With more and more people working remotely, being able to work wherever you can is more important than ever. Working from a laptop isn't the most productive, though. That's where portable monitors come in. Ranging in size from a tablet to a large laptop, portable monitors make it easier to work on the go, giving you extra screen space to work with, wherever you choose to work.
It's important to keep in mind that compared to regular desktop monitors, most portable monitors aren't nearly as good. Most portable monitors have a small screen with a slow refresh rate and sluggish response time, and many of them have a limited color gamut and few extra features.
We've tested over 10 portable monitors, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best portable displays. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best USB-C monitors, the best monitors for MacBook Pro, and the best office monitors.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE is the best portable monitor we've tested. It's a decent monitor with a 17 inch, 1080p IPS screen and an impressive 240Hz refresh rate. It has great text clarity, decent reflection handling, and satisfactory peak brightness, so glare shouldn't be an issue, but it's not bright enough to use outdoors.
It's a surprisingly great gaming monitor, offering similar performance to many advanced desktop monitors. It has an outstanding response time, with no noticeable overshoot at our recommended overdrive mode, low input lag, and support for Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It also has a built-in 7800mAh battery, so you can run it for a few hours without draining your laptop battery.
Unfortunately, it's not the best for a dark room, as it has low contrast and disappointing black uniformity. It has great connectivity, with two USB-C ports (one of which supports DisplayPort Alt Mode) and a Micro-HDMI port. Overall, it's a decent portable monitor that should please most people.
If you have limited space and the ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE won't fit in your bag, check out the ASUS ProArt PA148CTV instead. It's an okay portable monitor with a 14 inch 1080p IPS screen. It's a decent portable office monitor with amazing text clarity, decent reflection handling, and satisfactory peak brightness. It's not quite bright enough for outdoor use, but it's good enough for most viewing environments. It's also an okay monitor for media creators, with amazing accuracy out of the box and a great SDR color gamut.
Overall, the XG17AHPE is a far better portable monitor, but it's also more expensive, larger, and has extra features that not everyone needs. If you're looking for something a bit easier to carry around and don't need the advanced gaming features, the PA148CTV is an adequate alternative.
The best portable monitor for media creation we've tested is the Lenovo ThinkVision M14. Although it's probably too small to use as your main display, it's a good choice if you need a bit of extra space when working on the go. It has amazing gray uniformity and great gradient handling, so you don't have to worry about banding or dirty screen effect. The unit we bought has decent accuracy out of the box and has an excellent SDR color gamut, with perfect coverage of the sRGB color space.
The relatively high pixel density results in excellent text clarity. It has decent reflection handling but just okay peak brightness, so glare might be an issue if you're in a brighter room. It has two USB-C ports, which is great as you can use one to plug it into the wall to avoid draining the battery in your laptop. There's no Micro-HDMI, though, so you'll need to buy a separate adapter if your laptop only has HDMI.
Unfortunately, this monitor has poor motion handling, so we don't recommend watching videos or playing games. The response time is bad, so there's noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects and significant overshoot. Overall, it's the best portable display for media creation that we've tested.
The Lepow Z1 is the best portable monitor in the budget category that we've tested. It's an unremarkable 15 inch monitor with a 1080p IPS screen. It's okay for office use, with amazing gray uniformity and great text clarity, as well as outstanding gradient handling. It has acceptable peak brightness in SDR, but good reflection handling, so it can handle glare in brighter environments, but it's not bright enough for outdoor use.
It has great connectivity, with a Mini HDMI port for older devices and two USB-C ports, which is great as you can power the device from a wall adapter instead of putting an extra power drain on your laptop's battery. Surprisingly, it supports HDR, but this doesn't add anything, as it has low contrast, low peak brightness in HDR, and it can't display a wide color gamut.
Unfortunately, it isn't a very good choice for gaming, as it has a terrible response time, resulting in a very blurry image in fast-moving scenes. It also has poor accuracy, even after calibration, and a very limited color gamut, so it's not a good choice for media creators or if your work requires accurate colors. Despite its flaws, it's an okay portable budget monitor for office use.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best portable monitors currently available. They are adapted to be valid for most people, in each price range. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price, and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our portable monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.