The demand for portable laptop monitors has enhanced as the world is going toward remote working and portable lifestyle choices. Portable monitors are narrow, compact, and simple to carry around. They are perfect for consultants who are continuously traveling, as well as students who need another screen for their laptops while studying. Portable monitors can be as light as just 1.26lbs/ 570g (!) which makes them easy to carry along with your main laptop.
If you primarily work on a laptop, incorporating a second portable monitor can greatly enhance your productivity!
Common situations where portable monitors can be beneficial:
This article is all about the top 10 portable monitors for laptops based on their features and specifications. Let’s take a look at it in more detail. We’ve also added links to Amazon but it is only for your convenience, we are not earning any commission from these links.
The Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is a 14-inch compact screen with a 1920 x 1080 Full HD pixel density. It has a sleek look and weighs only 1.26 pounds. It also contains a smart case that bends into a holder to help the screen. It acknowledges both USB-C and USB-A connections.
Why we love it:
If you use a Lenovo laptop (Thinkpad or similar) then using this portable monitor can be a great choice.
The ViewSonic VA1655 is a great alternative to ThinkVision portable monitor if you also need speakers.
Dell C1422H 14″ is a great alternative to Thinkvision and Viewsonic. Its colors, 6ms response, sleek design, USB-c passthrough, and weight of 1.3 lb (600g) make it easy to carry. If you use a Dell laptop, it can be a great choice.
If you have iPad then it may work as a portable monitor too! You can run it as a second monitor from Macbook natively. On a Windows laptop, you can use apps like Duet to use iPad as a 2nd screen.
Why not many people using iPad or Android tablets as 2nd screen? Because there are potential issues with response and delays on the 2nd screen that may irritate or make it uncomfortable, especially on Windows.
LG Gram View 16 is a good alternative if want to have a 16″ monitor to add to your laptop. This monitor is not as portable as others but it can be great working with a static setup as well. It also provides great color accuracy and 16″ inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) but weights 2.18 lbs (almost 1 kg).
The ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC is a portable 15.6-inch monitor with a sleek design and a weight of 1.7 lbs( 780 grams). It has a 1920 x 1080 Full HD pixel density and an IPS panel with high color precision and watching angles. It also encompasses a smart case that bends into a holder to sustain the monitor.
The AOC I1601FWUX is a portable 15.6-inch monitor with USB-C connectivity. It has a 1920 x 1080 Full HD pixel density and an IPS panel with accurate color precision and displaying angles. It also encompasses a smart case that bends into a holder to help the monitor. Though its weight is 1.8lb (816g) there is no USB-C pass-through connection so you will need to have at least 2 USB-C ports on your laptop if you need to charge your laptop along with using 2nd monitor.
The HP EliteDisplay S14 is a 14-inch portable screen with a 1920 x 1080 Full HD pixel density. It has a classic look. It also contains a smart case that bends into a holder to sustain the monitor. It recognizes both USB-C and USB-A connections. Can work well for traveling, but consider its weight of 2.2 lbs (almost 1 kg).
The ViewSonic TD1655 is a 15.6-inch compact screen with a 1920 x 1080 Full HD pixel density. It comes equipped with an IPS panel with good color precision and high angles. It also contains a smart case that bends into a holder to help the screen. It has USB-C and HDMI networking capabilities. Its weight is 2.2 lb (1kg), so consider its weight if you plan to travel with it.
The Lepow Z1-Gamut is a 15.6-inch compact screen with a 1920 x 1080 High Definition pixel density. It includes an IPS panel with better color precision and high angles. It also contains a smart case that bends into a holder to sustain the display. It has USB-C and HDMI networking capabilities and provides dual speakers. The weight is 1.7 lbs (771 g) so it is pretty portable but for the price, it better go with Viewsonic, Thinkvision, or Dell.
The Zenscreen MB16AM is a 15.6-inch compact screen with a 1920 x 1080 High Definition pixel density. It has a sleek look and weighs only 1.7 pounds. It also contains a smart case that bends into something like a holder to sustain the display. It acknowledges both USB-C and USB-A connections. Its weight of 2 lb (1kg) and high price make it not a good choice to consider unless you are not a fan of the ASUS Zen line. IMPORTANT: This monitor has a built-in battery so it does not require a power connection but this battery provides only 4 hours of work.
Certain features should be taken into account when choosing a compact monitor for your laptop. Weight and support for pass-through USB-C power are the most important ones. Screen resolution, pixel density, panel type, wireless connectivity, and ease of handling are also among them.
Without a doubt, for a portable monitor, its weight is important. While some monitors can be very light and weigh only 1.26 lb (570 gm) but others can easily other 2-3 lbs (1 kg) or more!
If you consider replacing your 17″ heavy laptop with a 13-14″ laptop with a portable monitor then think of the combined weight you’ll get from your new setup. Make sure that the combined weight of the new configuration will be the same or less as your large-screen old laptop.
For example, replacing Dell XPS 17 (5.5 lbs/2.5kg) can be good if you replace it with Thinkpad 14″ X1 (2.48 lbs / 1.2 kg) or Thnkpad T400 + Thinkvision M14 monitor (1.26 lbs/570g) = 3.75 lbs (1.7kg)
The screen size of a compact screen is a significant aspect. While widescreen monitors are more compact and light, bigger screens offer a more interactive visual experience. The dimensions you pick will be defined by your requirements and preferences.
In most cases, 14-15″ is a sweet spot for an external 2nd portable monitor.
The screen size of a compact screen is a significant aspect. While widescreen monitors are more compact and light, bigger screens offer a more interactive visual experience. The dimensions you pick will be defined by your requirements and preferences. While you can find 2:3 screens but in the general case you will find portable monitors which are very similar to a laptop screen.
The consistency and image quality of the pictures showcased on a foldable monitor are decided by their pixel density. A better resolution offers greater quality in the image, but it also comes at a greater price. Full HD (1920 x 1080) remains the most widely accepted resolution for portable monitors, but higher resolutions like Quad HD (2560 x 1440) and 4K are also usable (3840 x 2160).
Full HD is enough in most cases and Quad HD and 4K may dramatically increase the cost, weight, and power requirements!
Portable monitors are readily accessible with a wide range of panel types, such as IPS, TN, and VA. Due to their accurate color high precision and broad viewing range, IPS panels are the most popular pick. Although TN panels are less costly, they have relatively narrow image quality and relatively poor color calibration. VA panels have a contrast ratio but slow response durations. IPS panels are the recommended ones.
Most portable monitors have been using a USB-C or HDMI cable for connecting to your laptop. Some designs also sustain USB-A connectivity, which is beneficial if your laptop requires a USB-C port. Before buying it, make sure that the screen is interoperable with your laptop.
If your laptop charges via USB-C then it is highly recommended to go with a monitor with so-called “pass-through” USB-C power support. With this feature, you can power your portable monitor and power your laptop from the monitor which is convenient, especially on the go. Consider Dell, and Lenovo Thinkvision monitors for these options.
A portable monitor’s adaptability is crucial. It should be lightweight and simple to transfer. Some monitors involve smart cases that bend into a holder to help support the screen and make it simpler to use.
Finally, portable laptop monitors are an excellent buy for those who need an additional monitor while studying or working while traveling. They focus on providing better stability and ease of handling, so you can operate efficiently from any place. Take into account the weight, connectivity, screen size, pixel density, panel type, connectivity, and functionality when buying a portable screen.