The Best Portable Monitors You Can Buy For Work, Play, And Everyday Use
If you want to be super-productive, the ideal scenario is connecting two or more screens to your desktop or laptop. This is easy to set up at home or in the office, but then you find yourself stuck in a hotel room with just a laptop, and you can’t remember how to function with a single display. We’ve dug dip and found the best portable monitors you can buy right now for work, play, and general use to ease those travel woes.
USB-A and USB-C
Before we get started, you’ll need to understand the difference between USB-C and USB-A connections in terms of video output. Your PC’s USB-C port may support the DisplayPort protocol, which is an alternative to HDMI. However, that’s not a guarantee as manufacturers may limit USB-C connectivity to power, data, or a combination of both. Check your PC’s specifications before purchasing a USB-C-based portable monitor.
If your USB-C port supports the DisplayPort protocol, you can plug a portable monitor into your PC without installing additional software. That’s not the case for USB-A connections, as they do not support video output. To connect your display via USB-A, you’ll need DisplayLink drivers installed on your PC. Moreover, if your USB-C port supports data but not DisplayPort, you’ll still need the DisplayLink drivers.
TN and IPS
Some displays rely on TN panels, while others feature an IPS display. Short for Twisted Nematic, TN technology is the oldest of the two, serving as the first LCD panel type replacing CRT monitors. The benefits are short response times, high brightness levels, and super-high refresh rates, making TN panels ideal for gaming. However, they don’t provide wide viewing angles or support large color palates.
IPS, short for In-Plane Switching, serves as the successor to TN technology. IPS panels are ideal for color-accurate content creation and general use due to their support for over 16 million colors and wide viewing angles. Refresh rates and response times have improved over the years, but gamers may be better off using TN displays if color depth isn’t required.