If you have actually only ever used a computer with a single monitor, you have no idea what you’re missing. Upgrading to a second monitor can appear frustrating for inexperienced users, however, before long it becomes second nature, and your productivity shoots through the roof.
The idea of reverting and being restricted to a single screen can be intolerable particularly if you’re a huge multi-tasker or gamer. Once you’ve made the decision to double displays, it won’t be long before you’ll desire to include a third.
This article will walk you through the best USB powered monitors.
Best USB Powered Monitors Guide
For desktop users accustomed to dual displays, mobile performance can make it challenging on a single, small laptop screen. Portable monitor choices have existed in the past, however, have actually typically been restricted to extremely few USB-powered screens or bigger screens that also required different power and information cables.
This has actually all changed with the arrival of USB C PORT. The more recent USB requirement, in addition to a lightning-quick 10 gigabits per 2nd data transmission rate, has the ability to transmit up to 100 watts of power simultaneously.
This opens a host of brand-new alternatives for powered peripheral devices with very little cable confusion. Now, a brand-new USB C monitor can offer the exact same size and specs as basic screens with the simpleness and benefit of a single cable for both data and power.
Today we’re reviewing a list of USB-C powered screens aiming to take your mobile performance to the next level.
So, Which Portable Monitor Should I Buy?
Whatever your needs or budget, there’s a design out there that’s right for you; the essential thing is to think about the main display panel that you’ll be using together with it.
Below, take a look at the existing finest portable screens we have actually evaluated. We upgrade this story regularly, but for the very newest monitors examined we’ve posted, also see our monitor product guide below.
Top 3 USB Powered Monitors Sold on Amazon
- PORTABLE MONITOR: 15. 6", 1080P Full HD, IPS monitor with HDMI, VGA, USB inputs
- LIGHTWEIGHT: monitor weights only 798g with 1. 1cm in thickness
- REAR DOCK PORT EXPANSION: provides you the connectivity on the back side of monitor and keep your total solution simpler
- WIDE ANGLE: 170 degree vertical and horizontal viewing angle, LED Backlight Exquisite Brightness
- VARIOUS APPLICATION: laptop, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mini PC, computer stick, HDMI wireless display adapter
- USB-C DP Alt Mode on host device is REQUIRED, there is NO HDMI input on this monitor** Please check with your device manufacturer if it supports DisplayPort Alternative Mode. Please install DisplayLink software to use.
- Aspect Ratio is 16:9; Viewing Angle is 160/160
- AOC 16-inch class (15.6” viewable) USB-C portable monitor with IPS screen and full HD 1080P (1920x1080) resolution
- Simplify your connectivity with one single USB-C cable that powers and delivers video signal to the monitor (Note: This product does not operate with USB 2. 0 and 3. 0 adapters. USB-C Alt Mode required on your device)
- Extremely slim (only 0.35 inches) and lightweight (under 1.8 pounds) making it easy to carry, incredibly portable. Power Consumption On - 8 watt. Power Consumption Standy - 0.5 watt
- 15.6” FHD IPS USB Type-C portable monitor with hybrid signal solution for compatibility with USB Type-C and Type-A sources (Note: DisplayLink driver needed for Type-A connection)
- Ultra-portable award-winning design at 1.7 pounds and 0.3 inches slim to pair perfectly with ASUS laptops. Product Dimensions- 8.9 x 0.3 x 14.2 inches. Brightness(Max)- 220 cd/㎡
- Smart cover and smart pen hole allow for landscape and portrait orientations easily with auto rotation. Auto rotate requires the windows os and displaywidget to be installed. Compatible with thunderbolt 3
- ASUS Eye Care technology with TUV Rheinland-certified flicker-free backlighting and blue light filter minimizes eye fatigue
- Easily toggle through advanced display settings with the intuitive ASUS DisplayWidget. Compliance and Standards- Energy Star, BSMI, CB, CCC, CE, FCC, KCC, RoHS, UkrSEPRO, UL/cUL, VCCI, WEEE, WHQL (Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7), RCM, TUV Flicker-free , TUV Low Blue Light, CU(EAC)
What Qualifies as a Portable Monitor?
Lots of smaller desktop display screens can be taken on the road in a pinch, but “real” portable displays are those particularly sold. Even those variety a fair bit in size: from 3.5 inches to 22 inches. Portable displays run the gamut from personal, organization, and general-purpose designs to panels for artists and gamers.
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The sweet area for usage with a laptop, though, and our focus here, is in between 12 and 17 inches. Numerous users match their portable display with the screen size of their laptops.
But likewise on the market is a handful of designs at 10 inches (mainly for use with gaming consoles) and at 7 inches (for use with the smart Apple devices and Samsung devices.)
The majority of portable screens utilize a stand including a thin however stiff plastic board, with a number of grooves or creases on which it folds. At one end is a magnetic strip, which adheres to the back of the monitor at its top.
Folding the sheet in the middle, with the angle pointing far from the user, props up the monitor. The bottom of the monitor inserts into a groove, securing it and tilting the device up. (Some portable display screens have a number of grooves, and you can alter the monitor’s tilt angle by placing the base in various ones.).
These collapsible stands typically double as protective covers for the display when it’s not in use. Some secure simply the front of the monitor, while others are larger, wraparound covers that sandwich the whole monitor.
Another stand design that we have actually seen includes a stiff, flat base, including the monitor ports, to which the screen is attached via hinges. You can set the screen at any angle you like just by tilting it. This kind is much less typical, though.
Likewise, a couple of styles use the laptop itself as the support, securing to its back or its side and sliding or swinging out for usage. Mobile screens lack the height, pivot, or swivel adjustability of their desktop counterparts, they are small and light enough that they are easy to adjust by hand.
Some displays can be pivoted by hand, though not all stands can support a monitor when it remains in portrait mode. In those cases, you could constantly prop up the monitor against a wall or other surface area.
A lot of portable displays can automatically fix the image so it is always ideal side up, whether you’re in landscape or portrait mode. (Even in those that lack such automatic image rotation, you can change the orientation in Windows display settings.).
Power and Connectivity: USB Powered Monitors
As I alluded to earlier, the mobile-monitor world is undergoing a merging of power and connection thanks to USB Type-C connectivity.
Numerous USB-C ports support both DisplayPort over USB and USB power monitors, letting both data/video and power connection through the port from a computer system over a single USB cable.
A lot of new mobile screens have at least one USB C port, and some link entirely through USB-C. While this simplicity has its appeal, be sure that your laptop’s USB C port supports data, video, and power transfer, because some early-generation USB-C ports do not. (Thunderbolt 3 ports must likewise work fine; their performance includes all of that of USB-C.).
A couple of mobile displays use conventional power adapters. This is particularly true of designs that work with sketch pens and are intended for artists, which are in effect interactive displays. In a common configuration, the display draws power through an adapter, while 2 cable televisions link to the computer system.
One is an HDMI port, to manage the transfer of the image showed on the device, and the other is USB (through a USB port), to tape the pen movements the user makes when drawing on the interactive display.
HDMI (generally in the form of mini-HDMI) is likewise a typical port (the most common aside from USB-C) on more traditional portable displays. A few older portable-display models draw their power from a laptop over a different USB 3.0 connection, however, USB-C is well on its way to making this type of connection passé.
Software, the Onscreen Display, and Audio
Nearly all portable displays are plug-and-play and need no software application to operate. Any utilities offered, generally provided on disc and/or through download, will be for particular functions, such as the capability to make it possible for the screen image to stay upright when you switch between landscape and picture orientation.
In some cases, the display might come with an energy that lets you alter monitor settings from your computer system screen instead of through the secondary panel’s on-screen display (OSD) controls.
The OSD is the monitor’s menu system, governing user-controllable settings such as brightness, contrast, color levels, image mode, and aspect ratio. It is typically organized in a number of submenus. A few models consist of numerous buttons to utilize in navigating the OSD, a single button or switch to control it is more typical.
In general, audio is not a factor to consider with mobile displays, as these gadgets tend to lack built-in speakers or audio jacks. The few portable display screens (frequently video gaming designs) that do consist of speakers, in our experience, have weak bones and are most beneficial when paired with a portable gaming console or a cellular phone.
When the monitor is connected to a laptop, you can always change from the display’s speakers to your laptop’s speakers by clicking (in Windows) the speaker icon in the taskbar and changing to your laptop’s audio.
The Best 3 USB Powered Portable Monitors to Consider
1. GeChic 1503H USB Monitor
While not quite a household name, GeChic has developed an extremely intriguing portable monitor that deserves consideration. The 15.6-inch screen on the GeChic 1503H boasts Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution with a narrow bezel and a slim 11-millimeter density.
This means it will easily slip into many laptop bags even with your laptop currently inside. The monitor utilizes IPS technology which gives it a large 160-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle. This can prove beneficial for mobile discussions or any other circumstance when you might not have the ability to see the screen head-on.
Integrated stereo speakers and an earphone jack improve the functionality of this screen. While lots of might just display video, the addition of speakers permits greater flexibility for media viewing and productivity.
GeChic offers a host of accessories consisting of multi-mounting packages and a rear dock choice to simplify power and video to accept a power stick. This produces an easy, portable total computer system.
Unfortunately, while USB Type C has the ability to carry both power and information, GeChic decided against that choice. You must plug in USB-C for power, nevertheless, an HDMI input or VGA connection needs to also link in order to bring the video signal.
While this innovation still makes it a USB-C monitor, it’s a little bit of a stretch considering that you lose the convenience of a single cable.
This consisted of the case with the stand to enable added features and benefits, supporting both portrait and landscape viewing modes. While the monitor itself weighs just 1.76 pounds, with the case and stand the total weight comes in simply over three pounds. It’s not horrible, however, something to consider if your laptop bag currently feels heavy.
Use and Performance
We found benefits and drawbacks to the GeChic 1503H. Brightness was a solid 300 nits which are better than some portable screens we have actually checked in the past.
The IPS technology kept precise colors from a relatively wide viewing angle and numerous color profiles are readily available to permit you to match your primary screen as carefully as possible. We likewise valued the Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution on a portable screen.
That’s right about where the benefits stop. We struggled to push the buttons to control the monitor’s on-screen display. Develop quality appeared bad, and after comparing notes to other users online it seems that lots of other individuals experienced concerns while some had the buttons completely stop functioning.
While GeChic markets the screen as a “Player’s Paradise,” we found one significant defect. While a lot of portable gaming monitor has pixel response times of 5 milliseconds or less, gray to gray, according to requirements the 1503H comes in with a glacial 12.5 milliseconds.
While not totally unplayable, this sluggish reaction time does reveal some indications of ghosting during quick-action video gaming and films. While the untrained eye may not see, it’s absolutely not ideal for a gamer.
While the addition of speakers initially looked like a great function to have, in use the speakers did not sound great. This isn’t stunning because of the small size, and while you may state it’s better to have them than not.
However, do not rely on making any discussions or considering this to be top quality while using it. Frankly, we think using an external headphone jack regularly, either with headphones for personal listening or with external speakers may be better.
Ultimately, it isn’t a bad monitor. As long as you don’t mind utilizing separate power and data cable and don’t need the much faster action time for video gaming and media, the GeChic 1503H delivers practical, portable HD efficiency.
2. AOC i1601fwux USB Powered Portable Monitor
While we generally agree on function over form, there’s no rejecting that the AOC i1601fwux looks just plain fantastic. Thin and light, AOC constructed this monitor with a resilient metal alloy case offering it the appearance of a very high-end, classy item.
While AOC isn’t always included in the excellent tier, this monitor looks like something directly from Apple. When we say thin and light, we suggest thin and light.
At simply 8.5 millimeters thick, this screen weighs a mere 1.8 pounds including the smart cover that functions as a collapsible stand. The monitor can identify and immediately turn between picture and landscape mode for fast-changing benefits.
The IPS panel optimizes constant color over broad seeing angles. With a 16″ screen and HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, it’s a little larger than the other two models in this test. With a very excellent 5 millisecond reaction time, this monitor has the statistics to operate as a feasible second screen for gaming and media.
While the monitor itself has strong requirements, it’s really just developed to do one thing. Unlike the GeChic model, the AOC i1601fwux does not support additional connection types, stand or wall mounting, or provide ways of hiding cables or attached mini-PCs.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing something and doing it well, it’s just important to consider how you prepare to utilize the screen.
Usage and Performance
While the name does not exactly roll off the tongue, AOC’s style team hit one out of the park with the i1601fwux. The elegance of the brushed metal and the convenience of the combination cover and stand work perfectly together.
The magnetic attachment system implies you can change the display angle to fit your requirements, and the slim and light design allows everything to slip easily into a laptop bag. The mix of the exceptional style and the single cable for power and video makes this incredibly easy to use along with being trendy and minimalistic.
Photo quality and clearness were excellent. AOC does not consist of much in the method of an on-screen display, so while you can’t adjust much through the monitor, you should have some choices via your PC.
The 5-millisecond action time was smooth even during video gaming and fast-moving video. This would make a fantastic second monitor for any media or video gaming use. At 220 nits, the brightness leaves a bit to be desired, but it was viewable even in a bright space.
If you’d like to connect any device other than a PC, you’re most likely out of luck. The single USB-C connection requires providing both information and power which you’re unlikely to get on a device like a cellphone.
The AOC i1601fwux, while may not be so flexible, it is perfectly designed as a portable screen.
3. ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC Portable USB Monitor
The 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC is the thinnest of the three models. It is simply 8.0 millimeters. With the two-tone design and multiple buttons on the front of the screen, the ZenScreen may not appear quite as “clean” as the AOC model, however, it still communicates high quality.
With a mixed stand and screen, the ASUS ZenScreen will turn to support both picture and landscape modes. One odd aspect is the consistency of the “ZenScreen pen.” While we at first wondered if the screen supported pen input, it turns out it’s just a standard ink pen and the ZenScreen isn’t touch-enabled.
There is, however, a hole in the lower best corner of the bezel. The ZenScreen pen can slide into the hole and function as a makeshift stand in either orientation.
This odd design option appears a bit unneeded as the only advantage of the pen stand is the capability to give up utilizing the case. We can’t picture lugging the screen around without the case for security so we do not imagine utilizing the pen frequently if ever.
ASUS monitor does include an adapter to convert between a USB-C connection or a more traditional USB 3.0 Type A.
This enables compatibility with older devices that do not yet support the newer USB-C standard. Unfortunately, this might restrict some capabilities of the monitor as it requires to function the very same with the lower power draw of the older USB requirement.
Usage and Performance
Our biggest complaints happened prior to even turning the monitor on. Unlike the incredibly properly designed AOC case and stand, ASUS didn’t appear to take much care in theirs. It only allows a single position, however even worse it was very unstable and it easily fell forward multiple times throughout testing.
To make matters worse, it’s extremely thin and does not appear like it would supply much support while jostling around in a bag. Other users have actually reported that the screen seems to crack quickly, so we did our best to manage it with severe care.
When powered on, we discovered the USB cable connection appeared a bit unsteady. With a fairly light touch, we had the ability to disrupt the power connection and make the screen go black.
Aside from the style flaws, the screen itself was acceptable however relatively dim with only 220 nits. While this is viewable and not unusual for a portable monitor, it was significantly less bright than the laptop screen side by side.
ASUS does include a number of video predetermined modes to customize the picture, and a 5-millisecond action time rating implies it operates well with fast motion. In general, the monitor itself is acceptable but hindered by a regrettably poor stand style.
Whatever your needs or budget, there is a model for you; the important thing is to think about the primary display panel that will be used alongside it. Check out the table below for the most recent best portable displays we’ve tested.
This story is updated on a regular basis, but for the most recent monitor reviews, please visit our monitor product guide.
FAQs About Best USB Powered Monitors
Can monitors be powered by USB?
Monitors can be connected via USB. One of the simplest ways to add a display monitor to your computer setup is to connect it via USB. Another way to use a USB-connected monitor is to use it as a USB extender or hub for the PC.
Are portable screens worth it?
While some portable monitors have better panels than others, they still fall short of competing with the best desktop displays. A good portable monitor will not look bad, but if you work in a field where image quality is important, they are not the best option.
Can USB handle 2 monitors?
The USB-C laptop dock includes a DisplayPort and an HDMI port, allowing you to connect your displays as needed. It can accommodate dual monitors or a single 4K high-resolution monitor.