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best portable monitor

The Best Portable Monitors in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Portable monitors make your work a lot easier when you are on the move. Without adding a lot of weight, you can use a portable screen to increase your productivity and get better results. The handy screens are also popular for entertainment during a trip.

Our large portable monitor test should help you to find the best portable monitor for you. We’ll answer the typical questions you ask yourself before you buy. In order to support you as well as possible in your decision, we present the essential purchase criteria in this article.

  • A portable monitor is basically a secondary screen for your laptop. Unlike the more popular desk version, this version is mobile and is perfect for on the go.
  • The low weight is a special plus point for all digital nomads whose office can be anywhere in the world and who have to carry their equipment around with them all the time.
  • With the right connections, you can connect a portable monitor to a wide variety of control devices. From smartphones to tablets to laptops, to Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo Switch, everything is possible.

Best Portable Monitors

Best Portable Monitor for Home Office

 Our Pick
Asus ZenScreen MB16AC
6,590 Reviews
Asus ZenScreen MB16AC
  • 15.6” FHD IPS USB Type-C portable monitor with hybrid…
  • Ultra-portable award-winning design at 1.7 pounds and 0.3…
  • Smart cover and smart pen hole allow for landscape and…
  • ASUS Eye Care technology with TUV Rheinland-certified…
  • Easily toggle through advanced display settings with the…

This USB charging cable scores thanks to its wide range of compatibility. Because countless devices are compatible with this USB charging cable.

Another big plus point of this charging cable is its durability. The aluminum connector and the nylon cable guarantee a perfect connection and data transmission.

Best Portable Monitor for Gaming

 Our Pick
Portable Monitor - UPERFECT 15.6
256 Reviews
Portable Monitor – UPERFECT 15.6
  • 💝【100% DCI-P3 and 99% Adobe RGB】With 100% DCI-P3 and…
  • 💝【500 Nits BRIGHTNESS HDR IPS SCREEN】UPERFECT FHD…
  • 💝【LIGHTWEIGHT & FRAMELESS】UPERFECT portable screen…
  • 💝【PLUG & DISPLAY】UPERFECT portable monitor for…
  • 💝【BUILT-IN 2W SPEAKERS】UPERFECT portable display is…

The portable monitor from Uperfect is the Amazon Choice product in this category. Full HD resolution and HDR support combined with a fast response time ensure a great gaming experience. Thanks to various connections, the screen is compatible with laptops, cell phones, tablets or game consoles. For transport, the display is equipped with a protective cover that also serves as a stand. Alternatively, a Vesa mount can also be attached.

The wide range of possible uses is particularly popular with customers. The quality of the display in terms of color rendering and contrasts is also described as better than average.

Best Lightweight Portable Monitor for Frequent Travelers

 Our Pick
Portable Monitor - Lepow 15.6 Inch
9,368 Reviews
Portable Monitor – Lepow 15.6 Inch
  • [FHD 1080P IPS Screen] Lepow USB C 1920*1080 portable…
  • [Versatile Digital Connectivity] Mini HDMI & USB C ports…
  • [Stand Cover & Screen Protector] Lepow have added a smart…
  • [Slim, Light Weight & Portable] With a slim 0.3-inch profile…
  • [Dual Speakers & HDR Mode ] 2 built-in speakers efficiently…

At only 770 g, the Lepow portable monitor is a real lightweight. With a screen of 15.6 inches, full HD resolution, all common connections and integrated speakers, it is suitable for presentations, games, videos and computer work.

The simultaneous power supply and data transmission with just one USB cable works very well, according to customers. The user-friendliness and the quality of the display are also praiseworthy. If you are looking for a lightweight portable monitor with good image quality, you should take a closer look at this model.

FAQ's: Portable Monitors

What is a portable monitor?

A portable monitor is a lightweight, portable screen that can be used in addition to a laptop or smartphone. Due to its compactness, it is suitable for everyone who needs a second screen on the go.

Cable connections ensure power supply and data transmission, which means that a mobile monitor can be connected quickly and easily and used anywhere.

The second screen makes it easier to work on the go and can thus improve efficiency. For this reason, portable monitors are particularly suitable for business travelers or digital nomads who do not have a permanent office.

But you can also use a portable monitor for mobile entertainment. Many models can also be connected to a smartphone. Instead of the small phone screen, you can enjoy movies or games on a larger display. You can also connect consoles directly to the portable display and play on the go.

For what purpose do you need a portable monitor?

As already mentioned above, portable monitors are suitable for all kinds of different activities. Before choosing one of these portable screens, you should be aware of the purpose for which you plan to use it. The following list shows you what to look out for depending on the purpose.

Working on the go
Basically, you can use all common models for this purpose. Make sure, however, that the monitor can also be connected to your laptop (or smartphone).

Image editing
Graphic designers and anyone else who needs to edit images should focus more on the color contrasts of the monitor. IPS panel technologies are recommended in this regard, as they produce a high-contrast display with stable viewing angles.

Portable gaming monitor
One fact to keep in mind when making a purchase decision is that the main focus of these portable monitors is their portability. So it may well be that you have to make a few compromises in terms of technical performance. Model with TN panel technology enables relatively short response times of approx. 25 ms.

Of course, there are no set rules as to how you can use which monitor. However, it makes sense to look at the corresponding technical properties before buying. You can find out more about this in the Purchase Criteria section.

What alternatives are there to portable monitors?

If you already have a newer tablet or iPad, you can use it as an external portable monitor.

Allows both duplicating and expanding screen use

To do this, you need the Twomon SE app on both the computer and the tablet. You can download it from the App Store. Then you connect the computer to your tablet with a USB cable.

Advantages

  • You don’t have to buy a new device
  • Own battery
  • Touch screen

Disadvantages

  • (Mostly) quite small screen
  • quality

Portable Monitors: Purchase Criteria

In the next part we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the multitude of possible portable monitors.

The criteria by which you can compare the mobile screens with one another include:

  • Height & Weight
  • Power supply
  • Resolution of the display
  • Connections and compatibility

In the next few paragraphs we will explain to you what you should pay attention to with regard to the individual criteria.

Height & Weight

The common portable monitors have a screen size between 11 and 17 inches. But there are also both smaller and larger versions. Think about how big the monitor can be so that it still fits in your pocket.

The great advantage of portable monitors is their low weight. Many models are even less than 1 kg. Of course, weight and size are always related. It is therefore important to find the best compromise between compactness and utility for you.

According to the principle: small and light as possible, but as big as necessary.

These two criteria are particularly important to consider if you travel light and fly often. Of course, you want to have to carry as little weight as possible with you.

Power supply

As a rule, portable monitors draw their power from the laptop to which they are connected. However, there are also some models that have an integrated battery.

This has the advantage that you can basically use it longer without charging the laptop. However, a battery makes itself felt in the weight, which in turn can be unfavorable. So if you have a laptop with a strong battery, you can do without a battery in your second screen.

Resolution of the display

The current models are HD capable, which corresponds to a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This should normally be enough for most work. If you are looking for a particularly cheap variant and a lower resolution is sufficient, look at models with 1366 x 768 pixels.

If you need a particularly good resolution, look for 4K-capable devices. There are also these, but they are quite expensive. But you will also be rewarded with great pictures. The high resolution is particularly suitable for gamers or graphic designers.

Connections and compatibility

Most portable monitors only have two or three connections. This means that before you buy, you should consider which ones you need so that your device is compatible with the monitor. The common connections include Type-C USB, (Mini) HDMI and Mini DP. Most devices also have headphone connections.

Especially if you are planning to connect a game console to the mobile monitor, you should find out which connections are used to transmit the video signals.

It is best to read through which connection cables are included so that you can do without an adapter if possible.

Another aspect of compatibility is your laptop’s operating system. Inquire about the system requirements in advance to avoid negative surprises.

Facts about Portable Monitors

Why does my portable monitor have no signal?

There are several reasons why a portable monitor might not get a signal.

Wrong connection
Since most connections are “mini” or “micro”, it is easy to mix up them. For example, the micro DP also fits into the micro HDMI port, but this cannot establish a connection. Make sure you have the correct cable plugged into the correct port.

Loose contact
If you are using the correct cable and still no connection is made, check whether the cable is firmly seated in the connection socket or is wobbling. Try to get it into a position where it can connect.

Malfunction
A defective cable or broken connections also prevent transmission. In these cases you will unfortunately have to get a new cable or have your screen repaired.

Settings
Apart from the wrong or defective cable or connection, a missing signal can also be due to the setting of the portable monitor. In some cases you have to change the input source in the settings. Either you use the automatic search or you switch directly to the desired connection.

What accessories and additional equipment are there for portable monitors?

So that you can use your portable monitor, it should of course have a stand or something similar. Make sure that it is stable and does not tip over with the slightest movement.

If you also want to use the mobile monitor at home, you can consider buying a wall bracket with it. Many models are compatible with the well-known Vesa brackets. The advantage of this is that these brackets have joints and thus enable ergonomic work.

Many manufacturers combine a protective cover with a holder

An additional protective screen cover can be useful if you travel a lot and also work outside more often. Custom-fit protective cases, in which the screen is optimally protected, are more effective than the common integrated covers.

For real gaming fans, for example, there are also portable monitors that are already integrated in a case. In this case there is additional space for your game console and its accessories.

How can I build a portable monitor myself?

DIYs are currently all the rage. So why not build a portable second screen for your laptop yourself?

A DIY portable monitor can cost under US$40

With a bit of technical and manual skills and the right instructions, you can create your own personal mobile monitor. You can find various instructions for portable monitor DIYs on the Internet. On the one hand, you can save old laptops from being scrapped and, on the other hand, you get a cheap alternative for a second screen. But be careful: even if it sounds simple at first glance, you are still working with electronics. Every part that is not properly processed represents a potential source of danger!

The following list should give you a rough overview of what you need for such a project. For a detailed list of the materials and where you can buy them, it is best to follow the respective instructions:

  • An (old) screen
  • A controller board with all the desired connections
  • connection cable
  • Materials of your choice for the frame and covers
  • In addition, tools for (dis) assembling the individual parts

There are different ideas, so take a look around until you find something you like. There are also some creative ideas regarding the design and there are no limits to your imagination.

Last product update on 2021-10-23 | Source: Amazon Affiliate