The Best Portable Laptop Monitors [February 2020]
Your laptop’s screen is already likely fairly impressive. Even the Google Chromebook screens have come a long way since their humble inception—making it easier than ever to enjoy quality viewing on the go. But even the best laptop screens aren’t that large, and lots of us need a bit more screen size regardless of whether we’re traveling for work or play. Whether you’re looking to add another twelve inches to your viewing experience in order to balance spreadsheets or play your favorite game, it rarely hurts to have an external monitor.
Of course the reason why laptops are so popular is because of their compact size, which allows you to toss them in your bag at a moment’s notice—meaning larger monitors are an impractical choice for almost all types of travel. That’s why more and more companies are releasing portable laptop monitors that let you double your screen size without weighing down your luggage, and we’ve rounded up some of the best ones right here. Whether you want the sharpest, clearest image or a budget display that lets you expand your workstation, these are the best portable laptop monitors you can buy right now.
Although there are plenty of factors to consider when deciding on which portable laptop monitor is going to be the best fit for your specific lifestyle, the three most important variables are clearly screen size, screen quality, and cost. This Lepow monitor checks off all of these boxes with ease, thanks to a beautiful and lightweight screen and a price tag that won’t break the bank.
Boasting a full 1080p HD display and 1920 x 1080 resolution, this screen is ideal for both business trips and gaming, thanks to a wide viewing angle and connectivity options that make it easy to quickly plug-in on the go. The IPS screen delivers a supremely crisp image and color reproduction for a monitor in this price range, and you’ll be able to adjust a wide range of contrast parameters to fit your specific needs and vision requirements.
Compatible with everything from laptops and PCs to iPhones and gaming consoles, this screen allows you to quickly and easily connect your chosen device via a type-C or mini-HDMI port in order to deliver business presentations, play games, stream videos and more. You also get a Smart Cover and screen protector that’s made with a durable PU leather exterior, and a soft lining on the inside ensures that your monitor’s screen stays safe at all times. This screen is also incredibly lightweight and portable, with a slim 0.3-inch profile and a weight of just 1.76 pounds.
With a three-year warranty, along with generous tech support on the off-chance you need to use it, it’s easy to recommend this as our top pick, without having to worry about reliability.
- Great picture quality
- Included stand
- Three year warranty included
- A bit on the expensive side
- No-name brand
If you’re looking to spend as little cash as possible, you need to take a look at this monitor from AOC. This model costs significantly less than our top pick, but runs at a resolution of 720p as opposed to full-HD like the Lepow above. It’s a tradeoff and the choice is yours alone to make, but if you’re looking for a simple external monitor for fast plug-and-play work or gaming, we suggest giving this screen a serious look.
It comes with a 16-inch display that delivers a 16:9 aspect ratio, along with a somewhat low maximum resolution of 1366 x 768. You also get a 500:1 contrast ratio and an 8ms response time, and you’ll be able to string multiple monitors together in order to create a multi-function monitor system for your PC or Mac. After installing the Display Link software on your OS, all you have to do is connect via USB in order to avoid third-party hardware and adapters.
This screen is also fully USB-powered (meaning you won’t have to worry about cumbersome and obnoxious power cables), and a foldable Flexi-stand allows you to switch between portrait and landscape mode in seconds.
- Built-in stand
- 720p resolution
- Doesn't use USB-C
When it comes to crafting reliable and affordable pieces of tech, ASUS reigns supreme. This tiny-yet-mighty monitor boasts a 15.6-inch HD screen that can be powered with a simple USB 3.0 connection, and you’ll be able to use the auto-rotating display to dial-in your perfect viewing settings in any environment. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the famed ASUS Smart Case, which acts as both a two-way adjustable stand and protective sleeve for travel.
There’s a specialized Blue Light filter that minimizes light from certain ends of the spectrum in order to reduce eyestrain, and you’ll be able to alter a wide range of brightness and contrast settings via OSD. This monitor is also supremely simple to use straight out of the box, so you won’t need to worry about wading through monotonous user manuals in order to start enjoying your addition screen.
- Name-brand monitor
- Specialized blue light filter
- 720p display
- Doesn't use USB-C
If you love ASUS as much as we do and you’re willing to pay a little more money for a little more quality, check out this portable monitor that offers a slew of features that help reduce eye fatigue after long viewing sessions. It comes with a 15.6-inch FHD display with a simple hybrid signal solution that offers compatibility with USB Type-C and Type-A sources, and since it weighs only 1.7 pounds you’ll be able to toss it in your bag without issue.
It comes with a Smart Cover and smart pen hole that allows you to easily switch between landscape and portrait orientations with auto-correction, and you’ll be able to take advantage of the Eye Care technology that delivers TUV Rheinland-certified flicker-free backlighting and blue light filters that minimize eye fatigue. It even features a touchscreen as long as you connect over USB-C.
- Much more premium
- 1080p display
- Some reports of fragility
A favorite on Amazon, this full HD display is somehow supremely bright without hurting the eyes, and works well with USB type-C and type-A laptops, iPhones, and gaming consoles. You get flexible ratios and dual-side sliding features, and you have the option between a full 270-degree rotation or working within 180-degree presentation mode—allowing you to choose your optimum viewing angle for any situation.
The setup also couldn’t be easier since there’s no software or third-party hardware to get started as long as you’re working with the right connections, and you’ll be able to place magnetic adhesives on your laptop if you want to connect the monitor directly. And like all of the external monitors on this list, this intrepid screen is extremely portable, thanks to a slim design of 0.48 inches and a weight of just 1.6 pounds.
- 1080p display
- Hooks onto your laptop
- Very expensive
- Doesn't include a touchscreen like the Asus model above
Ideal for gaming fanatics but equally well-suited for on-the-go business pros, this external monitor offers an HD display and allows you to connect to your devices via HDMI—a major plus for those of us who aren’t big fans of the USB-C connection. You also get smart desktop compatibility (meaning you won’t have to worry about obnoxious software installations), and the 15.6-inch screen is wide enough to be used for everything from gaming to presentations.
This monitor also comes with a bracket that makes it easy to hang.
- Most affordable 1080p model
- USB-C included
- Still not as cheap as the 720p devices
- No-name brand