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The best portable monitors in 2022

The best portable monitors: two designers using Asus ZenScreen MB16AC portable monitors
(Image credit: Asus)

The best portable monitors allow you to add a second display to your laptop or notebook, even when you're travelling. Whether you want to work on a design project while you're on the move, present work to a client or simply watch TV, a compact, light portable monitor is the perfect way to gain some extra screen space. There's a huge range of models available now, and their names often don't give you much of an idea of what to expect, so in this guide, we'll look at a selection of the best portable monitors available today. 

All of the options on this list offers good value in their own way, and they all provide a 16:9 screen ratio and full HD 1080p resolution. We'll analyse the pros and cons of each to help you decide which is best for you. We haven't included 4K models, there aren't any portable ones we feel comfortable recommending yet, but we have separate guides to the best 4K monitors and the best 5K and 8K monitors in general. For more options, you can also check out the best tablets for video editing, or the excellent Dell offerings in our best Dell monitors roundup. And if you want to mount your display, see our guide to the best monitor arms. For now, read on to find the best portable monitors available today.

The best portable monitors in 2022

Best portable monitors: Asus ZenScreen MB16ACcb badge

(Image credit: Asus)

01. Asus ZenScreen MB16AC portable monitor

The best portable monitor overall

Specifications

Screen size: 15.6in
Dimensions: 22.60 x 0.76 x 36.06cm
Weight: 0.78kg

Reasons to buy

+
Slim and light
+
Great picture quality
+
Free case and stylus

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest

Super-slim and lightweight, the 15.6in Asus MB16AC monitor is certainly very portable. That doesn't mean it sacrifices anything in terms of functionality, however; quite the contrary. The screen offers pin-sharp, vibrant colour reproduction in 1080p, along with Asus' proprietary flicker-free and low blue light technologies, ensuring you get a comfortable and high-quality viewing experience. Like most of the best portable monitors, it also switches between portrait and landscape orientation automatically.

The MB16AC can be connected to your laptop in two different ways: via USB-C, or by USB-A using the DisplayLink driver. You get a lovely foldable case and ZenScreen pen included. IT might not be the cheapest model on our list, but overall its high-quality screen performance, versatility and cool freebies make it our number one choice.

Best portable monitors: HP EliteDisplay S14cb badge

(Image credit: HP)

02. HP EliteDisplay S14

The best portable monitor for gaming

Specifications

Screen size: 14in
Dimensions: 32.77 x 0.85 x 20.94cm
Weight: 1kg

Reasons to buy

+
Slim and light
+
Anti-glare tech
+
Quality picture

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't support USB-A

A close runner-up in our selection of the best portable monitors, the HP EliteDisplay S14 is another good choice for working, gaming or watching entertainment while on the move. Slim, compact and light, it's easy to connect to your laptop via the included USB-C cable. 

The screen features on-screen controls and a low blue light mode, provides impressive picture performance. HP's anti-glare tech will save you from getting headaches even in bright ambient light, and the screen automatically switches between portrait and landscape modes. You also get a useful cover, which doubles as a stand. In short, this is one of the best portable monitors around, and even though it's a little expensive, it offers excellent value overall.

Best portable monitors: AOC I1659FWUXcb badge

(Image credit: AOC)

03. AOC I1659FWUX portable monitor

The best portable monitor for those on a budget

Specifications

Screen size: 15.6in
Dimensions: 37.18 x 3.54 x 23.26cm
Weight: 1.2kg

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap
+
Quality picture

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the lightest
-
No USB-C connection

If the first two options on our list are too expensive, here's a cheaper but still very decent portable monitor. The AOC I1659FWUX comes at a great price, and you get an IPS (in-plane switching) panel that offers a sharp 1080p picture with accurate colours, dark blacks and rich detail. It comes also with a nifty foldable stand, which doubles as a magnetic screen cover. 

Admittedly, it's the heaviest of the portable monitors on our list, at 1.2kg, and you connect via the included USB 3.0 cable, rather than a more modern USB-C one, but we think those compromises are well worth making for saving in cost. That said, if you want to upgrade to the USB-C version, that also comes at a very reasonable price.

Best portable monitors: Asus ZenScreen GO MB16AP

(Image credit: Asus)

04. Asus ZenScreen GO MB16AP

The best portable monitor with built-in battery

Specifications

Screen size: 15in
Dimensions: 35.96 x 0.79 x 22.63cm
Weight: 848g

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in battery
+
Very light
+
Free stylus

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Even the best portable monitors usually draw their power directly from your laptop, which can drain its battery quickly. If you work on the move a lot, you might prefer to get a portable monitor with its own built-in battery, which is where the Asus ZenScreen GO MB16AP stands out. It offers up to four hours of battery life on its own power – it comes with an adapter too. 

The screen automatically switches between landscape and portrait modes, and the picture quality is sharp and colour-accurate. It's also very light and portable at just 848g and 8mm thick. It can connect to your laptop via either USB-C or USB-A (using the included adapter). The MB16AP also comes with a foldable case that doubles as a stand and a Zen screen pen too. Yes, this is the most expensive portable monitor on our list, we feel it's still very good value if you need the best portable monitor with its own battery.

Best portable monitors: Gechic On-Lap 1101P

(Image credit: Gechic )

05. Gechic On-Lap 1101P

The best portable monitor for photographers

Specifications

Screen size: 11.6in
Dimensions: 40.6 x 30.5 x 5.1cm
Weight: 476g

Reasons to buy

+
Attaches to tripod and camera
+
16.7 million colours
+
Super-light

Reasons to avoid

-
Pointless for non-photographers

With a dinky 11.6in screen, the Gechic On-Lap 1101P is the best portable monitor for anyone who likes to travel light. It weighs less than half a kilo, so it's perfect for travel when you have to meet airline weight limits, or just don't want to carry too much weight around. This portable monitor is actually targeted at photographers, and it can be used as the second screen not only for a laptop but also for a digital camera or tripod using the mount kit that comes included.

The bright and sharp screen makes the most of the 1080p display, which supports 16.7 million colours and can be tweaked using the included colour temperature controls. And there's support for connections via VGA, micro HDMI аnd mini DisplаyPort. In short, this is a great choice for previewing pictures while you're out shooting, along with general use as a second laptop screen, albeit a small one.

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects. 

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