Using an external monitor for your computer, laptop, tablet or phone is an affordable and easy way to customize and improve your viewing experience. The most common reason for upgrading to a new external monitor is to provide a larger viewing space, with external monitors a much more cost-effective way to get a bigger screen for laptop users than purchasing the next size up in laptops. This is especially the case for those who frequently travel with their laptops. An external monitor means you can purchase the smaller, more lightweight and compact laptop that is ideal for travel and use the external monitor when at home or work.
External monitors can also provide a better quality viewing experience. With the ability to hook up computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones to an external monitor that has a fast response and refresh rate and a wide viewing angle, users can now stream video, surf the web, play video games and read and respond to emails on a screen that has sharper and faster graphics.
We also like that external monitors can be used to compliment monitors you already own. For example, the AOC monitor we’ve included below can be viewed in portrait or landscape and is ideal for presentations or to display data length-wise next to a standard external monitor. Buying two of the same external monitors, such as the Acer, which has a zero-frame design, also ups your viewing experience, with multiple screens allowing for a seamless setting that can create an immersive feeling while streaming videos or playing video games.
From monitors that are designed for easy travel, can be viewed in portrait or landscape, have fast response rates that are ideal for gamers, or are made to be both energy and environmentally friendly, we’ve got three great options that will satisfy your tech needs. Check out our top picks below!
1. Acer 23.8-Inch Widescreen Monitor
Compatible with computers, phones, tablets and more and with a fast 4ms response rate, the Acer 23.8-Inch Widescreen Monitor is versatile and impressive.
Pros: Our biggest screen on the list, the Acer measures 23.8 inches and features 1920×1080 resolution with 4ms response rate and 60Hz for tear-free streaming, making it the best option on our list for gamers (the screen also has a blue light filter to reduce eye strain). The screen has a 178-degree wide viewing angle and 16.7M display colors. The zero-frame design means there’s no boundary, making this a great option if you’re looking to buy two monitors to use side by side. The screen supports VGA, DVI, and HDMI so you can use it with a computer, laptop, tablet or phone.
Cons: Not as clear if looking at it from a side angle.
2. AOC 15.6-Inch Ultra Slim Portable LED Monitor
Use the AOC 15.6-Inch Ultra Slim Portable LED Monitor in portrait or landscape view and create a custom viewing experience with the USB 3.0 connection that allows for multiple USB monitors to be used simultaneously.
Pros: Spread out your view with the AOC 15.6-Inch Ultra Slim Portable LED Monitor, which can be displayed in landscape or portrait and act as your only monitor or an additional screen thanks to its USB connection (no cable required). The AOC is ideal for travelers, with the screen coming with a travel case and weighing only 2.4 pounds, with the added versatility of being able to mount the monitor to a wall unit. The 5ms response rate means you won’t have tearing on screen and the 366 x 768 resolution at 60Hz can keep up with any video requirements.
Cons: The AOC works with Windows and Macs and is plug and play, but DisplayLink software is required when connecting more than one AOC screen to a single computer. DisplayLink software is also needed to alter the brightness and contrast of the screen.
3. HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch LED Monitor
The HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch LED Monitor has 2 million crystal clear pixels and a 178-degree wide viewing angle for a screen that brings your graphics to life.
Pros: The HP is a full HD screen with 1920×1080 resolution and a dynamic contrast ratio of up to 8,000,000:1. With a focus on environmental and energy efficiency, the HP has mercury-free LED backlighting, Arsenic-free monitor glass, and low halogen.
Cons: The HP has a 7ms response rate, so it’s not ideal for gamers as there could be some tearing. The HP doesn’t come with built-in speakers like the larger monitors carried by the brand.