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Best portable monitors 2021: top USB screens for working from home and remote working

Best portable monitor
(Image credit: Packed Pixels)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best portable monitors will give you that extra screen real estate without requiring a much bigger desk. They are small and mobile with a minimalist design compared to typical computer monitors that have a much bigger footprint, as well as more cables, and so require a lot more space. You can still easily get all your gaming, graphic design, coding, or productivity work ­– some of these are among the best business monitors – done on one of these portable displays.

Bringing in a few advantages of their own, the best portable monitors are easier to set up than their big brothers and require minimal mounting, not to mention are much lighter and more compact. So, you won’t need an extra outlet or a bunch of cables on hand. And, you won’t need that much more desk space, either. With just a single cable, they can be connected to and powered by a laptop. And some can even attach to your laptop, needing only to be flipped open to use.

If you really need more screen real estate but have limited space for a monitor or are working remotely, getting one of the best portable monitors might be the best way to go. And, there are a lot of options, including 1080p displays and some of the best 4K monitors, for you to pick from. We’ve collected our top picks of the best portable monitors for you to check out on this list. They really are the ideal solution for those working on the go or with limited desk space.

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus ZenScreen MB16AC portable monitor

Thin, portable and great looking

Specifications
Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Reasons to buy
+Thin and light+Excellent image quality
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Low brightness

The Asus ZenScreen MB16A Portable Monitor is one of the nicest-looking USB monitors we’ve seen, and it comes with a number of features and design considerations that make it an incredibly handy device, and one of the best portable monitors. However, it comes at a price, with the ZenScreen proving to be more expensive than many of the other portable monitors on this list. However, the build and image quality of this screen makes it well worth the extra money. Fans of Asus' ZenBook laptops should be particularly interested in this device, as it has a design that compliments Asus' high-end laptops nicely.

(Image credit: Asus)

2. Asus MB169C+ portable monitor

The first USB-C portable monitor impresses

Specifications
Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Reasons to buy
+Thin and light+Good viewing angles and picture+Uses single USB-C
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly too dim-Fiddly menu control wheel

The Asus MB169C+ isn’t quite as portable as Packed Pixels, but its 15.6-inch size makes using it feel more like using a regular monitor. It has a healthy pixel-resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, which is perfect for streaming full HD video, working with two applications side-by-side and even gaming if you have a sufficiently powerful laptop.

The MB169C+ is incredibly simple to use thanks to its USB-C connection, which uses a single cable to transmit video, sound and power. It also comes in a handy protective sleeve that doubles up as a carrying case. Asus’ portable monitor uses an in-plane switching (IPS) display, which brings decent viewing angles making it perfect for watching video with a friend.

3. Gechic 1101P portable monitor

A great portable monitor for photographers

Specifications
Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Reasons to buy
+Great picture+Mounts to cameras/tripods+Well-connected
Reasons to avoid
-Bland design

Aimed at photographers who need a monitor to take on shoots, the Gechic 1101P features an IPS display like the Asus MB169C+. However, this one is smaller at 11.6 inches and more portable, allowing to be easily attached to a tripod or SLR camera while out in the field.

This full HD display supports 16.7 million colors which can easily be tweaked using the monitor’s onboard color temperature settings, allowing you to get it as close to your camera’s display as possible

The 1101P is also well-connected, featuring support for VGA, micro HDMI and mini DisplayPort. These make it suitable for a number of different use cases – from previewing photos and videos shot on a camera to being used as a normal portable monitor with your laptop.

4. Asus MB168B+ portable monitor

1080p goodness over regular USB-A

Specifications
Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Reasons to buy
+Thin and light+Good viewing angles and picture+Can hook up several of them
Reasons to avoid
-Needs USB 3.0 for full benefit

If you like the sound of the Asus MB169C+ but don’t have a laptop with a USB-C connection, then the Asus MB169B+ could be one of the best portable monitors for you.

This one also connects to your laptop with a single cable, except it uses a regular USB-A port instead. It works with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, though you’ll experience noticeably more latency with the former due to its slower data transfer rate.

Still, it features the same alluring slim and lightweight design. Thanks to Asus EzLink tech, which offloads the graphics processing from the PC to dedicated hardware in the monitor, you can even hook up five of them if your laptop has enough USB ports.

Desklab Ultralight Portable 4K Touchscreen

(Image credit: Desklab)

5. Desklab Ultralight Portable 4K Touchscreen

A pin-sharp portable display for on the move

Specifications
Pixel-resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Reasons to buy
+4K resolution+Single USB-C cable for power and display
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy with kickstand cover attached-Expensive

Options have been limited for anyone seeking a slim and portable 4K monitor that connects using a single USB-C cable for power and display – until now. Though heavier (at 1.3 pounds) and dimmer than the Vissle-M below, Desklab’s offering is the sleekest and lightest model in its class. Its attractive Ultra HD touchscreen display is a boon for content creators, who may prefer to use it in darker rooms due to its highly reflective glass panel. 

The Desklab’s adhesive kickstand cover, which attaches using an adhesive rather than magnets, adds noticeable weight and bulk but does the job. It all makes for a unique package yet to be offered by mainstream brands, one that’ll cost you a pretty penny.

Vissles-M portable touchscreen monitor

(Image credit: Vissles)

6. Vissles-M portable touchscreen monitor

A bright and lightweight portable monitor

Specifications
Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
Reasons to buy
+Bright matte display+Thin and light+Plenty of ports
Reasons to avoid
-Plain design

The Vissles-M is one of the most refined and fully-featured portable Full-HD monitors on the market. It sports a refreshingly bright matte panel surrounded by a thin bezel that makes reading text or undertaking productivity tasks a doozy – even if it is “just” 1080p. It comes with a plethora of ports onboard, including two USB-C, which lets you hook it up to a games console or other device while keeping it powered. 

The Vissles-M is one of the thinnest and lightest 1080p portable monitors around, even with its practical kickstand cover attached, which features a grippy texture and attaches using magnets to aid longevity. Some may argue that its design is a little on the drab side, though the absence of any logos could be considered a plus.