You always find it easier to multitask at the office or on your desktop when you are able to add an additional monitor or even more monitors. Things get clearer without having to switch between tabs. You have everything spread out for easy access to information needed at a go. However, if you are on the go, there are issues of portability of devices and space. In the confinement of the small tablet or laptop screen, the situation is not as bright as usual. This can lead to manufacturers of monitors seeking lightweight USB connecting monitors that are slim and can be packed alongside the console or laptop while traveling.
Portable monitors are changing the experience of using laptops and PCS. When looking for a portable monitor, you want one that the right features – lightweight to allow you to travel with easily and USB connection to allow you connect to a device or laptop. Besides, you need a monitor that has a clear display with vivid colors just like your primary monitor.
Achieving a balance of functionality, clarity, portability, performance, and aesthetic look in a laptop monitor can be hard, however, there are many portable monitors that have been engineered to meet these demands. When looking for an appropriate portable monitor, you can check the features to see which one suits your needs. In this guide, we provide the top 9 portable monitors you can use in 2019.
1. Mobile Pixels Duex Pro Portable Monitor for Laptops 12.5″
While there are many portable monitors you can find today, the Duex Pro is among the highly functional and adaptable monitors you can use. It is lightweight – at 1.5 pounds, it tips the scales allowing it to be easily portable. Think of it this way, a 13-inch MacBook Pro is about 3 pounds in weight, being a lightweight laptop, if you add another 1.5 pounds for the portable monitor, it wouldn’t strain your backpack, carry-on bag, or your briefcase. The Duex Pro is no more than-half-an-inch in thickness meaning it won’t bulge out your bag or laptop cases, it’s small enough to fit in the bag along with the laptop.
If you are setting up the monitor, you need to realize that the adhesive plates made of metal take about 3 hours to cure. You have to give time for them to cure otherwise, they are likely to fail. Although they will be fully set up, if the plates have not cured, they won’t work as desired. The metal adhesive plates, while you can set them up, they cannot be able to support the monitor without having the Duex Pro monitor clenched against some solid surface like a table or desk to work properly.
Another interesting feature is that you can rotate your Duex Pro monitor 270 degrees meaning that it is able to rest parallel to the primary monitor of your laptop, facing you, or it can be turned around so that it sits back against the back surface of the primary monitor. In this kind of setup, you can use the monitor for presentations in an ad-hoc or intimate environment where projects may not work effectively or where there aren’t projectors at all.
A 12.5-inch LCD screen running in 1080 pixels brings a clear, sharper look without any form of blurry appearance. The display of the monitor uses IPS technology, which is known as the gold standard in providing clear viewing at any angle.
If you have a more powerful laptop and want to go the whole hog with a 3-screen experience, the Duex Pro is compatible with that option. All you’ll need to do is use two pairs of magnetic adhesives, and slide one monitor onto each side of the screen. The connection for Duex Pro is done using USB-C cable, which many older laptops and some modern laptops may lack. If your laptop uses only USB-A cable, the connection of the monitor can be done using an adapter that is included in the pack, however, you may experience some kind of flickering which gets worse if your framerate is high.
- Wide viewing angle
- Compatible with almost every laptop and operating system
- Lightweight with ease of portability
- Can use it with multiple laptops
- It rotates to face backward or forward
- It’s easy to mount
- Can upgrade to 3 screens
- Need to support on desk or table
- Doesn’t work well with USB-A cable
2. AOC e1759Fwu 17-Inch Ultra-Slim Portable Monitor
Among the most well-known companies reputed for producing crystal clear monitors – whether for work or gaming is AOC. This company brings you AOC e1759Fwu 17-Inch Ultra-Slim Portable Monitor that is powered using UBS 3.0. You don’t need to have additional cables cross-crossing the surface or laying around.
The monitor has a maximum resolution of 1600 x 900 at 60h, which provides a great DH viewing experience alongside the monitor’s contrast ratio of 650:1. The e1759Fwu monitor is ultra-slim ensuring that you easily carry it to places when on the go. For example, you can carry it if you think that you will need to do some presentations when on the go. It comes with a flexible flexi-stand that offers the user an effortless switch from landscape to portrait view. There is also an auto-pivot mode of the flexi-stand that ensures you don’t struggle to switch the orientation manually.
The 16 million colors and other monitor features provide the user with a picture-perfect setup where they can enjoy reading a text, learning a concept, or even enjoying movies without putting a strain on the eyes. The e1759Fwu is a choice for those individuals who wouldn’t want to dig deeper into the pocket but want a pretty good monitor that they can use whenever they travel.
- Supports multi-monitor display
- USB 3.0 powered
- Reasonably priced
- Average picture display quality
3. Asus MB168B 15.6-Inch USB Portable Monitor
The AsusMB168B UBS Portable Monitor is a great on-the-go solution ideal for daily use when traveling or when gaming. You can use it when you don’t have access to your desktop computer. The USB powered monitor among the slimmest and also among the most lightweight of the USB portable monitors you find in the market. With a weight that is less than 2 pounds, you can carry it in your backpack, laptop bag, or other bags. It provides HD picture display with fluid and fast imaging coupled with great contrast. The display features an automatic lighting sensor that helps adjust screen brightness depending on the ambient lighting conditions.
Asus MB168B USB monitor features an exclusive Asus EZlink technology that allows the user to make up to five monitor connections using USB regardless of the graphic capacity of their computer or laptop. Unlike most other portable monitors, the Asus MB168B is compatible with USB 2.0 ports that tend to be more convenient if you find yourself needing to pair up the screen with the old computers.
The pencil-thick monitor comes with a Rapid Replacement option meaning that you get a three-year warranty backed by complete two-way free shipping. The Asus MB168B has Smart Case in addition to a two-way adjustable stand allowing you to easily get your landscape and portrait orientation. A protective sleeve is also available.
- Monitor powered using USB 3.0 technology cable
- Very slim
- Very light
- Auto-rotating display
- Two-way adjustable stand
- Protective sleeve
- Sleek, metallic finish
- Full HD resolution
- Backward compatibility with USB 2.0
- Price on the higher side
4. Gaems M155 15.5-Inch HD LED Portable Gaming Monitor
A portable USB-powered monitor, the Gaems M155 is designed to target console gamers. It’s a product for the screaming hardcore gamer and LAN party fan or anyone who needs to enjoy their gaming experience anywhere they are. The Gaems M155 is similar in weight to Asus monitor, it offers a lightweight product to allow easy portability. You can pack it in your laptop bag or your backpack and it won’t be doing stress to your back.
The USB portable monitor offers a picture resolution of 720 pixels and 1080 pixels scaled at an aspect ratio of 19:9. It is easy to plug and play. Besides, the monitor has an anti-slip rubber foot that helps it stay safe and perfect on the top surfaces of your Xbox One or PlayStation. The anti-slip rubber feet can fit and hold steady on different surfaces.
A camera mount is available with a quarter-inch socket to help when you feel like you want to stream content. The camera mount is compatible with most tripods and clamps. While the monitor does not have lagging, it can present some blurriness if it displays plain texts or if the viewer is in poor viewing angles. It is ideal for users who will sit in front and not designed to handle viewing needs of crowds because people at the edge or viewing at an angle won’t be able to get a clear view. The Gaems M155 is ideal for daily gaming needs.
Another feature that some people don’t like is the glossy screen, which also encourages fingerprint marks. So, while the screen complements the sleek design of the monitor, those traces of fingerprint marks on the screen don’t impress many people.
For people who love being immersed by games, the monitor comes with a single speaker alongside a standard audio jack of 3.5mm for those who would want to get full on headphone modes. Whether you need a monitor you can carry with you when on the go, or you need something for a greater gaming experience with your comrades, the Gaems M155 gives you a good choice
- A gamer’s choice
- Anti-slip rubber feet
- Camera mount with great compatibility
- Sleek design and lightweight
- Glossy screen leaves fingerprint marks
- Blurriness in a plain text display
- Unfriendly for crowd viewers – angled view with blurriness
5. GeChic 2501C 15.6 Inch Portable Monitor with HDMI
An impressive UBS-powered portable monitor, the GeChic 2501C brings in the elements of style and power in its sleek modern look. You don’t need any additional drivers, simply plug and play and you are ready for a great viewing experience. To connect, just feed the USB cable for data and power and select the video output you desire and you are good to go.
Unlike other USB portable monitors, the GeChic 2501C monitor makes use of Real Video input, which means that you don’t get Full HD resolution. This doesn’t do justice in your views for content that is designed for 1080 pixels. However, the Full Real Video input allows a lag-free picture viewing experience, which is ideal for the gaming environment.
Using this monitor to extend your display proves beneficial to IT technicians, photographers, and web designers because it offers an impressively clear, sharp image representations complementing the 400:1 contrast in addition to a variety of screening viewing angles.
Besides, the GeChic 2501C comes in lightweight with a thin look for easy transport. The thin size and the lightweight features make the monitor fit easily and conveniently in any laptop bag without causing strain in carrying and fitting to the bag size. The GeChic 2501C is one of the high-end products, and despite it’s higher price, it does not disappoint the user. It delivers a great viewing experience and meets all the ideal requirements for an extra portable screen.
- Lag-free picture
- A gamer’s choice
- Sleek modern look
- No additional drivers needed=- Play and Play
- Clear sharp image
- Can view from different angles
- No Full DH resolution – doesn’t favor 1080p content
- A bit pricier
6. AOC e1659Fwu 16-Inch Ultra Slim Portable LED Monitor
The AOC e1659Fwu is a fantastic portable monitor from AOC that has a sleek, classy design for any work, leisure, or occasion. The monitor has a 16-inch LED LCD screen with a contrast ratio of 500:1. You will not have issues with cable management since this monitor uses the USB 3.0 technology to power data and power at the same time. A plug-and-play installation using a single cable makes things easy for you.
A 5ms response time for the monitor gives a crisp gaming solution with lag-free experience. Although there is no case or protective sleeve that comes with the standard packaging, viewers get a lightweight and slim monitor that is easily portable in a laptop bag or a backpack. The AOC e1659Fwu is a great companion for frequent travelers as well as businesspersons.
In the packaging, a wall-mount and flexi-stand are included meaning you can be able to set the monitor on a wall easily provided that you have an appropriate wall arm and bracket. The auto-pivot feature is able to help recognize the switch between portrait and landscape and adjusts as desired. These features allow anyone to set up multiple displays just like you would find in The Matrix. The multiple displays set up happens without having to deal with messy cable management.
AOC e1659Fwu is among the cheapest USB powered portable monitors for the budget-conscious productivity individuals seeking extra monitor or wanting to double their work capacity.
- No nasty cable management
- Lag-free viewing experience
- Flexi-stand for wall mounting
- Auto-pivot feature
- Sleek, classy design
- USB 3.0 technology
- Low price
- No protective sleeve
7. Asus ZenScreen MB16AC Portable Monitor
Being among the nice-looking USB portable monitors, the ZenScreen MB16A comes with several features and design considerations. It is lightweight and thin ensuring that you carry it easily when moving places. Its thin design allows easy packing in your laptop bag. The excellent image quality gives you a clear, sharp view of the content. Asus ZenScreen MB16A has a low brightness display but a balanced one to ensure you aren’t straining your eyes.
Asus MB16AC has a thickness of 8.0mm thin enough for easy packing in a laptop back. A combined stand and screen make the monitor to auto-rotate so that it supports both landscape and portrait modes. An odd element with the monitor is the ZenScreen pen in that, it’s not a touch-enabled pen but just ink pen meaning it doesn’t support digital pen input.
That being said, the portable monitor has a hole within the lower right corner on the bezel where the ZenScreen pen is able to slide into making it work as a makeshift stand.
Asus ZenScreen MB16AC does come with an adapter to help convert between different USB C connections. It also has an adapter to help with converting between more traditional USB 3.0. What this means is that the monitor allows compatibility with the old devices that have not been designed to support the latest USB C connections.
Several video preset modes help customize the picture while a 5ms response time means that the monitor functions pretty well with fast motion.
- Light and thin
- Low brightness
- Good quality image
- Works well with fast motion pictures
- Compatibility with old computers
8. GeChic 1503H 15-Inch Portable Monitor
The GeChic 1503H has a Full HD 1920 x 1080 screen resolution coupled with a narrow bezel. It’s also slim with a thickness of 11mm meaning you can easily slip it into a standard-sized laptop bag along with the laptop. GeChic 1503H uses IPS technology that allows a 160 degree vertical and horizontal viewing angle ideal for the crowds. The angled view is also ideal for mobile presentations and other situations where you need to view the monitor screen head-on. To enhance the functionality of the screen, the monitor features a headphone jack and a built-in stereo speaker. The speakers enhance flexibility in usage as well as productivity.
Other features of the monitor include a rear dock option that helps simplify power or video to allow the use of a computer stick. There is also a multi-mounting stick that comes with the monitor. Having said that, there is a bit of inconvenience in the cable management of the monitor. Although the monitor uses USB Type C, which can carry both data and power, GeChic did the design of the USB Type C port differently in that, you must plug in the USB C to transmit power, but the VGA or HDMI connection also must connect for you to transmit the video signal. Although it may make sense to say that the monitor is USB C supported, users will encounter some stretch because they lose the convenience of having a single cable.
- The brightness of a solid 300 nits makes a better portable screen
- IPS technology keeps accurate colors from a wide viewing angle
- Several color profiles to allow matching the primary monitor
- Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
- A 12.5 ms response time presents signs of ghosting in fast action gaming
- Speakers don’t sound great
9. HP ELiteDisplay G8R65AA#ABA Portable Monitor
The 14-inch portable monitor has a resolution of 1600 x 900. Although it’s not Full High Definition, it still gives good quality images.
The cover integrated into the design acts as a stand. The cover protects the monitors while also allowing you to set the monitor up whenever and wherever without the need to use additional props. A user needs only a single USB cable to get the connection of the device done, however, you will need to install appropriate drivers, which may mean taking more time to have the EliteDisplay set up. The monitor provides you crisp colors for a greater viewing experience.
EliteDisplay has a thickness of 1.3cm weighing about 2.75 lbs, a weight that includes the cover. Another downside is that the monitor does not support Mac devices, however, when you install appropriate drivers, it could still work with Mac.
- Good image quality
- Protective cover doubling up as a stand
- Three-year warranty
- Super simple setup
- Have to install drivers
- Not Full HD
- Heavier and thicker
10. Elecrow 13.3 Inch Portable Monitor
For people looking for smaller screens, they can try out the 13.3 inch Elecrow Portable Monitor. This monitor is very light weighing only 1.41 lbs. Besides, it has built-in speakers to enhance user experience and the image quality is great. Elecrow Portable Monitor is ideal for gamers since it offers a Full HD resolution with 1920 X 1080 alongside responsive time that is less – 5ms. This response time is the fastest so far.
The monitors have different ports including HDMI, USB, and earphone jack, the power port is however separate. The monitor is also compatible with almost any device that features an HDMI output.
- Built-in speakers for an enhanced experience
- Compatible with many devices having an HDMI output
- Ideal for gamers
- Full HD resolution
- A little bit thick
- Less portable compared to monitors working with one cable
Considerations When Buying a USB Portable Monitor
To find a portable USB powered monitor, you want to consider looking at a number of features.
You need to check the resolution of the monitor since you do not want to deal with a pixelated screen when extending the display or when you need to have a clear, sharp view for your business meeting and presentation. It becomes very inconveniencing and time-consuming if you have to constantly rotate the laptop screen so that you can share it with other people in a presentation. A 720p HD resolution should be the least resolution to go with.
When you mean “portable,” it’s just that, you can’t replace it with “moveable.” And portability means having a lightweight USB monitor that you can carry along when on the go. If you have to carry a bulky and difficult-to-carry-around monitor, it will cost you extra money on flight luggage. A sleek tablet-like monitor makes it easy to pack along with your laptop. A lightweight monitor would make your luggage heavier than desired.
Portable UBS monitors come in different forms, however, one thing you want to consider is the type of panel for the monitor. If you’re a designer, photographer, or editor who is always on the go, you might want to consider an option like IPS panel, which has quality views on a small display. You enjoy the great contrast and vibrant color while not straining your eyes. For the pro gamers wanting to watch games can go, they need TN displays that have low response time for the portable display.
While the portable monitors have gold standard connectivity of USB, there are also other kinds of connections you might need. For example, you can have VGA or HDMI connections. If you are presenting some topics in a workshop or meeting, and the USB ports are all taken up, you can use the HDMI to connect to a bigger screen or a VGA port to connect to a desktop computer.
If you are looking for a monitor that is portable, you have a wide array of them. Your choice will depend on your viewing needs. If you want a monitor for gaming, you need to ensure that it supports good viewing at fast actions, so the response time should be less. For the case of photographing, editing, or designing, you need crystal clear monitors with high resolution. The price is another element you need to check and this should resonate with the features of the portable monitors. The compatibility aspect needs also to be looked at because you may need to connect devices that are old-fashioned or devices that use outdated USB port types like USB 2.0.