The best portable monitor is key if you want to extend your gaming screen on the go. For some of you, that might mean adding an extra mobile monitor to your laptop, while others may use one to enlarge the size of their Steam Deck screen. Both use cases are prime examples of how lightweight panels can change the way you play, and there are plenty to choose from out there with different perks.
Normally, portable displays aren’t a match for the best gaming monitor, as most manufacturers trade away specs to keep things trim. The keyword here is most, as there are screens with a wafer-thin body, a built in battery and that can 4K 120Hz capabilities. Sure, you’ll probably need stay near a power outlet if you pushing specs to their limit, but being able to potentially match your at-home display setup is a pretty neat party trick. Plus, the best gaming handheld contenders out there aren't as demanding as a PC or new-gen console, so they tend to pair pretty nicely with the reduced specs portable panels can offer.
So, to help you find a spectacular screen you can take with you anywhere, we've whipped up a list of the best portable monitors available right now. Our selection makes sure to include displays at a wide variety of price points, which should save you disrupting your budget or picking up something that isn't suited to your needs.
The quick list
The best portable monitor for gaming
Asus' ROG portable monitor is made for gamers, which means you're getting excellent 1080p specs.
The best budget portable monitor
A fantastic full HD option with HDR capabilities, this screen will help you extend your screen space for less.
Best high refresh rate
The best high-refresh rate portable monitor
You're not getting the 240Hz rates of the Asus at the top of this list, but with a 165Hz rate and adaptive sync at your disposal this is your next best (and much cheaper) option.
The best 4K portable monitor
This ViewSonic model offers up a 4K resolution at a fair price - perfect for small-screen UHD gaming. You're getting wide compatibility with a range of ports and extra features, bit it might be overkill for a 15.6-inch display.
The best touchscreen portable monitor for gaming
If you're after a multi-touch device with support for both Windows and Android, you've found yourself a good'un. This Asus model is perfect for big-screen thumb tapping on the go.
The best portable monitor for gaming overall
Arguably the current daddy of portable gaming monitors, both in terms of stature and price, the Asus ROG Strix XG17 clocks in at 17 inches and around $600 / £600 depending on the configuration.
As standard, it’s a 1080p IPS display cranking out up to 240Hz refresh and comes with a tablet-style folding stand. For a little extra cash, you can have a folding tripod stand that allows for a full range of adjustability.
It’s pretty beefy at over a kilo for the display, to which you can add another 0.65kg for the optional tripod. But then it is 17 inches and sports a 7800mAh battery. That allows for up to 3.5 hours of mains-free use, though the display can also be powered over USB-C. In terms of video inputs, it’s USB-C or HDMI.
It’s a quality bit of kit with a metal chassis, 3ms response, wide color gamut coverage, a gaming-friendly 1080p native resolution, and a full range of OSD menu options including pixel overdrive settings. Unless you want to go 4K or need HDR support, this is probably as good as portable gaming panels get.
The best budget portable monitor for gaming
Portable monitors can cost a pretty penny, but Verbatim's Portable Touchscreen Monitor manages to offer great features for less.
It's worth noting this screen lacks a built in battery, and that may matter if you're looking for a completely untethered experience. However, if you hook it up to your own battery bank, you'll be able to pair it with the best gaming handhelds out there and benefit from features like HDR and touchscreen support. Depending on what you're using it for, trading away an integrated battery for those traits is more than worthwhile, not to mention it helps cut cost.
In terms of design, Verbatim's monitor is clad with a metal shell, and it's pretty thin even by portable monitor standards. One of its stand out elements is the fact it has a kickstand built in, so you won't have to use any dual-use cases to prop it up on a desk.
We tested the Verbatim Portable Touchscreen Monitor using laptops and handhelds like the Steam Deck, and for the price, it performed admirably. 15.6 inches is arguably the perfect size for a 1080p screen, and we didn't notice any particularly soft visuals as a result of sits resolution. Even PS5 gameplay looks pretty decent on this screen, which is a feat given that we normally use a 4K panel with our new gen consoles.
Your mileage may vary when it comes to price, but you should be able to snag one of these monitors for under (or just over) the $200 mark in the US. If you're in the UK, you'll easily find it for under £200, and it's a fantastic option for the money.
The best high refresh rate portable monitor
G-Story is rapidly carving out a niche as a leading maker of portable monitors. The G-Story GSV56QM is probably its most appealing all-rounder with a 15.6-inch form factor, IPS panel, 1ms response, HDR support and both 165Hz refresh and both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync support. This gives it a great gaming edge, but also means it appeals for a whole range of uses beyond, too.
When it comes to both high refresh and adaptive sync, remember that currently these are PC-only as opposed to console features, though next-gen consoles will add compatibility soon.
Also note that with a peak brightness of 300cd/m2 and no local dimming capabilities, this is not a true HDR display, more a monitor that can process HDR content. Inputs are via a pair of USB Type-C ports and a single HDMI socket and it comes complete with an integrated stand that can be adjusted across a wide range and a soft carry case to protect the panel on the go.
The best 4K portable monitor for gaming
If your hellbent on playing at 4K no matter where you are, the ViewSonic VX1655-4K will see you right. You'll pay extra for a UHD panel, but the package doesn't skimp on build quality and features to make room for its high resolution.
Kitted out with the usual USB-C and HDMI ports, you'll be able to easily hook this screen up to anything that can handle 4K visuals. Whether you've got one of the best gaming laptops around or you just fancy torturing your Steam Deck, proper UHD visuals are on the menu with this display.
Aesthetically, the ViewSonic VX1655-4K is a bit conservative, which will suit some of you out there that aren't into gamer vibes. That said, it cleverly uses its back IO block as a stick stand, meaning the extra bulk at the back serves more than one purpose.
Naturally, you'll be capped at 60Hz using this 4K monitor, but that's not going to matter so much if you're not into shooters (or lack a decent GPU). Response times aren't abysmal, but you might also want to curb your expectations if you're used to speedy desktop screens.
We'll eventually see cheaper (and better) 4K screens hit the marker as the technology matures. For the time being, the ViewSonic VX1655-4K is a reliable way to take UHD visuals with you on the go, and we'd pick this model over various no-name brands out there.
The best touchscreen portable monitor for gaming
If picking up a touchscreen is a portable monitor priority, you'll want to head straight to the Asus Zenscreen.
This 10-point touch panel is naturally going to appeal to those of you who are productive during the day, serving as a more intuitive way to interact with PC apps and programs. However, there are surprising gaming benefits tied to this office feeling screen, as operating systems like SteamOS feel natural on a touchscreen.
When it comes to looks, the Asus Zenscreen is extremely subtle. Bringing it into the office isn't going to serve as a distraction, and it effetely looks like the top part of a laptop. That's not a bad thing depending on your environment of choice, not to mention it's an appropriate look for a monitor that sticks to 1080p 60Hz.
One of the more unique traits tied to the Asus Zenscreen is its tripod support, as you can attach a stand to give it a more conventional desktop look. That could come in handy if you want to switch from using it out and about to at your desk, as it'll help you align it with your desk-bound screens.
If you know for a fact you'll never touch this screen to navigate through anything, then you might want to look at traditional options instead. However, if you'll be using your fingers more than a controller or mouse, then this is the monitor we'd reccomend.
The best multi-use portable monitor for gaming
The AOC 16T2 portable monitor is based around a 15.6-inch IPS screen with added multi-touch capability, and is a worthy contender is the best portable monitor conversation given its qualities and who it's made by.
Connectivity options include HDMI and USB-C, the latter via a pair of ports either side of the chassis for maximum flexibility. It’s also the USB-C interface that’s required to enable the 10-point capacitive multi-touch functionality.
An onboard 8,000mAh battery is built into the slim chassis, contributing to a surprisingly hefty 0.99kg kerbweight. That said, bi-directional charging means this screen can double as a power brick, so you’ll have more than one reason to throw this screen in your bag. AOC reckons it stores enough charge to rejuice a typical smartphone twice. AOC also bundles both a magnetic clip-on stand similar to those often used with tablet computers and a 100mm by 100mm VESA bracket. So, fixed and portable installation options are well covered.
As for image quality, think entry-level IPS panel and you’ve got the idea. While the colours are decent and viewing angles good, at 250 nits, it’s not the brightest monitor dans le monde. Nor is it a great choice for esports addicts with its 60Hz refresh and a whiff of discernible latency. But as an allrounder to add multi-monitor support on the move or to combine with a console for maximum portability, the AOC 16T2 has plenty going for it.
Can I use a portable monitor with a desktop PC?
Portable monitors technically work just like ordinary screens, so you'll be able to plug your desktop PC into one and use it. Just keep in mind that it'll be around the same size as a laptop display, so you might not want to use one as your main panel.
Best portable monitor: FAQs
Why would I need a portable monitor?
If you've ever tried to work on the go and struggled with screen space, or regularly play local multiplayer games on your tiny Switch, chances are you'll benefit from a portable monitor. While laptops boast fairly large screens these days, and the days of tiny handheld displays are almost a distant memory, being able to add extra monitors to your setup without power constraints is pretty neat.
Can you play games on a portable monitor?
Yes! You absolutely can play games on the best portable monitors! You'll have to forgive the screens a few compromises due to, well, the portability they offer, but these can be life savers when you're gaming on the go and need to set up temporarily.
If you're happy to plug in your console to a laptop-sized screen - as the main compromise - then you can have great gaming experiences on a panel that you can throw in your backpack after. While only the most premium portable monitors will offer gaming specs, just having a solid, nice display at 1080p will suffice you for a temporary play - by default this is their niche and they own it.
What should I look for in a portable monitor?
Shopping for a portable monitor isn't too dissimilar to choosing a gaming laptop based on its display. You'll be able to pick from a vast selection of screens that have different resolutions and refresh capabilities, and higher specs will ultimately influence price and battery life.
Do portable monitors work?
Yes! And it's a resounding yes at that. The range of portable monitors now available is exceptional, and the depth of variety means there's often something for you - even if you didn't think so in the beginning of your search. Of course these are particularly great for working, as demonstrated from the last two years or so, but portable monitors are now equally adept as providing mobile gaming screens and extra screen space for entertainment. A great addition to any setup.
Can you use a portable monitor with the Steam Deck
Yes, the Steam Deck can be hooked up to a portable monitor, and most models will connect via a single USB-C cable. That'll save you picking up a separate docking station, meaning you won't have to carry as much kit around. Most portable PCs like the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go will play nice with on the go panels too, but you will need some sort of dock to use the Nintendo Switch.
How we test portable monitors at GamesRadar+
Why you can trust GamesRadar+
Just like with stationary screens, we spend hours testing portable monitors, but there a few key differences involved. For example, if a display has a built in battery, we add in additional benchmarks to assess longevity and capacity, as both become vital when cutting the cord.
Of course, we also check each portable monitor's specs, design, features, and performance too, and all four traits help decide whether we should recommend a display. To do this, we typically use the panel as our daily driver by playing the latest games, which enables us to push a screen's resolution and refresh capabilities to their limit. In turn, this also let's us assess other qualities like contrast, color, and brightness, all while seeing how it brings console and PC games to life.