Best portable monitors for your Mac in 2024

If you're looking for the best portable monitor for Mac, you probably want something that looks great, adds to your desktop efficiently, and doesn't cost too much. With so many choices to pick from, you can get your perfect monitor as long as you are willing to look through them. It's amazing how, with nothing but a MacBook and a monitor, you can get so much more productive, or have an extra screen for a movie in mere moments. Whether you are going into an office, or just looking for a good way to pay attention to a game of football, there are so many reasons to pick up a portable monitor. 

Though most portable monitors don't quite match the excellent screens of a Mac, they have gotten much better over the past few years, and, with a simple  USB-C, you can get going immediately. 

It's important to note that, with portable monitors, you sometimes give up some of the more impressive specs for more portability or a better price point. You won't beat the best 4K monitors but you will get an awesome little device to take with you as you go. 

That said, here are the best Mac portable monitors out there right now. 

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Best overall

The HP Portable monitor being held by a woman in an office environment.

(Image credit: HP)

1. HP 14 E14 G4 Monitor

Specifications

Size: 14-inches
Foldable: Foldable stand
Resolution: 1080p full HD
Response time: 5ms
Connectivity: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Crisp, modern design
+
Fast response rate
+
14-inch size perfect for productivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap
-
Only USB-C input
-
No screen protection in the box

The HP 14 E14 G4 has a dumb, numbery name, but the screen itself is an excellent option for an extra portable screen when you're on the go. The stand at the back of the screen is adjustable so that you can set the right angle for the display while you're away, and it folds flat to the back of the monitor so that it can be easily slipped into a laptop bag.

The 14-inch model is perfect for portability while still being practical. It has a 1080p resolution so it's clear to see. While it isn't as shiny or as sharp as the display on your MacBook, it's still a useful addition for getting some work done more efficiently across two screens. 

Priced at $300, it isn't cheap, but it's a reliable option for anyone seeking a slim and portable display. 

Best for business

The Philips 16B1P3302 portable monitor on a white background.

(Image credit: Philips)

Specifications

Size: 15.6-inches
Foldable: Yes
Resolution: 1080p full HD
Connectivity: USB-C x 2

Reasons to buy

+
Solid build
+
Tilting stand
+
Professional look and cool case

Reasons to avoid

-
Low brightnesss
-
Pricey

It's easy to be impressed with the Philips 16B1P3302D. Wi-Fi password name aside, this is a really smart and solidly-built stand with a fantastic tilting mechanism. It feels incredibly well made and the black aesthetic makes it low-key and understated for its target business audience. 

It's impressively live and thin when folded up, and comes with a USB-C cable in the box as well as a grey sleeve case to keep it safe. 

There's no play or movement in the tilting mechanism, so the 1080p Full HD display remains perfectly poised during use. The large stand also helps with this. 

The only area where the monitor struggles is brightness, despite its anti-glare coating, it really struggles in direct sunlight, such as in the window of a coffee shop, but as long as you're not making frequent visits to solar farms, this shouldn't be too much of an issue. 

Most portable

The Espresso portable display being used on a desk with a woman nearby writing notes.

(Image credit: Espresso)

Specifications

Size: 13/15 inches
Foldable: Foldable stand
Resolution: 1080p full HD
Connectivity: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Touch options
+
Super slim and classy
+
Size options

Reasons to avoid

-
Accessories have to be bought separately
-
No stand as standard
-
limited display menu

The espresso display is an Australian success story. It started out as a Kickstarter campaign established by a small group of people who wanted to create a better portable display than the competition. The campaign smashed it out of the park so espresso now makes a whole line of portable displays.

A super slim metal screen was the first to be released, and it remains a very good portable display. It's not cheap, starting from $299, but you get what you pay for. A study premium stand is available, as well as a magnetic Vesa mount and a protective cover — for extra. It will cost you even more if you want some of the extensive line of accessories but there are some great choices there. 

When traveling, you're going to want a protective cover and stand so as you don't get them as standard, be prepared to add them to the price. That makes the espresso an expensive option. It can get even pricier still with a touch version of the standard 13-inch monitor around, along with a 15-inch display if you want something even bigger. The former costs around $419 with the 15-inch variant costing $479.

Best for productivity

KYY X90A

(Image credit: Future / James Bentley)

Specifications

Size: 12.5-inches
Foldable: Foldable behind laptop
Resolution: 1080p full HD
Connectivity: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to set up
+
Very portable
+
Gives you two extra screens

Reasons to avoid

-
Stand can struggle to hold the screens
-
Pricey

The KYY X90A is perhaps the most unique choice in our entire list. With just a single USB-C cable, you can project your MacBook display to two screens at once. As MacBook Airs are naturally limited in their ability to extend screens, you can't use a MacBook Air on this without a special dock. For this reason, it's a real productivity booster if you have a MacBook Pro as, not only can you use three screens at once, you can flip the extender into a triangle to show screens to those around a table. 

Despite giving you two screens, it's a surprisingly light bit of kit that can be folded into itself and popped into a bag. It can look a little bulky when tacked onto a 15-inch MacBook Pro but works very well at projecting both screens quickly and efficiently. 

It's niche but, if this interests you, it's probably the perfect monitor for you. 

Best big screen

The back of the ViewSonic portable display near a lit-up background.

(Image credit: Viewsonic)

5. ViewSonic VX1755

Specifications

Size: 17-inches
Foldable: Foldable stand
Resolution: 1080p full HD
Connectivity: USB-C, mini HDMI

Reasons to buy

+
Massive extra screen
+
Good connectivity
+
144Hz refresh rate

Reasons to avoid

-
It's really big
-
Can be a bit dim
-
Expensive

If you want a big screen, then this is the way to go. At 17-inches big, it's bigger than not only every single option on this list, but also bigger than the largest MacBook that you can buy with almost an inch of extra screen real estate. It's massive then, but ideal if you want something that you can fill up with all your work. If you don't have much space in your bag, however, you might want to look elsewhere.

It's slim though, and the stand that's attached is adjustable so you can get the screen at the perfect angle for you. That 1080p panel supports AMD FreeSync Premium for mega refresh rates if you want to play some games on it, and the metal case makes it a great deal sturdier than some of the competition. It does come at a price of $300, but you'll love its massive size.

Connectivity is also good, with a USB-C connector to go with its mini-HDMI port. That means you'll be able to hook up games consoles and other machines as well as your MacBook.

Best for gamers

The ASUS ROG portable monitor being used in dim surroundings with a game displayed on it. You can see the hands of a gamer holding a games controller.

(Image credit: ASUS)

6. ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHPE

Specifications

Size: 15.6-inches
Foldable: Foldable case stand
Resolution: 1080p full HD
Connectivity: USB-C, mini HDMI

Reasons to buy

+
144Hz refresh rate
+
Built-in battery
+
NVIDIA G-Sync

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Weighty

When you hear the name 'ROG', you know that something is made for gamers — and the Strix XG17AHPE is absolutely no exception. With bucket loads of performance on tap thanks to its impressive refresh rate and support for Nvidia G-Sync, it's a portable screen for the biggest game players on the go.

Of course, you'll need to pay a lot for the display — it costs almost $400. For the quality and specs on offer here, however, that's pretty good, as long as you can afford it. If you want the best portable screen for gaming, you're not going to find one better.

Best for portability

The Dell 14-inch portable monitor next to another display.

(Image credit: Dell)

7. Dell 14 Portable Monitor

Specifications

Size: 14-inches
Foldable: Foldable stand
Resolution: 1080p full HD
Connectivity: USB-C, DisplayPort 1.2

Reasons to buy

+
Very portable
+
IPS panel
+
Good response times

Reasons to avoid

-
Small for some users
-
No HDMI support

Dell is typically a reliable option for displays and it's no different here. The Dell 14 Portable Monitor has all the essentials with an IPS panel always good to see along with a full HD 1080p resolution. It lacks HDMI support but it has two USB-C ports and one DisplayPort 1.2 for all your connectivity needs.

It's possible to set it up on whichever side works for you while the tilt stand gives you from 10 to 90 degrees of flexibility. Dell's ComfortView technology is helpful for easing eye strain while there are simple controls for making brightness adjustments.

Best on a budget

The Hongo 2K 16-inch monitor with MacBook Air

(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

Specifications

Size: 16-inches
Foldable: Foldable magnetic stand
Resolution: 2560 x 1600
Connectivity: USB-C, HDMI

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable price
+
Minimalist and easily portable
+
120Hz refresh rates

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor control buttons
-
Weak speakers
-
Color accuracy slightly lacking

If you're on the hunt for a great travel friendly display on a tight budget, the Hongo 2K 16-inch portable monitor model is a great option. While it keeps things pretty basic with its design, it's display feature set is surprisingly rich for its sub-$150 price tag.

You're getting a 2560 x 1600 resolution display with a super-fast 120Hz refresh rate — both specs that higher-priced rivals struggle to match. Connectivity is good for the price too, with both HDMI and video over USB-C supported too.

It struggles a bit with a confusing button array and slightly weak color accuracy, but a magnetic folding stand and VESA mounting options make it a real versatile option at a steal of a price.

Best Premium

espresso 17 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Size: 17-inches
Foldable: Foldable magnetic stand
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Connectivity: 2x USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning, crisp 4K display
+
Still very portable
+
large, 17-inch display

Reasons to avoid

-
Costly extras
-
Very expensive display

If you're willing to shell out a little more for a portable monitor, then the $999 espresso 17 Pro is one of the best portable monitors you'll ever spend your money on. It's a large, 17-inch display built from the ground up for creatives, packing in a touch screen and 4K resolution.

It's not cheap, especially when you have to factor in the need for a stand, and the potential need for a case and portable power pack. If you do, you'll be treated to the very best portable monitor that money can buy.

Great for watching movies as well as drawing or designing, the espresso 17 Pro is only here on the list because it is so expensive — it really is an incredible monitor.

Q&A

How to choose from the best portable monitors for your Mac

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

If you own a MacBook Pro with ProMotion, you'll want a portable monitor that can match that display with a high refresh rate. Otherwise,e it can be disorientating for your eyes. 

Other than that, your priority should be the size of the display that works best for you. There's a trade-off here between how lightweight it is and how large the size needs to be. Also, remember it's not just limited to use with your Mac. if you've brought a games console with you like a Nintendo Switch or a Steam Deck, you can hook these up with a USB-C cable for those memorable lunch break sessions.

Some portable monitors also have a battery built-in, which could help your Mac's load and its battery life if you haven't got it plugged into the mains as you work away.

What to avoid in a portable monitor

Don't buy an aging portable monitor. Look for ones with a release date after at least 2021. Over the last few years, there have been many improvements such as lighter and thinner designs, as well as higher refresh rates and better battery life, all at a more competitive price.

If you see a portable monitor that's very cheap, it's likely to be an older model that won't work as well.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.

With contributions from