10 Best Portable Monitors (USB Powered) for Laptop and Gaming

Best Portable Monitor

If you travel frequently, have limited desk space or just want more screen real-estate, a portable monitor is what you need. The same goes if you’re an avid gamer, have a profession that needs the use of multiple screens- like designing, editing, trading, etc. or need a more practical screen to use with your smartphone.

There are a lot of options out there but choosing the best one isn’t easy.

Here, we present to you the best portable monitor which work well with laptops, PCs, Android phones and also gaming consoles.

Buying a monitor is a good choice especially if you plan to use it for either gaming, media consumption or for video editing. 

 


Top Pick 

The GeChic 1303i is undoubtedly an excellent choice you can get your hands on, today. Although priced on the higher side, it is easily justified by the rich feature set which includes an IPS display with a 1920x1080p resolution and a premium design. The monitor can have excellent color reproduction and can reach brightness as high as 250 nits. And if you are a Windows 10 user, you will be happy to know that it supports 10-point multi-touch. Pretty cool, right?

The monitor has got you covered in the connectivity department too. It features  HDMI, VGA and Aux-In ports. It also comes with an inbuilt speaker which is a great addition especially while you are traveling. 


Best Portable Monitor for Laptop

If you are looking for a monitor specifically for your laptop, you may want to have a look at the Asus ZenScreen monitor. The monitor recently won the Innovation Award in CES 2018 and it’s easy to see why. It packs in all the bells and whistles you will ever want in an external monitor, and then some. The best feature of this monitor has to be the use of the single USB-C port which is used both for powering and transmitting data between the monitor and the computer.

The 15.6-inch display produces accurate colors and the response time is also above average. More importantly, it also features a blue light filter which minimizes eye fatigue and preserves eye health in the long term. It’s an IPS LCD Panel with an excellent viewing angle and good outdoor visibility. Users constantly on the move will like that it is ultra-portable, weighing a nifty 1.7 pounds and just 0.3-inch thick. 


Best Gaming Portable Monitor

The GeChic 1504H is the monitor we recommend if you are serious about gaming. Albeit expensive, it impressed us with the varied selection of ports and excellent color reproduction it offers.

The IPS Full HD monitor also features a USB-C connector which lets you connect it to gaming consoles with a single cable. It gets a host of ports including an HDMI port, a VGA port and also a rear port connector that allows wires to be hidden in the rear side of the monitor.

What’s more? The GeChic 1504H comes with a detachable stand which allows you to either position the monitor vertically or horizontally.  


1. GeChic 1303i 13.3-inch 1080p

The GeChic 1303i is one of the most versatile monitors out there. It has both VGA and HDMI ports but also includes an AUX port to connect an external speaker or a headphone. But you may not really need to use it that often as the monitor already comes with an excellent pair of speakers built-in.

For an asking price north of $300, you will want a product that is well constructed and packed with features; and the 1303i doesn’t disappoint. The company decided to use a high-quality Full HD IPS display which can be viewed even in broad daylight. The panel can reach brightness as high as 250 nits which is really good for a monitor. Sure, you might have seen phones with 700 nits of brightness but let’s be real, you are not really going to use your monitor in the broad daylight.

What’s more? The monitor supports 10-point touchscreen input which works great on the Windows 10. But that’s not the only use case. You can lay in down on a table and use it as a tablet for either typing or even drawing. And the fact that it is a capacitive display means that you can use the third-party stylus to be even more precise with your input.

A high-quality stand is also included in the box which lets you position the monitor horizontally. Besides, the company has thrown in a full-size HDMI to Micro-HDMI cable in the box, along with a 5V/2A adapter.

Despite these killer specs, the best feature of this monitor has to be the fact that it is USB powered. Sure, it uses two USB ports instead of one, but it’s good to know that you really don’t need to hug the wall in order to use the monitor. 

Pros:

  • 10-point multi-touch input
  • The inclusion of a case
  • High-quality IPS Panel
  • USB charging

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No USB-C Port


2. ViewSonic TD2430 24-inch 1080p Best Portable USB Monitor

Portable Monitor

ViewSonic has been making monitors for over 30 years now and they have a proven track record of producing high-quality devices that last a very long time. The ViewSonic TD2430 monitor continues in the same vein, a sturdy build quality with 3 years of warranty.

It has a 24-inch touch-enabled display which doesn’t quite fall in the portable category but it’s well suited for productivity purposes. It uses an IPS panel and has a screen resolution of 1920x1080p. There’s HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and VGA Input for connectivity. So whether you have got a Mac, a PC or any gaming console including last-gen gaming consoles, you are covered.

The ViewSonic TD2430 uses a scratch-resistant glass and also supports 10-point input, making it lucrative for designers and creatives. When you connect the monitor to a PC, you basically have a huge tablet which you can use for drawing, designing and even playing games.

The freestanding table design lets you either position the monitor on the table, on a stand vertically or positions it horizontally. We tested it on Mac, PC as well as on the PS4 Pro and the monitor worked great. The built-in stereo speakers also provide a decent amount of punch.

Pros:

  • 3-year warranty
  • 24-inch display for those who need more
  • 10-point multi-touch input
  • Good construction
  • Has all the necessary ports

Cons:

  • Large size may not be for everyone
  • Dull Design

3. GeChic 1503H 15.6-inch IPS 1080p

This is another excellent GeChic monitor. The 1503H has a 15.6-inch IPS display, the same size as that of a standard laptop with a full-size keyboard. It’s designed to a cater to the needs of people who are always on the go. It’s powered by USB and has HDMI and VGA port for input.

The monitor works great with a laptop, a desktop PC, Amazon Fire TV, PS4 and the Xbox One. We also tried it on the latest iMac Pro and it worked without any hiccups. Weighing in at 1.75lbs with a thickness of 1.1cm, you will love the fact that it is very portable. It is light and consumes very little electricity. The monitor can easily fit in a backpack and doesn’t add in significant weight either.

For those who are looking for a minimalistic and clean design, this monitor has to be the one for you. But the monitor isn’t without its flaws. The built-in stereo speaker isn’t particularly loud and lacks bass. Just make sure to connect a good sounding speaker for an immersive experience while consuming media.

The GeChic 1503H reproduces very crisp images and it probably has one of the best 1080p IPS displays in this list. However, we found that the buttons on the monitor can behave unpredictably- often tad too sensitive and at times unresponsive. Also, the magnet arm which sounds great in theory is not exactly an ergonomically pleasant experience. The magnet arm is really strong and pulling it is scary as it puts a lot of strain on the arm itself.

The monitor also isn’t particularly premium looking (or feeling) as most of the parts are made out of plastic. But the company seems to have done that on purpose. By using plastic instead of metal and other premium materials, the weight of this monitor is a lot less than that of the competition, making it that much more portable.

Pros:

  • Use of single USB C connection for both power and video transmission
  • Built-in speakers
  • Very portable
  • Excellent Viewing Angles

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Cheap looking design

4. ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC 15.6-Inch 1080p IPS Monitor 

The Asus ZenScreen is the monitor that we have been using in our office for over 5 months now. And while we cannot talk about its long-term reliability, we can, with confidence, speak about the quality of it.

Priced at under $300, it’s worth every penny. Being a product from 2018, it comes with a USB Type-C port which powers the monitor and channels audio/video using a single cable. Pretty neat, if you ask us.

The ZenScreen provides a truly portable experience since you don’t need any external power source and also doesn’t require two or more cables. Also, the fact that the display is 15.6-inch diagonally means that it is great for gaming. As with most of the monitors in this list, this too has a Full HD resolution and the monitor uses an IPS panel.

It’s also color accurate and the viewing angles are wide. It’s not only great for gaming but also perfect for media consumption. We also loved the fact that Asus has integrated the Asus Eye Care technology which provides flicker-free backlighting, along with a blue light filter. If you are a gamer worth your salt and spend long periods in front of the screen, your eyes will thank you for these features.

What’s more? The monitor comes with a carrying case of its own which makes it really handy to move around with this monitor. It also serves as a monitor stand, just in case you are curious.

Unlike the ViewSonic monitor, it’s made from high-quality material and the build quality feels premium. There’s definitely no cheap feeling plastic used in this one. And even then the monitor weights less than 2lbs.

If you decide to buy this monitor, make sure that you get the proper driver. We initially installed an outdated driver on the Mac which led to skipped frames and slow response times. Just download the latest driver and you are good to go.

Pros:

  • Use of single USB C connection for both power and video transmission
  • Lots of features to reduce eye strain
  • Superb portability
  • Premium Design
  • Priced competitively

Cons:

  • Will need a USB 3 source for power
  • May need the right drivers for Ubuntu and certain Mac OS versions

5. Elecrow 11.6-Inch 1080p HDMI Monitor

If you are on a tight but looking for a portable monitor to meet all your needs, the Elecrow 11.6-inch portable monitor is the way to go. As the name of the monitor suggests, it’s not a very large display but it’s going to be fine for consuming media and playing games.

Even though it’s just an 11.6-inch display, it has a display resolution of 1920x1080p which makes everything look crisp and clear. If you are fine with the display size, you will love this monitor.

It has a very wide viewing angle and an excellent response time of 6ms. There’s also a built-in speaker which does a decent job of producing audio but if you want anything immersive, we recommend you go with a dedicated speaker system.

The monitor gets VGA, HDMI, headphone port, and also gets a VESA wall mount holes. The monitor itself costs under $150 and doesn’t come with fancy accessories like a sleeve or a hard case. What you get instead is a small metal bracket for holding the monitor in place.

The monitor is made with the intention of delivering super-compact proportions and supreme portability in mind, which we believe it achieves with good success.

The speaker itself is made from aluminum but doesn’t look all that premium. But for the price, we can’t really complain. If you are not brand conscious and are looking for a product that works as intended, you should seriously consider the Elecrow 11.6-inch monitor.

Pros:

  • The excellent response time of just 6ms
  • Compact and highly portable
  • Priced really well
  • Full HD Video Output

Cons:

  • No carrying case in the box
  • Limited accessories

6. Gechic On-Lap 1503I 15.6-inch 

If money really isn’t of utmost concern to you, the Gechic On-Lap 1503l is a monitor that you should go for. It’s currently Amazon’s Choice Portable monitor, and for good reason.

It has a 1080p Full HD IPS Display that is also touch enabled. It allows for 10 point Multi-Touch Input which works great on Windows machines. Not just Windows, though; the monitor is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, taking its usability up a couple of notches. You can use the touchscreen for typing, drawing, digital document signing, small group presentation, gaming and a lot more. It’s one of the nicest displays out there with accurate color reproduction and wide viewing angles.

The monitor features not only VGA and HDMI ports but also includes wireless display options. It also comes with a detachable stand which allows the monitor to be placed either in a horizontal or vertical position and in varying degrees. You can choose from 72, 62 or 52-degrees. And if you wish to draw, you can remove the stand and lay the monitor flat.

While it is not the most portable, weighing a bit heavier than its competitors in the market. 

If you wish to hang the monitor on the wall, the monitor supports the VESA mount. The multi-mount kit also enables three viewing angles using the different holes.

The protective cover that comes in the box is constructed well and can genuinely protect the monitor from shattering in case of a drop.

Be it for work or play, the Gechic On-Lap 1503l is a solid monitor and a good investment in a long run.

Pros:

  • High-quality IPS Display
  • Excellent viewing angles
  • Touch-screen input
  • Comes with well-constructed protective case
  • Good sounding built-in speakers

Cons:

  • Expensive

7. ViewSonic VA2452SM_H2 24-inch 1080p LED Monitor

If you are looking for a dual-monitor setup to take your home or office studio to the next level, the ViewSonic Dual Pack is the way to go. For under $250, you get two excellent 1080p monitors with minimal bezels and excellent build quality. For the price, we call it a hell of a bargain.

But bear in mind that these monitors don’t come with any stand. So, make sure to buy a dual-monitor stand while purchasing them. Included in the box are the two monitors, 2 power cables, 2 VGA cables, and 2 Display Port Cables. Also, the 3-year warranty on the monitors definitely sweetens the deal even further.

The product is rich in features with predefined settings and predefined modes including Game, Movie, Web, Text, and Mono. You also get a lot of connectivity option with these monitors. You can choose from DisplayPort, DVI and VGA input options. Unfortunately, the monitors miss out on HDMI ports which can be a deal breaker for some.

The image quality you get off these monitors is really impressive. The colors are accurate and a  monitor may be used for video and photo editing too. Also, if you don’t like neutral color reproduction, you can manually define color profile according to your liking.

These ViewSonic Monitors come with Flicker-Free Technology and Blue Light Filters which help reduce eye strain and eye fatigue.

Pros:

  • Priced really well
  • 3-year warranty
  • Minimal Bezels
  • Good screen response time
  • Excellent construction

Cons:

  • No HDMI port
  • No stand included

8. 13.3-inch Quad-HD Portable Gaming Monitor

Portable gaming monitor

The EleDuino is a 2560x1600p (2K) monitor that is priced under $200. Surprised? Well, we were too. Upon inspection, we found out the monitor has a native 1080p resolution but uses some algorithm to up-res the images. As such, the display isn’t as crisp as native 2K monitors and is on par with the other 1080p monitors. Anyway, we really don’t mind getting that performance from such an attractively-priced monitor. Total bang for our bucks.

The monitor uses a USB-C cable for both power and video. So a single cable is enough to get this monitor running. Also, if you plan on using the portable monitor for PS4 or Xbox One, there’s an HDMI port which can be directly connected to the gaming console of your choice. It also gets a dedicated headphone port which can be used to plug-in a good pair of speakers.

What’s not so good about this monitor has to be the use of a TFT panel instead of an IPS panel. Since it’s a TFT panel that’s in use, the viewing angles and colors aren’t as good as one is used to seeing in IPS panels. The monitor can reach brightness levels up to 300 nits which is excellent. The response time is 10ms which should provide a lag-free experience.

During our time of testing, we faced no lags or teardown of images. But light bleed from all the four corners was evident although in only dark scenes. Other than that, the monitor gets built-in speakers which get surprisingly loud given its size.

All-in-all, for under $180, the monitor is definitely worth the money. It has all the features most users will ever use and isn’t plagued by any major issue.

Pros:

  • One of the most economical monitors on this list
  • Can get really bright
  • Good screen response time

Cons:

  • Not a native 2K panel
  • Light Bleed visible

9. ASUS MB168B 15.6-inch WXGA 

The Asus MB168B is a budget portable monitor which works really well for gaming. But keep in mind that, it’s only compatible with Windows PCs and MacBooks. If you were planning to use it with the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One, here’s a bad news – you won’t be able to.

The monitor uses a single USB 3 cable for both power and data transmission. But for some reason, both the PS4 and Xbox One don’t provide support for this monitor.

It is one of the slimmest and lightest USB monitors out there and comes with a carrying case which also doubles as a stand. The monitor also has a gyro-sensor which lets you change the orientation of the screen as you rotate the display.

As with other Asus monitors, this too comes with a blue light filter which helps reduce eyestrain and eye fatigue. In addition to that, the monitor has an ambient light sensor which adjusts the brightness of the display according to the surroundings. The monitor is also capable of reaching 300 nits of brightness.

With the positives out of the way, let’s talk about a few downsides. First, it’s not a Full HD display; technically it is a 768p (HD) display. While it is understandable given the price tag, it is important you keep in mind that you are not going to get the crispiest of images with this monitor. The other downside of buying this monitor is the fact that it uses a TN panel and not an IPS panel as with other monitors on the list. This impacts the viewing angle significantly. This alone can be a deal-breaker for some.

But if you keep the price into consideration, it’s still a great buy. It’s constructed well, feels premium and comes with a 3-year warranty from Asus.

Pros:

  • Easy connectivity via USB
  • Blue light filter
  • Ambient light sensor automatically adjusts brightness
  • 300 nits of brightness
  • 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • Use of TN Panel
  • 768p screen resolution

10. P Pavilion 22xw 21.5-inch LED Monitor

While not portable, the HP Pavilion 22xw is one of the best monitors out there. It’s got a 21.5-inch Full HD IPS Display. For I/O, you have an option of either using a HDMI or a VGA cable which supports HDCP. The response time is rated at 7ms which is great for video consumption and also for gaming.

Packaged in a slim sleek body, the device has minimal bezels which makes content consumption more immersive and enhances it’s appearance by a great deal. The LED backlighting on the monitor is also uniform and there’s no ghosting in any part of the display. The display may be tilted forward and backward for better viewing, but cannot be swiveled left or right, which can be a minor dampener.

Also unfortunate is the lack of a speaker on this monitor. To make matters worse, there’s no 3.5mm headphone port on this monitor. If you want to fill in the room with sound, using a Bluetooth speaker is your viable option. Or you can resort to using the speakers on your PC, console, etc.

The monitor features HP’s proprietary Enhance+ resolution technology which minimises motion blur and reduces noise in the images providing clearer and crisper output. It has a matte finish eliminating glare and reflections.

The monitor can reach a maximum brightness of 250 nits which is bright enough for day-to-day use. What’s impressive is that it can reach as low as 10 nits which is a lifesaver if you are prone to eye fatigue.

If you are planning to make a home studio, I recommend you buy two of these. Thanks to the small bezels, you can have a really good looking dual-monitor setup without thick bezels between the two monitors.

For the price you are paying, it’s certainly worth every penny. Apart from the missing headphone port, there’s really nothing to complain about this monitor.

Pros:

  • Minimal bezels
  • The screen can go really dim
  • Excellent 1080p output
  • Priced well

Cons:

  • No headphone port
  • No built-in speaker

How to Choose a Portable Monitor? 

When it comes to choosing the portable monitor, the market is replete with several great options. If you are someone who is well-informed in this particular domain and has prior experience of buying monitors, this abundance of options definitely works to your advantage. But if you’re uninitiated in this, and don’t really know much about them, it’s going to be a heroic task distinguishing one monitor from the other.

If you wish to steer clear of such confusion and want to be able to zero in on the best monitor for you without much hassle, the FAQ section down below will definitely help.

What’s the Best Screen Resolution for a Portable Monitor?

Let’s get the basics out of the way. The screen resolution is what matters the most and is something you should be looking at right away. Full HD (1080p) is the optimal screen resolution for portable monitors. You don’t want to go with lower screen resolution monitors as they are not very crisp and will look awful especially since our eyes are so used to higher resolution displays on our phones.

Also, it’s best not to go with portable monitors with a resolution higher than 1080p as most of them are really expensive and even if you can afford one, it will sip up the battery of the device powering it really quickly. Let’s also not forget that you may not benefit from a higher resolution display as our eyes cannot distinguish between Full HD and 4K panels especially in small portable displays.


What are the Different Kinds of Displays Used in Monitors?

With the death of the CRTs, LCDs are the only kind of screen displays left on the market. But what most people seem to overlook is that there are different kinds of LCD panels, of which IPS and TN are the most popular ones.

You will find IPS LCDs in most high-end monitors and TN in cheaper ones. IPS LCD offers better color reproduction, better viewing angles and is usually more accurate. Despite the obvious handicaps, TN panels offer a few advantages you definitely cannot miss. High-quality TN panels have a response time of as low as 1ms which is better than even the most expensive IPS LCD Displays.

But the IPS displays, too, have come a long way. Some good monitor models offer a response time of as low as 4ms which is more than adequate for gaming.

If you’re an avid gamer but also plan to use the monitor for media consumption, we would recommend you to go with an IPS panel. If you find a TN panel in a cheap portable monitor, it’s probably there to cut costs rather than for improving the screen response time.


What Ports do you Need in a Portable Monitor?

The phones have lost their headphone jack and computers have started losing regular USB ports but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get monitors with a good variety of ports. In fact, with a few of the monitors in the list, you will not only get an excellent selection of ports but also decent sounding stereo speakers.

What ports you need depends on the requirements that you have. If you are using it on a device with all USB-C ports, getting a portable monitor which supports USB-C input is the way to go.

But make sure that alongside the USB-C port, the monitor has an HDMI port and a VGA port. In 2018, you may get away with not having a VGA port but you certainly don’t want to get a monitor without an HDMI port. You never know when you might need it.

The other ports that you will want to have on your new monitor include a headphone jack, a DVI port, and a Display Port.

What’s the Best Size for a Portable Monitor?

Well, we are talking portable here. So make sure you are buying a light and compact monitor which is easy to carry around. In our books, the best size for a portable monitor is anywhere between 11.6-inches to 15.6-inches. Anything above isn’t going to be portable and anything below is not going to give you a satisfactory viewing experience.

Alongside the size, make sure to look at the ruggedness of the monitor. You definitely won’t want to break the monitor inside the bag. Buy a sleeve for the monitor so that such mishaps don’t occur. While most of the monitors come with a hard case, a few budget options don’t. If a case isn’t included in the box, make sure to purchase it separately as soon as possible.

How to Connect a Portable Monitor?

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