A portable monitor is one of the best ways to add a secondary screen to your laptop. Unlike conventional monitors, these small screens are incredibly lightweight and compact. However, most of the portable monitors bundle USB-C connections, which makes it a tad difficult to connect to older laptops with only HDMI ports. Thankfully, that's not the end of the road. We have done the legwork and have assembled a list of the best portable monitors with HDMI input.
The best part of portable monitors is their portability. Thanks to their lightweight nature, you can easily cram them in your laptop book, and get going. So whether you are working from a coffee shop or a busy airport cafe, you can extend your laptop's screen without much difficulty.
Another advantage of portable monitors with HDMI connection is that you do not need to download drivers usually associated with USB-C monitors. Since most portable monitors pack only mini-HDMI ports, you might have to get your hands on HDMI to mini-HDMI cable for a seamless connection.
So here we are with our recommendations for the best portable monitors with HDMI input. But first,
If you are looking for a versatile monitor that you can use during your travels, the ASUS Zenscreen Go MB16AHP ticks all the right boxes. The crux of this portable monitor is its rechargeable battery. Yes, you read that right. This one comes with a built-in 7800mAh battery which is designed to power the monitor for 4 hours depending on the level of brightness. This is a cleverly-designed monitor for it can stand on its own with the help of a pen. Ingenious, right?
ASUS bundles an ink-pen with this portable monitor, and as noted earlier, it helps prop up the monitor into a readable position. And the lightweight form factor is the bonus. Just for the record, the Zenscreen Go MB16AHP is not a touch screen monitor (see top touch screen monitors).
The 15.6-inch display of the Zenscreen Go MB16AHP is adequate for most jobs. The OSD options are quite flexible and let you tweak the sharpness or contrast as per your preference. Speaking of the picture quality, this display can get bright, and the adequate screen-real estate adds to your convenience (and productivity).
Thankfully, this doesn't come into play much if you only plan to work on documents, presentations, or excel files. This monitor is quite popular on Amazon with more than five thousand user reviews to its credit. It carries an average rating of 4.2-stars out of 5. As per Fakespot's estimates, around 80% of the reviews are trustworthy and can be relied upon.
The connection options are decent. Apart from the mini-HDMI input, there's a USB-C connection, making it flexible to upgrade your laptop in the future.
Overall, if you want a bigger screen real estate and do want to waste time in finding a power outlet in a cafe, this Asus monitor will be up for its job.
The ViewSonic TD2230 addresses one of the primary limitations of the above monitor. This one is a touchscreen monitor, and for almost the same price point, it brings a 10-point touchscreen display to the table. The latter means that the screen will record and respond to all the points where touch is registered. Outside that, the TD2230 portable touchscreen has a modest line of specs, which makes it easy to be used as a secondary monitor, be it for social media posts or casual work.
The FHD screen is sharp and renders a good image quality. The TD2230 has a short Dot Pitch for the price, making text and image appear sharper compared to its peers. For those uninitiated, Dot Pitch refers to the distance between two adjacent pixels. A shorter pitch translates to sharper image quality.
When it comes to connection, this Viewsonic monitor has plenty to offer. Apart from the HDMI connection, it bundles a DisplayPort connection as well as a USB 3.0 connection. All the ports are aligned to one side of the monitor, translate into ease of access, especially if you are looking to prop this monitor in a tight space.
The ViewSonic TD2230 comes with a neat kickstand at its back. At 22-inches, it offers a wider screen space. But at the end of the day, this portable monitor won't win any prizes when it comes to design. You will find the same slim bezels, and the case doesn't allow flexibility. At 7.9-pounds, it's a tad heavy compared to its counterparts.
But at the end of the day, this one is not one for long-term usage, as quite a few users have complained of the touch-screen failing in the long run.
If you are willing to explore the world outside the named-brands, the Lepow Z1-Silver Portable Monitor proves to be a good pick. For one, it's affordable. Secondly, it's a versatile monitor and brings the usual bells and whistles such as an FHD display on an IPS panel, slim bezels, and ample connectivity options. What sets it apart from the rest is its picture quality. For its price and size, the image and text appear sharp and this is further accompanied by a high contrast ratio.
Unlike the Viewsonic monitor, the Lepow Z1-Silver has a lightweight design and weighs just about 1.9 pounds, thus making it easier on your shoulder (or your back). It's has a decent build and the leather case adds both to its looks and build. The Lepow Z1-Silver also boasts of HDR, however, it's not the original stuff and is more of an emulation.
When it comes to connection, the Lepow Z1-Silver boasts of quite a few ports. You get to pick between mini-HDMI to USB-A and USB-C ports. If you have an older laptop without a USB-C port, the USB-C to USB-A cord and the mini-HDMI takes care of the issue. But you will need to connect the power adapter.
The Z1-Silver is quite popular on Amazon and has seen more than four thousand user reviews with people praising its customer service. The customer service is quick to respond and several users have praised them for their politeness. You must already know how good customer services play in the user experience arena.
As per Fakespot's estimates, around 71.3% of the reviews are reliable and can be trusted.
If you are looking solely to extend your laptop's display and of color & picture quality is not a major concern, this should be on your buying list.
Last but not least, we have the Elecrow SF133 Portable Monitor. This monitor's crux is that it's compatible with basically any type of OS—be it Windows, macOS, Raspberry Pi, or a Linux-based system. And the best part is that you can use it as a secondary gaming monitor for console gaming, and quite a few users have praised the latter. It just measures around 13.3-inch which makes it easy to fit almost anywhere. And the lightweight nature is the cherry on top.
It also brings a couple of interesting features. For one, it bundles a set of speakers. Secondly, there VESA mounts at the back should you want to mount it to a monitor arm or a stand. Above all, the ample number of ports make it compatible across several laptops. However, you will need to use a power adapter if you are looking to connect to an HDMI-only laptop.
This Elecrow portable monitor is priced considerably less than the monitors above and you will have to trade off some features for the price. While these monitors render a decent picture quality, they can't be compared to premium portable screens or desktop monitors.
Nevertheless, several users have appreciated this screen for its decent picture quality, ability to connect to most peripherals, and lightweight nature.
This one comes with a dual HDMI connection, thereby letting you connect up to two displays and switching between them minus the hassle of connecting and disconnecting cables. Plus, the company also ships a metal rack to prop it up.
Another affordable portable monitor with HDMI is the Lasitu Portable Monitor. This one is slim and lightweight and also comes with an FHD resolution. However, it's not the most durable product out there.
While portable monitors bring convenience to the foyer, they shouldn't be compared to the ones designed specifically for desktops, especially when it comes to picture quality, OSD, and color accuracy. On the upside, the lightweight and compact form factor means they are not much of a burden, and you can cry them with you anywhere, as long as you can find a power outlet.
The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.