Best Portable Monitor

Best USB Portable Monitor for Gaming | 2019’s Best Picks

Looking to buy a portable monitor?

We have done the job for you 🙂

We spent over 20 hours testing portable monitors from several brands. In this article, we will guide you in selecting the Best Portable Monitor that you can find in the market today. 

Our Top Pick : ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC 15.6″

The Asus ZenScreen is our top recommendation. The monitor has a 15.6-inch Full HD display with an anti-glare finish on top. Thanks to the high-resolution display, text on the screen looks sharp and it’s really enjoyable to watch on this monitor. 

The monitor can be connected to your laptop either using a USB-C cable or a Micro HDMI cable. Having these two ports mean that you can connect this monitor to most laptops and gaming consoles.

If that wasn’t enough, the monitor also packs in a 7800mAh battery and a built-in speaker. Since the battery is built-in, the monitor won’t sip the battery from your laptop nor will it require an adapter for power. 

The Asus ZenScreen may cost more than the competition but the quality of the panel and the included features easily make up for it.

Best Portable Monitors On The Market Today:

1. Lepow 15.6 Inch 1080p Portable Monitor

If you are on a tight budget, you won’t find any monitor that is as good as the from Lepow. The Lepow 1080p may cost less but it doesn’t skimp on necessary features.  

The monitor uses a 15.6-inch IPS Full HD panel with excellent color reproduction and great viewing angles. It’s also worth noting that the company supplies a screen protector in the box to prevent your monitor screen from being accidentally scratched.

In addition to that, Lepow has included a Smart Cover in the box which protects your monitor from scratching while traveling. The cover also acts as a stand and enables you to position the monitor into a different orientations.

The port selection is good too. You can connect this display to any device using either a Mini HDMI cable or a USB-C cable. You get both a Mini HDMI to HDMI cable and a USB-C to USB-C cable in the box.

A lot of people think twice before buying any electronics from an unknown brand. And it’s understandable if you feel the same too. However, you will be glad to know that this Lepow monitor come with a 3-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

All-in-all, the Lepow is an excellent option that puts more expensive portable monitors to shame.

2. ASUS ZenScreen 15.6″ Full HD USB Type-C Portable Monitor

There are three variants of Asus ZenScreen on offer. All three variants use the same 1080p IPS panel. However, the most expensive variant has a multi-touch touch-screen too.

The ZenScreen MB16AC is the cheapest variant and has a single USB-C port for connectivity.

The ZenScreen Go MB16AHP sits between the MB16AMT and the MB16AC and is the one we recommend for most people. The monitor has a Type-C port as well as a Micro HDMI port for input.

In addition to that, the monitor houses a 7800mAh battery and comes with a smart cover to conveniently switch orientations.

The ZenScreen MB16AMT has identical features to the GO MB16AHP but offers a touchscreen for $50 more.

3. GeChic 1503I 15.6 inch USB Portable Monitor with HDMI

The GeChic 1503I has the best video quality available in the market.

The monitor offers a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel with excellent color reproduction and great viewing angle. It also has a plethora of ports on the rear. You can connect to your laptop or your gaming console either using HDMI, VGA or the USB port.

That’s not it. If you use Windows, you will be able to enjoy Windows 10 multi-touch gesture controls too. The monitor offers multi touch capacitive touchscreen for added functionality.

The display on the GeChic 1503I can get really bright which is great for using it outdoors. The display is viewable even in direct sunlight and the glare is well-controlled.

However, this product isn’t perfect. The monitor is a little too heavy at over 1KG and is thick too. If you are traveling with a portable monitor on a daily basis, we recommend you look at the AUS MB169B+ down on this list. 

4. ASUS MB169B+ 15.6″ Full HD IPS Portable Monitor

The Asus MB169B+ is light and well-designed monitor which uses a single USB port for both power and video output. The monitor has a resolution of 1920x1080p and works on both a PC and a MAC.

If you decide to buy it, you will need to make sure that your laptop has a USB 3.0 port. It will work using a USB 2.0 connection too but you will experience degraded video quality. Also, since it doesn’t have an HDMI port, you won’t be able to connect it to most gaming consoles.

Apart from the aforementioned shortcomings, the monitor is a really good value proposition. The Asus MB169B+ has an excellent IPS panel and the viewing angles are great too. It has a Blue light filter built-in. This feature makes sure that you don’t experience fatigue even after hours of using it.

It is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a light and easily portable monitor. Weighing just 0.8kg, this monitor won’t add too much bulk on your backpack. And thanks to the metallic finish, the monitor looks good too.

Like the Lepow monitor, the Asus MB169B+ comes with a 3-year warranty with 2-way free shipping.

5. VIOTEK LinQ P16C 16-Inch Portable Monitor for Laptop

The Viotek LinQ P16C is a relatively new monitor in the market. As such, it is crammed with the latest technologies. For instance, this monitor houses not one but two USB-C ports. This is in addition to the Mini HDMI port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. With these inputs, you should have a future proof monitor for sure.

Like all the other monitors in this list, the Viotek LinQ P16C has a Full HD resolution IPS panel.

With Freesync, the monitor is good for gaming. The monitor can display play games at 60fps on PC, Xbox One as well as the PlayStation 4.

The monitor is extremely portable. Weighing just 0.61kg, it is the lightest monitor on this list. It’s versatile too. With the use of supplied smart cover, you can use the monitor in various angles for a comfortable viewing experience.

However, if you own an old laptop without a USB-C port or an HDMI port, you will need to buy an additional adapter to use it.


Key Features To Consider When Choosing Portable Monitors:

Now that you have seen the monitors that we rate as the very best, you might be wondering what features we used. Being a freelancer, I have used many monitors and found that some features are more important than others are. Here is the list of features that we used to ensure that we only bring you the best monitors:

Screen Resolution:

Choosing a resolution of your portable monitor is straight-forward. You have two options to choose from- a monitor with either a 1366x768p or a 1920x1080p resolution.

It’s best to get a monitor that has 1080p Full HD resolution. It doesn’t cost a lot more than a 768p monitor and the improvement in video quality is quite noticeable.

Size:

Since you are looking for a portable monitor, we don’t recommend a monitor that is larger than 15.6-inch in size. A smaller monitor will not only be easier to carry but also will consume less power.

But on the flip side, we don’t recommend a monitor that is smaller than 11.6-inch. A monitor that is any smaller will make you less effective at work and doesn’t usually offer a pleasing viewing experience.

Ports

When you buy a new portable monitor, we suggest you look at a monitor with either an HDMI port or a USB-C port. You will find plenty of them with just a VGA port (or a DVI port). If it is present in addition to the HDMI port, it’s fine. But if it’s the only port, it’s best to skip it.

If the monitor you are looking to buy has an HDMI port, that’s great. Most of the laptops and gaming consoles accept HDMI connection. They may have a Mini HDMI port or a Full sized HDMI port. If it’s a full-sized port, it’s going to be a perfect choice. But even if the monitor has a mini-HDMI port, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker as you can easily find an adapter to convert mini HDMI into full size HDMI for under $5.

The ideal option is going to be one with an HDMI-port as well as a USB-C port. USB-C is the future and as many laptops are coming with only USB-C ports, it’s going to be a good idea if you shop for a portable monitor with a USB-C port.

Price

You can find them in all price ranges. If you are on a tight budget, you can get a respectable monitor for as little as $150. If you go below this price point, you will have to compromise on the video output as well as the build quality.

So, if you were planning to see cheaper options for around $100, we recommend you save a little money and get yourself the Lepow Type-C.

If you are someone who has got a deep pocket, you can spend around $300 and get a really good portable monitor. Spending more will have a very low return on your investment. Unless you are a professional and need a professional-grade option for work, we recommend you to skip such monitors.

Durability:

There are a couple of factors to consider when looking at the overall durability of the monitor. Not only are we looking at the materials, but the screen as well. Unlike your household objects, this monitor will be traveling with you and this will expose it to a lot of wear and tear. Here are a few durability factors that we think you should look for:

  • Materials: The screen should be durable enough to withstand shots to it and if it is constructed from quality metal, it should not have any troubles in doing so. Aluminum is generally heavier than plastic but much more durable.
  • Scratch resistant: if the screen is taking a beating from all your working endeavors, it is important to have some sort of screen cover. Most modern-day screens are scratch resistant, but not durable against falling. However, you should look after the monitor and you won’t have any trouble.

These are 2 of the main durability factors that you need to keep in mind. If it has more features, you are lucky and these can be seen as a bonus.

Eye Protection:

With the glare from screens, our eyes tend to take a beating and having some sort of protection for your eyes is definitely recommended. Brands like ASUS has incorporated an eye care technology that will not only reduce some of the glare but also help you work for hours without having to deal with constant headaches.

Stands:

It is almost mandatory for brands to include some sort of stand to keep the monitor standing upright. However, this is not always found and you will need to look for it. Having a portable stand that can be turned in multiple directions will give you a larger field of view, which means the monitor is perfect for use in presentations.

Power Source:

If you don’t have a plug or any type of power source available when you are going, you won’t be able to use it. That was the case way back, but nowadays, brands are allowing the USB connections to serve as the power source. Not only does it make the monitor more portable, but you also don’t have as many wires to deal with.

Warranty:

Last but certainly not least, we need to look at the warranty. A good warranty will ensure that you are protected from any potential damages that could be a result of a manufacturer defect. Since these are tech equipment, they are prone to having a few flaws from time to time and this can help you to avoid them. The industry standard for a good warranty is around 2-years. However, 3-years is even better.


FAQ about Portable Monitors

How much power do portable monitors draw?

They roughly draws 10W power from the source. Some of the portable monitors have built-in battery packs while others have to be connected to an external source to power up.

And if you get the newer USB-C monitors, it will be able to draw the power from the laptop while outputting the audio and video from the source. So, there’s no need for a built-in battery or a power adapter.

What is the latency of Portable Monitors?

There are two things you will have to keep in mind if you are concerned about the delay in video output- monitor video latency and input lag.

If you are getting a portable monitor for gaming, it’s best to get a monitor that connects to your gaming console or your laptop via HDMI. The problem with USB portable monitors is that there is software in-between that processes the signal from the USB port which can cause an input lag.

However, it isn’t as severe as it sounds. If you aren’t into competitive FPS gaming, you shouldn’t notice the input lag, if at all.

A few years ago, people considered TN panel over IPS panels because of better response time. But it’s clearly not the case today. The IPS panels have gotten so much better than choosing a TN panel over IPS panel isn’t a smart trade-off. We found that thier IPS panels have a response time of around 10ms which is good even while gaming.

Which brand makes the best Portable monitor?

When it comes to choosing the best portable monitor for work or for gaming, it isn’t very wise to make your decision based on the brand name. As you saw in the article, there are tons of really good portable monitors that come from brands you may have never heard about before.  

Are Portable monitors good for video and photo editing?

There are two kinds of portable monitors that are primarily available in the market- IPS Panel and TN panel.

If you are looking for a portable monitor for photo and video editing, we recommend you get a monitor with IPS panel. In addition to that, it is better if the monitor offers good DCI-3 or sRGB color space coverage as well. 

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Dipesh Timilsina

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