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Best External Monitors for your Chromebook in 2020


My Chromebook setup

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Best
External Monitors for your Chromebook
Android Central
2020

Chromebooks are perfect on-the-go computers for a lot of people, but sometimes you just want to sit down, relax, and do your thing with a big display. That’s why almost every laptop, regardless of what software is running on it, has some sort of port to send video out to an external display. Chrome OS makes using desktop peripherals dead simple, and we’ve rounded up the best monitors for any situation. Our top recommendation is the incredible 32-inch 4K BenQ PD3220U, but we’ve also rounded up other great options with lower resolutions and price points.

Best Overall: BenQ PD3220U 4K UHD IPS

BenQ PD3220U Lifestyle

Source: BenQ

You’ll find monitors from BenQ on any best-of list even if you’re not entirely familiar with the name, and the PD3220U, which comes in 27 and 32-inch sizes, is one of the best displays the company has ever built.

Designed for digital content creation, the PD3200U has a 20 million:1 dynamic contrast ratio to give you the blackest blacks and the whitest whites. It also has specialized display modes for creators, such as Darkroom and Animation modes, and also includes Low Blue Light and ZeroFlicker features to protect your eyes. Rounding out the specs, you get a 60Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time, which is pretty much the baseline standard.

The monitor is absolutely stunning and comes with two USB-C ports that let you daisy-chain two monitors together, along with HDMI and DisplayPort inputs (it has a Thunderbolt 3 port, but that’s not supported by Chromebooks, yet). This monitor also includes a Hotkey Puck G2, a desktop accessory that lets you quickly swap between different sources or preset display settings without messing around in clunky menus. The monitor can even act as a KVM switch if you need to connect more than one computer of any kind.

Pros:

  • Full-featured 4K HDR monitor
  • Excellent color accuracy
  • Custom display modes for creatives
  • Hotkey Puck G2
  • Features to prevent eye strain and damage

Cons:

  • Quite expensive
  • Thunderbolt 3 not yet supported by Chromebooks
  • Sizes might be too large for some

Best Overall



BenQ PD3220U 4K UHD IPS

A 4K monitor that does it all

This monitor from BenQ lets you easily switch between multiple sources so you can plug in your Chromebook as needed without fussing with cables.

Best for a Curved Monitor: BenQ EX3203R Curved

Benq EX3203R Lifestyle

Source: BenQ

BenQ offers another great option at the same resolution as our top recommendation minus a few of the more premium features. However, that might be a compromise worth making when considering the significant price difference.

You still get a top-notch gaming monitor with HDR support and a DisplayHDR 400 rating for outstanding color accuracy. It also offers BenQ’s eye-care technology with blue light filters and ZeroFlicker protection and intelligent brightness adjustments that account for the on-screen content along with the ambient lighting conditions in your room. For audio, you’ll enjoy integrated speakers along with a headphone jack.

This monitor gives you multiple options for connecting your Chromebook, including HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, and USB-C — although the USB-C does not work for power supply, only video. The lack of Thunderbolt 3 here isn’t a factor for Chromebook users, so this is an excellent pick if you just want a reliable 4K monitor for using your Chromebook at home.

Pros:

  • 4K HDR display
  • 144Hz Refresh rate
  • Ultra-slim bezels
  • Brightness Intelligence

Cons:

  • USB-C can’t be used to supply power to Chromebook
  • Thunderbolt 3 not yet supported
  • No built-in speakers

Best for a Curved Monitor



BenQ EX3203R Curved

A 4K monitor for much less

Set your home office up with this huge 4K monitor, an ideal second screen for your Chromebook for far less.

Best 4K: ViewSonic VX3211 4K UHD

ViewSonic VX3211 Lifestyle

Source: ViewSonic

This 32-inch 4K monitor by ViewSonic features a beautiful design with minimal bezel along the sides and top of the display. While there are features aimed primarily at gamers, everyone can enjoy the color reproduction from this UHD display and a 60Hz refresh rate with just a 5ms response time.

While having a 4K monitor is a must in 2020, the ViewSonic delivers even further as the VX3211 is HDR10 compatible. This will give you the ultimate viewing experience while you’re either relaxing with some Netflix or doing some photo/video editing. And if you want to switch over to a PC or Mac, this monitor takes advantage of AMD’s Free Sync for even smoother refresh rates while gaming.

We would have liked to see the VX3211 more “future-proof” with USB-C, but instead, you are limited to either HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort. Another point of contention is the limitation of 60Hz as there are other options on the market around the same price point (or less expensive) with much-higher refresh rates.

Pros:

  • Ultra HD 4K Monitor delivers sharp image clarity
  • Nearly bezel-free design
  • Compatible with VESA Standard Mount
  • HDR10 support

Cons:

  • Unimpressive 60Hz refresh rate
  • No USB-C
  • Expensive

Best 4K



ViewSonic VX3211 4K UHD

A reliable 4K monitor to use as a second screen

ViewSonic’s 32-inch 4K monitor is an excellent option for gamers and creators alike that sports a sleek design with a gorgeous display.

Best 1080p: Sceptre E248W-19203R

Sceptre E248W Lifestyle

Source: Sceptre

There are some significant savings to be had if you don’t really care about 4K for your Chromebook’s second screen. Case in point is the excellent Sceptre E248W-19203R, a monitor with a Full HD IPS display, adaptive-sync technology, and up to a 75Hz refresh rate with 5ms response time. There’s also an LED backlight, and it’s all crammed into a slim and frameless design (although the near-bezel less design is only available on the 24-inch model we’ve linked to below).

In addition to offering a sleek design, Sceptre packed in some built-in speakers so you can still pump some tunes while you’re getting some work done. And with Adaptive Sync, this will assist in bridging the gap between your built-in GPU and the 75Hz refresh rate to reduce potential stuttering or image tearing.

The adjustable stand is also on the VESA mount standard, so you can choose to mount it to the wall if you want to save space in your home office. There’s a lack of connectivity options — only HDMI and VGA — but if that suits the needs of you and your Chromebook, this is a heck of a lot of monitor at this price.

Pros:

  • 24-inch frameless design looks great
  • Great value for a Full HD monitor
  • Compatible with VESA wall mounts
  • Built-in speakers

Cons:

  • Only offers HDMI and VGA
  • Not as future-proof as a 4K monitor

Best 1080p



Sceptre E248W-19203R

A great option if you don’t care about 4K

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great monitor and ASUS proves it with this 27-inch HD monitor.

Best Portable: ASUS Zenscreen Go MB16AHP Full HD

ASUS Zenscreen Go Lifestyle

Source: ASUS

Chromebooks are designed to be used on-the-go, so perhaps you want a second display that’s just as portable as your laptop. Enter the ASUS Zenscreen Go, a 15.6-inch HD portable monitor with a 7,800mAh battery that’s capable of delivering up to four hours of use on a single charge.

This monitor comes with a Smart Cover that folds up as a kickstand in either landscape or portrait mode, depending on how you want to use it. There’s a USB-C and micro HDMI port available for connecting your Chromebook on the go.

We’ve linked to the mid-range model, but if your Chromebook features a touchscreen display and you want touch support for your secondary display, too, ASUS has got you covered with a model that also ships with a compatible smart pen. Just take care when transporting it — it may be portable, but it’s not as rugged as your Chromebook.

Pros:

  • Features Type-C and Micro HDMI connections
  • Up to four hours of use on a full charge
  • Automatically senses screen orientation
  • Also designed to work with smartphones

Cons:

  • Not as rugged as we’d like
  • Pen hole is a weird design choice

Best Portable



ASUS Zenscreen Go MB16AHP 15.6-inch Full HD

A monitor that’s as portable and easy to use as your Chromebook.

The ASUS is so slim and easy to use that it might become just as indispensable as your Chromebook. It also works excellent for mirroring your smartphone.

Best Budget Monitor: *AOC 22V2H Full HD

Aoc 22V2H Lifestyle

Source: AOC

One reason people love Chromebooks is they’re way more budget-friendly than other laptop options — especially when compared to the MacBook lineup. So its good to know you don’t have to spend a lot to get a great monitor either, and AOC proves it with the 22V2H.

This 1080p monitor, which starts at a 22-inch size (there are equally affordable 24- and 27-inch models available if you feel like splurging a bit), features an ultra-slim IPS panel-mounted with a three-sided frameless design that’s sleek and modern with nary a bezel to be seen.

This model only connects via HDMI or VGA inputs but includes an HDMI cable, which is quite always nice to see (if your Chromebook only has USB-C there’s an adapter for that). You also get FlickerFree and LowBlue technologies implemented here as well to protect your eyes while enjoying the 75Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time provided

Pros:

  • Frameless, ultra-thin design is stunning and modern
  • IPS panel delivers realistic colors
  • All for under $100
  • Eye-care technology

Cons:

  • Only HDMI and VGA inputs
  • No support for 4K or HDR

Best Budget Monitor



AOC 22V2H Full HD

A great option if you’d rather save your money

The AOC 22V2H is proof that you don’t need to break the bank on an ultra-thin and modern secondary display for your laptop.

Built-in secondary display: SideTrak Portable USB Monitor

Sidetrak Monitor Lifestyle

Source: Sidetrak

If you want a monitor to take with you, why not get one that attaches directly to the back of your laptop? That’s where the SideTrak Portable Monitor comes in, as you can mount the display right to the lid of your laptop and slide it out to the side. This gives you the extra screen real-estate you need without the need for carrying an additional device around in your bag.

And if you want to switch things up and flip the SideTrak Monitor into portrait mode, you can do that too with the included dock. After the SideTrak has been “unsheathed,” you can rotate it up to 180-degrees, ensuring that you get just the perfect angle. Those worried about it adding to much weight or thickness won’t have to worry as the SideTrak and mount measure in at less than an inch and weighs just 1.65 pounds.

While the SideTrak is compatible with Chromebooks (along with Windows and Mac), you will have to download third-party software to get it working. Another downside is that you will have to drain the battery on your Chromebook, as there is no dedicated power source included. Plus, this 1080p is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, so don’t expect to try and get any solid gaming sessions done with the SideTrak.

Pros:

  • Lighter than other monitors
  • Rotates 180-degrees
  • Can be used in portrait mode
  • Easily slides-out from holder

Cons:

  • No dedicated power source
  • Must install software to work
  • Refresh rate limited to 60Hz

Built-in secondary display



SideTrak Portable USB Monitor

It just attaches and slides out

The SideTrak attaches to the back of your Chromebook and gives you more real-estate with carrying an additional device around with you.

Just a solid 4K experience: LG 27UD58-B 4K UHD

Lg 27UD58-B Lifestyle

Source: LG

The LG 27UD58 may not look as pretty as other options, but LG has really gone out of its way to give users a great experience. This monitor sports a 4K UHD resolution, which is excellent for those who just want to get some work done or when it’s time to blow off some steam in games. LG has included multiple pre-set modes so that you can game in the best “conditions” based on whatever you’re playing.

With Screen Split 2.0 and the on-screen controls, the 27UD58 is sure to be a great companion for those times where you have to grind and do some multi-tasking. The on-screen controls give you a slew of different settings to adjust and customize, so you get the best experience possible, regardless of what you are doing.

Unfortunately, you’ll be “stuck” using either HDMI or DisplayPort as the 27UD58 does not feature USB-C as a connectivity option. Plus, the bezels are a bit larger than what we would expect to see from a desktop monitor, especially when the competition is getting slimmer. Finally, those looking for an adjustable monitor stand will be disappointed, as you’ll need to find a monitor stand of your own if you need to change the height of the 27UD58.

Pros:

  • Compatible with VESA mounts
  • Built-in software for easier window management
  • Various display pre-set modes included
  • Multiple connection options

Cons:

  • No USB-C
  • Bezels bigger than similar options
  • Included stand not adjustable

Just a solid 4K experience



LG 27UD58-B 4K UHD

An all-around, solid 4K monitor

The LG 27UD58 is a reliable 4K UHD monitor that will be great for gamers or those who need to try and multi-task on the bigger screen.

Bottom line

Chromebooks are flexible and easy to set up and use — so your second monitor should be too! Whether you’re after a future-proofed 4K display for your home office, a second screen that’s as portable as your Chromebook is, or a cheap and reliable 1080p display that just works as advertised, we hope we’ve helped you discover the perfect external monitor to fulfill your specific needs.

Our top recommendation is the 32-inch 4K BenQ PD3220U which offers an incredible selection of features that extends well beyond just using this monitor with your Chromebook. It’s a monitor that will serve you well for years to come with features like the Hotkey Puck G2 that lets you quickly and easily control your monitor settings and switch between multiple inputs with full customization available to suit your needs.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jerry Hildenbrand is Future Labs’ resident nerd and proud of it. There’s nothing he can’t take apart, but many things he can’t reassemble. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network, and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

Marc Lagace is the Apps and Games Editor at Android Central. He’s been a gamer for most of his life and actually took a university course on Video Game Theory — which he aced! You can reach out to him on Twitter @spacelagace.

Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he’ll get back to you.

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