Multitasking on your desktop at home or at the office is always easier when you add an additional monitor or two into the mix. It all becomes much clearer, without unnecessary switching between tabs, everything spread out for complete and easy access to any information needed at the same time.
When on the go, however, in the confinement of our small laptop screen or tablet, things do not look as bright. Manufacturers have considered this and have come up with lightweight USB connected monitors, which anyone can pack along with their laptop or console while traveling or unable to use a multi-monitor setup.
The 5 Best Selling Portable USB Powered Monitors:
- 156-inch Full HD portable USB-powered monitor with a single USB 30 cable for power and data transmission
- World's slimmest and lightest USB monitor with a sleek and metallic finishIt needs just one USB cable for both its video signal and power to deliver up to a Full HD resolution
- Auto-rotating display bundled with the ASUS Smart Case - a two-way adjustable stand and protective sleeve
- 16" (15.6" viewable) display, 200 cd/m2 Brightness,16:9 Aspect Ratio. Max Resolution 1366 x 768, 500:1 Contrast Ratio, 8ms Response Time
- Multiple USB monitors can be simultaneously connected to a single laptop to function as a multi-monitor PC or Mac. SImply installing DisplayLInk software on the PC or Mac allows you to easily add...
- USB-powered (no power cable required) with USB 3.0 technology.
- Monitor: 21.5-inch diagonal Full HD (1920x1080) IPS; Enjoy vibrant images with 178-degree wide-viewing angles
- Resolution and aspect ratio: Full HD and 16:9; 2 million pixels for crystal-clear visuals and vibrant image quality
- Response time: 7ms with overdrive; Get a smooth picture that looks crisp and fluid without motion blur
- Super simple set-up
- Sleek, stylish, and ultra-portable
- Double your visual workspace
- 15.6" Fhd IPS USB Type-C portable monitor with hybrid signal solution for compatibility with USB Type-C and Type-A sources (Note: Display Link driver needed for Type-A connection)
- Ultra-portable award-winning design at 1.87 pounds and 0.3 inches slim to pair perfectly with ASUS laptops
- Built to be on-the-go with 7800mAh battery for ultimate compatibility with both laptops and phones
The 5 Best Portable USB Powered Monitors:
When buying a handy portable monitor, you should consider a variety of factors, mainly what the monitor will be used for – gaming, movies, work, reading etc. Furthermore, based on their capabilities, maximum resolution, viewing angles, and ease of portability, we have arranged for you a list of the 5 best portable monitors available on the market today.
AOC is one of the most well-renowned companies specializing in producing crystal clear monitors, which are great for both work and gaming, while still maintaining a competitive price. This monitor is fully powered via USB 3.0, which means no additional cables laying around. With a 650:1 contrast ratio, the monitor’s maximum resolution is 1600×900 @60hz for a great HD experience. The ultra-slim design ensures an easy carry for every on-the-go need, such as a presentation, and the foldable flexi-stand offers an effortless switch between portrait and landscape view accompanied by an auto-pivot mode, so you do not have to switch the orientation manually.
All these features and the 16 million colors provide a picture perfect set up for enjoying movies or reading text without straining your eyes too much. This is an overall quality purchase for anyone who does not want to reach too deep into their pockets but still wants a good monitor to have when traveling.
From powerful PC parts to quality gaming setups and monitors, ASUS have proven their ability to create outstanding products of the highest quality. The Taiwanese IT company did not take long to come up with a great on-the-go solution, just as good for gaming, as it is for your daily needs when traveling and not having access to your desktop PC. This is another USB powered HD monitor which is to this day, the slimmest and most lightweight portable USB monitor in the world. Coming in at a little less than 2 pounds, this stylish HD monitor offers fluid and fast imaging with great contrast and features an automatic lighting sensor, which adjusts the brightness of the screen, according to the ambient lighting conditions.
With the exclusive ASUS EZlink technology, you can connect up to five monitors via USB, regardless of your computer’s graphic capacities. Unlike other portable monitors, this one also offers backward compatibility with the older USB 2.0 ports, which can prove convenient if you need to pair the screen with an older computer. If you are worried about the warranty of this pencil-thin device, do not delve too much into it. ASUS offers its Rapid Replacement option with this product, meaning a three-year warranty, complete with two-way free shipping.
Furthermore, the MB168B comes equipped with its own ASUS Smart Case, a two-way adjustable stand for either portrait or landscape orientation and a protective sleeve. To sum it up, this monitor will set you back more than others, but it certainly offers a lot more in return.
Midway through our list, it is time to turn our attention to a product, screaming “hardcore gamer” right off the bat. Gaems M155 is targeted towards the console gamers, LAN party fans, and anyone who wants to enjoy gaming anywhere they are. Almost as light as the Asus monitor, this portable gaming companion offers 720p (1080p scaled) resolution at 16:9 aspect ratio and could not be easier to plug and play. The hinged anti-slip rubber feet help the screen stay perfectly on top of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but it also fits and holds steady just as good on any surface.
In case you feel like streaming, there is even a camera mount with a quarter inch socket compatible with most mounts clamps and tripods. Although the monitor is virtually lag free and ideal for your daily gaming needs, it may present blurriness when displaying plain texts well as poor viewing angles, making it the right fit for everyone sitting in front, but not an ideal crowd pleaser. Another feature some might dislike is the glossy screen. While it compliments the sleek design of the monitor, not everyone likes fingerprints on their monitor all the time. Lastly, for those who love game immersion, the Gaems M155 is equipped with a single speaker and a standard 3.5mm audio jack if you decide to go full headphones mode. In any case, whether you want a great second monitor to have around while traveling, or a gaming comrade always ready to go, the M155 is a classy choice.
Moving straight to our priciest pick from the list, the GeChic 2501C is an impressive portable monitor, which combines power and style in a sleek modern package. Simple Plug&Play installation means no additional drivers needed, just connect via USB for power and data, choose your video input and you would be good to go. Unlike others on this list, this monitor uses Real Video input, meaning no Full HD, which does not necessarily do justice to the 1080p content out there, but on the other hand, makes for a lag-free picture – an ideal gaming environment.
Extending your display to this monitor will prove to be highly beneficial for any photographer, IT technician and web designer alike, because of its clear and sharp image representation that complements of 400:1 contrast and a variety of viewing angles. In addition, the 2501C is lightweight and thin, ideal for easy transport, and a perfect fit for any laptop bag. Being a high end buy, this USB monitor does not disappoint, meets all the requirements for an extra screen and delivers a terrific viewing experience.
To conclude, our top 5 list is the AOC e1659Fwu. Another fantastic pick, presented by AOC, the 16-inch LED LCD portable display with 500:1 contrast ratio sports a sleek and classy design, appropriate for any occasion, work or leisure. Cable management will not be a problem here, since the monitor is powered by 3.0 USB, making for an easy Plug&Play installation via a single cable.
At 5ms response time, this is a crisp gaming solution for the lag-free experience. Even though no protective sleeve or case is included with the standard packaging, the display is lightweight and slim, easily portable inside any laptop bag and it perfect for frequent travelers and businessmen.
Moreover, flexi-stand and a wall mount are included, so you can set the monitor up on your wall with ease as long as you have the right wall arm and bracket. Also, this would be quite beneficial as the auto-pivot feature recognizes the switch from landscape to portrait view and adjusts accordingly. With those features, anyone can have a multiple display set up just like in The Matrix, without the awful cable management now, and not in the distant sci-fi future. As the cheapest USB monitor on the market today, the LOC e1659Fwu is a perfect budget solution for the productivity ninjas looking for an extra monitor or two to double their work capacity.
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Monitor
Now that we have looked through a list of great options for any activity, you might consider while traveling, let us focus on the key features to consider when buying a portable USB monitor.
Obviously, resolution is key when looking into buying a portable monitor. You would not want to be stuck with a pixelated screen, worse than your laptop’s, when extending your display or when you buy monitor meant to help you have a multiple display in a business meeting so you don’t have to constantly rotate your laptop from one person or another to share your screen.
Even if you are looking for some entertainment, it is crucial that the display does not strain your eyes, so look for at least a 720p HD resolution when on the market for a portable monitor.
Another key factor to consider when you decide to invest in a USB monitor is its weight. We do not want only “moveable”, we want “portable”. Many great displays on the market are bulky and hard to carry around and you should not pay for extra baggage on your flight or have an inconvenience transporting your monitor. Instead, it should be a sleek tablet-like accessory, which should serve all your needs and help you achieve optimal results, while not being too much trouble carrying it around.
While still a niche product, portable USB monitors have come a long way in terms of implemented technologies, so take into consideration the type of the monitor panel as you would a normal display for your desktop PC. If you are an editor, designer or a photographer who is constantly on the road, there are IPS panel options, which offer great quality for such a small display and can present vibrant colors with great contrast.
On the other hand, gamers who are traveling and have long layovers, or pro gamers who are looking to get a few matches between official games, can get a good number of TN displays with low response time for a portable display. Pack your console and display in your backpack and you are good to go to take on the competition.
We are talking about USB portable monitors after all, but even if you look into the best USB monitor, you should also be aware of other connectivity types. Many models offer other connections like HDMI or VGA. It is important to get to have at least one other type of connection on your portable monitor. If you are doing a presentation, for example, and your USB ports are all full you can connect an HDMI to a larger screen or even a VGA port to a desktop computer, if you are a technician trying to fix a computer.
Even gamers run out of USB ports once they connect their controllers to a laptop when they get together, so having the option to connect the monitor another way is always a plus.
Gaming, photography, presentations, casual evening watching a movie or just constant traveling, portable monitors have become a great addition for anyone looking to expand their toolkit and whoever wants to improve their work environment outside of the office. GAEMS are well known for their gaming solutions, so look no further if you are looking to take your games to the next level. On the other hand, when choosing a stylish device, which you can use daily and present at any formal event while traveling light, any option from LOC or the highly reputable ASUS monitor will be the right choice for any occasion.
Which one is your favorite USB monitor? What do you use it for? Which one would you like to have? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.