Monitors

5 Travel Monitors for Laptop in 2019 – Best Portable Displays

Working while traveling is not easy. This is especially true if you have a work environment or a work station setup at home that you are comfortable with. You get used to multiple screen that way.

Although we can carry our laptops around, however, one screen is simply not enough for many demanding tasks.

Here we will have a look at various travel monitors for laptop.

TL;DR

Asus MB16AP Zenscreen Go is the ultimate travel monitor for laptops in our opinion. It is large, portable, is powered by its dedicated battery, and looks gorgeous. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive one as well.

Alternatively, if you need a decent sized and a rather affordable travel monitor, then HP Business V14 is something that you can look into.

Besides that, GeChic monitors are very famous in this category. We have listed a few below.

Comparison of the Best Portable Monitors for Laptops

ModelSizeResolutionPanel TypeConnectivityPrice
Asus MB16AP Zenscreen Go15.61920 x 1080IPSUSB Type C Check Price
HP Business V14 141920 x 1080ADSUSB 3.0 Type A Check Price
GeChic 1503H15.61920 x 1080IPSmicro HDMI, USB C, Headphone Out Check Price
GeChic 1305H13.31920 x 1080FFSHDMI, USB Type A, Headphone Check Price
GeChic 1101P11.11920 x 1080IPSmicro HDMI, VGA, mDP, Headphone Check Price

Benefits of Portable Monitors

It is a waste of time if you have to juggle between multiple windows. Let alone the fact that how annoying it is to switch between countless windows trying to find the relevant one.

It becomes a necessity to have another screen if you have plenty of windows always open on the side.

This is true for developers, designers, engineers, writers and traders. Trader who cant miss a single second from their charts and designers who need to have several application open will find travel monitors a must.

Therefore, if you want to have an office like space with dual monitor setup anywhere you go, then you will find the travel monitor for laptops here quite worthy.

List of Travel Monitors for Laptop

Here we have various travel monitors for laptop in different size categories.

  1. Asus MB16AP Zenscreen Go (With Battery) – 15.6 inch – Best Travel Monitor for Laptop
  2. HP Business V14 – 14 inch – Not too Big. Not Too Small
  3. GeChic 1503H – 15.6 Inch – Comprehensive Best portable monitor
  4. GeChic 1305H – 13.3 Inch – Compact Monitor For Travel
  5. GeChic 1101P – 11.6″ – Most Portable Travel Monitor for Laptop

Read our FAQ section to learn more about Travel Monitors

Short Reviews of the Selected

Here we will look at some of the best travel monitor for laptop in various size categories.

1. Asus MB16AP Zenscreen Go (With Battery) – Best Travel Monitor for Laptop – 15.6 inch

Travel Monitor for LaptopAs it stands, this portable travel monitor for laptop stands out from the rest in both design and features.

If there is one portable monitor that should be on top of your list, it is certainly this piece.

Anything with “Zen” is generally regarded as the premium brand of ASUS that builds some of the sleekest looking devices. Just look at the Zenbook laptops as an example.

Zenscreen Go is equally premium. It sets a new bar for how a portable monitor should look like. It is also the latest monitor in this list.

Let us look at the features. This monitor is powered entirely by USB Type C. Since this model has a 7800 mAH battery of its own, it doesn’t drain it from the mobile devices that you connect it to. It also charges from the same port.

What if you don’t have a type C port on your laptop? This monitor comes with a Type A converter so you can plug it into your Type A USB 3.0 port.

You can use this display both horizontally as well as vertically. It has a built in gyroscope that adjusts the display depending upon its orientation.

With a weight of 1.87 pounds or about 850 grams, this is a pretty light 15.6 inch display.

As far as the reviews and specs go, this is, hand down, the best travel monitor for laptop. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive.

Check out the Latest Price on Amazon.com

Asus MB16AP Zenscreen Go

Essentials: IPS, 1920 x 1080, 15.6″, 7800 mAH
Connections: USB Type C, Type A converter included

2. HP Business V14 – 14 inch – Not too Big. Not Too Small

HP Business V14Another great monitor to have hit the market recently is the HP V14.

On the first glance, this monitor obviously does not look as sleek and slender like the ASUS Zenscreen Go and does not offer a battery, but costs almost half as much.

This screen is interfaced via the single USB Type A port which is also it’s power source.

The best thin hing about this display is that it is neither too small nor too big. Hence, both work and travel would be comfortable. It is for this reason that for most 14 inch would be the ideal size for a travel monitor.

This display uses a unique Advanced Plane To Line Switching (ADS) which is similar to IPS panels in quality of colors and wide viewing angles but differs a bit in the technology used.

Check out the Latest Price on Amazon.com

HP Business V14

Essentials: ADS, 1920 x 1080, 14″
Connections: USB 3.0 Type A

3. GeChic 1503H – Comprehensive Best portable monitor – 15.6″

GeChic 1503HThere isn’t a single list on the internet about portable monitors that does not mention GeChic Monitors.

This is a comprehensive display because it has the most amount of features in a display of this kind.

For starters this is a USB powered monitor that offers HDMI, VGA and USB Type C Ports.

Furthermore, not only does it offer built in speakers, but also VESA mounting capability. As such, this monitor is intended to be complemented with both Desktops as well as Laptops.

The stand on this monitor is also detachable which allows you to either place this display horizontally or vertically.

The only important feature that it lacks is a built in battery. Otherwise, this would be the ultimate monitor for traveling.

One of the most unique features of this display is the rear dock which expands the functionality of the display when used. This accessory is optional though.

Check out the Latest Price on Amazon.com

GeChic 1503H

Essentials: IPS, 1920 x 1080, 15.6″
Connections: micro HDMI, USB C, VGA (Optional with read Dock), Headphone Out
Accessories: USB A to USB C power cable, HDMI-A to micro-HDMI video cable

4. GeChic 1305H – 13.3″ – Compact Monitor For Travel

GeChic 1305HOne of the most sought after sizes for traveler in laptops is 13.3 inch.

Therefore, it only makes sense if you get a 13.3 inch portable display to complement that laptop.

This is a highly reviewed and highly favored travel monitor for laptop due to its size and light weight.

The monitor has two HDMI ports one on the vertical side and another for horizontal side.

The display uses a proprietary HDMI and USB cable. This does mean that this is a USB powered monitor but also requires that you have an HDMI port on your laptop.

If you don’t have a USB Type A port, this monitor also comes with a power adapter.

Check out the Latest Price on Amazon.com

GeChic 1305H

Essentials: FFS Panel, 1920 x 1080, 13.3″
Connections: 2 x proprietary Video Port (HDMI for Video and USB for Power) Headphone out
Accessories: Cover Stand, Proprietary cable for connections

5. GeChic 1101P – 11.6″ – Most Portable Travel Monitor for Laptop

GeChic 1101PThere is not doubt that the 11.6″ inch is the most portable monitor that you can get in the market.

However, at the same time, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

GeChic advertises this product to be excellent when using in pair photography equipment like DSLR cameras and tripods.

For this reason, it also comes with a tripod mounting kit.

Nevertheless, you can use this monitor for multitude of work and pair it with smaller laptops with DisplayPort.

If you need the ultimate portability, then this certainly is the best travel monitor for laptop.

Check out the Latest Price on Amazon.com

You may also be interested in learning about the best monitors for photo editing under $300.

GeChic 1101P

Essentials: IPS Panel, 1920 x 1080, 11.6″
Connections: micro HDMI, VGA, mDP, Headphone
Built in Speakers
Accessories:HDMI Cable, mini HDMI cable, USB Cable, Charger, Cover Stand, Tripod Mounting Kit

FAQ

FAQ

What is a Portable Monitor?

A portable monitor is basically designed to be light weight and offers the plug and play feature. This features allows it to be carried easily as well as allows it to connect without a power socket.

Although it does have a power adapter, it can be powered via a Laptop or a Desktop via cables.

This is immensely helpful when traveling. It can allow you to multitask in remote areas where it is impossible to carry full sized monitors easily.

What is a USB Powered Monitor?

usb-powered-monitor

USB Monitors is another name of travel monitors. As the name suggests, USB monitors are display and powered through a USB. You do not require any additional cables or ports.

While a conventional monitor connect through ports like HDMI, VGA, DVI or DisplayPort, USB monitors can be connected without using any of those. Therefore, you can connect several of these monitors to your PC.

There are types of USB monitors. Most USB monitors support the USB 3.0 port while some of the latest monitors also features USB Type C port (Thunderbolt 3) which should allow you to easily connect them to Macbooks.

People use the terms USB powered monitor and travel monitors interchangeably.

Can a Tablet or an IPAD be Used as a Monitor?

Yes and No. No because they do not function like the tradition travel/portable monitors. Meaning, you cannot simply plug the tablets into the PC and expect them to work like a second screen.

However, with an app like iDisplay, this can be accomplished. It requires you to follow some steps in order to make it work, however, with this you can essentially turn your tablet into a second display. This app works on both Mac and Windows.

You must realize that the experience of turning your tablet into a second display is far from perfect. You may have issues setting it up, then there is the issue of compatible Android or iOS version. Also many have reported that the frame rate is choppy.

What Features to Look for in the Best Travel Monitor for Laptop?

The following are some of the features that people should scrutinize before getting a travel monitor for laptop.

Power

Although all portable monitor do come with external DC chargers, you must make sure whether they are USB powered or not. If they are USB powered, you can connect them to your Laptop or Desktop for power. If not, then you will have to have a power socket nearby.

Furthermore, a very small fraction of travel monitors offer built in batteries. If they don’t, then note that when you connect them to your laptop, it will drain the battery from the connected device. So you will to manage your time outside and away from the power socket wisely.

Connectivity and Accessories:

The connectivity can be different from one display to another. Some are powered and interfaced through a single USB C cable, while others require HDMI port for interfacing and a USB port for powering.

Most displays come with several cables and adapters. Therefore, it is important to take note of the ports available in your laptop and then look if it will be able to interface with the travel monitor or not.

connectivity

Size and Resolution

This all boils down to preference. For those who want a comfortable working experience they will prefer larger screen. On the other hand, for those who want to be as light as possible while traveling, they will prefer smaller screen.

Also note that while most of the newer models have FHD resolution, there are also a few travel monitor for laptop with only HD resolution. Although the monitor with HD resolution are cheaper, the lower screen real estate may not be ideal.

What About the Rest of the Features?

You may be wondering what about the features like panel type, response time and refresh rate. Should you be worried about those too? The answer is not really.

For starters, most monitor have either IPS or IPS-like panels like ADS or FFS so there isn’t a huge difference. Furthermore, since these aren’t professional gaming monitors, they all suffer from slower than average response times. The best you can expect is about 14 ms response time.

As far as the refresh rate is concerned, you can expect the conventional refresh rate of 60 Hz from all displays. What about 144 Hz and what not? Simply put, NO!

Other features like AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA GSync are also not available in these monitors yet. Of course all this can change in the future.

How Do I Use the USB Monitor?

GeChic Proprietary Cable

GeChic Proprietary Cable

Travel monitors for laptop are Plug and Play devices. Meaning that you simply have to plug in the USB cable into your PC and all the necessary drivers will be installed automatically. For this reason, they are highly convenient.

The only difference is how the monitor interfaces. For example, there are some monitors that power via USB but for display purposes use the HDMI port. GeChic USB powered monitors come with a proprietary cable with a USB-HDMI Y fork. The USB connects for power and the HDMI connects for display.

On the other hand, some USB monitors power and interface via the USB port alone. They are usually USB 3.0 or USB Type C based monitors.

They both have advantages and disadvantages. The HDMI/USB combination allows your monitor to interface with not just PCs but also gaming consoles and other devices that use HDMI port. The same cannot be said about the travel monitors that are entirely USB based.

Are Portable Monitors Suitable for Gaming?

As far as the compatibility is concerned, then yes. Only those travel monitor that have HDMI connections can interface with the current gen consoles. However, since HDMI only carries Audio and Video signals, you will need to power the monitor through external power socket.

With that said, they aren’t ideal for quality gaming. Yes, they do have a decent enough display, but it is far inferior to even the budget gaming monitors. However, if you travel around a lot and want to have the ability to game on the go, then you can consider these displays.

Learn more about cheap gaming monitors under $100.

Do Travel Monitors Need an External Power Supply?

No, generally they do not require any external power source. However, most travel monitors do come with external adapters in case if the USB output does not provide sufficient power to the display. Some monitors come with two headed USB cable so that you can hook up the second port in case if you need extra power.

Are Travel Monitors for Laptop Cheap?

Unfortunately, they are not. If we take the performance/dollar valuation of each monitor, then even the cheapest one is not on par with the conventional budget monitors. For example you can get quality gaming as well as some 24 inch professional designing monitors like the ViewSonic VP2468 for the price of the smallest 11.6 inch GeChic 1101P Travel Monitor.

However, if you travel a lot, then you don’t really have a choice. It is not like you can pack a full fledged 24 inch monitor in your backpack and pretend it is portable.

Advantages of Travel Monitor

There are a plethora of advantages for a Travel Monitor. Let us innumerate those for you if you weren’t already aware.

A lot More Screens

Traditionally, a monitor requires one of HDMI, VGA, DVI or DP port to connect to your PC along with the power cable. The Travel Monitors for laptop, however, require only a USB port. Therefore you can essentially connect 6 screens with a normal Windows operating system. If you have Windows Multipoint Server, you would be able to increase that number to 14.

Although we cannot imagine a situation where so many monitors would be warranted for a single PC, the point here is that the USB monitors do not require the traditional output ports.

Less Cluttered and Easy to Configure

They are the easiest monitor to configure. Since they are plug and play, the monitor starts functioning as soon as you plug it in. Also since they do not use many cables running around, your workspace looks elegant.

The monitors do not require a power brick, and a separate cable for almost everything i.e power, display, audio etc.

Easy Connection with Multitude of Devices

You can connect these monitors easily to any device that is compatible. For example, you can connect your phone to ZenScreen, and gaming consoles to any portable monitor that has an HDMI port.

Nintendo Switch users would find these monitors very useful especially since the native 6 inch screen is way too small for a comfortable gaming experience.

Disadvantages of Travel Monitor

While there are benefits to using a travel monitor, they certainly have some disadvantages

Expensive

Travel monitors for laptops are highly expensive. As mentioned earlier, if you take the performance/dollar value of these monitor against even the cheapest 24 inch monitor, you will realize that travel monitors are highly lacking.

Display and Colors

Most of the travel monitors offer less contrast ratio and a lot fewer colors as compared to normal monitors. They also suffer from bad response time and thus are not ideal if gaming is your primary concern.

What are the Top Brands for Travel Monitors?

There are some top brand that manufacture Travel and Portable Monitors.

  1. ASUS: The travel monitors from ASUS stand out from the rest with their quality, design and features. In fact, currently the best looking travel monitor is the ZenScreen from ASUS. This is a screen that you can be proud of when carrying around. It is also the only travel monitor in the market that offers a built in battery. Therefore, as far as the innovation goes, ASUS takes the lead.
  2. HP: This is a top world brand, like the ASUS, that has two lines of portable monitor: HP Business 14 and HP EliteDisplay S140U. Although the older EliteDisplay failed to put a mark in the market, the latest HP Business 14 has won highly favorable reviews.
  3. GeChic: If you are looking for the widest variety of travel monitors from 11.6 inch to 15.6 inch size and from normal display to Touchscreen, this brand has them all. You may not have heard of this brand in the conventional monitors’ market, however, it shines in the travel monitor market niche.
  4. AOC: This is yet another high quality brand in the portable monitor’s market. They do not have as wide a variety as the GeChic nor exquisite looks of an ASUS travel monitor, however, they do offer competitive prices.

How Small or How Big can Travel Monitors for Laptop Be?

The smallest you can get is a 10 inch display whereas the largest available size is 17.3 inch. However, both 10 inch and 17.3 inch displays are hard to find. This is mainly because the market does not exist for such display and for good reasons.

The 10 inch screen size is too small to give a comfortable working experience. On the other hand, the 17.3 inch screen is too large to be considered ideal for traveling.

Therefore, we recommend that you stay within the 11.6 to 15.6 inch size range.