Once we began curating our home offices, nothing hit the shopping carts quite like standing desks and walking pads. There’s another essential that’s been boosting work-from-home productivity – a portable monitor. Gamers, office employees and streamers on social media feeds are seen adding an extra screen to their main display, except this monitor packs up and goes wherever you go, too. Given how sleek and compact they’re built, portable monitors can be easily mistaken for oversized tablets. And, it only takes a standard USB-C cable for the travel screen to mirror your work or play device.
Are portable monitors worth it?
If you already have a second screen, shelling out for another might not seem practical. But, as with all things portable, you can always fire up a bigger, high-quality display no matter the place, whether at the office, café or a friend’s place. On-field photographers, mobile employees and gamers with small-screen consoles can all benefit from PC-like real estate.
“Unlike fixed monitors that can be installed permanently on the desk or to the wall, portable monitors can be moved around with ease. They’re easy to carry and can be connected to a laptop, smartphone and tablet, like the iPad, delivering high-quality, crisp graphics,” said Osman Munawar, a lead support technician at PC-building service Tech Nation in Dubai.
Munawar adds that they’re PnP devices, meaning portable monitors offer plug-and-play convenience, by just using a simple USB cable. While typically “they don’t require any additional driver installation or application to work”, these monitors do feed on your connected device’s battery to power on. This is unless you invest in models with a built-in battery, such as the ASUS ZenScreen Go.
When shopping for a portable monitor, you’ll want to look for an IPS (in-plane switching) panel. “IPS screens respond to colour changes better and allow wide-viewing angles,” said Munawar. At a location where a fixed screen is not available, an IPS screen is what you’ll need to present to a room full of colleagues.
Take your pick from our list of portable screens below, based on expert selections, trending models online and user reviews on Amazon. Don’t forget to order with Prime to trial your screen as soon as tomorrow, with free delivery.
1. Best Overall: ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP
- Built-in battery
- Vibrant colours with good brightness levels
- Connect more devices with the USB-C/micro-HDMI port
- Slim and lightweight, for carrying a built-in battery
- Hit or miss compatibility with the iPhone, per reviews
This model in the ASUS ZenScreen Go line offers a brilliant display, built-in battery, speakers and a two-in-one port for USB-C and micro-HDMI. The 15.6-inch IPS screen connects with smartphones, laptops, digital cameras and game consoles, and lasts up to four hours on its own power reserve, without draining your linked device’s charge. Considering how the MB16AHP carries its own battery, the screen surprisingly only weighs 860 grams and measures 9mm in thickness. As with most portable monitors, the ZenScreen Go can be propped up on its foldable smart case, in either portrait or landscape mode. What’s great about this particular design is that you can prop it up even without the case – just slip the included pen into its dedicated smart pen hole at the bottom to balance the screen for quick presentations and editing. Users of Mac computers, Google Pixel phone, Nintendo Switch and more leave five-star reviews, but some do report trouble with an iPhone connection.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh107.70 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh74 and two years for Dh122.
2. Best Budget: UPERFECT Portable Monitor Matte, Ultra Slim
- Extremely lightweight and slim
- Matte display
- Two USB-C ports and a micro-HDMI port
- Responsive customer service, per reviews
- Powers off only by unplugging
- Audio quality could be better, per reviews
Looking for an even sleeker form factor? Retaining the large 15.6-inch IPS screen at a slightly more affordable rate is the UPERFECT monitor. This piece of gadget has made its fair share of rounds on TikTok, since it has an anti-glare matte display on an ultra-slim 0.2-inch (5.08mm) profile. The narrow bezels drop to an adjustable integrated kickstand, so the monitor does away with leather cases, letting you get to work instantly. You’re truly getting value for your money with not one but three ports: two type-C for power supply and device connectivity, plus a micro-HDMI. It seals the deal with dual speakers for gamers, streamers and video editors. A host of reviewers recommends the monitor for office use and travel, but do note that the device lacks a dedicated power button.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh80 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh57 and two years for Dh94.
3. Best for Casual Gaming: Lepow Z1-Gamut (2021)
- Easy to set up
- Three ports with a headphone jack
- Decent for light gaming
- Slimmer and lighter than Asus model
- Drag and drop files between screens
- Speakers are subpar, say reviews
- Doesn’t prop up in portrait mode
The Lepow Z1 Gamut portable monitor also boasts three connectivity ports, in addition to a 3.5mm headphone jack. This lets you create your own audio bubble when working from public spaces. The best feature in the Lepow Z1, report TikTok unboxing clips, is its ability to drag and drop files from the laptop to the screen. Users have linked their Nintendo Switch console successfully, but you could also wire your PlayStation and XBOX One, besides laptops and smartphones. At 1.7lbs (771 grams) and 0.3 inches (7.6mm) in thickness, the monitor is slimmer and lighter than our Asus pick. Everything you need to get started comes inside the box, including a screen protector and a leather cover. You’ll find a mini HDMI-to-HDMI cable, type-C-to-type-C and a type-C-to-USB-A cable to connect to a wide range of devices.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh91.70 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh69 and two years for Dh113.
4. Best for Previewing Multimedia: LG Gram +View
- Sturdy aluminium chassis
- Two USB-C ports
- Anti-glare screen
- 2K resolution and wider colour gamut
- Lightweight at 671 grams, despite screen size
- Cover stand only bends at two angles
Coming in with a premium price for more screen real estate, is the 16-inch LG Gram +View. Enjoy higher 2K resolution with 2560 x 1600 pixels on an IPS panel that’s also conveniently anti-glare. Given its size, this monitor is more suited to a semi-permanent home office setup, where you could plug it in to tackle intensive projects without the cable clutter. According to reviews, it works exceptionally well with both Macbook and Windows laptops, as long as the connected devices supply power to the monitor. There are two USB-C ports, one on either side of the screen. A display to rival that of your high-performing PCs, the Gram +View is best reserved for multimedia projects.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh120.64 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh86 and two years for Dh141.
5. Best Touch Monitor: Lenovo Monitor M14t ThinkVision
- Sensitive touchscreen, with stylus included
- Pass-through charging
- Adjustable angle and height
- Two USB-C ports
- Doesn’t have built-in speakers
- Screen is not anti-glare
If a touchscreen monitor better suits your purpose, whether for design or editing, then enjoy tablet functionality in the Lenovo M14 ThinkVision monitor. The 14-inch IPS display comes with a pressure-sensitive active pen for precise sketching and navigation. Like the UPERFECT model, this screen comes with a built-in kickstand, but takes it a step further with a height-adjustable stand, too, allowing for comfortable viewing in any work environment. You get two USB-C ports on either side, capable of data and power transfer. This means you can charge your laptop with the screen plugged in, and have neither device lose power. Though its colour coverage falls short of our LG Gram pick, the monitor’s flexible operation and touchscreen sensitivity are an instant win for the reviewers. Do handle with care, caution users, since the screen is quite thin at only 4.6mm in thickness.
Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh131.08 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh91 and two years for Dh150.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.