously
  • Sturdy frame
  • Comes with a leather case

What we don’t like:

  • Doesn’t support Chromebooks or Microsoft Surface Series 

The bottom line:

Portable monitors with quality display features that connect to your laptop, transforming your work space into three-screens no matter where you are.

Best triple portable monitor for laptops
Oiiwak 14inch Triple Portable Monitor for 13-16" Laptop, Aluminum Alloy 1200P Tri-Screen Monitor Extender with HDMI & USB-C Ports,Compatible with Mac & Windows-OK14 [Upgraded Ver]

Oiiwak 14inch Triple Portable Monitor for 13-16" Laptop, Aluminum Alloy 1200P Tri-Screen Monitor Extender with HDMI & USB-C Ports,Compatible with Mac & Windows-OK14 [Upgraded Ver]

Best portable monitor for presentations: Espresso 15-inch Display 

This screen was created in 2019 by engineering students at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, because they couldn’t find the sort of portable monitor they wanted–one that, “Excelled in both form and function.” At 5.3mm (0.21 inches) thick, the Espresso Display monitor is one of the thinnest available. Made from space grade aluminum and hardened glass, it’s also one of the sturdiest, which means you won’t have to think twice about slipping it into your laptop backpack for transport to your big presentation.

Once there, the Espresso won’t disappoint, either—it features a powerful touchscreen with mark-up abilities equipped with the brand’s proprietary software, Flow, a 16.8 million color display, and exceptional energy efficiency so you won’t lose power unexpectedly if things run long. It’s also easily integrated with third party applications including all Adobe products, ZBrush, and Mural.

Specifications:

  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Connectivity: HDMI, USB-C
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Price on publish: $499.00

What we like:

  • Thin profile
  • Touchscreen capabilities
  • Sturdy frame

What we don’t like:

  • Stand and stylus sold separately 

The bottom line:

Ultrathin and sturdy portable monitor with touchscreen capabilities and 16.8m color display, ideal for creative presentations.

Best portable monitor for presentations
espresso Displays 15: World's Thinnest Portable Monitor - Premium Touchscreen for Mac, Windows & More. Durable, Robust Aluminium Design. 1 Cable Connection.

espresso Displays 15: World's Thinnest Portable Monitor - Premium Touchscreen for Mac, Windows & More. Durable, Robust Aluminium Design. 1 Cable Connection.

How we selected the best portable monitors

I’ve been writing about and reviewing tech gear for close to 15 years for multiple outlets. I’ve also been tinkering with, building, and testing computers and monitors since the 1990s. Along with my own personal experience, I spent a considerable amount of time consulting online reviews to compile this list of the best portable monitors. I considered price, value, features, weight, size, and suitability for specific tasks.

How are portable monitors powered and connected?

Most portable monitors connect via a USB-C port or a video HDMI input (most often a micro-HDMI), or both. When selecting a portable monitor, ensure it has the kind of port needed to accommodate whatever you plan to connect it to.

Some high-end monitors, like the Ricoh 150BW, have wireless connective capabilities, but again, make sure whatever standard wireless connection the monitor uses is compatible with your device or devices. For instance, the Ricoh utilizes Miracast, which works with Windows and Android devices, but not so much with Apple. Other similar wireless technologies include Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay.

Portable monitors either have their own onboard battery or they utilize the power from whatever device they’re connected to. The onboard batteries usually have the capacity to run for two to three hours on one charge.

Display, audio, and software

The majority of portable monitors are plug and play, meaning they do not require software to run. Additional downloadable utilities will likely be for a very specific task, such as keeping an image upright when you switch between portrait and landscape mode. Some may offer a utility that lets you tinker with monitor settings from a computer screen, rather than using the on screen display controls (OSDs).

OSDs allow you to adjust things like brightness, color levels, picture mode, and aspect ratio. Think of it like the display settings you access on pretty much every television manufactured today (TVs are, after all, really just monitors). For most portable monitors, you navigate the OSD controls via a single button or switch.

Not all portable monitors possess built-in speakers or headphone jacks. Those that do are usually designed for gaming. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are portable laptop monitors good?

With their high pixel density, portable monitors provide a sharp, clear display that can be just as good as your laptop. Most won’t have as good of a picture quality as a desktop monitor (the kind you’d need for professional photo and video editing), but there are models available with high refresh and response rates suitable for gaming.

Can a portable monitor be used as a second monitor?

Many people purchase a portable monitor for just this reason, so using it as an additional or second screen for your laptop, or even desktop if you’re so inclined, is a great option.

What is the maximum size of a portable monitor?

This, of course, depends on what you consider portable. If your criteria is simply the biggest monitor you can fit in a backpack, the answer will likely be 17.3 inches. If it’s just the biggest monitor you can pick up and carry somewhere, you could say 27 inches. Most portable monitors range from 13.3 inches to 17.3 inches.

Should I get a portable monitor or an iPad?

While an iPad can be used as such, a portable monitor offers a much more budget-friendly solution to having a second screen (when you compare models with similar screen size). The largest iPad Pro features a 12.9-inch display, which is the smallest screen found in the majority of portable monitors. If you’re looking for something to add a second screen to your workspace or a convenient way to mirror the screen on your smartphone, a portable monitor is the way to go. Plus, with the advent of wireless, touch screen portable monitors, you can use them just as you would a tablet, as long as it remains connected to the host device. 

What are the advantages of portable monitors?

My favorite use for a portable monitor is converting my smartphone to a computer when traveling–a portable monitor allows me to easily work most anywhere. It’s also handy for streaming movies and television shows while on an airplane (if you’ve ever sat in economy watching inflight entertainment on your phone, think of how much more pleasant that experience would have been with a portable monitor). They’re also exceptionally useful at providing additional screen real estate when using my 13-inch Macbook (which is the computer that goes on the road with me).

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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