Why are the best portable monitors the latest sensation in the market? Also known as USB Powered Monitors, these are the most mobile screens that you can get. Imagine you are sitting at your office desk preparing a presentation to launch the new product of your company and you realize that the screen size offered by your laptop is just not enough to satisfy the content of your presentation.
If you are traveling and experience the absence of your desktop monitor, then this will interest you. What if I tell you that there are dedicated best portable monitors just to make your life easier. These monitors are super slim and profoundly easy to interface with your devices.
Thanks to the ever-evolving technology, we finally have these monitor that we can simply plug in through USB ports or HDMI and get ourselves and entirely new workspace. This is a delight for professionals or those who work with multiple windows.
If the portable monitor does not interest you much, you will be delighted to read about the rest of monitor categories out there:
Simple Best Portable Monitors Buying Guide
This best portable monitors buying guide covers the basics that should help all users.
This is a critical feature. You do not want your portable monitor to be thick. These monitors are specifically designed for travel with ease. If you buy a monitor that is too big, it can beat the purpose of it being portable. Portable monitors have an average thickness of 0.3 inches.
You need to have a spare USB port on your device so that you connect it to the portable monitor. Most of the best portable monitors interface using USB port that is the reason why they are also called USB-Powered Monitors.
USB 3.0 is usually a norm; however, USB 3.1 type C is slowly replacing USB 3.0.
If you need productivity, you should aim for portable monitors that have at least FHD resolution. However, for normal use, even an HD monitor can suffice.
Since these monitors are very affordable, the most common resolution that you will find is HD. You can occasionally find higher resolution monitors like FHD at a much expensive rate.
List of Best Portable Monitors 2016
Here are some of the best portable monitors that surfacing in the market. These monitors vary greatly in the price range as well regarding feature. In general, these monitors are reasonably affordable super portable. They should be the perfect companion for your mobile devices.
ASUS MB169B+ Portable Monitor – Recommended
Display: 15.6″, IPS Panel, 1920×1080, 14 ms Response Time, 60Hz
Ports: USB 3.0
Price Scale: 2/10
So what makes this monitor so unique? Well, this is the cheapest FHD 15.6 inch USB powered portable monitor in the market. The only other portable monitor with FHD resolution in this list is the GeChic 2501H, and that monitor is much more expensive.
This is also one of the slimmest portable monitors. This is an important quality especially if you will be traveling with it frequently. The stand on this monitor can either let it sit in portrait mode or landscape.
ASUS MB168B Portable USB Powered Monitor
Display: 15.6″, TN Panel, 1366×768, 11 ms Response Time, 60Hz
Ports: USB 3.0
Price Scale: 1/10
This is one of the best portable monitors in 2016. This monitor by Asus has a set of impeccable qualities. It features TN panel facilitating it with good enough response time. This monitor may seem small, but you can easily enjoy movies or television series on this.
How does this screen look? If you have seen a 15.6-inch screen of a laptop, well that is exactly how this monitor looks like. One of the biggest attraction of this monitor is that it is a USB powered portable monitor. This means you don’t need to waste your HDMI port or VGA port to use this monitor. This monitor automatically detects the orientation of the view with it’s built in the center. It further entertains the user by easily fitting in the suitcase or laptop bag with a 0.8 mm thick profile being the slimmest out of all portable monitors featured on our list.
The ASUS MB168B+ USB 3.0 monitor is light and offers a sharp 1080p image for workers on the go. – Avram Piltch – Laptopmag.com
What’s exciting about this USB powered portable monitor is the productive carrying case that not only functions to provide protection but also facilitates the user by working as an adjustable stand.
GeChic 2501H Portable Monitor – Portable Monitor with HDMI and VGA Ports
Display: 15.6″, IPS Panel, 1920×1080, 17.5 ms Response Time, 60Hz
Ports: mHDMI, VGA
Price Scale: 3.5/10
If you are a user who demands an excellent quality of visual on his/her screen, then this GeChic 2501H should be your ultimate choice. Unlike many best portable monitors that utilize TN panel, this monitor uses IPS panel. However, that is just the beginning of the story for this unique portable monitor.
This is not a USB powered portable monitor. Instead, this monitor offers a VGA and a micro HDMI port for interfacing with your devices. Furthermore, this monitor provides an FHD display, i.e., 1920 x 1080 instead of HD.
Note that because of the extensive features, this one of the most expensive portable monitors out there.
GeChic 2501C USB Powered Monitor
Display: 15.6″, 1366×768, 60Hz
Ports: mHDMI, VGA
Price Scale: 2/10
The GeChic above is expensive; however if you are interested in a similar style of a portable monitor, but that costs significantly less, then you can have a loot at this USB power monitor.
It looks the same as GeChic 2501H. It has the same feel, slimness about it and it also has the same ports, i.e., HDMI, VGA, and HDCPP. However, the biggest difference between this and the one above is the resolution.
AOC E1659FWU Portable Monitor
Display: 15.6″, TN Panel, 1366×768, 8 ms Response Time, 60Hz
Ports: USB 3.0
Price Scale: 1/10
Another portable monitor in our list is this AOC E1659FWU monitor. This is a USB powered portable monitor that is super budget friendly. It is one of the most affordable portable monitors that you can find in the market. It does not have the best colors, but it does have the best value for money.
The AOC E1659Fwu is an affordable 15.6-inch portable USB 3.0 monitor that lets you take your multi-screen setup on the road. Its color accuracy is off, but it delivers a sharp picture and is easy to tote around. John R. Delaney – PCMAG.com
This monitor comes with a protective case even at this price. It has one of the fastest response times for a portable monitor. Although it shouldn’t matter much, a high enough response time will ensure that you do not face any ghosting effects while watching movies.
This monitor also comes with a 75mm wall mounting holes. You can practically make a very cheap video wall with these monitors if your computer has the power to support multiple monitors.
AOC E1759FWU Portable Monitor
Display: 17.3″, TN Panel, 1600×900, 10 ms Response Time, 60Hz
Ports: USB 3.0
Price Scale: 1/10
This is a much larger screen portable monitor. For a 17.3 inch, this one of the best portable monitors in the market. It has received almost flawless reviews from its customer. It is also one of the cheapest.
Note that although a larger portable monitor is more comfortable to view, it is not a very travel-friendly one. This monitor is not only larger but also heavier than their 15.6-inch counterparts.
If the comfort of view is your primary concern then, by all means, go for this monitor. Furthermore, this monitor offers HD+ resolution, which grants you more real estate as compared to standard HD.
Touch Screen Portable Monitor
Although not many brand manufacture touchscreen portable monitors. There is one brand that has seen an open market. Therefore, the only notable touchscreen portable monitor available in the market are from GeChic. Here are two famous ones:
Display: 13.3″, FHD, Touchscreen, 60Hz
Ports: HDMI, mDP, VGA
Price Scale: 3/10
This monitor has a capacitive multi-touch touch screen just as you would expect on any tablet. The screen size is 13.3 inch, which is quite decent. It can work perfectly as a tablet as well as a monitor.
The screen is an IPS screen with FHD resolution. This is a USB powered monitor with a plethora of connectivity options including HDMI, mDP, and even VGA display.
If you are looking for a complete package of a best portable monitor, this is the monitor to consider.
Display: 15.6″, FHD, Touchscreen, 60Hz
Ports: HDMI, VGA
Price Scale: 4/10
So the portable monitor above is too small for you? Well, then you will be interested in this 15.6-inch monitor. It has almost the same specs as GeChic 1502i. In addition to those, it even features speakers.
The monitor boasts an IPS panel with FHD resolution. It is USB powered and has HDMI and a VGA port for connectivity. It also comes with a stand.
If you are looking for a portable monitor that can be handled like a tablet, then you will naturally want to go for the one with a 10.1″ screen size. 13.3″ and 15.6″ monitors are comfortable to view on, but they are not as portable.
GeChic 1002 is a 10.1″ portable monitor that can fit perfectly in your hand. It can work perfectly as a tablet.
Big Screen Portable Monitor
If 13.3, 15.6 and 17.3-inch sizes are not sufficient for your taste and if your requirements are for a larger screen portable monitor, then you will be disappointed. Currently, there is no large screen portable monitor in the market.
The reason is quite simple: the larger the screen the size, the bulkier would be the monitor. Therefore, the portability factor declines the larger you go.
On the flipside, you cannot deny the comfort factor of a larger screen portable monitor.
We can only hope that in the near future large screen USB powered monitor would enter the market.
PS4 Portable Monitor
There do exist monitors that you can carry around with yourself for gaming. Some are as thin as a tablet; whereas, others come in a complete gaming environment.
They are much smaller than your average monitors and therefore you will be expected to sit right in front them to enjoy the game, but they do give you a lot of mobility.
The only issue is that they do not exempt you from sitting next to a power socket. These monitors do not come with batteries to power. Most of these gaming portable monitors are also USB powered monitors.
If you want to check out the portable monitors that you can use click here.
You can also learn more about portable monitors for gaming here:
Make Your Life Easy With Portable Monitors
These portable monitors bring with themselves numerous benefits to their users. People from all walks of lives can benefit from these monitors. Be it programmers who program anywhere, gamers who play anywhere and professionals who work anywhere.
Being a combination of portability and productivity, these portable monitors are a package of multiple features. However, portable monitors are not just limited to be used for mobility. You can put them in combination with your desktop monitor for added real estate. You can also use them as a photo frame.
By easily tugging it in your suitcase, you can carry your portable monitor anywhere be it your office or at your friend’s place. If you are in a mood to watch your favorite movie lying on your couch, grab your portable monitor and entertain yourself with its compact structure.
Features of Portable Monitors
As mentioned earlier at the beginning of this article, there are only a few core features that you should take care of when getting a portable monitor. For starters, you do not need to worry much about response times, contrast ratio or refresh rates. These monitors aren’t built for perfection.
The most important feature to note is the connectivity options. How are you going to connect it to your device? With a USB port, HDMI or VGA? Also, you need to note the size of the monitor. There are currently two standard sizes for portable monitors available: 15.6 inches and 17.3 inches. There is a trade-off between the two. 15.6-inch monitor is smaller and more portable, but not as comfortable as 17.3-inch monitors.
The resolution is another important aspect. The higher the resolution, the more expensive would be the monitor. There are two standard resolution: HD and FHD.
What are USB Powered Monitors?
USB powered monitors and portable monitors are two terms that are used interchangeably. USB powered monitors work on the concept of requiring only a USB cable to power up and to connect with other devices easily. In this way, these monitors eradicate the need for an external power supply. The single USB cable power as well interfaces with the devices. This saves up a lot of hassle.
So, if you want to make use of your portable monitor for a dual monitor setup or to prepare your office presentation, all you need to do is connect your portable monitor with your laptop or PC with a USB cable.
Now that you are aware of the exquisite features brought by these portable monitors, all you need to do now is to decide if you need these monitors. The great thing is, these monitors are very cheap, so you don’t need to plan a budget for them.
What About HDMI Ports?
Although a majority of the best portable monitors are USB powered, there are a few monitors that you can get with HDMI connectivity. As you have read in this article, such monitors can connect to a wider array of devices like smartphones, gaming consoles, cameras, etc.
Unfortunately, these monitors are expensive; a lot more expensive than their USB powered counterparts. When comparing with a conventional monitor, you can get a fairly high-end monitor for the price you have to pay for a portable monitor with HDMI.
Best portable monitors or USB powered monitors are an amazing companion for portability. If you feel like you have a small screen on your laptop and then want an added display to go with for more productivity, then these are the monitors to go for.
You can use them not just for productivity on your laptop but also with your desktop. Who doesn’t benefit from another screen? They are so cheap and so easy to interface that you do not need to think twice about making the investment.
But that does not mean it is built for everyone. Best portable monitors may be great; they are not very feature laden. They are very basic regarding features. They do not have the best colors either.
If you are looking for best portable monitors for PS4 or other gaming consoles, then you are in luck. However, these monitors tend to be quite expensive. Although there are specialized portable gaming monitors from brands such as GAEMS, the fact of the matter is that any portable monitor with HDMI can support gaming on consoles.