Which portable computer monitor is best?
Portable computer monitors offer an excellent way for users to connect their laptops to a display, no matter where they are. However, ensuring you get one that works with your laptop’s hardware is vital. Portable computer monitors have different details worth looking out for, and you may need to prioritize things like size, connectivity and the display, depending on your usage.
If you’re in need of a reliable portable computer monitor, the ViewSonic 15.6-Inch Portable Monitor features a vivid display and connects via USB-C ports.
What to know before you buy a portable computer monitor
How you plan to use your portable computer monitor will determine which model is best for you. While most portable monitors work well with a laptop, you can also find monitors that connect to other devices. In addition, if you plan on performing standard tasks that aren’t visually intensive, you can likely get away with a more basic monitor. However, if you want to play games or edit a lot of images or videos, you should get one with a higher refresh rate and full HD resolution.
Portable monitors vary in size, but those made for connecting with laptops tend to fall between 12-17 inches. But depending on your monitor use, you may need a larger or smaller size. While smaller monitors tend to be even more portable, larger monitors afford more space for those who need to edit visual media, gaming, or other activities that work better on a larger display.
Portable monitors vs. regular monitors
Portable monitors often cost as much as regular low- and mid-range monitors, which surprises many people. Portable monitors must be super energy-efficient because they’re powered by USB. They’re also constrained by their smaller size, making it hard to fit as much hardware as in a regular-sized monitor.
What to look for in a quality portable computer monitor
Like regular monitors, portable monitors vary in overall color, size, resolution, refresh rate and additional features, like in-plane switching (IPS.) If you plan to use it for gaming, it’s crucial to find a portable monitor with a Full HD resolution of 1920 by 1080p and a refresh rate of at least 60 hertz. In addition, IPS can give colors a more authentic representation than displays without this feature.
One of the most critical factors of any monitor is how you connect it to your computer or device. Most portable screens now include USB-C ports that connect to other devices, while other monitors may have include different USB types, Mini HDMI or Mini Displayport.
Portable computer monitors can get power in various ways. While premium monitors may include a built-in rechargeable battery, most options get power from the computer or from an AC adapter and wall outlet. If you need a particular type of power source for your monitor, it’s worth double-checking the listing before making a purchase.
How much you can expect to spend on a portable computer monitor
Cheap portable monitors without full HD screens can cost as little as $100. Most mid-tier and high-end portable monitors with full HD resolution range from $160-$300.
Portable computer monitor FAQ
Are portable computer monitors good for gaming?
A. While regular monitors pack a stronger punch due to their hardware and size, portable monitors are often a good solution for gaming on the go. Still, it’s essential to look for portable monitors with high refresh rates and a full HD resolution of at least 1920 by 1080p.
Can you use a portable computer monitor with a tablet?
A. Most portable monitors are designed for laptops, but you can also use them with tablets with the right hardware. Make sure you have the same connectivity options for your tablet and monitor; USB-C is the most common. Some Android tablets also have a Mini HDMI port, making them even easier to use as second monitors. Still, not every tablet supports this function, so it’s crucial to check the description.
What’s the best portable computer monitor to buy?
Top portable computer monitor
What you need to know: This powerful portable monitor includes multiple connectivity options, a colorful low-latency display, a headphone port and built-in stereo speakers.
What you’ll love: The structure of this monitor includes a built-in stand and cover. The screen offers a 60-Hz refresh rate and 1920 by 1080p resolution. It includes two USB-C ports, so you can power it from a laptop or the AC adapter. It also has a Mini-HDMI port.
What you should consider: Some had a hard time dialing in this monitor’s color contrast.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top portable computer monitor for the money
What you need to know: If you want a portable monitor that connects easily to a laptop, this features a USB 3.0 cable and is slim enough to pack for transit.
What you’ll love: The screen has a vivid display, a refresh rate of 60 Hz and a resolution of 1366 by 768p. It uses a USB-A to USB 3.0 cable for power and comes with a convenient stand, a protective sleeve and universal tripod mounts.
What you should consider: The USB 3.0 port is a lot less universal and practical than USB-A, USB-C or mini-HDMI ports.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This economy-level monitor boasts an impressive display with a high-dynamic range and a 15.6-inch screen. It offers a good balance between size and portability.
What you’ll love: This thin monitor weighs less than most and is just 0.3 inches wide. It has a standard refresh rate of 60 Hz and a resolution of 1920 by 1080p, with both USB-C and mini-HDMI ports.
What you should consider: This doesn’t include any audio options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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