Whether you want to hook up your gaming console for a Call of Duty session on the road or you want to expand the screen size of your mobile workstation, one of the portable monitors on our list is sure to do the trick. These need little more than a power cord and an HDMI cable to give you a second high-resolution display, and some can do it all over a single USB connection.
10. GeChic 1503E Portable Monitors
Promising plug-and-play compatibility with Windows 10, the GeChic 1503E includes a 3.5-millimeter audio jack and a USB Type-C port for power. It accepts digital and VGA inputs via the mini HDMI interface and rests on a plastic folding stand.
- Relatively durable construction
- Bezel is pretty thick
- Rather bulky design overall
9. Johnwill 4K Portable Monitors
Compared to most, the Johnwill 4K’s 18.4-inch screen is absolutely massive. Though it is large, its UHD image is sharp and clear, and its built-in speakers and 1,000:1 native contrast ratio add to the experience, making it a good choice for watching movies.
- Made of durable machined aluminum
- One-year warranty
- Not super portable due to its size
8. G-Story 173H Portable Monitors
Thanks to a 120-hertz refresh rate, the G-Story 173H can produce buttery-smooth video when connected to the right source. As long as your mobile device can transmit data over its USB-C port, this one is a great option for playing many of the best Android titles.
- Covers the entire srgb gamut
- Blue light filter combats eyestrain
- One of the most expensive choices
7. Elecrow IPS Portable Monitors
While it’s not the sleekest option around, the Elecrow IPS is a grab-and-go display that uses so little power, it can be driven by a simple micro USB connector. It comes with a full-size to mini-HDMI adapter cable and a convenient metal stand.
- Great for use with the raspberry pi
- Stereo speakers
- A relatively affordable choice
6. Asus ZenScreen Portable Monitors
The Asus ZenScreen is one of the most popular models, and comes from a well-known manufacturer of portable computing hardware. It’s just a touch over a quarter-inch thick and features a flicker-free operation with a blue light filter to minimize eye fatigue.
- Energy star certified
- 60-hertz refresh rate
- Works with most operating systems
5. G-Story 133QR Portable Monitors
Thanks to its crisp 1440p panel with 13.3 inches of real estate, the G-Story 133QR delivers an even sharper picture than many 4K displays. It uses a full-size HDMI plug, and is also compatible with Alt Mode over Type-C video transmission.
- One usb type-a port
- Amd freesync variable refresh rate
- One-year warranty
4. Johnwill CNC Portable Monitors
Available in three models ranging from 11.6 to 15.6 inches, the Johnwill CNC has a rugged brushed-aluminum body that can stand up to more abuse than most. It covers just about the entire sRGB color gamut and boasts a full high-definition resolution.
- Wide viewing angle
- Dual mini-hdmi ports
- 12-volt power adapter
3. UPerfect 13.3″ Portable Monitors
At under half an inch thick and weighing exactly one pound, the UPerfect 13.3″ is easy to stash in a bag or laptop case for use on the road. It is equipped with a hole in the corner in which you can insert a pen to serve as a handy stand.
- Accepts dc or usb-c power
- Excellent dynamic contrast
- 1920 by 1080 resolution
2. MageDok T116D Portable Monitors
One of the most capable models on the market, the MageDok T116D boasts a responsive touchscreen, an average brightness of 400 nits, and support for HDR content. Not only is it a high-performing piece of equipment, it also doesn’t cost as much as many others.
- 1000 to 1 contrast ratio
- 10-point multi-touch screen
- 15-inch model also available
1. G-Story UHD Portable Monitors
If you want a crisp and smooth picture when you’re on the move, check out the G-Story UHD , which looks every bit as good as many desktop models. Its HDR compatibility is great for watching films and its FreeSync technology eliminates stuttering when used with the Xbox One.
- Two stereo audio jacks
- Dual hdmi inputs
- Usb type-a and c ports
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PORTABLE MONITOR
Portable displays that you pair with a laptop aren’t a new phenomenon, but in the last year or two, they have come into their own. Many of the major monitor manufacturers have at least one in their repertoire, and new models are appearing more regularly than ever. Whether you want to add a second screen for giving presentations to small groups, view two programs open full-screen at once, enhance your portable gaming system, or touch up your designs with a stylus, mobile monitors of different sizes, styles, and paradigms are ready to serve.
Why all of these panels, all of a sudden? The widespread adoption of USB Type-C connectivity—with its ability to transfer power, data, and video over a single cable—has been a godsend for the growth of portable displays. They no longer need a dedicated AC adapter for juice (though some do come with one as an option), and many have just a single USB-C port that handles all the connectivity, though some add HDMI or other connectors.
What Qualifies as a Portable Monitor?
Many smaller desktop displays can be taken on the road in a pinch, but “true” portable monitors are those specifically sold as such. Even those range quite a bit in size: from 3.5 inches to 22 inches. Portable displays run the gamut from personal, business, and general-purpose models to panels for artists and gamers.