The Best Portable Monitor for Laptop for Digital Nomads and Remote Work

The Best Portable Monitor for Laptop for Digital Nomads and Remote WorkWe often imagine digital nomads working remotely in exotic coworking spaces, hunched over their tiny laptop screens. But modern technology offers remote workers so much more than just a laptop and headphones to be productive.

Portable monitors are one useful gadget that can take any digital nomad’s setup to the next level.

This guide will explore portable monitors and the key benefits they offer remote workers. We’ll also look at the top criteria for choosing the best one and provide recommendations on some of the top models on the market today.

Whether you’re a digital nomad hopping between tropical destinations or a remote employee working from home, a portable monitor could be just what you need to enhance your productivity and multitasking capabilities.

What are Portable Monitors and How They Help Remote Workers

Portable monitors are slim, lightweight secondary displays that you can connect to your laptop to gain additional screen real estate. You simply plug one end of the included cable into your computer and the other end into the monitor. From there, you can choose to mirror your primary display or extend it to have two separate desktop areas to work with.

Sounds interesting? Here’s why portable monitors are a remote worker’s best friend:

  • Increased Screen Real Estate: Gain more usable space for opening multiple windows and apps side-by-side. You can say goodbye to the days of squinting at your tiny laptop screen. More screen space means more room for all your essential apps, documents, and cat videos (just kidding, maybe).
  • Improved Productivity: Studies show that using multiple screens can boost your productivity by up to 50%. Multitask more efficiently with the ability to view more information simultaneously.
  • Enhanced Multitasking: Keep reference material on one screen while working on the other. For example, you can have your email on one screen and your spreadsheet on the other.
  • Portability & Ease of Use: Their slim, compact designs make them simple to transport when traveling digital nomads. They’re also easy to set up, so you can take them with you wherever your adventures lead.

Top Criteria and Tips for Choosing the Best Portable Monitor

Unless you’re a hardcore gamer, sorting through all the monitor specifications can be confusing. This section will overview the key factors to consider when selecting the best portable monitor for your needs as a remote worker.

Screen Size & Resolution

Screen resolution refers to the number of pixels on the display, which affects sharpness and clarity. Standard resolutions for portable monitors range from 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) to 3840 x 2160 (4K). Screen size is also crucial – a 15.6″ monitor will feel much bigger than a 12.5″ option.

Ideal portable monitor sizes tend to be between 13″ and 16″ for the best blend of portability and ample screen real estate. A 1080p or 1440p resolution will appear sharp on screens of this size.

Connectivity Options

Next on the list are connectivity options. Remember how we said portable monitors connect to your laptop? Well, there are a few different ways they can do that. The most common ports you’ll see are USB-C and HDMI. Some models even offer wireless connectivity for added convenience.

As such, it’s essential to check for connectivity before deciding. There’s nothing worse than completing your unboxing only to realize you can’t use your new toy!

Weight & Dimensions

As a digital nomad, you want your gear to be as portable as possible for stuffing into your backpack alongside your laptop. The most travel-friendly portable monitors weigh between 1-2 pounds with slim, compact designs. That way, you can easily slide it into your backpack alongside your laptop.

However, you want the screen to still be large enough (12″ or more) to justify having a second display. It’s about finding the right balance for your needs.

Display Quality

While specs like RGB coverage and brightness (measured in nits) sound complex, they essentially evaluate how good the display looks. Wider viewing angles prevent color shifting when viewed from the side.

Here’s the thing: display quality matters more for some jobs than others. If you’re a photographer or designer, you’ll want to prioritize a monitor with excellent color accuracy and wide viewing angles. But if you’re mostly working with spreadsheets and emails, display quality might not be your top concern.

Additional Features

Want to take your portable monitor game to the next level? Look for models with additional features to make your remote work life even more accessible. Beyond the core display functionality, some portable monitors offer bonus features:

  • Built-in Speakers: Convenient for listening without headphones. Just keep the volume in check if you’re working in a shared space – nobody wants to be that person blasting heavy metal in the library.
  • Protective Cases: If you’re prone to accidents, consider a monitor with a protective cover or case. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your work tech.
  • Blue Light Filtering: Reduces eye strain by reducing the amount of blue light emitted by the screen.
  • Touchscreen: Enables drawing/annotating capability.
  • Battery: Unlike traditional displays that need to be plugged in 24/7, some portable monitors have built-in batteries. That means you can work cable-free for a few hours at a time.

The usefulness of extras depends on your workflow. Don’t overspend on unnecessary frills.

Price & Value

Speaking of spending, budget is the final consideration for a new portable monitor for a laptop for digital nomads. Prices range from $100 to $800+. Balance your needs versus costs wisely.

While portable monitors are an added expense for digital nomads to outfit their remote workspace, they can also represent a tax-deductible business purchase.

Top Portable Monitors for Laptops

Now comes the fun part – it’s time to reveal our picks for the best laptop portable monitors in 2024! As you read through these top options, envision yourself working remotely with each secondary display setup. Picture the additional screen real estate and how it might improve your productivity.

We’ve scoured expert reviews and user feedback to curate this list of the top portable monitors across various budgets and needs. Using the critical criteria outlined earlier, we filtered down the choices to bring you our top choices in one convenient place.

ASUS ZenScreen OLED MQ13AH

When it comes to portable monitors, the ASUS ZenScreen OLED MQ13AH strikes an ideal balance. It expertly mixes performance, features, and a compact design.

As the name suggests, it uses a stunning 13.3″ Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) panel. OLED displays deliver deeper blacks, vivid colors, and excellent viewing angles compared to standard LCD screens. This compact screen’s 1920 x 1080 resolution looks incredibly sharp.

Weighing only 1.08 pounds, the whole monitor is lighter than most laptops! The smart folio case and built-in kickstand make this ASUS display easy to set up anywhere.

Image quality is also superb, with a peak brightness of 360 nits, 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and a Delta E < 2 color accuracy rating for beautiful, true-to-life visuals. The 1ms response time ensures lag and ghosting don’t ruin the experience.

With a mini HDMI input and three USB-C ports, this external display can be connected to virtually any laptop. The ports are well-located on the side for easier access. The built-in proximity sensor automatically dims the screen when you step away to prevent burn-in.

Overall, it’s a versatile and portable monitor with stunning OLED visuals. Just be prepared to pay a premium for this top-tier quality.

Pros:

  • Incredibly lightweight at just over 1 pound
  • Vivid OLED panel with excellent color accuracy
  • Brilliant case for easy setup and protection
  • Plenty of connectivity options

Cons:

  • More expensive than most portable displays
  • Smaller 13.3″ screen size
LG Gram + view 16MR70

Not all portable monitors are compatible with Macs. For MacBook users who want a seamless portable monitor setup, the LG Gram + view 16MR70 is a perfect pick. This LG display can easily be connected to newer MacBooks with two USB-C ports.

The 16″ screen size strikes a nice balance between portability and ample working area. And at 1.45 pounds, it won’t weigh down your bag during travel days. The adjustable metal stand offers flexible viewing angles as well.

One unique aspect of this LG monitor is its ability to charge your laptop through the same USB-C cable that transmits video and data. With up to 45 watts of pass-through charging power, you can charge a MacBook Air/Pro and use the second screen simultaneously without draining your laptop’s battery.

The LG Gram + view hits all the specs you could want, with a crisp 2560 x 1600 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio for more vertical space, and a bright 350 nit anti-glare panel optimized for outdoor viewing. You will need to install LG’s software to enable auto-rotate and other functions, but it’s a straightforward process.

If you want a premium MacBook-compatible monitor for work and entertainment on the go, the LG Gram + view 16MR70 is a top contender. The high resolution, USB-C charging, lightweight metal body, and adjustable stand make it worth the price.

Pros:

  • Seamless USB-C connectivity for MacBooks
  • 45W pass-through charging keeps the laptop battery topped off
  • Crisp 16″ screen with 2560 x 1600 resolution
  • Anti-glare 350 nit brightness rating

Cons:

  • No HDMI input option
Lenovo ThinkVision M14d

Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14d packs a large, high-resolution panel into a thin and lightweight 14″ exterior. The 16:10 aspect ratio means you get more vertical working space compared to widescreen monitors, so you can view more lines of code, sheets in Excel, or paragraphs when writing.

The ThinkVision uses WLED technology, which isn’t quite as fancy as OLED, but it still gets the job done. The resolution is a sweet 2240 x 1400, so everything will look nice and sharp.

One neat feature of this monitor is its low blue light mode. Blue light can be harsh on your eyes, especially if you’re staring at a screen all day. This mode reduces the amount of blue light emitted, so you can work longer without feeling like your eyeballs will fall out.

The M14d can charge your connected laptop with the “power pass-through” feature when powered over USB-C.

The ThinkVision M14d delivers excellent image quality in a travel-ready form factor. Though the price tag is definitely on the high end.

Pros:

  • 16:10 aspect ratio fits more content vertically
  • Adjustable stand
  • Low blue light mode

Cons:

  • Expensive for the specs
  • Less bright than other
ViewSonic VG1655

After covering more premium-priced options, the ViewSonic VG1655 stands out as a very affordable and value-packed portable monitor. For under $250, you get a sharp 15.6-inch 1080p screen. It’s a bit heavier than some of the other options at 1.8 pounds, but that’s still reasonably portable.

Plus, it comes with a built-in stand and an IPS panel, so you can set it up and get to work in no time. The detachable magnetic anti-slip cover, metal case, and foldable aluminum stand give plenty of options.

One nice feature of the VG1655 is its on-screen display (OSD) controls. You can tweak everything from brightness and contrast to input selection and volume. It’s like having a little control panel right on your screen.

The USB-C port’s 60W output can handle all your multimedia transfer and power charging needs. That’s enough juice to keep your laptop happy and healthy!

The 1920 x 1080 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio work well for entertainment and gaming. Business users may want more vertical real estate. But for everyday use, the imagery looks crisp and clean. This ViewSonic monitor also meets EPEAT and Energy Star sustainability standards for eco-conscious shoppers.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Android and iOS compatible
  • Full range OSD

Cons:

  • Heavier than the slimmest options
  • Limited color gamut coverage
Ricoh 150BW

Now, here’s an option you might not have heard of, but it definitely deserves your attention.

The Ricoh 150BW brings an unexpected option to the portable monitor market—a 15.6-inch OLED display with wireless connectivity. Using Miracast technology, phones, tablets, and laptops can be mirrored to the Ricoh screen without any wires required.

As you might already know, the Miracast functionality doesn’t work with MacBooks. No worries—you can still connect it with a good old USB-C cable.

The touchscreen on the Ricoh 150BW is responsive and ready for action. It’s got a high-performance touch sensor that can handle 10-point multi-touch. If you’re an artist, you can even pair it with the RICOH stylus pen and get your drawings done.

Of course, the OLED panel itself produces truly stunning image quality with vivid colors, deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles. Despite having a built-in battery, it still weighs in at 1.58 pounds, so it maintains surprising portability.

The aesthetics are nice, too. It has a sleek, minimalist design that will make your work setup look like a million bucks. Finally, you’ll appreciate the two integrated 1.5-watt speakers. They might not rattle your windows, but they’ll get the job done!

Pros:

  • Wireless casting from mobile devices
  • Built-in battery for untethered use
  • Vivid 15.6″ OLED touchscreen display
  • Only 1.58 pounds
  • Two speakers
  • Touchscreen

Cons:

  • No HDMI
  • Limited out-of-box compatibility with MacBooks
Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV

Catering to visual creatives, the Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV portable monitor provides gorgeous color accuracy at 14 inches. As the name suggests, this monitor is tailored for artistic pros. But don’t worry, you can still enjoy this option even if you’re not the next Picasso.

It covers 100% of the sRGB, Rec.709, and DCI-P3 color spaces for seamless matching to real-world output. Built-in calibration tools and support for third-party colorimeters allow you to fine-tune the display in the field. The touchscreen also enables direct on-canvas interaction to speed up workflow.

Connectivity is simple, with dual USB-C ports and a Micro HDMI input. And Asus Eye Care technology reduces eye fatigue from long work sessions. And there’s a built-in integrated dial for OSD control on the back of the monitor.

ProArt works seamlessly with many programs, notably Adobe editing software, so if you’re a Creative Cloud person, you’ll feel right at home.

Pros:

  • Factory calibrated, covers major color spaces
  • Built-in calibration tools
  • USB-C and Micro HDMI connectivity
  • 14″ touchscreen for direct interaction
  • Touchscreen functionality

Cons:

  • No internal battery
  • Poor speaker quality
NexiGo NG17FGQ

The NexiGo NG17FGQ lives up to the “Go Big” mantra with a massive 17.3-inch portable monitor (the largest on our list.) Creative professionals can take full-scale video timelines, 3D models, graphic designs, and more on the road.

This beast has a 300 Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time, so it’s not only a work monitor—it can pull double duty as a gaming display, too!

With a screen this big, you need some extra features to keep your eyes happy. The NG17FGQ has an Eyecare screen and HDR technology to keep things looking sharp and easy on the peepers. It’s got 300 nits of brightness and uses flicker-free technology, so you can edit videos or crunch numbers for hours without feeling like your eyes are going to stage a rebellion.

The NexiGo also comes with a handy dandy remote control, so you can tweak settings without ever having to leave your comfy chair. And you still get a full array of ports including USB-C, HDMI, and 3.5mm auxiliary.

Finally, the foldable magnetic cover doubles as a stand, so you can prop it up and get down to business.

Pros:

  • Large 17.3-inch display
  • 5 mm aux port
  • HDMI and USB-C ports
  • 300 Hz refresh rate

Cons:

  • No touchscreen or battery
  • Higher price point
Oiiwak Triple Portable Monitor

Sometimes, two screens just aren’t enough. For road warriors who need maximum screens away from their desk, the Oiiwak portable triple monitor bundle is a dream machine. You get two additional 14-inch displays in one portable package, creating a command center anywhere. That’s 28 extra inches of real estate.

The two side screens are independent, so you can connect one or two devices to them. The Oiiwak is made of aluminum alloy, which makes it tough as nails. It’s got anti-beating and fast heat dissipation properties, so it can take a licking and keep on ticking.

Depending on your needs, this triple threat can be stretched out or folded up. Folded down, the entire bundle measures just 0.9″ x 9.75″ x 6″ and fits into an included carrying case.

The specs on this thing are seriously impressive. It’s got a 1920 x 1200 resolution, a 1500:1 contrast ratio, 100% sRGB color gamut, 74% NTSC color gamut, 400 nits of brightness, and a 60 Hz refresh rate. That may just sound like a lot of numbers, but they all add up to a premium display.

It also has anti-glare and blue light filtering functions, so you can use it anytime, anywhere, without frying your eyeballs.

The 178° viewing angle means you can see the screen from just about any position. And the metal bracket keeps your laptop screen stable when the panels are connected to it.

The Oiiwak has two USB-C ports and a mini HDMI port, so you can hook up all your favorite devices.

Pros:

  • Triple-screen functionality
  • High resolution
  • Bright display
  • Multiple cables included

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy compared to single screens
UPerfect True 4K

Closing out our list is the UPerfect True 4K monitor, named for its jaw-dropping 3840 x 2160 resolution 15.6-inch panel. With four times more pixels than 1080p displays, images look incredibly detailed and lifelike. All that is packed neatly into a svelte 1.5-pound chassis.

With an incredible 600 nit peak brightness, 100% Adobe RGB gamut coverage, and HDR support, visuals pop off the screen with vibrant colors and crisp clarity. The dual USB-C ports, Mini HDMI input, and auxiliary audio connectivity also provide wide device compatibility.

For graphics professionals who demand true 4K resolution on the go and casual users who want a premium entertainment experience, the UPerfect portable monitor shines. Just prepare to pay top dollar for the cutting-edge quality.

Pros:

  • True 4K 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • Vibrant 600 nit peak brightness
  • Wide 100% Adobe RGB coverage
  • Only 1.5 pounds
  • Large screen

Cons:

  • Extremely expensive
  • Mediocre built-in stand

Enhance Your Remote Workspace with a Portable Monitor for Laptop for Digital Nomads

After reviewing the top options, it’s clear that portable monitors offer tangible benefits to digital nomads and remote workers. The additional screen real estate enables easier multitasking, more efficiency, and less eye strain. And that leads to big productivity gains.

With so many portable displays now available, you can find an excellent second screen tailored to your needs and budget. Factors like size, resolution, connectivity, portability, and price all play a role in selecting the right pick. Prioritize the capabilities that matter most for your workflow.

The monitors highlighted in this guide represent some of the top-rated options in 2024 in terms of performance, features, and overall value. So free yourself from the limitations of a tiny laptop screen, and unlock your productivity potential with an on-the-go external display!

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