Working on the go just got easier with portable USB-C monitors. These innovative displays let you extend your screen real estate anywhere, without the need for clunky power cables. With just a single USB-C cable, you can transform your smartphone, tablet, or laptop into a portable dual-monitor workstation.

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of portable USB-C monitors and how to choose the right one for your needs. You’ll also find a roundup of the top 5 portable monitors available today and get answers to common questions about these devices. Let’s dive in!

An Extra Screen Wherever You Go

Imagine being able to travel with an additional display without having to lug around a heavy separate monitor. Portable USB-C monitors make it possible. These slim, lightweight screens connect to your devices via a USB-C cable, which provides both power and video transmission.

USB-C ports offer significant advantages for powering and driving external displays. The USB-C specification supports USB Power Delivery, allowing for up to 100 watts of power to be supplied. That’s more than enough to run a portable monitor without a separate AC power cord. Video signals can also be transmitted via the USB-C alternate mode for DisplayPort.

With just a single cable connected to your laptop, smartphone, Nintendo Switch, or tablet, you’ve got an extra screen for your apps and workflows. It’s perfect for boosting productivity when working remotely or traveling. The compact size takes up minimal space in your bag.

When not needed, portable displays can be slipped into a protective sleeve until your next mobile work session. They’re ideal for:

Top Factors When Choosing a Portable Monitor

Portable USB-C monitors come in a range of sizes, features, and prices. Here are some key considerations when picking one out:

Screen Size and Resolution

Typical portable monitor screen sizes range from 13 to 15.6 inches. The right size comes down to your personal preference and how much workspace you need. Larger 15-inch screens provide more room to spread out but aren’t as easily packed up.

Most portable displays have Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution. Higher 2560 x 1440 resolutions are available on some models for extra crisp visuals. Match the native resolution of your laptop or device if possible.

Panel Type

IPS panels are the most common portable monitor type. They provide the best viewing angles and color reproduction.

TN panels have faster response times, making them well-suited for gaming and video. Viewing angles are more limited though.

VA panels offer a middle-ground with good color and contrast but slower response than TN.

Consider which panel technology best fits how you plan to use the monitor.

Ports and Connectivity

Look for a monitor with at least one USB-C port that provides both video and power delivery. This allows for a single cable connection to your laptop or mobile device.

Some models include HDMI or Mini DisplayPort as alternate inputs. This provides more connection flexibility but isn’t required.

You may need USB-C adapters for smartphones/tablets that don’t have native DisplayPort over USB-C.

Adjustability and Stand

Many portable monitors have fixed viewing angles due to their slim profiles. But some models offer adjustable tilt/height stands for ergonomic positioning.

Foldable or removable stands make the monitors easier to slip into a bag or case. Integrated stands add convenience but take up more space.

You can also opt for a monitor without any stand and get a carrying case instead. This sacrifices the convenience of a built-in stand for max portability.

Brightness and Display Quality

Look for a monitor with a brightness of at least 250-300 nits for comfortable viewing under most conditions. Higher brightness ratings of 400+ nits provide more legibility in bright environments.

Wide viewing angles of 178° ensure colors and contrast remain consistent when viewing the screen off-center.

An anti-glare or matte coating helps reduce distracting reflections in indoor settings.

Refresh Rate and Response Time

A 60Hz refresh rate is standard among portable displays and fine for productivity work, web browsing, and media viewing.

Higher 120-144Hz refresh rates give a smoother, more responsive feel for gaming or video. Quick 1-5ms response times also keep motion blur to a minimum for gaming.

Power and Battery Life

Expect around 3-5 hours of battery life for portable gaming/creative monitors. More basic productivity-focused displays can run for 5-8 hours on a charge when untethered.

Look for 45W power delivery or higher to charge laptops while extending the display. Lower powered monitors may only be able to charge phones/tablets.

Weight and Portability

Look lightweight and slim designs. Many monitors weigh 1.5 lbs or less without the stand or case. Thinner profiles around 0.3 inches are easier to slip into bags.

Integrated cases or protective sleeves safeguard the monitor when traveling. Some cases even allow the monitor to be used while it’s inside.

Top 5 Portable USB-C Monitors

Now that you know what to look for in a portable USB-C monitor, let’s explore some top options currently available.

1. Asus ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT

The Asus ZenScreen Touch is a premium 15.6-inch portable touchscreen monitor. The crisp 1080p IPS panel provides accurate colors and 178° viewing angles. It connects via USB-C with DisplayPort video and power delivery up to 60W.

The responsive 10-point multi-touch surface allows for intuitive operation without a mouse or keyboard. The foldable smart case doubles as a stand and can also be used for protection during transport.

At just 0.3 inches thin and weighing 1.9 pounds, the ZenScreen is slim and lightweight. It’s easy to take on the go to turn any laptop into a makeshift dual-touchscreen 2-in-1.

Key Specs:

Ideal for: Creative professionals, business users, casual gaming



Value: With premium features like the integrated stand and touch support, the ZenScreen commands a higher $350-400 price but delivers versatility for work and creative uses.

2. Lepow 15.6-Inch Portable Monitor

The Lepow 15.6-inch FHD portable monitor hits a sweet spot of price, performance, and portability. It has a bright 400-nit 1080p IPS screen supporting HDR content playback. The 178° viewing angles maintain color fidelity when viewing off-center.

Connectivity options include USB-C with 60W power delivery plus Mini HDMI. The monitor comes with a foldable smart cover that can act as an adjustable stand. The whole package weighs just 1.76 pounds for easy mobility.

Gamers will appreciate the fast 5ms response time. The Lepow monitor also has built-in stereo speakers which is rare among portable displays.

Key Specs:

Ideal for: Business and student travel, mobile gaming/streaming



Value: This popular portable monitor punches above its $180-220 price tag with its bright HDR screen, integrated smart cover, and speakers.

3. SideTrak Portable USB-C Gaming Monitor

The SideTrak Slide 12.5 delivers an extra display with gamers in mind. It touts a 144Hz 1080p IPS panel with 1ms response time for buttery smooth visuals and low input lag. The brightness hits 300 nits for decent visibility both indoors and outdoors.

This monitor connects via USB-C or HDMI and can charge devices at up to 60 watts. The Slide 12.5 features an innovative slide-out design. You can position the screen beside your laptop or retract it out of the way.

A magnetic removable stand props up the monitor at different angles. Weighing 1.65 pounds, it won’t weigh down your gaming bag.

Key Specs:

Ideal for: Mobile gamers, streaming, creative work



Value: Priced around $300, the SideTrak Slide 12.5 delivers an unmatched high refresh rate gaming experience in a portable form factor.

4. Desklab Portable Touchscreen Monitor

The Desklab 4K touchscreen monitor provides ultra-crispy visuals at 3840 x 2160 resolution in a slim 15.6-inch frame. It uses an IPS 10-point multi-touch display so you can interact directly without a mouse.

This portable monitor connects via USB-C or Mini HDMI. The two built-in speakers deliver surprisingly decent audio playback.

The Desklab folds down into a compact 17.5mm-thick slab. At just 1.32 pounds, you’ll barely notice it in your bag. The high price gets you advanced features like 4K resolution and touch support not found on cheaper options.

Key Specs:

Ideal for: Creative professionals, business, productivity



Value: The $500+ price tag is steep but delivers features like 4K and touch not available on cheaper portable monitors. Worth it for creative pros.

5. Espon Mobile Pixels Duex Plus

The Espon Mobile Pixels Duex Plus clips onto the back of your laptop screen to provide a second 12.5-inch monitor on the go. It has a 1080p IPS display with a wide 135° viewing angle.

The Duex Plus connects via USB-C with 65W power delivery to charge your laptop. It can fold flush against the back of the laptop lid when not in use. The whole package is slim, lightweight, and easily portable.

This monitor doesn’t have a stand since it clips onto your existing laptop. But the innovative design saves space and gives your laptop a dual-screen setup anywhere.

Key Specs:

Ideal for: Business travelers, mobile professionals



Value: Around $250-300, the Duex Plus delivers good value for business users needing an extra screen during travels while minimizing space.

How to Choose the Right Portable USB-C Monitor

With this overview of the top portable USB-C monitors, let’s summarize the key factors to keep in mind when picking the right display for your needs:

Prioritize the features that are most important for your intended use – gaming, creative work, business productivity, etc. With a clear idea of your needs, you can find the perfect portable USB-C monitor!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do portable monitors work with laptops, phones, and tablets?

A: Yes, portable monitors are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS devices, and more through the use of a USB-C cable or HDMI adapter. USB-C models with power delivery can even charge your device.

Q: Do I need any special adapters or cables?

A: For laptops and devices with a USB-C port that supports video out and power delivery, you just need a standard USB-C to USB-C cable. Non USB-C devices may require adapters like USB-C to HDMI or USB-C to Mini DisplayPort.

Q: How do I power a portable monitor?

A: Portable monitors are powered through the USB-C port using a cable connected to your laptop or mobile device. Some can even charge your phone or tablet from their battery while in use.

Q: What resolutions are available on portable monitors?

A: Most portable monitors are 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080). Higher end models offer ultra-crisp QHD (2560 x 1440) or 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. Match your laptop’s native resolution if possible.

Q: Are portable monitors good for gaming or watching video?

A: Models with fast refresh rates of 120-144Hz and quick 1ms response times are great for mobile gaming and video. Slower 60Hz monitors are still decent for casual gaming and streaming.

Q: How long does the battery last on a portable monitor?

A: Expect around 3-5 hours from gaming/video-focused monitors. Basic productivity displays can run for 5-8+ hours per charge when not connected to a power source.

Q: Are portable monitors fragile or easy to break?

A: Modern portable monitors are quite durable with the front glass face and metal/plastic body. Most come with protective cases or covers. Handle them with care as you would any electronic screen.

Q: What type of warranty is included?

A: Many portable monitors include 1-3 year manufacturer warranties. Multi-year warranties provide more coverage in case of defects or issues.

Q: Are portable monitors expensive?

A: There are affordable options in the $150-250 range with basic features. Larger screens, high resolutions, and extra features run $300-500. High-end professional models can be $500+.

Q: Where can I buy a portable USB-C monitor?

A: Portable monitors are sold at electronics retailers like Best Buy as well as online at Amazon, Newegg, and the manufacturers’ websites.

Boost Productivity Anywhere with a Portable Monitor

Adding an on-the-go extra monitor via a single USB-C cable makes working remotely or traveling much more pleasant. Portable USB-C displays enable you to multitask and spread out with added screen real estate wherever you are.

When choosing a portable monitor, take into account key factors like screen size, resolution, panel type, refresh rate, connectivity, and stand adjustability based on your needs. Models geared for gaming require quick response times and fast refresh rates while basic productivity-focused options just need good brightness and ergonomic stands.

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