Laptop screen too small? Top portable monitors make everything bigger

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With most jobs, classes, and even family events being online, it’s almost a necessity to have the best, high-functioning equipment. I know you’re thinking, “I already have a laptop. What more could I need?”

Well, one thing you’ll want to have is a portable monitor. Whether you’re working remotely, traveling the globe, having a large family reunion over Zoom, or playing online games, a portable monitor will upgrade your simple laptop setup with just a couple of cables. Portable monitors are great for many reasons, and my favorite is the ability to take them with you no matter where you go.

When purchasing your portable monitor, think about the features that matter the most to you.

  • Does the size of the screen matter the most?
  • Or is it how the portable monitor is propped up and displayed?
  • Or maybe you’re looking for something with an easy setup?

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Close-up of a man's hand typing on a computer keyboard, with monitor and mouse.

Close-up of a man’s hand typing on a computer keyboard, with monitor and mouse.
(Lincoln Rogers)

Figuring out your requirements for the perfect monitor will make the decision process smoother and ensure you get the portable monitor that best suits your needs.

To assist with your decision-making, I’ve put together our list of the top portable monitors to fit your lifestyle.

Best Portable Monitors

Best Portable Monitor for On-the-Go

ZSCMALLS – Portable Monitor 15.6 Inch

Take your work or classroom with you no matter where you go with this high-functioning small portable monitor. 13.3 inches is the smallest size offered for portable monitors. These monitors may have a small screen, and they sure have a lot to offer and make using your laptop to get work done easily if you’re in a coffee shop or waiting for your next flight at the airport.

Pros

  • Low price and still has great picture and resolution
  • Very light – less than a pound and a half
  • Works best in mirror and split-screen mode
  • First perfectly in a standard-sized backpack
  • Comes with a screen protector, USB C and HDMI cords
  • Has a USB port, which most portable monitors do not
  • Speakers are clear and loud
  • Extremely easy to set up and adjust the settings

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Cons

  • The screen protector is tricky to put on. You are better off getting a replacement than the one it comes with
  • The case it comes with could be sturdier and it holds up well
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Top Feature: At this price it gets the job done.
Screen Size: 15.6 Inch
Resolution: FHD 1080p
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Connection:USB C, mini HDMI, and USB ports
Charge: USB cord to charge, can charge with the laptop power
Positioned: Uses built-in case to prop the screen up

Get monitors here

Best Portable Monitor for a Low Price

Newsoul – Portable Monitor for Laptop 15.6 Inches

Of course, you want to increase productivity with a portable monitor, but you also don’t want to break the bank. This portable monitor will not only help you get the job done, but it’ll also help you keep a few extra bucks in your pocket.

Businessman using laptop computer

Businessman using laptop computer
(iStock)

Pros

  • Blue Light Filter and Flicker Free Screen
  • Built-in dual stereo speakers
  • Bright and vivid display screen
  • Eye Care technology to keep eyes from getting tired
  • The smart cover is durable and made from leather with a soft lining to protect the screen
  • Comes with mini HDMI, USB-C, USB-C to USB-A adapter, and wall charger
  • Has three working modes: Duplicate Mode, Extend Mode, and Phone-Computer Mode
  • Can be shifted from landscape to portrait mode
  • The monitor can draw power from the laptop so it doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall plug
  • Amazon Firestick works great for streaming

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Cons

  • Does not have the highest resolution if using the monitor for gaming
  • The speakers work well but are not very loud

Top Feature: This screen is portable but can be mounted if you’d like
Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixels
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Connection: 2 USB-C, mini HDMI, OTG port, 3.5mm audio
Weight: 2 pounds
Charge: Single Type-C Connect to Signal & Power
View Angle: 178°

Get monitors here

Best Large Portable Monitor for the Home Office

ARZOPA – Portable Monitor for Laptop – 17.3 Inches

Working from home is the way of the future for many. Most of us, are used to working on our laptops, but as we set up our home office, it’s beneficial to create a space that promotes productivity. One way to increase productivity is by adding a portable monitor to your workspace. These monitors are slim but will help turn the old junk room into the perfect at-home office.

Close up of doctor's hand typing on computer

Close up of doctor’s hand typing on computer
(iStock)

Pros

  • Large screen for an exceptional price
  • The wide display is very clear
  • Works seamlessly with a laptop, gaming console, or phone
  • Auto rotates from landscape to portrait
  • Can be powered by pass-through charging when connected to your laptop
  • Fits perfectly on a work desk
  • Has built-in speakers with panoramic sound
  • 3-in-1 display mode: duplicate mode, extend mode, second screen mode
  • Comes with a magnetic smart case that can be folded into a stand
  • A very lightweight and slim portable monitor
  • High Definition with True Color
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Cons

  • Because this monitor is so large, it probably won’t fit inside a regular-sized backpack or laptop bag.

Top Feature: Comes with numerous cords and adapters to ensure the monitor works with both PCs and Macs and any port you could possibly need.
Screen Size: 17.3 Inch
Resolution: 1920 x 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Connection: 2 USB Type C, 3.5mm audio jack, and mini HDMI
Weight: 1.7 pounds
Charge: USB-C cord connected to outlet or computer
Positioned: Monitor cover converts to stand

Get monitors here

Best Touchscreen Portable Monitor

ASUS ZenScreen – Portable Monitor for Laptop 15.6

Have you ever wished your laptop could become a touchscreen? Well if you use the ASUS Portable Monitor, you can do just that. Plug your laptop into this monitor and begin working seamlessly between both devices.

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Pros

  • Has Eye-Care and Blue Light filter to protect your eyes
  • Built-In Speakers give off a powerful sound
  • Very thin and light-weight
  • Comes with a foldable smart cover and smart pen hole
  • Allow landscape and portrait orientations with easy autorotation
  • Case doubles as a stand
  • Work perfectly with smartphones and cameras
  • With its own battery, the monitor doesn’t drain the power of the connected device
  • Great portable monitor to take with you while traveling
Photo of businesswoman working at office with monitor computer, young hipster manager typing on keyboard, closeup finger female hands texting message, work process concept in work space.

Photo of businesswoman working at office with monitor computer, young hipster manager typing on keyboard, closeup finger female hands texting message, work process concept in work space.
(iStock)

Cons

  • The stand can be tricky to get set up properly.
  • Works better with Windows/Android products than Apple

Top Feature: This portable monitor is a touchscreen
Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixels
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Connection: Mini HDMI, USB Type-C, and USB Type-A
Weight: 2 pounds
Charge: Built-in battery with 4-hour life
Positioned: Viewing Angle (CR≧10) is 178°/ 178°

Get monitors here

Best Budget Touchscreen Portable Monitor

ViewSonic – Portable Monitor for Laptop 15.6 Inch

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Having a touchscreen portable monitor can seriously step up your productivity game, but it’s safe to say you probably don’t want to spend a ton of money. The View Sonic Portable Monitor is a great alternative to some of the pricier touchscreen monitors.

A woman works at a desktop computer in a home office in Bern, Switzerland on Saturday, Aug.  22, 2020.

A woman works at a desktop computer in a home office in Bern, Switzerland on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020.
(Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pros

  • Has an Anti-Glare Coating
  • Blue Light Filter and a Flicker-Free screen
  • Touchscreen with built-in speaker
  • Built-in stand for orientation in portrait and landscape
  • The portable monitor has a stand cover and screen protector
  • Scratch-resistant touchscreen
  • Comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable (for powering the monitor), a USB-C to USB-C cable for power to the wall adapter or single-point connection to a laptop, and a mini-HDMI to full- hdmi cable
  • Bright and colorful screen display
  • The monitor is very thin and lightweight. Fits perfectly in a backpack or tote

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Cons

  • ViewSonic’s Touch software is required for macOS. You can download this from View Sonic’s website
  • Touch software will work with Mac computers but not iPads or iPhones.
  • Although the screen is bright and clear, some of the displayed colors are not fully accurate. Meaning some blues may look more purple than true blue

Top Feature: A connected laptop can power the monitor or the monitor can power a laptop via USB-C power bank or AC adapter and outlet
Screen Size: 15.6 inches
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Pixels
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Connection: Two USB-C, Mini HDMI, and 3.5mm headphone jack
Weight: 2.1 pounds
Charge: 2-way powered USB-C
Viewing angle: 178° (H) / 178° (V)
Position: Built-in stand, can be propped up with case as well

Get monitors here

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