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Best portable monitor 2020: top USB screens for working from home and remote working


PCHF Tech News
Jan 10, 2015
With many companies forced to transition to remote working as a result of coronavirus lockdown measures, many are seeking ways to make employees' lives easier.

Here, we feature the best in portable monitors to spruce up your new home office - but also check out our lists of the
best office chairs and best standing desks around today.

Keep things relatively compact with the best portable monitor while you’re expanding your workspace. These nifty displays, which are now winning digital nomads and laptop users, give content creators, gamers and professionals alike the option to get more screen real estate without having to actually buy a full-sized monitor and lug that around.

The best portable monitors essentially keep things simple and small, forgoing stands and their own power supply and opting for a quick and easy plug and play design with a USB or USB-C cable. This way, you quickly and easily have more room to work on without needing to considerably expand your physical area. And, with many manufacturers putting out thin and light models that are just as good as their full-sized brethren – Apple even lets you use an iPad as a portable monitor, they give you that option to take this multi-screen setup with you wherever you go.

Having a secondary monitor will give your desktop some breathing room, spreading apps out in a more natural way, whether you're writing the next great American novel, doing graphic design work, coding or gaming the latest AAA game. We went ahead and picked out the best portable monitors on the market, including some excellent alternatives to the best business monitors. It’s a busy world out there; give yourself a bit of space.


(Image credit: Asus)
1. Asus ZenScreen MB16AC portable monitor

Thin, portable and great looking

Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080

Thin and light
Excellent image quality
Low brightness

The Asus ZenScreen MB16A Portable Monitor is one of the nicest-looking USB monitors we’ve seen, and it comes with a number of features and design considerations that make it an incredibly handy device, and one of the best portable monitors. However, it comes at a price, with the ZenScreen proving to be more expensive than many of the other portable monitors on this list. However, the build and image quality of this screen makes it well worth the extra money. Fans of Asus' ZenBook laptops should be particularly interested in this device, as it has a design that compliments Asus' high-end laptops nicely.


(Image credit: Asus)
2. Asus MB169C+ portable monitor

The first USB-C portable monitor impresses

Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080

Thin and light
Good viewing angles and picture
Uses single USB-C
Slightly too dim
Fiddly menu control wheel

The Asus MB169C+ isn’t quite as portable as Packed Pixels, but its 15.6-inch size makes using it feel more like using a regular monitor. It has a healthy pixel-resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, which is perfect for streaming full HD video, working with two applications side-by-side and even gaming if you have a sufficiently powerful laptop.

The MB169C+ is incredibly simple to use thanks to its USB-C connection, which uses a single cable to transmit video, sound and power. It also comes in a handy protective sleeve that doubles up as a carrying case. Asus’ portable monitor uses an in-plane switching (IPS) display, which brings decent viewing angles making it perfect for watching video with a friend.


3. Gechic 1101P portable monitor

A great portable monitor for photographers

Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080

Great picture
Mounts to cameras/tripods
Bland design

Aimed at photographers who need a monitor to take on shoots, the Gechic 1101P features an IPS display like the Asus MB169C+. However, this one is smaller at 11.6 inches and more portable, allowing to be easily attached to a tripod or SLR camera while out in the field.

This full HD display supports 16.7 million colors which can easily be tweaked using the monitor’s onboard color temperature settings, allowing you to get it as close to your camera’s display as possible

The 1101P is also well-connected, featuring support for VGA, micro HDMI and mini DisplayPort. These make it suitable for a number of different use cases – from previewing photos and videos shot on a camera to being used as a normal portable monitor with your laptop.


4. Asus MB168B+ portable monitor

1080p goodness over regular USB-A

Pixel-resolution: 1,920 x 1,080

Thin and light
Good viewing angles and picture
Can hook up several of them
Needs USB 3.0 for full benefit

If you like the sound of the Asus MB169C+ but don’t have a laptop with a USB-C connection, then the Asus MB169B+ could be one of the best portable monitors for you.

This one also connects to your laptop with a single cable, except it uses a regular USB-A port instead. It works with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, though you’ll experience noticeably more latency with the former due to its slower data transfer rate.

Still, it features the same alluring slim and lightweight design. Thanks to Asus EzLink tech, which offloads the graphics processing from the PC to dedicated hardware in the monitor, you can even hook up five of them if your laptop has enough USB ports.


5. AOC E1759FWU portable monitor

A bigger portable monitor for streaming video

Pixel-resolution: 1,600 x 900

Large screen size
Built-in kickstand
Not full HD
Average viewing angles

This portable monitor from AOC isn’t going to beat either of the Asus models on our list due to its comparatively lower pixel-resolution of 1,600 x 900.

However, it's listed among the best portable monitors around for other reasons. for example, its lower resolution means that it’s going to be less taxing on your laptop’s battery life. Taking that into account, and the fact that it’s the largest portable monitor on our list at 17.3 inches, and the E1759Fwu suddenly becomes an interesting option if you’re into streaming video on the move.

And, because it’s a few years old, you’ll pick it up for much less than competing portable monitors. With its thin and light dimensions and glossy black frame, it doesn’t exactly look archaic – it just isn’t as multi-talented as newer and flashier alternatives.

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