Workings from your laptop can be a nightmare. Especially if it’s really small – you can’t even split a screen properly without wanting to head to the eye doctor for new glasses! And switching between desktops and tabs? Don't get me started.
At A Glance: Our Top 4 Picks for Portable Monitors
So, if you are frustrated working on the go (even if you have a great travel laptop) then you are in for a treat. I have spent a few hours or looking for the best portable monitors for your laptop to make your life and work on the go oh so much easier. (You'll love it when you can fit it in your luggage!)
First, I'll show you what makes a good portable monitor, and then we’ll check out the best ones that are currently available (in 2020). Whether you use it as your primary monitor, or a handy secondary portable monitor is up to you.
OUR TOP PICKS
ASUS MB169B+/MB168B USB Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
GeChic On-Lap 1503I Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Elecrow 13.3 Inch Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
EleDuino Portable Gaming Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
AOC e1659Fwu LED Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
GeChic 1503H Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS LED HDMI VGA Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
HP ELiteDisplay G8R65AA#ABA Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
GeChic 1303H 13.3″ 1080p Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
AOC e1759Fwu 17-Inch Portable Monitor
|VIEW ON AMAZON →|
The Best Portable Monitor In 2020
We’re kicking off this review in style, with this 15.6” Asus monitor. It is available in both HD and Full HD resolutions, and you should choose one that is best suitable for your work needs. Just keep in mind that the HD version is about $40 cheaper than the other one.
This portable monitor is equipped with a USB 3.0 port, and you need just one USB cable to get it working. In terms of compatibility, this Asus works with Windows devices that are running Windows 7 or later, and Mac devices with at least OS X 10.8.3 (Mountain Lion). There are some issues with Mac compatibility, but as long as you download the right DisplayLink driver, the screen should work fine with your device.
This Asus USB monitor is incredibly slim, with a thickness of only 8.5 millimeters. And it is also weighs only 1.76 lbs, which makes it one of the lightest portable monitors on the market. Overall, it is one of my top choices, especially when you also consider the price, and everything you get for your money.
A great alternative to this is the Asus Zenscreen Go MB16AHP. It is more expensive, but comes with a USB C and micro-HDMI ports, great viewing angles to make the most of that full HD - 1920 x 1080 display.
This portable monitor is probably the best value for money you can find. It is really affordable and if you’re looking for something under $100, then this is my top recommendation. It has a 15.6” display, with a maximum resolution of 1366x768 (HD). And it requires just one USB cable for both power and video, which makes is ultra portable.
The monitor has built-in speakers, auto brightness control as well as auto rotation. It is also compliant with VESA 75 mm wall mounts, which means that you will be able to mount this on any wall as long as you already have the mount arm and bracket.
There aren’t too many information regarding device compatibility – the manufacturer simply states that the AOC portable monitor is compatible with both Windows and Mac devices. And that you have to install a DisplayLink driver to get it working on a Windows 10. The good news is that a lot of satisfied customers have confirmed that they didn’t have any trouble making this work with their Mac devices – they just had to install the proper drivers.
This particular portable monitor is still pretty lightweight at 2.4 lbs, although not as light as the Asus Zenscreen. But the difference isn’t that big, and it is still light enough to be considered portable. Overall, it might not be the best product you can get, but it is certainly the best in its price range.
If you’re not concerned with the price of portable monitors too much, I suggest you check out the GeChic 1503H. It is one of their newer releases, and it is a very good choice if you don’t mind paying extra for great performance.
This monitor is really lightweight, with only 1.75 lbs. And it is only 1.1 cm thick, which also makes it ultra portable, since the weight and size are our main concerns. It has a 15.6” display with maximum resolution of 1920x1080 (Full HD), which is perfect for a travel monitor.
The GeChic is a great HDMI monitor that also has VGA input ports, which means that there is no need to install drivers. And all the cables can be neatly hidden in the back, so that they don’t bother you while you are working. In addition to that, this screen is compatible with both Mac and Windows devices (that have an HDMI port), as well as all the important gaming consoles – PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch etc.
But, there are a few downsides to this portable monitor. For one thing, the sound quality is disappointing, and some have even described it as horrendous. But you can easily fix that by connecting the monitor to a Bluetooth speaker. Additionally, even though the GeChic does offer the possibility of being vertically mounted, the support of the vertical stand is not the best.
This monitor is very similar to the previous one, but there is a large difference. This particular GeChic features a touchscreen display – a 10-point Multi-Touch capacitive touchscreen, to be more precise. So, if you’re looking for the best portable monitor that comes with a touchscreen, I believe that this is your top choice.
Just like the previous GeChic monitor, it is compatible with both Mac and Windows and most gaming consoles, as well as wireless devices such as Chromebox or Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. And it features HDMI and VGA ports with which you connect it to your device. Just keep in mind that Mac devices are not compatible with the touchscreen function. So, if you’re looking to get a screen for your MacBook, you’re better off getting something else – with this you are just wasting money on a feature that you can’t even use.
The image quality is great, just like you would expect out of a 15.6” monitor with 1920x1080 resolution. The built-in speakers are slightly better than on the previous model, but not by a lot – earphones or a Bluetooth speaker are still a must, if you really need the sound.
The main differences between this touchscreen GeChic and the previous one is in the portability. This particular model is slightly thicker than most portable monitors, coming in at 1.2 cm (just under 1/2 an inch). Additionally, it weighs 2.34 lbs, so it is also heavier than the other GeChic monitor we checked out. But overall, it is a really good product that you will not regret getting.
There comes a moment when you have to decide what is more important – getting one of the really portable monitors, or comprising on the portability aspect in order to get a really large monitor. That is still portable, by the way. And this is the moment, because that’s exactly what this HP monitor is – a slim, affordable 21.5” monitor.
Yes, it is huge. And if that’s what you need, then this is the best portable monitor for you. Keep in mind that this HP is not traditionally portable, but it is very lightweight for a monitor of its size. It weighs only 6.6 lbs, which is actually great – most 21.5” monitors exceed 10 lbs.
Naturally it is a Full HD monitor, with 1920x1080 resolution and 2 million pixels for a crystal clear picture. The image quality is stunning, and the integrated IPS technology also allows for wide viewing angles. VGA, HDCP, and HDMI ports allow you to connect it to your device – be it a Mac or a Windows computer.
The biggest downside of this portable monitor is that it does not have built in speakers, so you will have to get external ones. And keep in mind that even though this is more of a traditional monitor, it is still compatible with your smartphones, as long as you use the right adapters. But if your work requires you to get a large monitor for your laptop that is still somewhat portable, then this is the best option. And it is the most affordable monitor so far, with a really attractive price tag.
If you’re not looking to get a huge monitor, then maybe this one is just right for you. This HP EliteDisplay is a 14” monitor, with a resolution of 1600x900. Unfortunately it is not Full HD, but 720p is still high definition and will give you good image quality.
One upside of this monitor is that it requires a single USB cable to connect to your device. Which also means that you will have to install the right drivers for your device, and that it takes some time to set up the EliteDisplay. But when you manage to get it working, you can expect to see some really crisp colors.
This monitor stands out because of the cover that is integrated in its design. It doubles as a stand, which I find to be very useful. It will not only protect your HP monitor and allow you to just throw it in your bag without worrying about scratches, but it also allows you to set it up wherever and whenever, without having to use any additional props.
It is about 1.3 cm thick and it weighs about 2.75 lbs, which is heavier than most other monitors we checked out. But it is still pretty light, especially when you consider that those 2.75 lbs also account for the weight of the cover. And one more thing – this HP monitor is not officially compatible with Mac devices. But you could get it to work on your Mac, if you install the proper drivers. However, I cannot guarantee that.
If you are used to smaller screens and are looking for a 13.3” monitor, then definitely consider getting this one. It is extremely lightweight at only 1.41 lbs, it has built-in speakers and the image quality is amazing. The Elecrow portable monitor is a great choice for gaming, because it has Full HD resolution (1920X1080) and a response time of only 5 ms – the fastest so far.
This monitor features several different ports – USB and HDMI ports, as well as a earphone jack (3.5 mm) and a separate power port. Now, that means that you will need at least two things to get it working – an HDMI cable to connect it to your device and an adapter that will supply it with power. So it is slightly less portable than a monitor that works with just one cable.
But that also means that it is compatible with basically any device that has an HDMI output. Windows, Mac, Linux, PS 4, Xbox – you name it. Additionally, the Elecrow also comes with metal rack in the box, which I am not a fan of. But at least it is compliant with VESA 75 wall mounts. And at 1.5 cm, it is the thickest monitor in this review so far.
Overall, this a good monitor if you’re looking for something smaller. You will have excellent image quality, 170 degree viewing angles, and it is easy to set up because you don’t have to install any drivers. Plus it is not heavy and it’s under $150, so it’s quite a bargain.
GeChic is really popular in this particular market because they have such a wide array of products. So, I have to include at least one other portable monitor of theirs – this time a 13.3” one. And just like the other two GeChics, this portable monitor has built in speakers, HDMI and VGA input ports and an incredibly compact and light design.With only 1.32 lbs, it is the lightest monitor so far.
It’s compatible with Mac, Windows and various gaming consoles– basically, if your device has an HDMI output, you will be able to connect it to this GeChic monitor. And when you do so, you will get great image quality, since it features Full HD resolution. You can also adjust the colors and brightness of the screen however you like, which is a big plus.
The monitor comes with a USB C cable to get it working, and even a micro HDMI adapter so that you can connect it to your DSLR. In addition to that, you will also get an aluminum stand in the box.
However, this monitor does have the same issue as the previous two GeChics – lousy sound quality. But you can always play the sound from your laptop, or connect it to an external speaker to get a better listening experience. And at least you don’t have to bother with any drivers – because it uses an HDMI input, this monitor powers up as soon as you plug it into your device.
Would you like a portable gaming monitor with a 2K resolution for under $125? If the answer is yes, then this is the monitor for you. The EleDuino is a 10.1” portable monitor that weighs mere 0.77 lbs. The 2560X1600 resolution will give you excellent image quality, and crisp and bright colors.
In general, smaller monitors have the advantage of using little electricity. Which basically means that you power them up with a power bank or even your phone’s charger. And you might just be forced to use it, since you do not get a charger for this portable monitor – just a power cable. Which would be fine if the EleDuino required only the single cable but it doesn’t; you will need to use the HDMI adapter to connect it to your device. But at least that means that it’s compatible with pretty much any device you could think of – that has an HDMI output, of course.
This portable gaming monitor is equipped with two built in speakers, which give you decent sound quality. If you’re not satisfied with it, you can always plug in your headphones or external speakers into the headphone port.
The downside? If you’re using it as a dedicated gaming monitor, it is pretty small. Sure, it’s larger than your smartphone and tablet, but if you’ve ever tried gaming on an 11” laptop, you’ll know what I’m talking about. However, if you are using this as a second monitor for a laptop, then the size is pretty decent. In addition to that, you don’t really get a lot of items in the box. Neither a stand nor a cover is included in the purchase, and you would have to purchase those separately.
One of the first featured products in this review was an AOC portable monitor. And this one is very similar to it, with the largest difference being in the size of the screen. This particular monitor features a 17.3” screen with a 1600 x 900 resolution. And it is large enough to be your only monitor, which I absolutely love.
Additionally, if you already own a 17” laptop, this would make a great second display and allow you to really personalize your display setup. And in terms of portability, this AOC monitor weighs only 2.8 lbs,which is great considering its size. But it is on the bulkier side, with a thickness of 1.8 cm.
This monitor features a USB 3.0portand it requires just the one cable for both device connectivity and power supply. Which also means that you have to install the proper drivers for your device. But if you manage to do that, you should not experience any issues with its performance. And the AOC portable monitor iscompatible with both Windows and Mac devices, along with your smartphones and various gaming consoles.
A really cool thing about this monitor is that it has a built in flexi stand, which will hold it in place both horizontally and vertically. One other thing to note is that, although it may appear like a really attractive gaming monitor due to its size, it has a response time of 10 ms. That is too slow for some more demanding games, and you will experience mouse lag. But if you want to use it for work or for other purposes, you will barely notice it.
What Makes A Good Portable Monitor?
There are a few things that you want to have in a really good portable monitor. So, let's break it down to help you make the best buying decision.
Size (Well, duh!)
First of all, it needs to be large enough so that you can work properly. Especially if you own a 11” or a 13” laptop – you will want to get a monitor that is larger than that. Otherwise, what’s the point, right?
Keep in mind that although bigger is better, it also needs to still be portable. So have a think about what kind of bag, purse or backpack you are going to be carrying it around in. What size laptop can that fit for example? No idea? Check out the product page from the manufacturer and look for the internal length/width or any mention of laptop sizes. Worst case, send them an email.
Weight (Do You Want To Carry That Much Weight?)
It needs to be lightweight, of course!
If you’re dragging around a 10lb monitor, you might as take your desktop computer with you, right?
A really good travel monitor should weigh less than 3lbs. That way, it will be easy to carry around, and it won’t add too much weight to your luggage, which is quite important for air travel. Especially if you want to avoid any overweight baggage fees.
Even if you are never going on a plane with it, imagine adding a large rock to your bag every time you head out the door to work! The lighter that rock (your new portable monitor) is the better, right?
But if you're looking to get a really large monitor, you will have to compromise on its weight. On top of that, you will struggle to find a true "portable" monitor that is 20" or bigger. It kind of defeats the purpose. But you can find a regular monitor that is extremely slim and lightweight.
Connections (Does It Work With Your Gear?)
It should also be easy to connect to your laptop, preferably with a regular USB port. That will allow you to pack lighter, since you won’t have to take five different cables that your ‘portable’ monitor requires. I’m mostly talking about HDMI cables – because they’re long, bulky and not at all practical.
If you own a MacBook Air, you don’t even have an HDMI port and getting a monitor with one would be a waste of money. However, there are certain advantages to a monitor with HDMI input, for one there is no need for drivers. So this one is up to you - you might want a monitor that can work with just one cable, but it's a bit more difficult to set up, or a monitor that requires a few more cables, but requires nothing other than them.
The Other Specs (Is It Good Enough?)
And since we’re more about travel than about tech, that’s what we will be focusing on in this particular review. You should also pay attention to the general specs of the monitors that are featured in this review –
So, with all of that in mind, I think you now have a pretty good overview of what your ultimate portable monitor should look like. And I’m sure that you’ll love at least one of these top ten portable monitors in 2020!
What's The Best Portable Monitor For You?
So out of all these monitors, what are your top choices? That slightly depends on what you need the monitor for. And that’s how we’re going to rank them
If you’re just looking for the most portable monitor ever, one that you can carry in your purse or in your hands because it’s so small and lightweight, I would suggest the EleDuino 10” Portable Gaming Monitor. With a weight of only 0.77 lbs it is definitely the winner in this category. And it has excellent image quality, with a 2K resolution. The only downside is that you don’t really get anything except the monitor and a couple of cables, but that’s not a big deal considering the price.
- This 10.1 Inch TFT Screen Monitor With 2560x1600 Resolution, 1000:1 Contrast Ratio ,aspect ratio: 16: 10 viewwing You A Crystal-Clear Viewing Experience Of All Your Content .
- Portable & Mini Size：This Small Monitor Only Weight 0.75lb/0.35Kg, 10MM Thin Super Slim Design Convenient For You To Carry It In Your Handbag And Take Use
- USB 5 V Powered, Low Power Consumption, You Can Powered Via On Lap USB Or Power Bank ，Energy Efficient，About Peak Power Consumption 9w
- 400 Cd /M2 Brightness,Outdoor Readable ,Ips Full Angle
- OSD Customize Parameter,Support multi-Languauge
If you are in need of a good, gaming monitor, I have to recommend the Elecrow 13.3 Inch Portable Monitor. It is by far the best one for gaming because it has the quickest response time – only 5 ms. Additionally, the monitor has Full HD resolution, it is compatible with all devices that have an HDMI output and it is still really portable since it weighs less than 1.5 lbs. Pretty much the only downside is that you won’t have instructions on how to set it up, but I’m sure you can figure that out yourself. And if not, Google is your best friend.
- 1. 【13.3" 1080P Monitor】Elecrow 13.3-inch portable monitor features an IPS screen with a resolution of 1920x1080, brings clear and beautiful color images, and a wide viewing angle. It is extremely lightweight at only 1.41 lbs and with durable aluminum material design.
- 2. 【Compatible Multiple Devices】This HDMI portable monitor can work is compatible with most devices that has an HDMI output like Windows PC, Raspberry Pi, game console.
- 3. 【Plug & Play】Simply connect your devices to this portable monitor Mini HDMI port and power it through power adapter or USB port.
- 4. 【Dual speakers】Equiped with built-in high-quality loudspeakers and a 3.5mm stereo-out jack which can be connected to external speakers or headphones.
- 5. 【You will get】 This portable computer display comes with 13.3 inch HDMI monitor x 1, 5V/2A Power adapter x 1, HDMI to Mini HDMI cable x 1, Metal Rack x 1
In terms of touchscreen monitors, we only reviewed one here. That’s because they aren’t really compatible with Mac devices, since OS X doesn’t work on a touchscreen. But if you’re dead-set on getting a portable touchscreen monitor, then the GeChic On-Lap 1503I Portable Monitoris the best choice for you. It’s sleek, lightweight and has Full HD resolution. Just be prepared to invest in a pair of external speakers, because the sound quality of the monitor is pretty disappointing.
- PORTABLE TOUCH MONITOR: 15. 6", 1080P Full HD, IPS monitor with HDMI, VGA, USB inputs
- SENSITIVE PROJECTIVE CAPACITIVE TOUCH SCREEN: supports ten-finger multi-touch and Windows 8. 1/10 touch gestures for perfect digital interaction
- LIGHTWEIGHT: monitor weights only 1064g with 1. 2cm in thickness
- REAR DOCK PORT EXPANSION: provides you the connectivity on the back side of monitor and keep your total solution simpler
- WIDE ANGLE: 170 degree vertical and horizontal viewing angle, LED Backlight Exquisite Brightness
And last but definitely not the least, is a monitor that I consider to be the best value for money and just the overall best package. It is the ASUS MB169B+/MB168B USB Portable Monitor. It is slim, lightweight, affordable and you only need one USB cable to get it working. Of course, that also means that you have to install the proper DisplayLink drivers, but that’s just a couple minutes of your time (if you know what you’re doing). Plus it has a protective case that doubles as a stand, which will definitely come in handy.
- 15.6-inch HD portable USB-powered monitor with a single USB 3.0 cable for power and data transmission
- World’s slimmest and lightest USB monitor with a sleek and metallic finish.It needs just one USB cable for both its video signal and power to deliver up to a Full HD resolution.
- Auto-rotating display bundled with the ASUS Smart Case – a two-way adjustable stand and protective sleeve
- ASUS Rapid Replacement: 3 Years Warranty, 2 way free shipping. Never try to open this USB monitor cabinet
- Blue Light Filter – blue light filter minimizes blue light to reduce eyestrain. Please refer the User Manual before use. Adjust the brightness settings via OSD
And those are my top choices. Of course, you should still get the monitor that you loved at first sight – all of the ones that we checked out in this review are the best that Amazon has to offer. So go ahead and check them out there, compare the prices – that’s usually one factor that most people aren’t willing to compromise on.