Whether you’re traveling for business, a gamer on the move, or a graphic designer, a second portable monitor can add both screen space and an opportunity to work or play.
Portable monitors have greatly improved in the past year or two. Many significant monitor makers have at least one in their collection, and brand-new models appear more frequently than ever. Mobile monitors come in various sizes and designs.
The widespread adoption of USB Type-C connectivity makes data transfer & power over a single cable possible. So, let’s get to it. Our top 10 best portable monitors of 2021.
Best for Touch-Screen Enthusiasts
Asus ZenScreen Touch (MB16AMT)
The carefully developed Asus ZenScreen Touch brings touch-input capability, versatile stand choices, and an internal battery.
2 things set the Asus ZenScreen Touch (MB16AMT) apart from many general-purpose mobile monitors. It has a touch screen, similar to some interactive pen monitors like the Wacom Cintiq 16. Second, it has an integrated battery that charges. This 15.6-inch screen is feature-rich and a pleasure to use. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s very capable.
The sensibly created Asus ZenScreen Touch brings touch-input capability, versatile stand options, and an internal battery.
Lenovo ThinkVision M14
The M14 features easy portability, high-quality build, and USB-C connectivity. It’s a great portable monitor for professional or personal use.
Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14 developed to be paired with laptops for folks on the go. Thanks to its simple portability and high-quality panel, the M14 is the right choice for business people and laptops with a USB Type-C port that supports DisplayPort video out. It does not have the range of controls found in the HP EliteDisplay S14. But, it includes high color fidelity, can be slanted to a wide range of angles and is very light to transport.
Thanks to its easy portability, top-quality panel, and USB-C connection, Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14 is a winning choice as a portable monitor for professional or personal use.
Best for In & Out Home Workers
ViewSonic’s 15.6-inch VG1655 has the same color coverage as many other portable monitors we’ve evaluated. However, one of the few with a built-in stand, a five-way mini-joystick controller, and an advanced onscreen display.
ViewSonic’s VG1655 is developed with some original functions. It offers a fold-out stand with an extensive tilt range. It uses a 5-way mini-joystick instead of buttons used on most mobile monitors. The onscreen screen (OSD) menu system lets you access a wealth of settings instead of the handful used by numerous competing panels. And it has 2 USB-C ports– one for power and one for data/video transfer– plus a mini HDMI port. Its surprising wealth of functions, consisting of built-in speakers.
ViewSonic’s 15.6-inch VG1655 is one of the few to offer a built-in stand, a five-way mini-joystick controller, and an advanced onscreen display screen. It excels in convenience features.
Best Power-Cordless Monitor
Asus ZenScreen Go (MB16AP)
The Asus ZenScreen Go (MB16AP), has a 15.6-inch monitor, and an integrated battery to keep it from draining the laptop or other device.
The Asus ZenScreen Go (MB16AP) is excellent when outlets are limited, or your laptop or phone is underpowered or short on juice. It has an integrated battery of its own. This 15.6-inch panel, which can connect to a phone or laptop over a USB-C port, can offer approximately 4 hours of juice when you most need it.
The Asus ZenScreen Go (MB16AP), a 15.6-inch portable monitor, has an integrated battery to keep it from draining the laptop or other mobile device it’s attached to.
Best Lightweight Laptop for Pros
HP EliteDisplay S14 USB Portable Monitor
HP’s lightweight EliteDisplay S14 specs and sleek design are great for the professional travel monitor. It’s an excellent 2nd-screen for a midsize laptop that has USB Type-C.
The HP EliteDisplay S14 has some impressive specs for a portable monitor. This business-oriented travel monitor has a complete HD (1,920-by-1,080- pixel) native resolution, utilizing a 60Hz panel with a 5ms reaction time. The noted fixed contrast ratio of 700:1 is nothing to write home about. Still, it uses an in-plane switching (IPS) panel, not the lower TFT LCD you may expect.
HP’s lightweight EliteDisplay S14 delivers surprising specifications and smooth lines for a professional travel monitor.
Best for Artists on a Budget
Wacom Cintiq 16
The Wacom Cintiq 16 is an artist’s dream tablet/monitor. You can draw and perform other actions onscreen. It’s moderately priced and is an excellent option for artists and pros on tight budgets.
The Cintiq 16, lets artists draw, browse menus, and click buttons on its 15.6-inch screen with the included stylus pen. This interactive monitor attaches to a computer instead of running its own resident programs, as would a tablet. The Cintiq 16 does not have the Cintiq Pro 16 gesture-based touch control. However, it can be found at a budget rate.
The Wacom Cintiq 16 is an interactive pen artist’s tablet and monitor for drawing and other onscreen actions. It’s moderately priced and is an excellent option for artists on a budget.
Best for Road Warriors on a Budget
AOC I1601FWUX USB-C Portable Monitor
The lightweight AOC I1601FWUX USB-C Portable Monitor uses USB-C with DisplayPort support. The screen is 15.6-inch with 1080p resolution.
The AOC I1601FWUX is a 15.6-inch 1080p monitor weighing under 2 pounds and rests on a sturdy, foldable stand. Note that I1601FWUX is best for work use rather than entertainment since its colors are dull. It connects via USB-C port which requires the support of the DisplayPort-over-USB protocol. However, if your laptop fits the profile, it’s a streamlined second-screen.
The lightweight AOC I1601FWUX USB-C Portable Monitor is for USB-C laptops that support DisplayPort over USB. It has a roomy 15.6-inch screen with 1080p resolution.
Best for Coffee Shop & Workspaces
Lepow 15.6-Inch USB-C Portable Monitor
The Lepow 15.6-Inch USB-C Portable Monitor is a reasonably priced 1080p screen with both USB-C and HDMI connectivity.
The Lepow 15.6-inch Portable Monitor is one of the better larger mobile screens. It has a 1080p native resolution and a more extensive choice of inputs than found on most mobile monitors. The colors look a bit flat making it best for productivity use.
The Lepow 15.6-Inch USB-C Portable Monitor is a moderately priced 1080p screen with both USB-C and HDMI connectivity. However, its color range produces dull reds and purples.
Best for Gamers On The Move
MSI Optix MAG161V
The Optix MAG161V, MSI’s very first portable gaming monitor, connects with a series of gaming consoles, smartphones, and computers. It’s reliable for casual gaming. However, its brightness peak and overall color coverage are just so-so.
The Optix MAG161V, MSI’s very first portable gaming monitor, lacks the signature gaming functions of the business’s desktop monitors. But its use of both USB Type-C and mini-HDMI ports lets you connect it with almost any gaming console and many smartphones, in addition to computers. It’s also among the few portable monitors with built-in stereo speakers.
The Optix MAG161V, MSI’s works with a range of gaming consoles, mobile phones, and computers. It’s strong for casual gaming, but its brightness peak and overall color protection aren’t the best.
Best for Mobile Desk Work
SideTrak Portable Monitor
The skillfully designed SideTrak Portable Monitor can stay connected to your laptop, even while taking a trip.
The SideTrak, by Stand Steady is a 12.5-inch screen, connects to the back of a laptop with magnets, effectively making it a part of your computer. It’s a smart way to carrying around a 2nd, portable display.
It’s encased in a tough plastic case with a metal frame that attaches to the back of your laptop using 4 magnets embedded in the frame.
The SideTrak Mobile Monitor is great for travelers adding an additional screen to their laptop setup. The clever design can remain attached to your laptop.