Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, ZDNet may earn a commission.

Best portable monitor 2021: Work from anywhere

With millions now working outside of the office, portable monitors have quickly become a necessity.

Remote work looks like it's here to stay, with millions continuing to work from outside of traditional office spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The global home office spending market is expected to grow at 15.3% CAGR between 2020 and 2030, according to a report from Future Market Insights.

Many are decking out their offices with the latest technology and are looking to recreate some of the luxuries available in the workplace, like having multiple screens. 

Representatives from major manufacturers like HP, Lenovo, and ViewSonic said in December that sales of portable monitors skyrocketed in 2020 as teleworkers look for tools that allow them to work from any location in their home. IDC reported in December that PC monitor sales volume grew 15.9% in Q3 2020 compared to the same quarter last year. The 37.5 million units sold in the quarter represented an eight-year high in sales, with most coming from companies like Dell, Samsung, HP, and others.

While most portable monitors are around 15 or 16 inches, many offer a variety of features and plug-ins. 

Here are some of ZDNet's current picks for the best portable monitors available.

Lepow Portable Monitor Z1 Pro

A lightweight option for those on the move

Priced at $184.99, the Lepow portable monitor comes in blue, grey and black. The laptop companion is 15.6 inches and has an FHD 1080P HDR IPS Screen.

The monitor can connect to multiple devices and allows for a variety of different views, thanks to the smart cover that can become a stand. The Lepow comes with dual speakers, a screen protector and a new LSO 3.0.2 system. Some have complained about the speakers' power, but its versatility -- it can be used with Macs, PCs, smartphones and gaming systems -- has made it wildly popular. 

It weighs just 1.76 pounds with a 0.3 inch profile and is one of the highest-selling portable monitors on Amazon right now. The monitor gets its power from the USB-C device and has an HDMI port. In addition to an HDMI cable, it comes with a USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable. 

While the colors are not as vibrant as other monitors, the Lepow's low price point has made it wildly popular. 

HP EliteDisplay S14

One of the better options for travelers

With a screen size of 14", the HP EliteDisplay S14 is smaller than the Lepow but comes with a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The 2.20lbs monitor can be found for about $200 on Amazon and other sites. 

At 2.20lbs, the monitor is a bit heavier than other monitors available. But the monitor has far better graphics and imaging than other portable monitors and has anti-glare technology, making it great for those traveling. The monitor connects to devices through a USB-C cable. 

It does not come with speakers or offer additional outputs. 

Lenovo ThinkVision M14

Incredible color

The 14-inch mobile display is ultra-light at just 1.4 lbs and comes with two USB-C. It's being sold on the Lenovo site for $241, while Amazon has it for $222. 

It has a 1920 x 1080 IPS display and can be powered directly from a laptop. It has ports on each side and is designed for both left and right-handed users. Lenovo said the monitor has a -5° to 90° tilt angle.

The monitor comes with low-blue-light technology that Lenovo says will reduce strain on the eyes. It is just 4.4mm thick and has a full HD display. 

The Lenovo ThinkVision is well regarded for how it produces color and the small stand that it comes with. 

Asus Zenscreen Touch MB16AMT


The Asus Zenscreen Touch MB16AMT is one of the bigger portable monitors with a 15.6 inch screen, 9mm width and weight of 1.98lbs.  

This model is slightly pricier than others, coming in around $340 on Amazon right now. 

It comes with a full HD portable IPS display and has a responsive and intuitive input with 10-point touch functionality. Unlike some of the other portable monitors, this Asus Zenscreen comes with a 7800mAh battery that lasts for up to four hours. 

It also has a hybrid-signal USB-C port and a micro-HDMI port while also coming with a foldable case that can be repurposed as a stand. It is even compatible with USB Type-A sources and has a blue light filter built in to help with eye fatigue. 

The 1920 x 1080 resolution gives it top-notch visuals to go along with the touchscreen that has drawn significant consumer interest. 

There are speakers built into the monitor, and if you have multitouch-enabled, there is full support for Windows devices as well as some Android devices. Things get tougher for Mac users, as there is limited support and no support at all for any iOS devices. 

AOC I1659FWUX portable monitor

Rotating stand and low price

With a resolution of 1920 x 1080, the AOC I1659FWUX can be found on Amazon for about $160. The 15.6-inch monitor is powered via a single USB 3.0 cable and compatible with Mac and Windows. 

It's heavier than other portable monitors at 2.64lbs. But comes with a wall-mount and a 16:9 aspect ratio. 

This AOC monitor also comes with a rotating stand and good color rendering, and a brightness of 220cd/m2.

The accompanying travel case makes it good for trips, but some consumers have had issues considering it cannot get enough power to operate from USB 2.0.

Despite the USB issues and the relatively heavyweight, the AOC has become popular for its low price point. 

ViewSonic TD1655 Touch portable monitor

Touch or no touch

This popular 16' monitor comes in both touch-screen and non-touch-screen versions. This ViewSonic is 2.20lbs, has a 16:9 aspect ratio and a maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080. 

The touch-screen version costs about $300 on Amazon, while the version without the touch-screen will cost about $250. 

Unlike some portable monitors, this ViewSonic comes with dual USB-C ports and a Mini-HDMI port. It is compatible with PCs, laptops and Macs. Like many of the other monitors, it has a built-in blue light filter and a stand that allows it to be viewed in both portrait and landscape modes. 

At 15mm thick, it is not the thinnest portable monitor, but the 250cd/m2 brightness is better than most. The monitor can be powered through laptops as well as mobile power banks, making it an ideal travel companion. 

How did we choose these portable monitors?

This list was compiled through extensive research, discussions with industry experts and examinations of bestseller lists compiled throughout 2021. 

A range of factors was considered when choosing this selection, and the majority were chosen for their price relative to the market, weight, width and features.

What are the main differences in portable monitors?

All of the devices have been purchased by thousands and offer different characteristics for different types of users. Some portable monitors are best for those who work while they travel while others are best for those simply looking for a portable monitor that they can bring to an office or co-working space.

Depending on where and when they are used, the portable monitors on this list vary in terms of image and video quality, size, weight and battery dynamics. 

Other factors include the design of stands, the number of HDMI ports available and display resolution.

Which other portable monitors are also worth considering?

Many portable monitors were left off of the list that was ranked highly on other lists or is well-regarded by other experts. 

The SideTrak Attachable Portable Monitor is very popular for its durability and lightweight. 

Others like:

These were a bit pricier but are popular among consumers and experts.