Best portable monitors for Mac in 2023
The best portable monitors are essential if you need your Mac to get up and go with you.
If you use your best Mac on the go but want a little more screen real estate to spread your windows across, then one of the best portable monitors for Mac is the way to go. These will connect super easily over USB-C, and some will even power themselves with your laptop battery. They're slim enough to stick in a rucksack and big enough to be super useful. Whether you're looking for something to make yourself more productive or have an extra screen to watch Ted Lasso at the coffee shop while you work (we won't tell), then these monitors will set you on track. There's a monitor here for every bag and price point, so let's get stuck into the best portable monitors for Macs.
Upgrade to second screen working with the best portable monitors for Mac
Why you can trust iMore Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Hefty portable solution
With a brand like HP behind it, you can trust that this portable monitor is built well and has a good warranty. In addition, it's slim and light, smaller than most monitors at 14 inches. This is an excellent solution for long travel days with a small carry-on.
Dual screen solution
The Mobile Pixels Duex Pro attachable dual-screen features a 12.5-inch 1080P IPS anti-glare monitor with adjustable brightness. It's compatible with USB Type-C, Type-A, Windows, Mac, and Chromebook. Plus, it's just 1.6 pounds.
Available with a 13-inch, 15-inch, or touchscreen display, the espresso is ultra-thin and compatible with your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or gaming device. Just 5.5 mm thin, the display connects via USB-C or HDMI.
Portable on a budget
The Lasitu monitor is a great pick if you need a portable monitor on a budget. It connects to your best Mac via USB-C and is a full HD 15.6-inch screen. Slip this in a bag wherever you may go and have more screen real-estate on tap for all that mobile work.
This useful monitor weighs just 2.1 pounds and features a large 17.2-inch display. Offering support for 144 Hz refresh rates and Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, it's a monitor worth considering. Some users note it lacks adequate brightness and color accuracy, however.
Innovative but pricey
This portable monitor has multifunctional connectivity for HDMI, USB-C, and USB-A. With great viewing angles and excellent sounds, it's best suited for gamers. However, it's a pricey solution.
How to choose the best portable monitor for your Mac
The portable monitor market remains relatively small, so it can be hard to find what type of monitors you can use with your best Mac, like the new MacBook Pro with M2. Despite this, a few high-quality products work brilliantly with the best Macs. When deciding on a monitor, you should factor in the price, resolution, and what you need to connect it to your computer. Perhaps most importantly, look at its weight. If you think it's too heavy to cart around your home or on campus, it probably is.
You must also decide whether the monitor has a built-in battery since most modern portable monitors draw power over USB-C. You will also find options that connect to your laptop through HDMI.
What to avoid in a portable monitor
Don't necessarily assume the most expensive portable monitors are the best. Conversely, just because a monitor has a "cheap" price tag doesn't mean it should be avoided. Additionally, when shopping for monitors, make sure they're current and that there isn't a newer model available. Sites like Amazon do an excellent job of noting when more recent models are on the market.
What's in a name?
More familiar companies like Samsung and LG tend to avoid the portable monitor market. As such, you're likely to see monitors from companies like expresso, Mobile Pixels, and GeChic. Don't be afraid of ordering items from these businesses. Before you do, however, check out the online reviews and make sure they are highly rated.
Our personal favorite best monitor is the HP 14 E14 G4. Despite its long, incomprehensible name, it is a solid monitor option with a great panel. It'll slip into a bag without issue, and you can set it up almost anywhere for some mobile working.
Those with a small budget should take a look at the Lasitu. This 15.6-inch monitor can be purchased for half of what some similar monitors cost. Despite the lightweight, there's plenty of screen real estate, and it comes with a screen protector to keep that large screen in excellent condition.
On the other hand, those looking for an extendable monitor should consider the Mobile Pixels Duex Pro. This novel choice will attach to any laptop and work as a fold-out extension for the existing screen. It can also be used as a small standalone monitor if needed. The above selections are the best portable monitors for Macs available. But, of course, it's up to you to decide which will work best for you. And if you need more than just a monitor, check out the latest offers on our MacBook Pro deals guide.
Get the best of iMore in your inbox, every day!
Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.
- Jaclyn KilaniContributor