Best budget portable monitor 2024

A small black laptop sat on a white desk connected to a black portable montior with a pen and paper in front of it.
Credit: ASUS

A small black laptop sat on a white desk connected to a black portable montior with a pen and paper in front of it.
Credit: ASUS

The best budget portable monitor can make sure you can enjoy the good life even on the go.

While a lot of people might consider the best monitors for working from home when looking to sort out their home offices, it's not always wise if you're lacking in space. So, if you go for the best portable monitors, you can pack them away when not in use, and you can take them with you to work on the go.

However, not all portable monitors are budget-friendly, which is why we've made a list of the best inexpensive options you can buy based on reviews, specs, features, and of course, price to help you find the right display for you. Let's dive in.

Best budget portable monitors

  1. ASUS ZenScreen MB166C - a great overall option
  2. ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE - best for gaming
  3. Newsoul 2K Portable 18" Monitor - a solid 2K display
  4. Viewsonic VA1655 - great for USB-C connectivity
  5. ForHelp Monitor - FHD excellence
  6. Dragon Touch 4K Portable - top-tier 4K screen
  7. AOC e1659Fwu - ultra-slim for extra portability
ASUS ZenScreen MB166C product im,age of a black foldable monitor with an image of someone looking through a plane window on the display.
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Credit: ASUS

1. ASUS ZenScreen MB166C

Best budget portable monitor overall

Brand: ASUS - Size: 15.6" - Resolution: 1920 x 1080 - Refresh Rate: 60Hz - Features: Anti-Glare Screen, Flicker Free, Blue Light Filter

It's no secret that ASUS is pretty good at what they do. They make some of the best budget 4K monitors, and some of the best HDMI 2.1 displays too, and its safe to say the quality of their work is usually pretty high.

Naturally, then, the ASUS ZenScreen MB166C is one of the best budget portable monitors, because not only does it have a 1080p resolution, which looks incredible on the 15.6" screen, but also manages a 60Hz refresh rate, and has a few useful features too.

The size means you can travel with it with no hassles, and it's even got things like a blue light filter and a special stand to make it easier to use, and it is really simple to connect as well.

You'll not regret grabbing this amazing monitor, and if you need one on the go, then you'll struggle to do as well as the ZenScreen MB166C, especially given how cheap it is.

ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE product image of a black flatscreen monitor with an image looking out of a plane window on the display.
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Credit: ASUS


Best budget portable gaming monitor

Brand: ASUS - Size: 15.6" - Resolution: Full HD - Refresh Rate: 144Hz - Features: Quick Charge, Universal Tripod Socket

Continuing with ASUS, but this time it is the ROG range, which is known for featuring some of the best gaming gear out there, including a lineup of portable monitors. Out of all the options though, the ASUS ROG Strix XG16AHPE stands out as the best for gaming as it features a 15.6-inch IPS display, which is akin to most gaming laptops, and delivers a Full HD resolution, striking a good balance between performance and clear visuals.

It’s compact and lightweight too, making it easier to carry around and set up. Plus, the versatile kickstand support makes it easy to prop the monitor up in portrait or landscape positions. It also comes with a universal tripod socket, in case you want to set it up on tripods.

As far as performance is concerned, it features a refresh rate of 144Hz, which is sufficient for running most of your latest video games. Furthermore, the monitor is compatible with NVIDIA G-Sync, which essentially ensures a stutter-free gaming experience.

What's more, the monitor has a large 7800mAh battery, which runs for 3 hours at its 144Hz refresh rate. No need to panic if you do run out of juice though, as the monitor also features quick charging, providing two hours' worth of usage with an hour of recharge. So, when it comes to gaming on the go, this ASUS display is one to consider.

Newsoul product image of a black foldable monitor featuring a grey spaceship popping out of the screen.
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Credit: Newsoul

3. Newsoul 2K Portable 18" Monitor

Best budget portable 2K monitor

Brand: Newsoul - Size: 18" - Resolution: 2K - Refresh Rate: 144Hz - Features: Matte / Anti-Glare Screen, Smart Cover, USB-C Port, Mini HDMI, Headphone Jack

The Newsoul 2k Portable 18" Monitor is on the pricier end of budget monitors, but it is very good.

For starters, it's 18", which is great if you've got the space for it. It also has an impressive 144Hz refresh rate, so you can enjoy faster gaming and better frames per second on everything else too. Plus, it has a 2560 x 1600 resolution, which means everything will look good too.

It's also both very thin and very light, so you'll have no problems carrying it around with you. What's more, it has a few mounting and stand options, and it's compatible with all sorts of devices, including the best handheld gaming consoles if you wish, thus making it an excellent choice as far as portable monitors go overall.

ViewSonic VA1655 product image of a black foldable monitor with a red pattern on the display as well as ViewSonic branding.
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Credit: ViewSonic

4. ViewSonic VA1655

Best budget portable USB-C monitor

Brand: Viewsonic - Size: 15.6" - Resolution: 1080p - Refresh Rate: 60Hz - Features: Portable, Anti Glare Screen, Blue Light Filter, Frameless, Flicker-Free, Built-In Speakers

The ViewSonic VA1655 is a cracking budget portable monitor if you're after the powers of USB-C connectivity.

With it, you get the power of two USB-C ports that also offer two-way power, meaning you can have the display plugged into a laptop while getting all the benefits of information being sent to the monitor, as well as having the monitor powered by your laptop, too.

In addition, it features creature comforts such as being an IPS panel for greater viewing angles, as well as a 15.6-inch FHD screen to deliver some serious detail on a larger-sized portable screen for the price.

This ViewSonic option also features both flicker-free tech and a blue light filter, much like any of the best anti-glare screen protectors for monitors do, to help care for your eyes while you use the monitor for work and play, which we'd highly recommend considering how great and budget-friendly this thing is.

ForHelp Monitor product image of a foldable grey monitor featuring a wavy blue and orange pattern on the display.
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Credit: ForHelp

5. ForHelp Monitor

Best budget portable FHD monitor

Brand: ForHelp - Size: 15.6" - Resolution: 1080p - Refresh Rate: 60Hz - Features: Smart cover, USB-C Port

The ForHelp Monitor is an excellent choice if you want Full HD on a 15.6" screen, which will have whatever you're using the monitor for looking amazing.

It has a 60Hz refresh rate, which isn't the fastest around, but should match what most people are used to on standard monitors and TVs. It even works with some consoles meaning you can game on the go with it if you really desire.

It's got a good viewing angle, it's light, it's incredibly slim, and it even comes with its own cover and smart holster to make sure it stays safe and secure when it's not in use. It's just great, and ideal if you're looking for a FHD screen.

Dragon Touch 4K Portable product image of a dark grey foldable monitor with red, cream, purple, and blue cubes on the display.
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Credit: Dragon Touch

6. Dragon Touch 4K Portable

Best budget portable 4K monitor

Brand: Dragon Touch - Size: 15.6" - Resolution: 4K - Refresh Rate: 60Hz - Features: 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x USB-C Ports, Smart Cover, Dual Speakers

It's hard enough to find a great 4K budget monitor, but when it comes to portable displays, it's even trickier. Thankfully, this Dragon Touch 4K Portable display breaks the mould.

What you're getting here is an inexpensive yet large 4K IPS display, with 300 cd/m2 brightness and 100% sRGB coverage. In terms of brightness and colour, that's pretty good for a monitor in this price range.

It also has speakers and a headphone jack, making it great for entertainment on the go, and features the all-important smart cover for added protection while you travel.

We think this is worth looking into if you're planning on using your portable monitor for everything from gaming to work, but want to save some money for other accessories, like some of the best keyboards or wireless mice around. A great budget-friendly pick if you ask us.

AOC e1659Fwu product image of a black monitor with someone cycling through a woods on the display.
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Credit: AOC

7. AOC e1659Fwu

Best ultra-slim budget portable monitor

Brand: AOC - Size: 15.6" - Resolution: 1366 x 768 - Refresh Rate: 60Hz - Features: 2x speakers, 2x USB-C Ports, Anti-Glare Coating, Built-in Stand

AOC makes some incredible monitors, especially in the lower to mid-range when it comes to price. However, this AOC e1659Fwu is one of the cheapest on the list, and something worth considering if you're after a display that's super straightforward in what it provides.

There are a few understandable concessions here that keep the price on the lower side, namely HD instead of FHD and a lack of smart cover (although it does have a built-in stand).

You do, however, get reasonably good brightness, going up to 200 cd/m2. For reference, many of the best monitors are around 300 cd/m2, with more premium displays heading upwards of 500 cd/m2.

So, for a quick budget solution to extend your desktop real estate, make sure you check out this AOC bit of kit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are always a few questions that pop up when it comes to portable monitors, so here's our take on some of the most common ones.

Are portable monitors worth it?

It's a valid question! Yes, if you find yourself on the move and are in need of an extra screen. However, if you're thinking of having an extra display in a more fixed setup, we'd highly recommend picking a regular monitor instead, as in some cases portable monitors are actually more expensive.

What you get with a portable monitor though is something that's easy to travel with as they tend to be lightweight, and something that's actually built to move around with protective screen coverings and foldable designs keeping everything secure. This is great if you regularly travel for work and need an extra screen to perform your role to the best of your ability.

Are portable monitors good for gaming?

Some can be, but generally speaking, gaming monitors are far superior as they have features such as NVIDIA G-Sync or AMD FreeSync to eliminate stuttering, and lower response times to ensure your inputs happen almost instantaneously.

There are some portable monitors that are good and made with gaming in mind. Look for displays with 120Hz and 1ms response times, but be warned, they can be super expensive.

Can you use Bluetooth to connect to a portable monitor?

Yes, but not every monitor has this capacity. Most portable monitors work on a wired basis, tending to be USB-C. If this is an important feature for you, you'll want to make sure that the monitor you're purchasing explicitly claims wireless capability.

How much should I spend on a portable monitor?

As always it'll be down to your own budget, but we'd say the sweet spot would be around $200 - $250 for something that will deliver the goods, but keep the cost reasonable.

Portable monitors do tend to be more expensive, even considering their size, but you're paying for the portability factor over the specs of the display itself. That's worth keeping in mind when you're looking around.

What should I look for in a portable monitor?

We'd say that arguably the two most important things to look for in a portable monitor are connectivity and its respective display.

For connectivity, you'll want to make sure the monitor has a good selection of ports, which may include USB-C for charging or display output (via Thunderbolt), as well as HDMI out for display. Some more affordable options sometimes come with Mini HDMI, which is just something to bear in mind.

As for the display, you'll want to try and aim for an IPS panel, given their brilliant viewing angles. IPS itself stands for In-Plane-Switching and refers to a type of LCD panel that features liquid crystals in parallel to produce vibrant colours. For LCD monitors, it's arguably the best panel type you can get with fast response times, great viewing angles, and better contrast than TN or VA options. If you'd like more information on the power of IPS, then monitor manufacturer Viewsonic has a handy guide that explains what IPS is and the overall benefits of the tech.

For resolution, going for something Full HD and upwards is preferable, although some more budget options can go for 1366x768.

For brightness, somewhere around 300 nits should give you some good colours, and if you're planning on using a portable monitor for any intense work, good colour space coverage will be key.

Do portable monitors work with any laptop?

As long as you've got a USB-C port spare, then a portable monitor should be able to work with your laptop. Some can also connect via Mini HDMI, although some laptops do have this port. Just make sure you double-check this before you buy.

There aren't any real limits on what portable monitor will work with a laptop, apart from their respective connectivity.

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