Best budget portable monitor for MacBook Pro 2023. There are many options to suit your needs, so now is a great time to choose a portable monitor for your MacBook Pro. There are budget and premium options, and there are also variants designed for specific niches like gaming or editing. But as your choices become more diverse, it will become more difficult to pick out which is best for you and your hard-earned money.
The best thing about the new portable monitors for MacBook pro is that they now mostly use USB-C as their primary video input. Some require two USB connections and special drivers. The USB-C option should be selected for smooth operation.
One of the primary considerations to consider is the imaging performance of a portable monitor. Almost all models on the market cannot be calibrated like a desktop monitor, so choosing an accurate color or a balanced color temperature is necessary. It is also widely known that most of these products cannot reproduce the full gamut like desktop products.
You should also consider one of the biggest complaints in this category, flip covers. We prefer larger ones with pedestals as they are fragile and unreliable when the monitors stand upright. However, it can still be considered a minor inconvenience as there are still some great options for using it.
Here is the list of Best Portable Monitors for MacBook Pro 2023
MSI Optix MAG162V Full FHD Portable
As MSI’s first cheapest portable gaming monitor, the Optix MAG161V connects to a variety of game consoles, smartphones and computers. It’s solid for casual gaming, but its brightness peaks and overall color range are bleak at best.If you need an extra display for your Macbook and are looking for a portable monitor for your Macbook pro with a slim design, the MSI Optix MAG162V is for you.
It is equipped with a 15.6-inch full HD 1920x1080p resolution IPS display, which is very good in terms of display quality. The colors look good and the picture quality looks sharp and crisp. It comes with a decent 60hz refresh rate. It comes with a gaming mode, but it’s not a portable monitor for gaming, and don’t expect a good gaming experience.
The build quality of the MSI Optix MAG162V is very impressive. It features a slim design with a thickness of 5.5mm and a weight of only 0.9kg. The MSI Optix MAG162V has a built-in speaker with good notification sounds, and external speakers or headphones are recommended for this portable monitor. Yes, this portable monitor has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
For connectivity, it uses a USB Type-C port which is great for Macbook users and also supports a Mini HDMI port. Overall, the MSI Optix MAG162V is a good everyday portable monitor for surfing the web and watching videos. If you’re looking for the cheapest portable monitor for your Macbook Pro without compromising on a lot, the MSI Optix MAG162V is a good choice.
ViewSonic VG1655 15.6-inch portable 1080p IPS monitor with 60W USB C and mini HDMI
The ViewSonic VG1655 is a portable 15.6-inch monitor designed to boost productivity on the go. Built for business travelers, remote workers, and digital nomads, the VG1655 can serve as a complementary screen to your laptop or tablet for increased productivity. With an anti-glare screen and Full HD 1080p resolution, this monitor delivers a crystal-clear viewing experience, allowing users to see more and do more for a more efficient workflow.
The USB Type-C port allows quick and easy transfer of video and audio. A second USB Type-C port also provides up to 60W of bidirectional power. A connected laptop can power the VG1655, or the VG1655 can power a connected laptop via a USB-C power bank or AC adapter and outlet. At less than an inch thick and weighing less than two pounds, the ultra-slim VG1655 fits perfectly into a bag, briefcase or backpack.
Design and function: Just take a look and you’ll see that the ViewSonic VG1655 is a more attractive choice in the way it was designed. The monitor has a textured gray look that gives it a stylish look and is perfect for premium laptops like the gunmetal color MacBook Pro. The display doesn’t have bezels on three sides, but it still shows a thin panel border and a thick bottom strip engraved with the ViewSonic name.
The ViewSonic VG1655 is slightly lighter than rivals like the Asus MB16AMT, but at the same time is heavier considering the lack of an internal battery. It’s also thicker in some ways due to the built-in stand, but it’s still more like a regular-size laptop that fits in a laptop bag. It’s also relatively low for its weight, but heavier because there’s no battery inside.
The build quality of the ViewSonic VG1655 is outstanding as there are no cosmetic or mechanical problems with the monitor parts. The foldable stand folds perfectly into the chassis thanks to the product’s excellent fit and finish. It’s not quite as stable as a full-size monitor, but it’s better than the folio-style stands that are prevalent in this category of displays.
The ViewSonic VG1655 also includes an OSD joystick that is much easier to use than the buttons or scroll wheels used on portable displays. The OSD on this model has more settings and options, so it’s nice to be able to quickly and conveniently adjust simple settings like the backlight. The joystick is built into the bulge of the monitor like a flip-out stand, but the added weight is forgivable because some features are available.
The ViewSonic VG1655 uses a folding stand like the Lenovo Thinkvision M14 instead of the Folio. This stand is better and more stable because it is not baggy and relies on a locking groove. It only offers tilt for ergonomics, but can also be used in portrait mode with a hard flap. This model does not have a VESA mount, but a clamp-on monitor arm can be used if needed.
However, the ViewSonic VG1655 includes a folio cover in the package even if the stand is already built in. The former can be used as a protective cover for transport, but can also be used as a stand to help keep the monitor stable on slippery surfaces. ViewSonic has put a lot of thought into this model for consumers, which is a huge plus at its current price point.
The connectivity of the ViewSonic VG1655 is outstanding because it can be set up in different ways to suit your needs. The layout includes two USB-C 3.2 slots and a Mini HDMI connector along with a 3.5mm jack for headphones. The primary USB-C slot is for DP Alt mode and the second slot is for powering the laptop when the device is connected to a wall adapter.
The ViewSonic VG1655 also has built-in speakers, but the 0.8-watt output is too weak for normal use. This isn’t used much, as the laptop’s built-in features may sound better. Portable monitors are also almost always positioned on their side, so they’re not optimal for projecting sound anyway.
Display and performance: The ViewSonic VG1655 boasts a 16-inch IPS panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and 14ms typical response time. According to the spec sheet, the backlight is rated at 250 cd/m2 and has a contrast ratio of 800:1. This variant will likely use the same IPS panel as other portable displays, so specs such as a contrast ratio of less than 1000:1 are similar.
The 16-inch screen of the ViewSonic VG1655 feels a bit cramped, but the extensions it provides for your workflow are very convenient. The pixel density is crisp and non-pixelated, so jagged objects like 27-inch or 32-inch 1080p monitors are no problem. Text walls in browsers and documents are still comfortable to look at, so they don’t even need to be resized.
The ViewSonic VG1655 can only render 65% of the sRGB color gamut, so it’s not very lively, but that’s typical for portable displays. On the other hand, the default accuracy is adequate because the deltaE mean is limited to 2.13. The color temperature is a bit warm, but you can get away with it if you adjust it a bit to reduce the effect.
The backlight of the ViewSonic VG1655 is not very bright, but it can reach 255 cd/m2 at 100%. It can fight a fair amount of glare, but it’s not ideal for outdoor use unless you can’t find a shady spot. The contrast ratio reaches 1012:1 at 70% brightness, which is already high for portable use, but still insufficient for deep blacks and shades.
Responsiveness is not a special strength of a portable monitor, and the ViewSonic VG1655 is no exception. The 14ms pixel response time has a lot to do with fast-paced scenes, resulting in blurring and persistence across the various transitions. The VG1655 includes overdrive, but it adds overshoot at the maximum level, so use it sparingly.
The ViewSonic VG1655’s panel uniformity is fine as there is no backlight leakage, but you can see some blurring in dark scenes. It’s not noticeable when you have a full-color image, but you can see a contrast loss in the affected quadrant when viewing the low-light video. This aspect can be different for every device due to tolerances, so there are better ones and worse ones.
ASUS ZenScreen 15.6-inch HD screen with Micro HDMI
ASUS Portable Monitor 15.6-inch HD screen with Micro HDMI and USB Type-C – An easy-to-use and portable Full HD portable monitor should be on your list. This Asus product is a very impressive gadget that works well with iOS devices, especially Macs, and offers the best viewing experience. This portable monitor has a 15.6-inch anti-glare screen, micro HDMI, and USB Type-C connection and is also lightweight.
This Asus product is also impressive when talking about battery capabilities, as the portable monitor is configured with a 7000mAH battery life. The portable monitor also has a smart cover and pen holder for better horizontal and vertical positioning—no complaints with maximum brightness.
There are also eye protection technologies that do not harm your eyes while using this portable monitor. So, taking into account the impressive merits of this Asus ZenScreen, Asus ZenScreen (MB16ACE) is a 15.6-inch mobile monitor with a solid feature set for the price, especially the comprehensive and easy-to-cruise on-screen display
Asus-ASUS ZenScreen go-mb16ahp-156-inch-screen-portable-monitor-full-hd-ips-eye-care-with-micro-hdmi-usb-type-c,Well compatible with iOS devices.Anti-glare, micro HDMI and USB Type-C connectivity
Perfect for programmers/software developers working anywhere, Easy to carry and has a light, Long-lasting battery life.
Lepow Z1 15 inches Travel Monitor
The Lepow Z1 size is 15 inches, Resolution 1920×1080, Maximum refresh rate 60Hz pixel type IPS Variable refresh rate No VRR is an ordinary portable monitor that is perfect for mobile office use. Although this model does not have a built-in battery, it is slightly larger than a typical tablet and is highly portable. Therefore, you need to connect the power via USB-C or wall adapter. Its small size and relatively high resolution provide excellent text sharpness and excellent gradient performance.
Unfortunately, it has some serious problems: terrible response times, low accuracy, and a narrow color gamut. An updated version of this monitor, the Lepow Z1 Gamut, offers a much wider color gamut. These issues undermine the display overall, as it is not suitable for color-critical requirements such as gaming or media production.
The Lepow Z1 is a decent portable office monitor. It offers relatively high pixel density and excellent text sharpness, good reflective handling, amazing gray uniformity, and low input lag. Unfortunately, the ergonomics are terrible, and the viewing angles are mediocre to what we expect of a portable monitor, so it’s hard to put it in the ideal viewing position. Also, not all colors can be displayed accurately, so it may not be a good choice if your work relies on accurate colors.
ASUS XG17AHP Portable 240Hz IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor
ASUS ROG Strix XG17AHP is a 17-inch 1080p 240Hz gaming monitor that supports stutter-free gameplay via FreeSync, wide viewing angles via an IPS panel, premium build quality, A fast gaming monitor for competitive gamers on the go. and rich colors via an integrated battery. Quite expensive, but a worthwhile investment for many traveling gamers.Need a small, lightweight monitor that you can take with you wherever you go.
Based on a 17.3-inch 1080p IPS panel, ASUS ROG Strix XG17 delivers outstanding image quality with a high pixel density of 127.34 PPI (pixels per inch). This high pixel density provides ample screen space and incredibly sharp, crisp detail, while 1080p resolution on the GPU makes it easier to reach high frame rates.IPS technology also ensures accurate and consistent colors.
The XG17AHP supports 8-bit color depth (16.7 million colors) and fully covers the standard sRGB color space. And thanks to the wide viewing angle, colors stay sharp no matter what angle you look at the screen. When looking at the screen from a sharp angle, only slight changes in brightness can be detected. As expected from an IPS panel display, the static contrast ratio is 1,000:1. So the black isn’t as deep as a VA monitor with a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, but it’s fine nonetheless.
Maximum brightness of 300 nits makes the display bright enough under normal viewing conditions, but some glare is evident under direct sunlight. Overall, you get great image quality on par with a regular 24-inch 1080p 240Hz IPS desktop monitor. You get more vivid detail due to the higher pixel density. ASUS XG17AHP has a flicker-free backlight and an integrated low-blue light filter to prevent eye strain and fatigue.
Performance: Obviously, the main reason I bought this portable gaming monitor is the fast 240Hz refresh rate for super-smooth motion clarity in fast-paced games. More importantly, the ASUS XG17AHP monitor has a fast enough response time and low input lag to support a high refresh rate of 240Hz. With an input lag of ~3ms, you won’t feel any lag between the action on the screen and the result.
There are now 6 response time overdrive modes (shown in the OSD menu) and should be changed according to your monitor’s refresh rate for the best performance. Response time overdrive can be cranked to level 5 to minimize ghosting behind fast-moving objects at 240Hz. Sadly, there’s a bit of ghosting here and there, but it doesn’t interfere with the game. At 60Hz you should use Level 1 and Level 3 is best for a refresh rate of around 144Hz.
With AMD FreeSync, the optimal overdrive mode is game-dependent, as the monitor’s refresh rate changes with the frame rate to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering.FreeSync is supported on both USB-C (DisplayPort Alternate Mode) and micro HDMI ports in the 48-240Hz Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) range. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, you can use FreeSync via USB-C even if your monitor is not certified as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA.
Asus xg17ahp OSD menu layout: Like ASUS’ desktop gaming monitor, the XG17AHP features exclusive GamePlus, GameVisual, and Shadow Boost features.GamePlus allows you to place custom crosshairs and timers on the screen, GameVisual consists of a variety of pre-calibrated picture presets, and Shadow Boost improves visibility in dark games. Other features include standard image adjustment tools such as Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Gamma, Saturation, and more.
There are also VividPixel and ASCR options, so it’s a good idea to leave them disabled. Moving on, the ASUS XG17AHP has an integrated 7800mAh battery that can provide ~3.5 hours of battery life at 240Hz. You can get more than 4 hours of battery life with a low refresh rate and brightness. Overall, the ASUS XG17AHP offers outstanding image quality, smooth performance, versatility, and exceptional design quality.
Dell C1422H 14-inch portable monitor with a 1080p screen
The Dell C1422H is a 14-inch portable monitor with a 1080p screen designed for a productivity resolution of 1920×1080, Maximum refresh rate 60Hz, pixel type IPS, and Variable refresh rate No VRR is the first portable monitor from Dell. Visibility is not an issue in brighter environments, thanks to adequate peak brightness and good reflective handling. Connection is limited to two USB-C ports that support DisplayPort Alt mode but not DisplayPort or Mini HDMI inputs, so if your computer does not support USB-C, you will need to purchase an adapter.
It also doesn’t have a built-in battery, but can be powered from a computer if it supports USB-C Power Delivery. A bit disappointing as otherwise, you will have to buy a wall adapter. Unfortunately, it has few additional features, slow response times, and is mediocre for games that don’t support advanced gaming features like variable refresh rate technology.
The Dell C1422H is a decent portable monitor. With excellent text clarity, good visibility even in bright rooms, and excellent gray uniformity, it is ideal for mobile office use and increases productivity when working on a laptop. Also great for media creators or watching videos. It’s sadly unsuitable for gaming as it doesn’t support advanced gaming features like slow response times, terrible overshoots, and FreeSync.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How to connect a monitor to a MacBook Pro?
If you own one of Apple’s top-of-the-line laptops, you may be wondering how to connect a monitor to your MacBook Pro. The latest MacBook Pro delivers unprecedented performance and boasts a fantastic Liquid Retina XDR display, but even the largest MacBook Pro at 16 inches is a bit small for many creatives to work with. This is especially true if you need to work in multiple panels or windows at the same time.
Connecting your MacBook Pro to an external monitor is an obvious solution, but it’s not always that simple. Apple has changed the ports on the MacBook Pro several times over the years, so how you connect your monitors and how many monitors you can connect will depend on the device.
How do I connect my MacBook Pro to an external monitor 2023?
Connecting an external monitor for your MacBook Pro is simple. Simply connect the monitor to external power and then connect the monitor to your MacBook using an HDMI cable or Thunderbolt/USB-C cable. The M1 Pro’s two external monitors can display up to 6K resolution at 60Hz, perfect for video editing, CAD work, and more. Don’t forget to adjust your display settings for best results.
Do all portable monitors need drivers?
Some, but not all. However, since most portable monitors rely on a USB connection, installation is required as USB alone is not a standardized video output method.
Does your portable monitor have an HDMI port?
Many monitors do not have mini HDMI ports on portable monitor screens. However, if you are looking for an option that supports an HDMI port, you should consider buying a GeChic portable monitor, one of our top suggestions.
Are portable external monitors worth it?
If you are looking for the answer to efficiency and productivity, yes. External monitors match perfection. However, investing in the right portable monitor is very important. Handheld monitors aren’t exactly as accurate as desktop monitors, but they’re good for higher work.
Is MacBook Pro compatible with all monitors?
The MacBook Pro has a limited port selection, so it’s compatible with most monitors. However, you can use a Mac-compatible dongle for any type of connection. Only the newer 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros have an HDMI port. So a USB C monitor is ideal.
Are all external monitors compatible with the MacBook Pro?
The short answer is mostly yes. Most MacBook Pros have a Mac-compatible dongle for almost any type of connection, although the port selection is usually very limited, such as two USB-C ports.
Do portable monitors work with Macs?
Yes, portable monitors work with Macs. If you really need a Mac monitor, a portable monitor is a great option.
Which display is best for MacBook Pro?
The best displays for monitors for MacBook Pro are ASUS ZenScreen, ASUS ProArt, and ASUS ROG monitors for MacBook Pro.
In this article, we had spend a few hours finding the top of the best in all monitors for the MacBook Pro. Depending on your specific requirements, you can choose the one you like.
However, if you want to buy one of the five, we recommend getting the Asus ZenScreen (MB16ACE) is a 15.6-inch mobile monitor with a solid feature set for the price, USB Type-C Portable Monitor. The best portable monitor for MacBook Pro in 2023.