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The 4 Best Portable Monitors - Black Friday 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Portable Monitors
219 Monitors Tested
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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, and that's where portable monitors come in. Ranging in size from a small tablet to a large laptop, portable monitors make it easier to work on the go, giving you extra screen space to work with. Most of them support USB-C connectivity, and some of them even have built-in batteries, so you can work for a few hours without draining your laptop battery.

Compared to regular desktop monitors, most portable monitors aren't nearly as good in terms of picture quality. 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 monitor for laptop use. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best USB-C monitors, the best monitors for MacBook Pro, and the best office monitors.


  1. Best Portable Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE

    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    7.2
    Office
    8.0
    Gaming
    6.9
    Multimedia
    6.8
    Media Creation
    5.5
    HDR Gaming
    Size 17"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    240 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    Adaptive Sync

    The ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE is the best portable monitor we've tested. It's a decent monitor overall and is by far the best portable monitor we've tested. It's mainly designed for gaming on the go, but it's also a decent choice for increased productivity when you're away from home or the office. The 17 inch screen delivers great text clarity, and it has excellent gray uniformity, an amazing SDR color gamut, and great gradient handling. It also has a built-in 7800mAh battery, so you can work for a few hours without adding extra strain on your laptop's battery.

    It's a great gaming monitor, especially considering the size. It has a very fast 240Hz refresh rate and a fantastic response time, resulting in crystal-clear motion with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has outstanding low input lag for a responsive gaming experience. It supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, which can help reduce tearing, and it's compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC Compatible mode, although it's not officially certified.

    Unfortunately, it's not the best for a dark environment, as it has low contrast, and visibility can be an issue in brighter environments because it doesn't get the brightest. Like most portable monitors, it has terrible ergonomics, so it can be difficult to find the ideal viewing position. Despite these limitations, it's still a decent monitor overall, and it's the best portable gaming monitor we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Smaller Alternative: Lenovo ThinkVision M14

    Size 14"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No VRR

    If you have limited space and the ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE won't fit in your bag, check out the Lenovo ThinkVision M14. It's not nearly as advanced, as it lacks all those extra gaming features. However, it's an acceptable portable monitor with decent viewing angles, excellent gray uniformity, and decent accuracy out of the box. It has an amazing SDR color gamut, almost as good as most desktop monitors, and great gradient handling, so it's an okay choice for media creators. The 14 inch screen is small enough to fit even in smaller laptop bags, and it's significantly lighter, mainly due to the lack of a battery.

    Overall, the ASUS 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 Lenovo is an adequate alternative.

    See our review

  3. Best Portable Monitor For Media Creation: Lepow Z1 Gamut (Black)

    6.5
    Mixed Usage
    6.8
    Office
    5.8
    Gaming
    6.7
    Multimedia
    6.8
    Media Creation
    5.7
    HDR Gaming
    Size 15"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No VRR

    The Lepow Z1 Gamut is the best portable monitor we've tested for content creators. It's an okay overall monitor, and what makes it stand out versus other portable monitors is its color gamut. It has perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most web content and great coverage of the Adobe color space used in photo editing. However, some professional photo editors may still find the coverage to be limiting.

    You can connect the monitor to your PC or your main monitor using the Mini HDMI connection or one of the two USB-C inputs. One of the USB-C inputs supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, allowing you to display an image from a compatible source and charge the device at the same time. However, the power output of this monitor is only 10 W which isn't enough to charge a laptop. In terms of picture quality, the gradient handling is fantastic with minimal banding, and there aren't any signs of color bleed on our unit.

    Unfortunately, despite the fantastic color gamut, the out-of-the-box accuracy is disappointing. Even though this can vary between units, you may need to calibrate it to use it to its full capabilities. It also doesn't get bright enough to fight glare in well-lit rooms, but it at least has great reflection handling. For a portable monitor, it's a good choice for content creators.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Portable Monitor: Lepow Z1 (Black)

    6.2
    Mixed Usage
    6.5
    Office
    5.7
    Gaming
    6.4
    Multimedia
    6.4
    Media Creation
    5.4
    HDR Gaming
    Size 15"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    No VRR

    The Lepow Z1 is the best portable monitor in the budget category that we've tested. It's an okay portable office monitor with good reflection handling, okay peak brightness, and great text clarity, thanks to the relatively high pixel density. It also has outstanding gradient handling and amazing gray uniformity, so you don't have to worry about banding, and it accepts a 10-bit signal.

    It has great connectivity, with a Mini HDMI port for older devices and two USB-C ports, which means 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. It even has built-in speakers, so you can listen to your videos if you don't have headphones with you.

    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.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Mobile Pixels TRIO: The Mobile Pixels TRIO has a unique design meant to be placed with a laptop, but it has a terrible response time, low contrast, and high input lag. It's worth getting the Lepow Z1 instead. See our review
  • ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT: The ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT is a passable portable monitor with a touch screen. It has a very limited color gamut, and the folio case doesn't support the monitor well. Overall, the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 is a better choice. See our review
  • ASUS ProArt PA148CTV: The ASUS ProArt PA148CTV is designed with content creators in mind like the Lepow Z1 Gamut, and it has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, but its SDR color gamut is worse than the Lepow, and it doesn't support HDR. See our review
  • ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP: The ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP is an okay portable monitor with a budget-friendly price, and it has a built-in battery, but it costs more than the Lepow Z1 and doesn't have HDR support. See our review
  • ViewSonic VG1655: The ViewSonic VG1655 is an entry-level portable monitor with a folio case, and it has two USB-C inputs like the Lepow Z1, but the Lepow supports HDR, which the ViewSonic doesn't. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Nov 22, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy; added the ASUS ProArt PA148CTV, ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP, and the ViewSonic VG1655 to Notable Mentions.

  2. Nov 02, 2021: Replaced the ASUS ProArt PA148CTV with the Lenovo ThinkVision M14, as the ASUS is currently out of stock.

  3. Oct 12, 2021: Replaced the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 with the Lepow Z1 Gamut as the 'Best Portable Monitor For Media Creators'. Refreshed the text.

  4. Sep 21, 2021: Validated our picks for accuracy and refreshed the text.

All Reviews

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.

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