Do Portable Monitors Work With Any Laptop?

There has been a lot of hype about portable monitors recently. Almost everyone who uses a laptop for work, study, or entertainment owns a portable monitor or is planning to buy one. If you fall in the latter group, you may wonder whether portable monitors work with any laptop.

Portable monitors work with laptops with a matching port. For instance, a portable monitor with a USB-C port input port works with a laptop with a USB-C port output. Also, consider the uses and type of monitor. Buy a small and sleek design if you want it for travel. For desk use, consider the space on your desk.

The Ports: How Portable Monitors Connect To Laptops

Most modern laptops support portable monitors. But you must ensure that the laptop outputs match the input of the portable monitor. The ports allow audio and video data to flow from the laptop to the monitor. Additionally, some ports allow for power transfer.

The ports on the laptop are likely to be USB-C, HDMI, Mini-HDMI, Display port, and Mini Display port. Older laptops may have VGA or DVI. Some Mac laptops have USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 or 4 ports.

Once you figure out the output port on your laptop, buy a portable monitor with a matching port. If you are unsure of the ports, google search ports on your laptop model. You can also check the specs from the manufacturer’s website.

You should have the right cable to connect your portable monitor and laptop. Most portable monitors come with USB-C and HDMI ports. Depending on your output and input ports, you can use the following cables:

  1. Type C to Type C cable- Connects devices with a USB-C port, allowing power and data transfer.
  2. Type C to HDMI cable- Connects a monitor with a USB-C port and a laptop with an HDMI port. The cable allows for display connection and power flow.
  3. HDMI or Mini-HDMI cable- Connects devices with the HDMI or Mini HDMI ports. It allows for display connectivity only. In that case, you must use a USB-C cable or a wall charge for the power supply.
  4. USB-C to Thunderbolt 3 or 4 cable- connects monitors to Mac laptops with Thunderbolt ports. The cable allows for display connection and power transfer.
  5. Adapter- if your portable monitor and laptop do not have a matching port, you can pair them using an adapter. The most common type of adapters include:
  • USB-C to HDMI adapters
  • USB-C to DisplayPort
  • USB-C/Thunderbolt to HDMI
  • USB-C to Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt/2
  • Mini Display/Thunderbolt to HDMI

How to Choose the Right Portable Monitor for Laptops

When choosing a portable monitor, ensure that t has matching connectivity ports. But there are other things. Here are other factors to look out for when choosing a portable monitor.

1. Size

The size of a portable monitor determines its portability. Small and slim monitors are suitable for travel. But, large-screen monitors are ideal for desk use and gaming.

2. Battery

Portable monitors come with or without batteries. Models with in-built batteries are suitable for users on the go but costly. Their counterparts without batteries are cheaper. But will drain your laptop’s battery faster.

3. Screen

The display quality of portable monitors varies. For simple tasks, choose models with a 1080p display. Consider higher resolutions for heavy tasks like coding and photo editing.

Wrap Up

For a portable monitor to work with your laptop, consider the output ports of the laptop. Then buy a monitor with matching input ports. You can buy Lepow Portable Monitors, which come with USB-C and HDMI ports and work with most laptops.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.