A second screen is always useful, especially if you have loads of business to handle. You can gracefully use a best portable monitor to tackle all your issues.
These best portable monitors 2021 for laptop will make your work process easy. You can carry it with you anywhere and connect it to your laptop via USB, VGA or HDMI. These portable monitors come in different sizes, screen resolutions and of course a number of features.
We have reviewed some of the best portable monitors for laptop available in the market. They range from high-end to low-end, you can choose based on your needs. Additionally, they may have different connectivity options. Some portable monitors use USB connection where as others may have HDMI for connecting to your laptop or a gaming laptop if you own one.
A thorough guide is included for better understanding of what portable monitor you should get. But in short, any best portable monitor for laptop should be lightweight and slim, should have a good display resolution alongside an optimal screen size and finally it should easily connect to your laptop using USB or HDMI connection.
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Editor’s Top 3 Picks
Mobile Pixels Duex
What makes a good portable monitor?
Now let’s dig into what makes the best portable monitor for laptop.
Screen resolution is an important factor in making a good portable monitor. They come in almost all resolutions like 1080p, 2k and 4k. It totally depends on your needs. Higher the resolution of a portable monitor better will be the display quality. But you need to check what are your needs. If you want to get something for watching video or playing games, then 2k or 4k should be your choice. Otherwise, a 1080p will do the tasks just great.
Next important thing is the size of your portable monitor for laptop. They can be a large as 20 inches and as small as 13 inches or even below. You know what you are buying it for and therefore the size should be selected wisely. For multi-tasking and work purposes you should definitely go for 15 inches and above. But you also need to consider the fact that you will be carrying it in your bag alongside your laptop and other stuff.
Portable monitors come in different sizes and thus different weights. You should know what weight you will be carrying in your backpack. Greater the size, more will be the weight.
Your portable monitor should be compatible with the OS of your laptop. You should know if you are buying it for a MacBook or a Windows laptop. Additionally, you might want to use it for gaming or with your smartphone. This is why you need to consider the compatibility factor.
Portable monitors mostly connect via USB or HDMI. You should know if your laptop will support it. USB connectivity is cool but it requires installing the drivers. On the other side, HDMI does not require installation of drivers and their data transmission has fast speed alongside good quality. But these cables are often long, you’ll have to carry them along too.
Best Portable Monitor 2021
1. ThinkVision M14 Portable Monitor
top rated FHD portable monitor
Are you looking to give yourself an edge when it comes to mobile productivity? You must consider ThinkVision M14 before going for any other. This Ultraportable 14 inches FHD (Full High Definition) display connects to your laptops via USB Type-C to give you extra real estate for your own work and a great way to share content with colleagues and clients. Its ergonomic design lets you control the viewing angle and thanks to the ports on both sides, it’s friendly to right and left-handed users. It also comes with a durable sleeve for protection on the go. ThinkVision M14 is a modern solution for mobile productivity.
With its lightweight, thin build and fold-up stand the ThinkVision M14 is very easy to transport to work trips, your home office, or a conference room for a presentation. It measures just 12.73 x 8.2 x 3.8 inches and weighs 1.3 pounds which comes obviously in an ultra-portable design. It delivers great visuals on its FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display doing solid job of depicting movies, pictures, productivity apps along with equating clarity and sharpness. The display features two advanced USB Type-C that simultaneously supports power and video. Its power passthrough design lets you charge both the ThinkVision M14 and your laptop with a single adapter.
Thanks to Lenovo ThinkVision M14’s easy portability, high-quality panel, 14-inch display, and USB-C connectivity, Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14 is a winning choice as a portable monitor for business or personal use.
2. ASUS MB169B+ Portable USB Monitor
On top of all, the best portable laptop monitor is MB169B+ by ASUS. It has a lot to offer at the same time and is ranked as one of the best portable monitors by many experts and reviews. What makes it best is its ultra-slim nature and amazing display quality. The screen size of this secondary monitor is 15.6 inches and it has an FHD resolution. This means you can enjoy all your work at 1080p screen resolution.
For carrying along, it can be a best choice. It is thin at 8.5 mm and has a weight of just 800 grams. This makes it easy to carry around and use it anywhere you want. Portability factor is further enhanced by its adjustable screen and stand. It has an auto-rotating display which makes your work easy whether you use is upright or in landscape mode. Additionally, it comes packed with a two way adjustable stand known as the ASUS smart case. It works as a stand in both modes and also plays a role in protecting your portable monitor.
For connectivity, a single USB does the job. It transfers data and at the same time works as power input. This type of connection takes the load of power input from your shoulders. You won’t have to carry around an extra cable or worry about charging your secondary monitor. Another good thing here is the EzLink technology, it offloads the graphical processing work from your PC/Laptop and does that itself. It’s internal hardware mechanism is enough to deal with the graphical processing easily without the need of any additional hardware.
ASUS MB169B+ is a best secondary monitor for your laptop. It is slim, lightweight and has good screen resolution. Moreover, its connectivity to your laptop is very easy using just a single USB cable. Some may argue that it is an expensive portable monitor, but compared to the features it offers the price is nicely justifiable.
3. Mobile Pixels Duex Pro
An on-the-go solution
There were a lot of portable monitors in the market for many years and over time the quality of them was getting good. However, the way they were supposed to be used was not so easy. Previously you would get a portable monitor which had a normal stand on the back and you were confined to use it in certain ways. But with time, this changed and many new designs were proposed for best portable monitors. Duex Pro by Mobile Pixels is one of those, it is designed to be attached to your laptop sideways and can be used in a number of other ways as well.
It comes with tracks which you have to attach to the top and bottom of your laptop. From here, the screen can rotate 270° which is literally impressive. While attached to your laptop screen, the screen could go totally back and anyone sitting in front of you can watch it, sort of a presentation. Or from there, you can bring it to any angle on the front. But things don’t stop here, this best portable USB monitor can also be used as conventional monitors in portrait or landscape mode.
OK, speaking of how this second screen performs, it’s a 12.5 inches panel having 1080p resolution and is perfectly bright. You won’t be able to differentiate between this screen and any other good monitor and so, for the very same reason the price of it goes up. For connectivity, all you need to use is USB-C, it works for both power and signal transmission. More, it is compatible with Windows, Mac and even Chromebooks. Additionally, this portable monitor weighs 1.6lbs only and is just 0.48 inches thick. This indicates that you can keep it attached to your laptop all the time and it won’t be an issue at all.
Duex Pro by Mobile Pixels is an expensive portable monitor, there is no doubt about this. But at the same time, there is nothing else on the market to compete with it. It’s a mix of fun, work and business, you can use it for anything and your productivity goes double.
4. AOC E1659FWU USB Monitor
The one with a nice stand
E1659FWU portable screen by AOC comes in full black with a nice fold-able stand at the back. The stand at the back for support is just like any image frame. You can unfold it when in use and place back into the back of screen again when you are done with your work. Despite the fact that it is 15.6 inches in size, it still is slim and lightweight. Carrying it alongside your laptop in your bag is no burden at all.
For screen resolution and connectivity, you get two different options. It comes in both HD and FHD resolution. Both screen resolutions are unique and come with good brightness level. For connectivity, you can choose between USB 3.0 or a USB-C. Both types of connections transfers data and power at the same time. There is no need for a separate power source. As any other good portable monitor, you can use it in both portrait and landscape mode. The stand on its back is adjustable to both uses.
It weighs somewhere below 1000 grams, which is a little higher. Anything around 800 to 900 grams is good. However 1000 grams is not too bad either. Moreover, it has a slim design. You won’t be irritated by its design at all. You can also use multiple of these portable monitors with a single laptop, for which you will have to install some drivers. This usage of multiple screens at a time is a nice addition.
So, AOC E1659FWU is a best portable monitor for laptop 2021 in many ways. It’s slim, consumes very little power and you can use multiple screens simultaneously as well. On top of this, it is not very expensive although it falls in the high-end category. And not to forget, you also have an option of choosing between an FHD or HD and USB 3.0 or a USB-C.
5. SideTrak Portable Monitor
This attachable design is new to the market and is going good so far. Conventional portable monitors were not so easy to use and this is why the attachable design is taking over. The portable monitor reviewed at number 2 is almost same design as this one but that one is fairly good at price. The SideTrak Portable Monitor is superb with the design and its performance is impressive as well but the price of it is too high. Although it is totally worth what it is offered at, but paying $300 can be an issue for some.
The screen could be rotated all out to an extent where the person sitting in front of you would be able to see it. Also, it is compatible with all sizes of laptops. No matter your laptop is 13, 15 or 17 inches, this secondary screen will always work just fine. For connectivity to your laptop it just takes a USB-C and that’s it. All the power and signal transmission is done here. This makes it pretty helpful and easy to use because you get free of wire mess.
About the display, it is 12.5 inches in size and has an FHD resolution. More, it comes with a 60Hz refresh rate which is simply awesome. You can use this best portable monitor for all sorts of uses. If it’s business work, if your traveling or even playing games. And about the compatibility, the SideTrak portable monitor works with all platforms like Mac, Windows and Chromebooks as well.
Sidetrak has manufactured one amazing portable monitor, this actually takes up that portability factor. Not only because of the way it is attached to your laptop but because of its dimensions as well. The monitor is 0.7 inches thick and weighs 1.5lbs only. However, the higher price of it might be an obstacle for some.
6. Lepow USB-C Portable Display
A large portable screen
Lepow has recently made a mark and many people got interested. The reason for it being among the best portable monitors is its compatibility with PC and almost all gaming consoles. This also indicates that the screen quality of it is superb, and this is the reason many people prefer it. You get a 15.6 inches 1080p display which no doubt is nicely bright and the colors are pretty accurate. More, the overall build of it is exceptional.
It supports mini HDMI and Type-C connections, this brings it to a modern side where most laptops comes with these ports. Also, it comes with its own built-in speakers and the sound of those is pretty good. Additionally, you can also plug-in your earbuds into the 3.5mm jack. A good thing which really makes it a good portable monitor is the magnetic stand it comes with. The stand makes it very easy to use and gives good support to it. You can use the monitor in portrait mode as well, the magnetic stand supports it for that too.
Speaking of the design, it is only 0.3 inches thick and has a weight of 1.76 pounds. These numbers make this portable monitor preferable for many people. One can easily take it anywhere and use it on the go.
You get a nice display quality alongside amazing thin design, but it still is a budget-friendly option compared to other portable monitors from big manufacturers. Also, it not only works good with your laptop, in fact you can connect it to any gaming console and the performance of it is always splendid.
7. ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC Portable USB Monitor
Portable monitor with stylus
Here comes yet another best portable second monitor for laptop which is on top in features among all here. But it has a slightly higher price compared to other because of its high-end nature. It comes with certain features and ergonomic enhancements which makes it an expensive one. The display here is 15.6 inches FHD IPS and is literally an amazing one. It weighs 780 grams only and is 8 mm thick. This design makes it a best portable monitor for multiple purposes.
Coming towards the connectivity, it uses both USB-C and USB-A. But for USB-A, you’ll have to install DisplayLink drivers. Both these connections work for data transmission and power input simultaneously. It automatically senses the orientation and changes screen as required. You can use it in both portrait and landscape, and the stand is adjustable for both forms of use. Besides, the screen bezels are thinner than any other portable monitor right now. This gives you a more clear and bigger picture on the screen.
For eye-care, ASUS has used its blue light filter in it which makes sure that no harmful light rays enter your eyes. You can also adjust this blue light from within the monitor. Finally, the the viewing frames are good too. This makes display quality a really good one.
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC is one of the best portable monitor for laptop available in the market. Besides its amazing slim and lightweight nature, it also brings an advanced display quality with blue light filter for keeping your eyes protected from unwanted light rays. There is no doubt about the fact that its high-end nature makes it an expensive one, but it is worth the money.
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8. HP EliteDisplay S140u
A portable gift from HP
Next up is a 14 inches portable monitor by HP, the S140u. HP has always been the best when it comes to laptops and monitors. Same is the case here, this 14 inch portable monitor for laptops is just cool. It is very minimal in nature, carrying it around is not an issue at all. It comes with rounded corners which further adds to its style and makes it a good travel partner.
It weighs a little above 1000 grams which is higher than other portable monitors but this is because of its hard nature. In hands it feels solid, and it really is. The thickness is just above 0.5 inches which is amazing. The display has an unusual resolution. It is 1600 x 900, which is not usual but this does not make it bad at all. It still offers a good display quality quality. Moreover, it connects to your laptop using a USB port. And as usual, this connection does both data and power transmission simultaneously.
Finally, it comes with a cover which works as a protector and stand, both at the same time. You can adjust it from the back as per your needs and use it as you want.
This portable monitor by HP is a bit unusual compared to others. Like its round corners and an unusual resolution. But that does not stop it from giving you good quality output. It works just fine as a secondary screen and can be your best dual monitor for laptop. It also comes at a very nice price, it is budget friendly.
9. GAEMS M155 FHD Gaming Monitor
A portable monitor for gaming
GAEMS has manufactured yet another great portable monitor which is compatible with PC and almost all other gaming consoles like PS4 and Xbox One etc. It is basically projected as a secondary gaming monitor where all the gaming frames can be easily handled. But it is compatible with PC too. You get three different ports on it for data input, power input and audio output. For power you’ll have to connect the USB-C, for data transmission it receives data via HDMI 1.4 and finally there is a 3.5 mm jack port for audio output.
It is a 15.5 inches portable monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. This means it has an FHD display. And it works smoothly at 60 Hz, enabling you to use it for multiple purposes. You even get embedded speakers in it, this gives you an extra pair of portable speakers to carry around. On both lower ends at the back, it has got stands for making the monitor stand upright. Both stands can be adjusted as per your ease.
Dimensions wise it is good too. It is 15 mm thick which is not bad at all, one can easily carry it around in a backpack. It weighs slightly below 900 grams which is yet another factor to choose it as your best portable monitor. You get speakers incorporated too, within the same mentioned weight. One additionally feature which no other gaming monitor has, is a remote control unit. You can adjust several things using the remote unit which comes within the package.
GAEMS M155 Performance Gaming Monitor is on another level of comfort and functionality. It is pretty much easily portable, comes with a cool display, built-in speakers and even has a separate remote control unit for adjusting several things. All this comes at a high price, but not too high when compared to other competing portable monitors.
Portable Monitor FAQs
What is a portable monitor?
A portable monitor is basically a second screen for your laptop. It can be easily connected to your laptop on the go and you can use it anywhere. Most best portable monitors can be connected via USB or HDMI connection. These connections does both tasks power input and data transmission at the same time. However, there exist such portable monitors which need a separate power input.
Who needs a portable monitor?
Basically, a portable monitor is used as a second screen or you can say a dual screen system. It is very clear from its purpose that people who do heavy multi-tasking will need it the most. Entrepreneurs, bloggers and even class teachers need it in their work. The best thing is that it is for both types of people whether traveling or doing work from one place.
This is because you can easily carry it in your laptop bag and use it. It is mostly lightweight and easy to connect. Besides, some want to work and also not miss their favorite show or a football match. Here a portable monitor for laptop can be very handy. You would be right on schedule with your work and also watch other things on your second screen.
How to use a portable monitor?
Using a portable monitor is rather easy. All you need to do is to connect it with your laptop. The connection can be made using USB or HDMI, these data cables are included with almost all secondary monitors in the package. Internally at the software level things configure their self. You just have to make sure that the best portable monitor you are buying is compatible with your laptop OS.
Can I use portable monitor for gaming?
You might think if a portable monitor is suitable for gaming or not. Well, in terms of connectivity, yes it can be connected to any new generation console and the signal will be transmitted through. But keep in mind, this connection is only possible if you have a portable monitor which supports HDMI. However, connectivity is not the only thing you want. What matters is quality or FPS, which in this case it might not be up to the mark.
In short, you can play games using a portable monitor but it won’t be the same experience as on a gaming monitor. This is because portable monitors focus more on being lightweight and energy efficient which is why they lack serious gaming power and quality.
What are the benefits of a portable monitor?
Portable monitors for laptop come with a ton of benefits. Below listed are most prominent.
- A portable monitor is lightweight and easy to carry around.
- It increases your productivity level.
- Multi-tasking becomes easy.
- It has an easy to use interface.
- In some portable monitors you get built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
These were the best portable monitors for laptops, they are all are easily compatible with Windows laptops and some with MacBooks too. You must give a look to FAQs answered at the start for a better perspective of what you should buy and what not.