Laptops are convenient and portable, but the lack of screen space is a significant downside. Working with a small display interrupts tasks, requires a lot of window switching, and generally dents your productivity.

A portable monitor is an ideal way to increase your screen real estate. These devices connect to your laptop and extend the display, offering you a convenient multi-monitor setup while on the go.

Here are the best portable monitors for your laptop available today.

The Mobile Pixels Trio Max 14.1-inch Portable Monitor is an excellent choice for extending your screen estate. It's possible to connect two of these displays to your laptop, hence, the trio in the name.

The monitor has a sturdy, gunmetal grey brushed texture, and you can use it in both landscape and portrait mode. There's also a kickstand for an alternative setup. The monitor has a USB-C port and a USB charging port. Although it works with any laptop type, it only works with portable devices like Android smartphones and the Nintendo Switch.

The touch-sensitive buttons on the device allow you to enable the blue light filter and adjust brightness and color temperature. The LCD monitor features Full HD 1080p resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 60Hz refresh rate. It weighs 2.06 pounds, making it slightly heavier than most items on this list. The monitor is also available in a less expensive 12-inch version.

Key Features
  • Ability to attach two portable monitors
  • Can be used in portrait, landscape, and kickstand mode
Specifications
  • Brand: Mobile Pixels
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Screen Size: 14.1 inches
  • Ports: USB-C, USB charging port
  • Display Technology: LCD
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pros
  • Touch sensitive buttons
  • Bluelight mode
Cons
  • Only supports Android smartphones, not iPhones
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Mobile Pixels Trio Max 14.1-inch Portable Monitor

The Lepow 15.6-inch Portable Monitor has an IPS LCD screen, 1080p resolution, and a 60Hz refresh rate. There's a mini-HDMI port and USB-C port for connectivity, allowing you to add the monitor to a laptop, smartphone, or PC.

It can also be used as a gaming monitor with Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch. In addition, the monitor has dual speakers and even a 3.5mm audio port. It can be used in either landscape or portrait mode.

The IPS LCD monitor has a protective film to keep the screen from getting scratched and a PU leather cover case to keep it secure during transit. The lightweight monitor is 0.3 inches thick and weighs 1.76 pounds.

Key Features
  • Two built-in speakers and a 3.5mm audio jack
  • Protective film for screen
Specifications
  • Brand: Lepow
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Ports: Mini HDMI, USB-C
  • Display Technology: IPS LCD
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pros
  • Can be used with laptops, PCs, smartphones, and games consoles
  • Comes with a soft monitor cover for transit and storage
Cons
  • Can't use stand in portrait mode
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Lepow 15.6-inch Portable Monitor

The ViewSonic 15.6-inch Portable Monitor has multiple inputs. It includes a mini-HDMI port, two USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and dual speakers. The sturdy, stand-alone portable monitor has a built-in stand and a detachable, anti-slip magnetic cover.

For convenience, it can be used in either landscape or portrait mode. You can use it with any laptop or PC that has mini HDMI and USB-C inputs and is compatible with the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4, as well as tablets and smartphones.

The monitor has an IPS LCD screen, 1080p resolution, and a 60Hz refresh rate. It's lightweight, coming in at 1.8 pounds, includes a blue light filter to protect your eyes, and tilts 45 degrees. The monitor is also available in a more expensive touchscreen version.

Key Features
  • Built-in stand
  • Integrated speakers
  • Two USB-C ports
Specifications
  • Brand: ViewSonic
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Ports: mini-HDMI, 2x USB-C
  • Display Technology: IPS LCD
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pros
  • Can tilt 45 degrees
  • Can be used in either landscape or portrait mode
Cons
  • Colors may be slightly muted
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ViewSonic 15.6-inch Portable Monitor

The Mukesh 15.6-inch Portable Monitor has an IPS LCD screen, a 1080p HD resolution, and a 60Hz refresh rate. It's a stand-alone monitor with a mini HDMI port, USB-C functional port, and a USB-C power delivery port.

This monitor can be used with a laptop, PC, or smartphone and is compatible with Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation3, and PlayStation 4. The dual-stereo speakers and 3.5mm headphone interface provide audio functionality. Also, there's a menu wheel for choosing your settings.

The grey monitor can be positioned horizontally or vertically, and it can be used with or without the protective PU leather sleeve. This also doubles as a stand/bracket. Since the monitor is IP55-rated for water resistance, you don't have to worry about spilling your coffee on it. The monitor travels easily, weighing only 1.70 pounds, with a 0.3-inch profile.

Key Features
  • IP55-rated for water resistance
  • 1080p HD resolution
  • 60Hz refresh rate
Specifications
  • Brand: Mukesh
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 50Hz
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Ports: HDMI, USB-C
  • Display Technology: IPS LCD
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pros
  • Can be used with phones, tablets and games consoles
  • Protective sleeve included
Cons
  • Speaker is not very loud
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Mukesh 15.6-inch Portable Monitor

The SideTrak 12.5-inch Slide Portable Monitor is one of the two smaller portable monitors on this list. It’s also one of the only two attachable portable monitors included. There’s a hard case with metal plates and magnets included, which are attached to your laptop. Then, the portable monitor slides into the plates. The monitor can be attached to either the left side or the right side of your computer.

The monitor has an IPS LCD screen, 1080p resolution, and a 60Hz refresh rate. It connects through USB-C, and with the included adaptor, also connects via USB-A. Using the dual sliding tracks, you can attach the portable monitor to most standard laptops, from 13-inch to 17-inch sizes. However, since it will add 1.65 pounds, the portable monitor may be too heavy for very lightweight laptop models.

Key Features
  • No surface needed as the monitor attaches directly to your device
  • Can attach on either left or right side
Specifications
  • Brand: SideTrak
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 50/60Hz
  • Screen Size: 12.5 inches
  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A
  • Display Technology: IPS LCD
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pros
  • Can leave it attached when traveling
  • Suitable for a wide range of laptop sizes
Cons
  • Have to download the driver for Windows and macOS compatibility
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SideTrak 12.5-inch Portable Monitor

The AOC 15.6-inch Portable Monitor has a unique feature; in addition to the built-in, pivotable flexi-stand, it also has a VESA wall mount. Using this allows you to recover some of your desk space. The LED monitor features Full HD 1080p resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 60Hz refresh rate.

It's slightly heavier than most items on this list, weighing in at 2.64 lbs.
Another flexible feature is the ability to view the monitor in either landscape or portrait mode. There are no USB 2.0 ports; the single USB 3.0 cable is used for signal delivery and power.

The monitor has a sleek black finish, and the screen has a matte anti-glare coating that resists fingerprints. This monitor can also be found in different configurations, including other inputs and sizes.

Key Features
  • VESA wall mount
  • Only needs one cable
Specifications
  • Brand: AOC
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Ports: USB 3.0
  • Display Technology: LED
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pros
  • Can be used horizontally or vertically
  • Has a rotating stand
Cons
  • Doesn't work with USB 2.0 ports
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AOC 15.6-inch Portable Monitor

The ASUS 15.6-inch Portable Monitor features an IPS LED screen, Full HD 1080p resolution, and a 75Hz refresh rate. The black and silver stand-alone monitor has a metallic finish and comes with a smart case that includes a protective sleeve and a two-way adjustable stand that can be used vertically and horizontally.

There’s an auto-rotate function included, as well. It uses just one USB 3.0 cable for both power and signal delivery and can be used with laptops and desktops. While it is suitable for all Windows-based devices, the monitor only works with Mac laptops running macOS 10.3.4 or lower.

There’s a blue light filter to reduce eye strain and improve comfort, and the hotkey adjusts brightness. The slim monitor is 1.76 pounds and 0.33 inches thick. The monitor is available in other configurations, too, with USB-A/USB-C compatibility or with a touchscreen.

Key Features
  • Only needs one cable for power and signal delivery
  • Full HD 1080p resolution
  • 75Hz refresh rate
Specifications
  • Brand: ASUS
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 75Hz
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Ports: USB 3.0
  • Display Technology: IPS LED
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Pros
  • Has an auto-rotate function
  • Only 0.33 inches thick
  • Blue light filter
Cons
  • Not compatible with Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or higher
Buy This Product
ASUS 15.6-inch Portable Monitor

FAQ

Q: What Are the Advantages of Using a Portable Monitor?

Portable monitors can provide an extra display, which can be invaluable when you need more screen real estate. Whether you're an accountant looking through numerous spreadsheets, a graphic designer or video editor juggling photos and footage, or a college student combing through dozens of research sources, a second monitor can keep your laptop or desktop from being a jumbled mess.

Some people use a full-size computer monitor when they want a second screen. However, the smallest full-blown monitor is usually at least 21 inches, so that it can take up a lot of valuable desktop space. Also, it's quite cumbersome trying to travel with a computer monitor mounted on a stand.

A portable monitor is an ideal compromise since it's convenient, manageable, light, and compact. This makes it easy to move out of the way when not used or to transport from work to home, or when traveling.

Q: Are Portable Monitors Reliable?

Generally, portable monitors are very reliable. This, in part, thanks to the uncomplex design; there's no expensive computer hardware, just enough electronics to provide a high-quality display.

If you're having trouble with a portable monitor, often, some timely troubleshooting can help you out. For example, changing cables, ensuring the ports are clean, and that the power cable is suitable.

Q: What Are Some Tips for Choosing a Portable Monitor?

For most people, affordability is an important consideration. Your budget will determine the types of devices you can look at. Aside from that, it depends on your particular needs.

For example, if you travel a lot, a slide-out monitor is one less thing to worry about since it fits on the back of your laptop. There are other factors like whether the display is touchscreen and its compatibility with portable devices like smartphones and game consoles.

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