Since the beginning of 2018, our team has been watching the trends and all of the newly released devices in the portable monitor category pretty closely. Along with our tech experts and based on a number of tests we performed, we have picked our 7 top choices for the best portable monitors for 2018 for you, our overall pick being the GeChic 1101H. This small portable monitor charmed us with its functionality, versatility, and quality, so read on to see what to expect from it, as well as from our other six top favorites.
Here are our top 7 favorite portable monitors for 2018.
Best overall portable monitor
As soon as we laid eyes on the GeChic 1101H during our tests, we instantly knew that we have a winner in our hands.
The GeChic 1101H has so many features and connectivity options that it is more than a simple portable monitor.
It will work with just about any device thanks to the multiple inputs and outputs it has, which means that you can use it with your computer or laptop, as well as with your smartphone or tablet, console, camera, and various other devices. The connectivity options of the 1101H portable monitor include a Micro HDMI, a mini DisplayPort, and a VGA port, and there is a headphone jack for an even better multimedia experience.
The 11.6-inch screen is expandable so that you can customize it in accordance with your needs. It has an amazing 1980×1080 HD resolution, an 800:1 contrast ratio, a 14ms response time and supports up to 16.7 million colors. The IPS screen provides a very wide viewing angle, so you will be able to see everything clearly wherever you are standing or sitting.
The portable monitor has two 0.75W built-in speakers too.
All of these features are packed into this compact monitor which weighs a mere 1.5lbs and is only 0.4 inches thick.
For your convenience, the GeChic 1101H comes with a sturdy and good looking cover which turns into a stand with a magnetic strip when you open it. You can adjust the nifty stand into three different positions for the best and most comfortable viewing angle wherever you are.
Overall, this portable monitor is reasonably priced, provides an excellent crisp picture with a pretty satisfying contrast, and is suitable for any kind of use – work, games, viewing or browsing.
This affordable portable monitor has just about every feature that you will need if you want a second monitor or if you prefer to work, play or enjoy watching films on the go.
The IPS LCD display is 13.3 inches and stuns with a 2560×1440 2K resolution for an excellent crisp clear and detailed images. The color gamut of this compact device is up to 72% NTSC, and the contrast is 1000:1, which will ensure that the black colors will be as black as possible and that the whites will be whiter than ever.
The Electric Magic 13.3inch portable monitor has elegant aluminum bezels and is ultra slim, which makes it perfect for traveling and portability.
The fast response time is 2ms and the refresh rate of the monitor is 60Hz. The connectivity options include 2 Mini HDMIs a mini VGA, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The Electric Magic portable monitor is powered via a Micro USB and a 12V DC jack. It has optional VESA mounting holes if you prefer you can mount it on a wall, arm or other.
Apart from the cover and stand, it is sold with a bonus screen protector, a soft neoprene sleeve, as well as a USB wall power connector, an HDMI cable, a Mini HDMI to HDMI cable, and a micro USB cable.
The setup of this monitor is a breeze. You just need to pick the language of your choice and plug it in.
You can use this portable monitor from Electric Magic with your computer, laptop, or with your preferred game console, as it supports PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360. You can even connect it to a variety of industrial equipment if needed.
The 2K picture quality, the fast response time and the superb contrast will make using this portable monitor a highly enjoyable experience. Plus, the fact that it has pretty good built-in speakers will allow you to watch a movie, other content or play a game without the need for headphones or for connecting external speakers.
Overall, we strongly recommend this compact and yet powerful portable monitor. It is well built, comes with a variety of features, offers an excellent picture, and is very fast when it comes to refresh rate and response time.
Best portable monitor for a dual display
If you need a second monitor for your dual display system, then this 14 inch HP EliteDisplay portable monitor is possibly the best one to pick in 2018.
It will help you double your workspace and work on two screens for better convenience and higher efficiency.
The 14-inch portable monitor from HP has a 1600×900 HD backlit LED display which has very crispy colors and requires just one USB cable to be connected to the device you are using.
It has a 60Hz refresh rate, 8ms response time, and a 200 cd/m2 brightness and 400:1 static contrast ratio.
The design of this portable monitor is elegant and sleek. It weighs about 2.75 lbs. and is about 0.51 inches thick. Its compact size, as well as the integrated cover, makes it ultra-portable, and you can easily carry it in your laptop case when you are on the go.
The unique cover of the EliteDisplay monitor will not only protect your device but can be used as a stand too.
The monitor is made of eco-friendly materials and is sold with a USB cable.
You will receive a 3-year warranty by HP when you buy this portable monitor, so you can rest assured that you are covered if anything goes wrong during that time.
Best portable monitor for gaming
The Elecrow 13.3 inch 1920x 1080 portable monitor is our top pick for the best small monitor for gaming for 2018. The Full HD resolution of the IPS screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio and provides a perfectly clear and detailed picture, and the 5ms response time is simply amazing for a monitor so small. The screen has a wide viewing angle, so you can place it wherever you want and still see everything that is going on without distortion.
The Elecrow monitor has a variety of outputs and inputs, including an HDMI, USB, and a 3.5 audio headphone jack. It does need to be powered separately which makes it a tad less portable than some of the other monitors we tested, but then again, it is fast, responsive and has beautiful sharp colors.
It also has built-in speakers for a more immersive gaming or movie watching experience.
You can connect the 13.3inch Elecrow to any device with an HDMI output. It works with PCs, Macs, PS4, Xbox, Raspberry Pi, Wii U and a number of other devices, and don’t need to install any additional devices to get it going as soon as you plug it in.
You can also use it as a display for many types of industrial or medical equipment, and for enjoying car audio and video when on the road too.
It is an inexpensive, light and compact device which though has a performance which outperforms many of the other monitors in this range which anybody from our team has seen or tested this year.
It comes with a metal rack cover, and also has optional VESA 75 hole mounts. The monitor is sold with a power adapter and an HDMI cable, and all of this comes at a very attractive price for the features and quality provided!
So, go ahead and add this portable monitor from Elecrow to your gaming kit, and you can enjoy playing your favorite game on a large screen wherever you are!
Best touchscreen portable monitor
If you like the convenience of touchscreen devices, you will absolutely love the ViewSonic TD2220 22 inch touch screen portable monitor.
The ViewSonic TD2230 is a 10-point multi-touch device which also is available in a 2-touch and resistive touch options.
The 22-inch backlit LED IPS touchscreen has a 1920×1080 Full HD resolution, and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The dynamic contrast ratio is 15million to 1, which means you will enjoy vibrant, clear and detailed images at all times.
It is a scratch resistant and robust screen which is essential if you plan to carry it around with you or move it a lot.
The 10-point touchscreen will allow you to easily swipe, tap, zoom and pinch the content on the screen for a seamless interactive experience.
The screen will display up to 16.7 million colors, and its 250cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 typical contrast ratio are some of the best we have seen in monitors of this size and range.
The ViewSonic monitor has all of the outputs and inputs you will need – a DisplayPort, an HDMI, a VGA as well as US 3.0.
The frameless design is perfect for any need – business, personal, school, industrial, gaming or for media content viewing.
This monitor works perfectly with all Windows based computers and laptops and with all mobile operating systems.
The monitor has an adjustable stand, so you can use it flat down, or like a regular monitor. No matter what position you choose for it, you don’t need to worry about being able to see the display, because it has very wide horizontal and vertical viewing angles, so you will be able to get a good view of all details on the screen no matter what.
It has two built-in speakers as well.
The dimensions of this gem of a monitor are 19.3 x 11.8 x 5.1 inches, and it can be mounted via a 100×100 VESA compatible hole pattern.
The ViewSonic touchscreen portable monitor is sold with a power adapter and cable, n HDMI cable, a USB 3.0 cable, audio cable and with a quick start guide and a quick setup CD.
The monitor is EnergyStar compliant and comes with a convenient Eco mode.
In the end, we must say that we were seriously impressed by how good this monitor looks, and just how well it performs.
And we can all wholeheartedly agree that none of us has tested another portable touchscreen which has so many features, connectivity options, and such a brilliant picture so far this year.
Best versatile portable monitor
This is the second portable monitor from Taiwanese producer GeChic which made it into our top favorite list, and as it turns out GeChic seems to be steadily headed towards the top positions of the on-lap monitor producers in the world.
The GeChic 1503H has a 15.6 inch LED display with a TFT IPS panel and a 1080p Full HD resolution which offers a very clear, colorful and vivid picture. The 16:9 aspect ratio will make watching films and playing games on the go a pure joy to the eyes.
Thanks to the IPS technology, there will be no glare or distortions no matter where you are looking at the monitor from.
The response time is 12.5ms.
This portable monitor is a perfect second screen for a computer, laptop, or a game console such as an Xbox One, Nintendo Switch or PS4. You can also use it with a notepad, a computer stick or an HDMI wireless display adaptor.
It is perfectly portable and is powered by a single USB C port, which eliminates the need for multiple cables and power outlets.
All inputs are located in the dock of the monitor and include a mini HDMI, USB and VGA connections and a headphone jack. This clever cable management system will keep the cables neat and hidden and also will allow you to access the ports very easily.
It has a dock which can be used as an ergonomic stand and can be adjusted in height and according to your position. It can also be adjusted in different viewing angles including 52, 62 and 72 degrees for an even greater viewing comfort.
It is also wall mountable (VESA 100×100), in case you want to keep it in a fixed position rather than using it as a portable solution.
You can use the GeChic 1503H in both landscape and portrait mode, which is an excellent bonus if you need it for viewing photos, videos or for working with documents.
The monitor also has built-in speakers which will allow you to enjoy a full multimedia experience without having to carry headphones or speakers around with you.
The portable monitor from GeChic is a plug and play device and doesn’t require that you install any drivers, so it is ready to use straight out of the box.
It is very compact, light and thin with a weight of just 1.75lbs so you can literally carry it with you anywhere you go.
It comes with a cover, a USB-A to USB-C cable, an HDMI A to micro HDMI cable, a stand and an adapter, as well as a 1-year warranty by the manufacturer.
Best small screen portable monitor
This small touchscreen portable monitor form Xenarc is absolutely amazing. It has a tiny 7-inch screen with an impressive 1024×600 resolution which makes it the monitor with the highest resolution when it comes to 7 inch LED monitors on the market. The Xenarc also has a 400:1 contrast ratio which is amazing for a screen of this size!
The backlight technology of the display provides an ultra-high brightness of 1000 cd/m2 which makes this portable monitor one of the best for use in direct sunlight or in very bright conditions. You will be able to read everything on the screen even in the brightest of days outdoors.
The unit is powered by Solid Capacitors, which are much more durable and stable, especially when used in extreme weather conditions, so this is the perfect portable monitor to have if you tend to spend time outdoors and love adventures. It is also very suitable for use in the car when travelling.
The 5-wire resistive touch screen panel of this innovative monitor can be used as an input device, r for controlling the mouse or the on-screen keyboard easily.
The Xenarc monitor has a USB port, a DisplayPort, an HDMI and DVI, and you can connect several of these monitors to a single computer which can work simultaneously thanks to the multi monitor support feature.
The monitor has a built-in speaker and supports HDCP. Other nifty features include an Advanced Image Scaling and Shaping function, IT remote control, last power setting memory, automatic display adjustment, auto power on when a signal is detected, mirror and vertical image flipping, on-screen display control and others.
It has an anti-glare coating and an adjustable copper stand which can be rotated at 60 degrees.
The small Xenarc portable monitor is 7.72 x 4.88 x 1.42 inches and weighs just 0.97 lbs. and comes with a 2-year warranty and a 30-day no dead pixel guarantee.
Overall, this handy little monitor is the perfect choice when a very small and yet top quality display is required. You can use it for your GPS system in your car, for your PC or Server and with any other device.
Why choose a portable monitor?
If you spend all day working on your computer or laptop, you know just how hectic switching in between windows, tabs, documents and apps can become. This is when the use of a second monitor can come in handy and save the day.
Portable, or USB powered monitors are indispensable for such cases. They are even handier if you travel a lot or work on the go.
A monitor of this type should fit perfectly in your travel bag or laptop bag, and will not be a burden to carry or travel with.
These monitors are also suitable for use in your car – for GPS route tracking, or for entertaining the passengers while traveling.
They are designed to be lighter and more portable than regular monitors, and most importantly most of them use USB-C connectivity which eliminates the need for plugging them into a power source.
A good portable monitor can be connected to just about any device you are planning to use. They use power from the source, and thus you can save power as well.
So, here are some of the main advantages of investing in a good quality portable monitor:
Thanks to the fact that most portable monitors have USB ports, along with the inputs and outputs which regular monitors have, you can further expand your work or play space. You get to connect even more monitors without the need of mounting them or for purchasing and installing additional hardware for their installation.
It is pure logic that portable monitors allow for easy portability. They are slim, light and compact, and you can easily carry them around with you with your laptop or other device. Some of the monitors on our list are as small as 7 inches, so they are even more portable. Most of the monitors on our list come with cases and adjustable stands, which means that you can carry them around without scratching or breaking their screens.
Given that the monitor is connected via a USB cable only, you can expect that you will save power when you start using one. It utilizes the power from the computer or other device, which not only will eliminate the need of using multiple cables and looking for an additional power source, but will also help reduce your energy costs and consumption too.
Easy to relocate and move
Unlike larger regular monitors or monitors which you keep permanently mounted on the wall or on a stand, the portable ones can easily be moved around to suit your needs. You can easily move such a monitor from one device to another, or simply switch the side or position in which you are using it without any effort.
Easy to set up
Most of the portable monitors which we picked for you are essentially plug and play devices. This will eliminate the need to search for and install different drivers and meddle with the settings of both your computer or other device and the monitor itself. In fact, our top picks for 2018 just need to be plugged in with the appropriate cable and you should be able to start using them immediately.
Nearly all of our top picks come with stands or decks which are fully adjustable. You can adjust the height of your portable monitor, as well as its viewing angle, or if you prefer you can use it as a lap on monitor flat on your desk, table or lap.
Easy to store
Portable monitors can be stored away or kept in your laptop bag when you are not using them. This will save space on your desk or at home, and will also reduce the clutter.
Our top picks for the best portable monitors for 2018 are all made of top quality materials. They will withstand being carried around and used on-the-go. So, you can be pretty sure that you are making a worthwhile investment when you buy one of them.
Overall, as you can see there are multiple advantages of owning a USB power or another portable monitor. Still, they do tend to be pricey, so you need to make sure that you buy the exact type and model which will be the most useful and suitable one for your needs.
Here are some guidelines about the main features to keep in mind when choosing a portable monitor.
Features to look for when buying the perfect portable monitor for you
Screen size and dimensions
First of all, look at the size of the display and the dimensions of the monitor itself. This is essential. If you will be traveling or using your monitor on-the-go a lot, you should opt for a lighter, slimmer and more compact one.
If you don’t need to move around too much, but like the convenience of owning a portable monitor, you can get a larger one which still has all of the benefits of a transportable monitor, but provides more working space, and a better and larger view.
Our top pick – the GeChic 1101H is a smaller monitor with an 11.6-inch display. It is perfect for just about any type of need. For those of you who want a larger screen – our largest choice is the ViewSonic TD2230 which has a 22-inch screen, and for those of you looking for the smallest possible option, we strongly recommend the 7-inch Xenarc monitor.
Weight and thickness
The idea of portable monitors is that they are easier to carry around than regular ones. So, do check out the weight of the monitor you are planning on buying to see whether it will be easy to carry with you. You should also check the thickness of the device so that you can ensure that it will fit in your laptop or travel bag without adding too much bulkiness.
The GeChic 1101H which is our top pick for 2018 weighs only 1.5lbs and is just 0.4 inches thick. Our largest pick – the ViewSonic touchscreen monitor weighs about 7.5 lbs., which is still much less than the weight of a standard monitor.
Check out our reviews to see how much each monitor weighs and how thick it is, so that you can pick the one which will fit into your bag, or which will be the easiest to carry around if you are planning on moving it around a lot or if you travel a lot and need to keep your luggage within a certain weight and size limit.
Screen resolution and type
Of course, the display is the most important part of any monitor, so make sure you pick one which has a resolution which will be sufficient for your needs, and which will provide you with a picture in accordance to your expectations. Our overall top pick – the GeChic 1101H has a 1920×1080 IPS LED display, which will stun you with the bright and sharp colors and the overall performance when used for work, play or viewing videos. If you want an even higher resolution, you can opt for our runner-up – the Electric Magic Ultra Slim monitor which flaunts a 2560×1440 2K display.
For viewing in bright conditions and outdoors, the compact Xenarc monitor from our list is the top pick.
As for those of you who want to invest in a touchscreen portable monitor, our team chose the ViewSonic TD2230 as the best one for 2018, but if it is too large for you, you can always go with the 7 inch Xenarc instead.
Look at the color gamut, the contrast ratio and the brightness of the monitor too, and choose the one which will provide you with a picture that meets or exceeds your expectations.
Also, the viewing angle of the display is another feature to take into consideration, so that you can be certain that you will be able to have a clear view of the display in the work set up you are planning to use it.
Portable monitors can usually be connected to your laptop via a normal USB port and use a single cable for the connection and power. This will save you the hassle of carrying around multiple cables and looking for additional power sources.
If you want a movable monitor for your game console, or for connecting to industrial, medical or other equipment, you should pick one which has other connectivity options such as HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, or others. Make sure you check out the inputs and outputs of both the devices you will be using your monitor with, as well as those of the monitor itself, so that you buy the most suitable one, rather than end up with a monitor which cannot work with your gear!
In order to ensure that you are making a wise investment, take the time to read our reviews or check the technical specification provided by the retailer or manufacturer, to be certain that the monitor you are planning on buying will work with the device or operating system you use first.
The different monitors which we have picked for you have different compatibility options. Some will work with Windows based PCs, Linux computers and Macs. Others work only with Windows. Also, a number of our top choices are compatible with the most popular gaming consoles and with various smart devices too.
Pretty much all of the portable monitors which we selected for you come with cases, docks or stands, so that you can set them up on your workspace just like you would a regular monitor on a stand. Thanks to the ingenious designs of most our favorite monitors of this type for 2018, you can adjust the height, the viewing angle, and can rotate them from landscape to portrait orientation easily, and without the need to purchase additional mounting stands.
The majority of the monitors which we added to our top 7 list for 2018 also can be mounted on the wall or a monitor arm or stand, as well as on a tripod, depending on your needs. Make sure that you go through our reviews to find out more about the adjustability and mounting options of each of these amazing seven devices!
There are some well-known names among the manufacturers of portable and lap-on monitors, which have years of experience in making monitors and other high tech devices, such as ViewSonic, HP, Xenarc, but we have also selected a couple of monitors made by GeChic – a relatively new Taiwanese company which though is becoming one of the leaders in the production of this type of monitors. After our tests and reviews, we also selected a couple of monitors made by less-known companies such as Electric Magic and Elecrow, but we are very happy with the test results and can assure you that these monitors are as good as those made by the leading high tech companies in many ways too!
The Other Specs
We purposely chose 7 different types of portable displays suitable for various purposes for you, so there will be one suitable for everybody. Do take the time to go through their specifications, and read our reviews to find out what we were impressed by most, in order to pick the one which will serve you best and which will be in accordance with your anticipations.
We hope that our reviews and our tips for buying the best portable laptop in 2018 have helped you make an informed decision about which one will be the right one for your purposes.
In any case, whichever one you choose, you can rest assured that a portable monitor is a pretty good investment to make because these devices are so versatile, easy to set up, easy to carry or store that you will have no problem finding a use for it at any given moment.
Having a portable display will help you increase your work productivity if you work on a laptop or computer, as it will provide more workspace and will allow you to view multiple windows, documents or other content simultaneously without the need to switch over from one tab to another constantly.
Also, a portable monitor will allow you to enjoy your favorite game on a big screen even when you are not at home, and when you are off on a business trip or vacation.
These monitors can also be used for watching movies or entertaining the passengers of your car during a trip. They are perfect for business presentations, and also for easier monitoring and setup of various medical, industrial and other similar devices.
Most monitors can be connected to your smartphone or tablet to give you a larger and better view of the content you are viewing too.
If you travel a lot on business or for pleasure, a portable monitor will become the ideal replacement of a regular monitor, and will allow you to do your work or enjoy playing your games, viewing movies or browsing the internet on a larger screen than that of your mobile phone or tablet.
Best of all, these monitors don’t require multiple cable connections or complicated setups, so all you will need to do is plug your portable monitor in your laptop, phone, console or other device, and you will have that second display set up instantaneously!
Overall, since portability is becoming essential in this day and age, having a portable monitor will ensure you get the flexibility you need, plus as a bigger freedom of movement.
So, go ahead and get yourself one of these nifty devices, and enjoy the ease of use, the portability and the amazing convenience of owning a portable monitor!