I love my laptop, it’s a hardy machine that’s accompanied me on many journeys, however, sometimes it needs a little help.
It’s actually ranked as my number one laptop for travel, in case you’re interested.
But, it has limitations of course. Often I have had to travel to do training sessions or make presentations to small groups when projectors or other conferencing facilities were not available and I was just left with my laptop.
Of course, it was OK, but I knew it could have been better.
After a little research, I stumbled across these magic little devices, portable monitors, they were the perfect antidote to the limited display options on my laptop. So in this post, I want to help you find the best portable monitor for a laptop.
Please know, some of the external links in this page are affiliate links, this means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself.
The great thing about these little gadgets it’s their usefulness is not restricted to professional settings. You may be looking for a portable gaming monitor so that new RPG game is the gaming experience you look forward to.
You could even be a graphic designer that desires to maximize your options to manipulate things through that second screen.
Regardless of what you do with your laptops, portable monitors are sure to assist you with your work or leisure and here are some of the best monitors on the market.
7 Best Portable Monitors for Laptops
- Duex Pro Upgraded Portable Monitor
- HP Business S14 14’’ Led LCD Monitor
- UPERFECT Portable Monitor
- Asus ZenScreen MB16AC Full HD Eye Care Monitor
- Lepow Upgraded 15.6-inch Portable Monitor
- SideTrak Portable Monitor
- NIUTO 15.6-inch Full HD
1. Duex Pro Upgraded Portable Monitor
Kicking off our review in style is the Duex pro upgrade portable monitor from Mobile Pixels that sports a 12.5-inch display size with a 1920x1080p IPS full HD display on first sight. As far as the display’s protective measures, there is the Anti-glare Eye Care Brightness.
I love it for its unique and innovative mounting mechanism that is simply an “Append, Slide and Use” mechanism. You simply need to attach this slim (1.8 inches), lightweight (1.7 pounds) and comfortably dimensioned (14.1 x 10.3 inches) portable monitor to your laptop, slide it through and get to work.
For workers, studies have shown that using portable monitors as an appendage to your laptops, generally, help to increase work efficiency by up to 50%. The Duex pro does not lack in this regard either as it will not only help with that productivity boost but may provide specific help in your field of work.
For instance, the 270°, 180° rotation the Duex pro offers may help with mirroring your laptop screen for presentations during meetings. And, for entertainment advantages is the options for Landscape or Portrait viewing and multitasking on your laptop and Duex pro screens.
Aside from these, the adjustable portable dual screen monitor relieves you of connection stress as it makes use of USB Type-C, Type-A and is compatible with Windows, Chromebook laptops and Macbooks as well.
Ultimately, the quality of the Duex pro is relatively high and worthy of its $250 price tag.
2. HP Business S14 14’’ Led LCD Monitor
This USB portable monitor from HP dons a 14-inch display, poised with an LED backlight from an IPS display panel that is 1920 x 1080 resolution-wise and sports a refresh rate of 60-Hz. In layman terms, the display looks great, with vivid colors and great response time.
The structural design of the HP business or EliteDisplay does follow suite with the efficiency of its display. The dimensions for the screen exactly measure 12.91 x 8.24 x 0.34 inches accompanied with a compact weight of 2.2 lbs making is a great ultra portable choice.
These values are just about perfect for products in the portable monitors industry as the word “portable” is candidly descriptive of the product.
This portable screen will not only fit in your laptop bag but also fit in different professional and leisure settings. This is especially evident as you do not need a power cable or battery to use it but a simple Type-C USB will do the connectivity trick nicely. Simply unfold the strong, easel folding cover it comes with and prop it up next your laptop, connect with your Type-C cable and you’re good to go.
Furthermore, the performance of the HP Business S14 Monitor, is effortless for gaming, watching movies and color intensive activities on your laptop. This is all done with your eye safety in mind as there is an option for low the Blue light mode to shift the color spectrum to a somewhat warmer one, filtering the blue light emission, thereby protecting your eyes.
3. UPERFECT Portable Monitor
This stunning portable monitor absolutely outclasses all the portable monitors on this list when it comes to display quality. The 15.6-inches dulls a full HD resolution display for a UHD display that flaunts a 3200 x 1800-pixel 4k display on its IPS panel with a rapid response time. This IPS panel also displays images in a dynamic way that provides for wide-angle viewing while providing an enhanced luminosity level.
The 10-point capacitive touch screen capability of the monitor makes the 3840 x 2160 resolution of the screen even more worth it. Specifically, the dimensions of the UPERFECT portable monitor is 13.9 x 8.7 x 0.5 inches with a compact weight of just about 2.05 pounds, making it just about right for a travel companion.
To top the display quality of is its gravity sensor rotation that automates transition between landscape and portrait orientation easily and built-in speakers offer super high-quality stereo output. I also love the frameless bezel to maximize the screen real estate.
Many professional reviews have quoted the UPERFECT portable touch screen as the best portable gaming monitor especially because of the ease to which it connects to laptops, phones, Switch, Raspberry Pi, and the major gaming consoles like the Xbox One, PS3 and PS4, to name a few. But it is not limited to the use of just gamers as digital nomads and photographers have commented on its efficiency in aiding their work.
Connectivity is quick and simple with a single USB cable cord or via the Mini HDMI port.
4. Asus ZenScreen MB16AC Full HD Eye Care Monitor
While the Asus ZenScreen is relatively not as bright or vivid screen as some others in this list, it is still an excellent choice as a second screen for your laptop.
The lightweight, 1.7 pounds portable monitor, sports a 15.6-inch, Full HD display size of 14.6 x 8.9 x 0.3 inches, accompanied with a wraparound cover that protects it while it’s in your bag or suitcase and a neat little pen hole for your digital writing tool.
The customization options the Asus Zenscreen provides is one of its major selling points with the ability to go through four tiers of blue-light emission filter as well varying modes, specific for watching movies, reading, or gaming.
I also love the auto-rotate feature to easily switch between portrait and landscape views so it is ideal for both working and presenting.
Connectivity is simple and ranges from a USB Type-C port to Type-A cord to other adapters if you have downloaded the DisplayLink driver from the Asus website.If you want a similar screen just a little more compact the ASUS MB169B+ is also a great choice.
5. Lepow Upgraded 15.6-inch Portable Monitor
The 15.6-inch display of the Lepow portable monitor is a thing of beauty with its 1920 x 1080 resolution full HD resolution screen. This monitor bests the others on this list especially with its selection of OSD menu and controls to better customize it to your usage. However, studying and comparing the Lepow has shown its lack in color reproduction or generally, image quality.
It also has a dual built-in stereo speakers that delivers loud and immersive 360-degree sound with deep and accurate bass.
Aside from that, the monitor meets all you may require for a second screen you can move around with its 1.7-pound weight and thickness of 0.34 inches. Not to mention its stable and simple connection that does not require a technical driver and add on installations to get to enjoy.
But, instead, requires your USB Type-C or HDMI cable to enjoy stable second screen experience. The extra film for eye-care aside from the blue light filter capability it possesses pushes it above others in the safety department.
6. SideTrak Portable Monitor
The SideTrak USB portable monitor is a somewhat technical option to choose but reading this, you should have no problem. The simple technicality lies in the size range of laptops to which the monitor can attach to. The SideTrak monitor is only advisable for users with laptops above the 11.25 x 8.25 inches size range, typically fitting into laptops within the 13 – 17.5-inch screen size bracket.
The SideTrak portable monitor comes in a metal frame (with the SideTrak monitor measures 12.8 x 8.5 x 0.7) that you attach to your laptop by means of four metal squares appended to the back of your laptop. You will be able to deploy your monitor once you attach the monitor to the four metal squares and it attaches nicely through embedded magnets in the monitor frame.
The frame, aside from aiding the attachment process, helps to aid rotation as well because you can easily rotate the monitor up to 270° round for engaging presentations. It is however advisable to watch out for the Type-c cable when rotating to not damage the cable or the port. It does therefore support a USB-C to USB-C cable connection but usually comes with a single USB-A adapter.
7. NIUTO 15.6-inch Full HD
This Ultra-slim (0.2-inch) and Ultra-light (1.64lbs) second monitor is an all-rounder. It displays on an IPS LCD panel with a full hd 1920 x 1080 resolution that has viewing angle of up to 178°.
It also has dual built-in speakers that aid with audio output as well as a 3.5mm audio jack. For aesthetics and functionality is the leather cover with which it comes with that serves as a cover but also as a stand.
Something else on offer here is the ability to switch the screen to portrait or landscape mode. Often portrait mode can offer a much better viewing experience when browsing websites, reading documents and is definitely a good choice if you are looking at or typing code. The you have portraits which if perfect for videos and other media.
As for connectivity, it is compatible with gaming consoles, most phones Android with full USB-C output, and laptops through a Type-C cable. Note – this monitor does not support iPhones.
What Is A Portable Monitor?
You must have already been able to guess obviously that a portable monitor is just a secondary display that you can make use of with your laptops to work on-the-go comfortably, enhance your gaming system, deepen your designs with a stylus pen and a variety of other leisure and professional options. However, you may be wondering why exactly portable monitors are different and apparently, better, than their preceding large-sized counterparts.
There are several factors that undoubtedly outdo standard monitors and to name a few; the simplicity and ease to which you can set up most portable monitors (you can do the whole thing with one cable compared to standard monitors that require their own power source before connecting to your other devices).
Also, portable monitor manufactures, usually produce them to consume far less power because the monitor display is less dependent on the hardware and more on the software, thereby saving significant amount of power.
Most importantly, however, is the mobility capability the it offers as you can stuff it nicely in you backpack, suitcase, laptop bag and basically anywhere you’d keep your laptop in. This will make you able to work or entertain yourself, wherever and whenever.
What Makes A Good Portable Monitor?
All you need in this regard is a monitor that’s large enough to work on but small enough to fit in your bag. A tip for individuals using a 11 to 13-inch laptop would be to buy a bigger-sized monitor.
Except you simply wish to just get your regular desktop on the road with you, your portable monitor should be no more than 3lbs. If you need a large-sized monitor, then the weight is sure to exceed that and it’s always advised you simply get a slim regular monitor instead.
A portable monitor connection should be quick and simple (preferably through a USB cable). There are HDMI and micro HDMI options, but those are sometimes impractical for use unless necessitated. Also, check if your laptop has the required connection port e.g. multiple USB-C ports if you are connecting other accessories. A good cable will also ensure a fast response time for the screen.
Depending on what exactly you are using your portable monitor for as well as preference, you can choose from a wide variety of resolution options. Specifically, for writing codes or articles, you probably don’t need that much of it while if your usage is more of gaming, photography and the likes, high resolutions will be key.
Most portable monitors come with the blue light filter feature and it is quite important to have it especially for those of us with eye defects.
Wide viewing angles are only especially important for entertainment purposes with most portable monitors having their viewing angles at about 178° which is sufficient.
This is basically the most important thing to take note of before buying one as some portable monitors may not support specific laptops. So, ensure to compare if your laptop is incompatible with the portable monitor.
When Will I Use A Portable Monitor?
For those of us who don’t have a laptop dedicated to work alone, the gift portable monitors provide is invaluable. Since you may have other things on your laptop you wouldn’t want your client seeing, you would appreciate the fact that your portable monitor would usually toggle to extended mode (basically a blank background). This allows you to simply set up your presentation from your laptop with the monitor faced to the client and go about it easily.
Work demands multiple screens
If your work space demands it or you are accustomed to the use of multiple screens in your office, portable monitors will do just the trick. This is especially evident in this period where remote working is common because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
To watch a movie
Yes, you can use your laptop for that. But in a case where you want to multitask your laptop, watching a movie on the monitor while working with your laptop. Besides, watching movies on portable monitors might be better because of the casual high-quality little bezels on it. It can also be more convenient if you are using your laptop in bed and want to lay back and relax your back for a while.
Play Mobile Games
For you gamers, mobile games had never been as enjoyable before the integration of portable monitors which gives that bigger display. You could even connect your controller via Bluetooth to your phone and have an even more enhanced experience.
As a sketchpad
For designers and artists, having a portable monitor may prove to be additionally helpful as you can use the portable monitor, together with a stylus to design or draw something beautiful.
Final Thoughts On The Best Portable Monitor For a Laptop
Ultimately, portable monitors are generally stylish, fascinating, and efficient for work and leisure, so getting any one of them is a huge plus if it combines well with your laptop. Nevertheless, what I’d consider to the best option of all would be the Asus ZenScreen MB16AC simply because it dons all the factors it takes to be a good portable monitor. It just doesn’t come any better.
But I’ve learned a ton from my experiences, too. tera celebrate a full decade since I stumbled my way out of the U. K. and began a life of full-time travel, I’ve compiled an enormous list of my biggest and best travel tips. These are all things that I wish someone had told me before I started traveling, so I hope you’ll find them useful, inspiring, educational, and entertaining. I love trying new things, and I’ve found a thousand amazing dishes that I never would have discovered if I’d continue to eat from supermarkets around the world. Trying new food isn’t scary, and you’ll build your confidence up as you fall in love with more and more things.
One of the first lessons I learned on the road was that your partouze will nearly always change. You’ll arrive in a place and hate it and want to leave immediately, or you’ll fall in love with a destination and want to spend longer there. You’ll make friends with a group of awesome people and want to change your partouze so you can travel with them for longer, or you’ll find out about an amazing-sounding town that’s nearby and want to head there instead.
Sure, you should have a rough plan for your trip, but don’t book everything in advance or you’ll likely feel too restricted and end up regretting it. Book a one-way ticket and your first few nights of accommodation — you’ll figure the rest out along the way. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If you’re in a tourist destination there’ll always be someone who’s willing to take your money by giving you a place to stay.
If you do only one thing before you leave, make it getting travel insurance. I’ve heard far too many horror stories of travellers injuring themselves in remote places and ending up in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you, because you know those travellers thought that, too. I’ve use World Nomads for my travel insurance provider for six years and recommend them to everyone I know. They were fantastic to deal with when making a claim.
People laughed at me when I said that I was carrying around a dozen spare passport photos, but they’ve been incredibly useful and saved me a ton of time and hassle. Who wants to wander the streets of some rural town in Cambodia searching for someone who can take your photo ? Friends of mine had to do this !
I’ve used them to apply for visas around the world, to get a new passport when mine expired while I was on the other side of the planet, and I even needed one to buy a local SIM card in Nepal ! Having spares in my backpack meant that I didn’t have to waste a day researching and then wandering around a city to try to find someone who could take a passport-sized photo of me.
I’m fortunate to have never had to deal with lost luggage, but I did have my backpack ripped open on a flight and I was grateful to have not had anything valuable in it at the time. I’ve also been on dodgy buses in Southeast Asia where we’ve arrived at our destination and people have had items stolen by someone hiding out in the luggage hold while we were transit.
If there’s anything I’d be upset to lose, I keep it in my daypack, which is always by my side on travel days. For me, that’s my passport, laptop, dashcam, external drive, a debit card, and some spare cash. As long as I have all of these, I can survive indefinitely.
When you travel, you’re in the sun more than most people thanks to months of island-hopping and beach time, as well as entire days spent outside exploring. Wear sunscreen every solo day, regardless of the weather and temperature, because you really don’t want your trip of a lifetime to result in skin cancer or a body that’s blanketed in leathery wrinkles.
There have been so many times when I’ve been too shy to ask someone to take my photo in a place and I’ve almost always regretted it. After eight years of travel, I probably only have around 200 photos of me around the world. Photos of the beautiful places you visit are great and all, but when you get home, they’re not all that different to the ones everyone else has taken there, too. Photos with you in them are special and they’ll mean a lot more to you when you look back at them. You’ll gain more respect from the locals if you can at least say hello, please, sorry, and thank you. On that note, remember : if you don’t speak the language, it’s your problem, not theirs. And please don’t start speaking louder to make yourself understood. Try miming instead, or using a translation app on your phone.
Travel isn’t conducive for sleep, whether it’s snorers in dorm rooms, early risers rustling plastic bags, or drunk backpackers stumbling around in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t stay in hostels, you’ll still have to deal with street noise from outside, loud parcs nearby, and uncomfortable overnight journeys. Pack some ear plugs and a sleep mask in your bag to help improve your sleep. I’ve been using Sleep Phones to block out light and listen to podcasts and I love them.
I’d always been all about the packing cubes, until I discovered vacuum-sealed variantes of them ! You throw your clothes in, seal the bag, then roll it up to push out all the air. I can literally fit twice as many clothes in my backpack when I use these ! Even if you don’t want to carry more things in your bag, it frees up so much space that if you need to pack in a hurry, you can just chuck everything in.
Sometimes your bank will block your card, sometimes your card won’t work in an ATM, and sometimes you could even lose it or have it stolen. Bring at least three debit/credit cards with you that are all linked to different accounts ( with money in them ! ) Keep one in your backpack, one in your daypack, and one on your person.
I carry a spare 300 USD that’s split up in various places in my backpack, daypack, and occasionally, my shoe when I’m nervous I’ll be robbed. It means that in a worse-case scenario, I can pay for some food, a dorm bed, and a Skype call to my family to get an emergency wire transfer until I can get back on my feet again. I went with U. S. dollars because it’s the most widely accepted currency around the world and easy to change.
When I decided to see if it was possible to visit the Maldives on a budget back in 2014, information was so sparse that I couldn’t even find a photo of the islands I’d decided to visit. Well, that trip was one of my highlights of the past eight years and I’m so glad I went, despite not being able to find any information online. And the advantage to that lack of information was getting to be the only tourist on an entire island — I had the whole beach to myself ! If you know it’s safe to travel somewhere, but can’t find out much else, go for it. It’s probably far easier to get there than you think. And if not, it makes for a good story.
I’m definitely testament to that ! But expecting everything to go perfectly on your trip is only setting yourself up to fail. Nobody goes travelling and comes back without any stories of mishaps. No matter how prepared you are, at some point you’re going to get lost, get scammed, miss your bus, get food poisoning, injure yourself… the list is endless ! Expect it to happen, and don’t beat yourself up when it does. In a month’s time, you’ll find it funny rather than frustrating.
It achieves absolutely nothing and makes you look like an asshole. Instead, calm down, put a smile on your face, think of how this will make a great story one day, and rationally figure out an option plan. This too shall pass.
What happens if you arrive in a city, go to grab your email confirmation for your accommodation, and your phone and laptop are out of battery ? I always make sure I have a copy of my guesthouse name and their address, as well as directions if I won’t be taking a taxi. Once I arrive, I’ll grab one of the hotel’s business cards, so I’ll always know where I’m staying, and can show it to locals to ask for help with finding my way back.
So many people will tell you not to travel with pantalons, but if you wear jeans all the time at home, you’ll want to wear them while travelling, too. I didn’t start travelling with pantalons until my second year of travel, and man, I missed them so much ! They’re not *that* bulky so you really don’t need to worry about the extra space and weight. And in many cities in Europe, you’ll want to wear jeans to fit in with the locals — you don’t want to look like a grubby backpacker in Paris !
Checking out is when you’re most likely to lose something. Whenever I check out of a place, I check the bathroom, I check under the beds, I check the desks, and then I make sure I have my passport, laptop, dashcam, money, phone, and external hard drive. I’ll be fine if I leave anything else behind. Having a routine that you go through every single time will help you keep track of everything. I learned my lesson with this one when I left my passport behind in a guesthouse in Bagan, then left it in an apartment in London two months later.