The 8 Best Portable Monitors of 2021
Maximize your work setup while traveling
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Portable monitors allow you to have a multi-monitor setup while traveling for work and using a laptop. With exceptionally thin and lightweight designs, they're made to slip into a laptop bag, tote, or carry-on bag along with your laptop and other devices.
Many portable monitors come packaged with cases that double as adjustable stands or have integrated kickstands that allow you to adjust the angles for more comfortable viewing. These screens are also generally the same size as a typical laptop, anywhere from 14 to 17 inches (though some are larger). Here are the best portable monitors for every need and budget.
Best Overall: Asus ZenScreen MB16AC
The 15.6-inch screen of the Asus ZenScreen MB16AC gives you plenty of room to work on documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and even video files. It produces full 1080p resolution for excellent color and detailing when working with images or taking video calls. It also connects to your laptop via a USB-C cable, and it is compatible with Thunderbolt 3 ports for ultra-fast data transfer and high-resolution imaging.
The screen can be used in both portrait and landscape modes with automatic rotation when you flip the screen, and it even works with a blue light filter and anti-flicker technology to reduce eye strain. With its incredibly thin and lightweight design, this monitor easily slips into a laptop or carry-on bag for travel.
Related: The Best Computer Monitors
Best Lightweight: Lenovo ThinkVision M14
The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 weighs just 1.3 pounds, making it incredibly easy to carry in a bag when traveling to work. The 14-inch screen gives you 1080p resolution and produces over 16 million colors for a great picture no matter what you're working on. The included stand allows you to adjust the tilt angle for more comfortable viewing and reduce glare from overhead lights, while the screen also uses low blue light backlighting to reduce eye strain.
This monitor connects to your laptop with a USB-C cable, and an extra USB-C port lets you connect external memory storage, peripherals, more displays, and even charge mobile devices. Plus, the screen has a power pass-through design that allows you to charge both your monitor and laptop with a single power adapter.
Best for Creative Professionals: Asus ROG Strix XG17AHPE
While it is marketed as a gaming monitor, the Asus ROG Strix XG17AHPE is an excellent option for creative professionals. It has a 17.3-inch screen with 1080p resolution, a refresh rate of 240Hz, and a 3ms response time. It is also calibrated for 100 percent sRGB color range to give you the most true-to-life images possible with a full HD monitor.
With Adaptive-Sync technology, this monitor syncs its refresh rate with your GPU frame rate output to reduce image ghosting as well as screen tearing and stuttering for ultra-smooth video playback. It connects to your laptop with either a USB-C or micro-HDMI cable, and it also has an integrated battery that gives you up to 3.5 hours of use on a full charge.
Related: The Best Portable Projectors
Best Touchscreen: Asus ZenScreen MB16AMT
With a 15.6-inch screen and 1080p resolution, the Asus ZenScreen MB16AMT supports 10-point touch inputs to easily swipe, zoom, and navigate documents or web pages. It's compatible with Windows-, Android-, ChromeOS-, Linux-, and macOS-based computers and mobile devices as well as Thunderbolt 3 ports. It also connects to your device with a USB-C or micro-HDMI cable.
Along with integrated speakers, the monitor comes with a cover that acts as an adjustable stand and a built-in battery that gives you up to 4 hours of use on a full charge. Even more, the screen supports both landscape and portrait modes as well as automatic rotation.
Best Large Screen: ViewSonic TD2230
The ViewSonic TD2230 features an impressive 22-inch screen with ultra-thin bezels, giving you an edge-to-edge picture to make the most of your screen. It also produces full 1080p resolution and supports 10-point touch inputs for a more efficient touchscreen experience. It connects to your laptop with HDMI, DisplayPort, or VGA cables, and it also has a USB 3.0 port for connecting peripherals or memory storage devices.
The monitor's matte black finish helps prevent fingerprints and smudges as well as damage from scratches and dents. Plus, it has two integrated speakers for your audio needs.
Related: The Best Business Laptops
Best Value: HP EliteDisplay S14
The HP EliteDisplay S14 is an affordable option that still packs plenty of features. The monitor weighs around 2 pounds and measures just 9mm thin, making it easy to slip into a bag for business travel. The 14-inch screen produces 1080p resolution and features both a blue light filter and an anti-glare coating to reduce eye strain.
You can also use the on-screen controls to adjust screen brightness and shift colors into a warmer spectrum, while the included cover can be used as a stand or for protecting the monitor when not in use. It connects to your laptop with a USB-C cable for both power and data transfer.
Best Budget: Acer PM161Q
A great budget-friendly option, the Acer PM161Q uses a USB-C cable to connect to your laptop for video transfer and a micro USB cable for power. This means you won't have to drain your computer's battery when using this monitor on-the-go.
It weighs just over 2 pounds and features a 15.6-inch screen, making it easy to take with you to client meetings or on business trips. It also features a built-in kickstand that allows you to adjust the viewing angle for more comfortable use. With 1080p full HD resolution and a 7ms response time, you'll get almost lag-free input responses and great image quality when working on documents, presentations, or infographics.
Best Battery Life: Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AP
Having a portable monitor makes it easy to have a multi-screen setup while traveling for work, but it can drain your laptop's battery. Enter the Asus ZenScreen Go, which features an integrated battery that gives you up to 4 hours of use on a full charge.
When you do need to recharge, it connects to your laptop with a USB-C cable and supports quick charge technology. To see how much battery life you have left, simply press the battery hotkey for instant visual confirmation so you never run into a dead screen. It comes with a stylus and smart case that allows you to use the 15.6-inch screen in either portrait or landscape mode.
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Meet the Expert
Taylor Clemons has over three years of experience writing about games and consumer technology. She has written for Lifewire, Digital Trends, TechRadar, and her own publication, Steam Shovelers.