Portable monitors make it much easier for you to work when you’re on the road. Without much extra weight, you can use a portable screen to increase your productivity and get better results. Also popular are the handy screens for entertainment during a trip.
Our big portable monitor test 2022 should help you find a portable monitor that’s best for you. In addition, we answer the typical questions that you ask yourself before buying. In order to support you as much as possible in your decision, we present you in this article the main buying criteria.
The most important facts in a nutshell
- A portable monitor is basically a secondary screen for your laptop. Unlike the more familiar desktop version, this one is mobile and perfect for on the go.
- The low weight is a particular plus for all digital nomads whose office can be anywhere in the world and who have to carry their equipment around with them all the time.
- With the right connections, you can connect a portable monitor to a wide variety of control devices. From smartphones to tablets to laptops, to Xbox, Playstation or Nintendo Switch, everything is possible.
Portable monitor test: Editors’ favorites
The best portable monitor for office work
Last price updates: Amazon.en (30.01.22, 21:50), Other stores (30.01.22, 4:57 pm)
The Asus ZenScreen MB16AC is a 15.6″ portable monitor weighing only 800g. It only needs a USB Type-C cable for power and data transfer. With the help of the foldable protective cover, you can put this monitor down and use it directly.
Fast response times and IPS panel technology make it great for all forms of office work – including image editing. This makes it a powerful monitor for on the go. Customers especially praise the workmanship and quality of this product.
The best portable monitor for gamers
Uperfect’s portable monitor is the Amazon Choice product in this category. Full HD resolution and HDR support combined with a fast response time make for a great gaming experience. Various connections make the monitor compatible with laptops, cell phones, tablets or game consoles. For transport, the display is equipped with a protective cover that also serves as a stand. Alternatively, a Vesa mount can also be attached.
The wide range of possible uses is particularly well received by customers. The display’s quality in terms of color reproduction and contrasts are also described as better than average.
The best lightweight portable monitor for frequent travelers
At only 770 g, the M Memteq portable monitor is a real lightweight. With a 15.6-inch screen, full HD resolution, all the usual ports and built-in speakers, it’s suitable for presentations, games, videos and computer work.
Simultaneous power supply and data transfer with only one USB cable works very well according to customers. The user-friendliness and the quality of the display are also described as praiseworthy. If you’re looking for a lightweight portable monitor with good picture quality, you should take a closer look at this model.
Guide: Questions you should deal with before buying a portable monitor
What is a portable monitor and who is it suitable for??
Cable connections provide power and data transfer, making a mobile monitor quickly and conveniently connected and can be used anywhere.
The second screen makes working on the go easier and can thus improve efficiency. This is why portable monitors are especially suitable for business travelers or digital nomads who do not have a fixed office.
But you can use a portable monitor for mobile entertainment as well. Many models can also be connected to your smartphone. Instead of the small cell phone screen, you can enjoy movies or games on a larger display. You can also connect consoles directly to the portable display and play on the go.
For which purpose do you need a portable monitor??
|Working on the go||For this purpose, you can basically use all current models. However, make sure that the monitor can also be connected to your laptop (or smartphone).|
|Image editing||Graphic designers and all others who need to edit images should place increased focus on the color contrasts of the monitor. IPS panel technologies are recommended in this respect, as they produce a high contrast and viewing angle stable display.|
|Portable Gaming Monitor||One fact you should keep in mind when making a purchase decision is that the main focus of these portable monitors is their mobility. So it’s quite possible that you’ll have to make some concessions in terms of technical performance. Models with TN panel technology allow for relatively short response times of approx. 25ms.|
Of course, there are no set rules about how you can use which monitor. However, it makes sense to look at the corresponding technical features before buying. You can read more about this in the buying criteria section.
Where to buy a portable monitor?
However, you will probably find a much larger selection on the Internet. Among others, the following online stores offer a wide selection of different brands and models:
Especially popular are models from ASUS and Uperfect.
How expensive are portable monitors?
The good news: you can get a decent portable monitor for a few hundred euros
How expensive a monitor is, logically depends heavily on the technical level. So think in advance exactly what is important to you and where you can perhaps make sacrifices.
What are the alternatives to mobile monitors??
For this, you need the Twomon SE app on both the computer and the tablet. You can download them from the App Store. Then you connect the computer to your tablet via a USB cable.
In its YouTube video, Tech demonstrates.Tablets.com (in English) how exactly this works and which setting options you have.
If you don’t have time for a video right now, we have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of this variant for you here:
- You do not have to buy a new device
- Own battery
- (Mostly) quite small screen
Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate portable monitors based on these factors
In the next part, we’ll show you which aspects you can use to decide between the multitude of possible portable monitors.
The criteria you can use to compare mobile monitors include:
In the next few paragraphs, we’ll explain what you should look for in each of these criteria.
Size and weight
The common portable monitors have a screen size between 11 and 17 inches. But there are also smaller as well as larger variants. Think about how big the monitor can be to fit in your pocket.
The big advantage of portable monitors is their light weight. Many models are even under 1 kg. Of course, weight and size are always related. So you have to find an optimal compromise between compactness and usefulness.
According to the principle: Small and light as possible, but as big as necessary.
These two criteria are especially important to consider if you travel light and fly often. Naturally, you want to carry as little weight around with you as possible.
Usually portable monitors get their power from the laptop they are connected to. However, there are also some models that have an integrated battery.
This has the advantage that you can basically use them longer without charging the laptop. However, a battery is noticeable in the weight, which can be unfavorable. If you have a laptop with a strong battery, you can do without a battery in your second screen.
The most common models are HD capable, which corresponds to a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. That should normally be enough for most work. If you’re looking for a particularly cheap option and a lower resolution is enough for you, check out models with 1366 x 768 pixels.
If you need a particularly good resolution, look for 4K-capable devices. These are also available, but they are quite expensive. But you’ll be rewarded with great pictures in return. The high resolution is especially suitable for gamers or graphic designers.
Connectors and compatibility
Most portable monitors have only two to three ports. This means that before buying you should consider what you need to make your device compatible with the monitor. Common ports include Type-C USB, (mini) HDMI as well as Mini DP. Most devices also have headphone sockets.
Especially if you plan to connect a game console to the mobile monitor, you should inform yourself about which connections are used to pass on the video signals.
It’s best to read through which connection cables are included in the scope of delivery so that you can do without an adapter if possible.
Another aspect of compatibility is your laptop’s operating system. Find out about the system requirements in advance to avoid negative surprises.
Trivia: Interesting facts about portable monitors
Why does my portable monitor have no signal?
There are several reasons why a portable monitor may not get a signal.
|Wrong connection||Since most connectors are “mini” or “micro”, it can happen quickly that you mix them up. For example, the micro DP also fits into the micro HDMI port, but this can’t make a connection. Make sure you have connected the right cable to the right port.|
|Wackelkontakt||If you are using the correct cable and still can’t connect, check to see if the cable is firmly seated in the connector or if it is wobbly. Try to put it in a position where a connection is possible.|
|Defect||A defective cable or broken connectors also prevent transmission. In these cases, you will unfortunately have to get a new cable or have your monitor repaired.|
|Setting||Apart from the wrong or broken cable or connector, a missing signal can also be due to the setting of the portable monitor. In some cases, you still have to change the input source in the settings. Either use the automatic search or switch directly to the desired port.|
What accessories and additional equipment are available for portable monitors??
In order to be able to use your portable monitor, it should of course have a stand or similar. Make sure that it is also stable and doesn’t topple over at the slightest movement.
If you want to use the portable monitor at home as well, you can consider buying a wall mount for it. Many models are compatible with the well-known Vesa mounts. The advantage of this is that these mounts have joints and thus allow ergonomic work.
Many manufacturers combine a protective case with a mount
An additional display protection cover can be useful if you are really on the road a lot and also often work outdoors. More effective than the common integrated cases, are precisely fitting protective cases for transport, in which the screen is optimally protected.
For true gaming fans, for example, there are also portable monitors that are already integrated into a case. In this case there is additional space for your game console and its accessories.
How can I build a portable monitor myself?
DIYs are very trendy at the moment. Why not build a portable second monitor for your laptop yourself??
With a bit of technical and craftsmanship skills, as well as the right instructions, you can tinker with your individual mobile dream monitor. On the Internet you can find various instructions for portable monitor DIYs. On the one hand you can save old laptops from scrap and on the other hand you get a cheap alternative for a second screen. But be careful: even though it may sound simple at first glance, you are working with electronics. Any part that is not cleanly processed is a potential source of danger!
The following list should give you a rough idea of what you will need for a. For a precise list of materials and where you can buy them, it is best to follow the respective instructions:
- An (old) screen
- A controller board with all desired connections
- Connection cable
- Materials of your choice for the frame and covers
- In addition tools to (de)assemble the individual parts
Watch this video to learn how to turn an old laptop screen into a functional mobile monitor.
There are different ideas, so feel free to look around for a while until you find something that suits you. There are also some creative ideas regarding design and your imagination is the limit.