In today’s world, there’s an abundance of all sorts of display products, and they’re covering every type of usage that you can imagine. The companies that sell these products include accessories and features that are supposed to match arising situations and expectations as the technologies progress every day. One usually overlooked niche would be the category of portable monitors – we seldom hear about them, even though they are, actually, incredibly useful. These devices are perfect for all those who require more virtual desktop space while they’re on the go, whether they’re business people or just passionate gamers.
Most of these monitors are USB powered, which means that you don’t have to charge them with an extra AC adapter – they get the power from your other device, whether that’s a laptop or a PS4. We’ve decided to take a closer look at the most popular USB powered portable monitors on the market. Join us!
3 Top Rated USB Portable Monitors
- Excellent design
- Thin & lightweight
- Micro-USB 3.0 port
- Full HD IPS screen
- EZlink technology
Our Rating: 9.8/10
ASUS is one of the best-known companies when it comes to computer hardware – their devices always bring quality and good performance. That’s exactly why we think that their new portable monitor, the MB169B+, deserves a more in-depth look – so, let’s do it!
We could definitely say that this is a mobile device – its dimensions stand at 14.9″ x 9.26″ x 0.26″ and it weighs just 1.6lbs. This makes it very light and thin, and it’s easy to carry it around in your laptop bag or the backpack.
The model has a plastic back, featuring a metallic color, while the front and the sides sport a fine matte plastic build. The buttons are located on the screen’s left side – there, you will find the controls for power and brightness, as well as the single micro-USB 3.0 port. This port will allow you to both transfer the media content and to charge the device, which is one of the greatest benefits of the USB-powered portable monitors.
The model comes with a protective sleeve and a 2-way adjustable stand, a quick starter guide, a support CD, and a single micro-USB 3.0 cable.
The screen of this model is just magnificent – it sports a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and everything looks truly impressive on it.
The IPS technology behind it offers great viewing angles, the highest color response, as well as an outstanding contrast ratio. The response time stands at 14ms, which is excellent for a portable monitor, and there’s also the much-needed auto-rotate function, which will give you a more convenient way to watch movies and surf the web.
The thing that we really liked is the presence of the ASUS EZlink technology – it will allow you to connect up to 5 of these devices without depending on the power of your computer’s graphics card. All you have to ensure is that there are enough USB ports!
ASUS did it again – they have created a device that’s pretty much the best that the money can buy today. The quality of the construction and the Full HD screen make using this monitor a joyful experience, whether you’re browsing the web content, watching a movie, or playing video games. We hope that the next revision will be even better.
- Plug & Play
- Good image quality
- USB 3.0 port
- Easy to position in landscape or portrait views
- Comes with a carrying sleeve
Our Rating: 9.2/10
Next up is AOC’s attempt to create a quality portable monitor – the e1659Fwu, a device with a simple plug & play setup, bright display, and an affordable price. This model is already quite popular, so let’s check out what’s so great about it.
When it comes to design, the AOC e1659Fwu certainly delivers – it features a glossy black color, with the screen being framed by a thin bezel and having rubber grips on the horizontal and vertical bottom sides.
There’s a big AOC logo on the back, as well as the foldable kickstand made out of stainless steel. The exact dimensions of this portable monitor stand at 14.8″ x 9.2″ x 0.9″, and it weighs 2.4 pounds, which puts it into the category of bigger portable monitors – it’s portable, yes, but not as much as some other models we’ve tested.
There’s a USB 3.0 port on the rear, and there are no buttons anywhere on the model – you control everything through the Smart UI software. The thing that we didn’t like here is the fact that the material is quick to pick up the user’s fingerprints, which was also the case with the manufacturer’s previous models.
We have tested this monitor on our two Windows laptops by editing some spreadsheets, dragging windows across the screens, and by watching some 720p and 1080p trailers.
We have encountered no lag on the device – watching videos feels fluid, and dragging windows is seamless. However, the 1366 x 768 resolution isn’t quite suitable for reading smaller texts – they look a bit fuzzy.
On the other hand, Smart UI that we’ve mentioned is great – it’s easy to use it and it lets you control things like contrast, mirroring, brightness, and the resolution. It’s a bit tricky to find it, as it only appears as a small icon on the UI’s taskbar.
Along with the monitor, you will also be getting a USB 3.0 cable, a carrying sleeve, as well as the CD with the Windows drivers and the user instructions.
In our opinion, this monitor is a very good choice for the frequent travelers who need a secondary display while they’re on the go. It is simple to use and delivers a stutter-free video and a sharp picture – what more could one want?
- HD 1366 x 768 Resolution
- TN Panel
- Narrow Bezzel
- HDMI & VGA inputs
- Built-in Speakers
Our Rating: 9.1/10
The modern technology has been gravitating towards portability ever since it became affordable and widely accessible. Whether you’re an avid gamer, passionate reader, or even an occasional user of personal computers, portability is probably something you can see yourself striving for.
The GeChic OnLap 1503A portable monitor offers HD quality, multiple connectors, innovative rear port configuration, and it weighs only 812 grams or about 1.8 pounds.
The HD (1366 x 768) resolution offers a clear and crisp image whether you’re planning on connecting a gaming console, laptop, smartphone, or a mini PC. While this resolution, in particular, is universally good for most applications, it’s not the best thing for gaming, to say the least.
The display features short response time and low power consumption. The TN (Twisted Nematic) panel is one of the most common technologies used for portable panels, but it’s somewhat obsolete. One of the drawbacks of TN panels are the color shifts that occur at wider viewing angles.
USB Type C connector is worth mentioning because it’s a relatively new technology and is quite better in terms of charging time and data transfer than USB 3.1 or USB 3.0.
Built-in stereo speakers are located on the top of the monitor where one can also find an earphone jack for voice output. While these speakers aren’t the loudest thing on the market, their addition is a neat touch.
While the OnLap 1503A model is quite versatile, there are things it’s good for, and there are things you shouldn’t be putting too much hope in. In case you’re looking for a portable solution that will serve as a secondary display, the OnLap 1503A might be the thing for you. However, if you’re aiming for high responsiveness, resolutions above HD ready, and impeccable color properties, this model isn’t the best solution.
The detachable stand is a neat addition because it allows the user to set the display according to their own preferences (landscape/portrait.) As one can tell, office use, playing movies, and even conference calls are this model’s main purpose thanks to its simplistic design and more importantly – its portability.
Benefits of USB Powered Portable Monitors
Those were the most wanted USB Powered travel monitors that the money can buy today; and now it’s time to talk about the benefits that they bring.
Not only are these devices more expandable than the VGA / DVI / HDMI monitors, but they also bring the advantages of portability, simplicity, and security. They can also save you a lot on the power bills since they don’t need an AC adapter to work.
It’s no wonder that these things are becoming more and more popular as the years go by – they simply bring too many perks and privileges!
USB cable is a perfect solution for all uses where the security of the video information is absolutely necessary.
The computing device will automatically detect the video updates to the display and compress them before they’re sent by using the so-called DisplayLink technology. This includes the encryption algorithm, which makes these updates very difficult to modify, capture, or copy.
This would be among the biggest advantages of the USB technology. While most media players and PCs have one or two video outputs, the USB technology will let you add up to six more displays under regular Windows and up to fourteen of them if using Windows Multipoint Server.
This means that you’ll be able to expand your media player to support more displays, while at the same time lowering the overall maintenance costs, installation, and infrastructure.
And since the video will be created by the combination of hardware and software, there will be no need to install expensive graphics cards. All you will have to do is to install the appropriate drivers on your computing device, and you’ll be good to go.
When it comes to simplicity, nothing beats the USB solutions. All that the user has to do is to take a cable and connect power, touch, and video, which is a very elegant solution.
Traditional displays will need a video cable, a power brick with a wire to provide some power, as well as the USB connection for the touch data. But the USB monitors are powered through the USB port, so there’s no need for these extra cables.
This makes everything very simple and allows even the people who are not so computer-savvy to use the USB-powered portable monitors with ease.
Using multiple displays certainly gives a great boost to your productivity, but can also be quite a serious source of energy drain.
These monitors are powered through their USB ports, and there’s only a limited quantity of power that can come through the USB cable.
This means that these displays are designed to waste as little power as it is possible.
As you already know, the USB-powered monitors fall into the category of very mobile hardware. It’s easy to carry them around in laptop bags or backpacks, due to their weight and size.
There are many more benefits to USB powered secondary screens, and it would take a lot of time and space to list them all. Instead, take our word for it and treat yourself with a nice portable monitor – we can guarantee you that you won’t regret the purchase!
Those were our reviews of the currently most popular USB-powered travel monitors – we hope we’ve been helpful. These devices are very useful, as they can easily enhance your productivity by adding more screen real estate, especially if you’re always on-the-go.
Their USB connection also provides the users with security, expandability, and simplicity, which is exactly why they are so popular as of late.
We’ve tried to go over their features and present you with advantages and flaws of each device in a professional and unbiased way, although we can safely say that all of them are worth considering for purchase in their own ways.
But if we would have to choose our favorite, that would be the ASUS MB169B+, which is an outstanding product and a portable monitor that’s absolutely worth spending money on. It comes with a Full HD IPS screen that’s capable of delivering a sharp image, and also sports a stellar build quality and an exquisite design.