Best External Monitors for Chromebooks Android Central 2021
Chrome OS already makes using desktop peripherals dead simple, and we've rounded up the best Chromebook external monitors for any situation. 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. Our top recommendation is the incredible 32-inch 4K ViewSonic VX3211, but we've also rounded up other great options with lower resolutions and price points that will match up perfectly with one of the best Chromebooks.
- Best Overall Chromebook External Monitor: ViewSonic VX3211 4K UHD
- Best Chrome External Monitor Upgrade Pick: BenQ EW3280U
- Best Chrome External Monitor and Hub: Dell S2719DC
- Best Chrome External Monitor on a Budget: Sceptre E248W-19203R
- Best Portable Chromebook External Monitor: ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC
- Best Chromebook External Monitor for 1080p: Dell SE2719H
- Best Built-in Secondary Chromebook External Monitor: SideTrak Portable USB Monitor
- Best Chromebook External Monitor for 4K: LG 27UD58-B 4K UHD
Best Overall Chromebook External Monitor: ViewSonic VX3211 4K UHD
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 currently, 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.
- Ultra HD 4K Monitor delivers sharp image clarity
- Nearly bezel-free design
- Compatible with VESA Standard Mount
- HDR10 support
- Unimpressive 60Hz refresh rate
- No USB-C
Best Chrome External Monitor Upgrade Pick: BenQ EW3280U
You'll find monitors from BenQ on any best-of list even if you're not entirely familiar with the name, and the EW3280U, 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 EW3280U has included its HDRi technology, which adds an "intelligent optimization" to the already-solid HDR experience. That means your monitor will be able to analyze the lighting around the monitor and then project the best picture possible. 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 practically the baseline standard.
The monitor is stunning and comes with two USB-C ports that let you daisy-chain two monitors together, along with HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. This monitor also includes a remote so that you can switch inputs, change the picture quality, and control the volume without having to reach up to the monitor itself.
Considering all the features that are packed into the EW3280U, it should come as no surprise that this is one of the best Chromebook external monitors, but that comes at a hefty price. If you want to know more about it, check our our full review.
- Full-featured 4K HDR monitor
- Excellent color accuracy
- Custom display modes for creatives
- Built-in speakers
- Comes with remote
- Quite expensive
- Sizes might be too large for some
Best Chrome External Monitor and Hub: Dell S2719DC
When it comes to monitors, Dell is a big name in the game and the S2719DC is a great example as to why. This 27-inch monitor not only sports a 2560x1440 resolution, but also has a range of viewing angles, including the ability to swivel, tilt, and adjust the height. The U2719DC is even compatible with 100 x 100mm VESA mounts, so you can put the monitor on the wall or use your own monitor stand.
The biggest feature here is the built-in USB-C port, which provides power for laptops up to 65W. This gives you the plug-and-play functionality that matches what Chromebooks offer, and can easily switch between different Chromebooks and computers. Dell also included two standard USB 3.0 ports, along with a USB-C and HDMI port, allowing the monitor to act as your "hub" so you can connect some peripherals.
While there is a 3.5mm headphone jack, we would have liked to see some built-in speakers with the S2719DC. Also, gamers will be a bit disappointed with the limited refresh rate of 60Hz, but it will still be more than adequate for just about everything else.
- USB-C port can deliver power up to 65W
- ComfortView reduces eye fatigue
- Monitor stand is adjustable
- VESA Wall mount compatible
- No built-in speakers
- Refresh rate limited to 60Hz
- Only one size option
Best Chrome External Monitor on a Budget: Sceptre E248W-19203R
There are some significant savings to be had if you don't 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.
- 24-inch frameless design looks great
- Great value for a Full HD monitor
- Compatible with VESA wall mounts
- Built-in speakers
- Only offers HDMI and VGA
- Not as future-proof as a 4K monitor
Best Portable Chromebook External Monitor: ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC
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 MB16AC, a 15.6-inch FHD portable monitor with an optional battery, and a USB-C port that is also compatible with Thunderbolt 3-enabled devices.
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. When it comes to connecting to the MB16AC, you're kind of stuck with only being able to use USB-C, although there is a USB-A port for connecting peripherals.
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, 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.
- Automatically senses screen orientation
- Also designed to work with smartphones
- Thunderbolt 3-compatible
- Not as rugged as we'd like
- Only USB-C for connecting
- Pen hole is a weird design choice
Best Chromebook External Monitor for 1080p: Dell SE2719H
One reason people love Chromebooks is they're way more budget-friendly than other laptop options, especially when compared to the MacBook lineup. So it's good to know you don't have to spend a lot to get a great monitor either, and Dell proves it with the SE2719H.
Depending on what size you prefer, you can buy the cheaper 22-inch SE2219H or 24-inch SE2419H, both of which have very similar specs to the 27-inch model. We chose the SE2719H because we prefer having that extra bit of workspace, and because it slightly beats out its smaller counterparts in brightness (300 vs 250 nits).
This 1080p monitor features a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, giving you a picture that you should be accustomed to. Its response time hits as low as 5ms, meaning you'll have virtually no mouse cursor lag. Like most Dell monitors, it has an IPS panel that makes it clearly viewable from all sides up to 178 degrees, plus anti-glare and blue light filters. If your Chromebook doesn't have an HDMI port, you'll need a USB or USB-C adapter to connect to it.
Limited to 1920 x 1080 at 60Hz, it's not the most beautiful or fast-refreshing display you can buy, but most Chromebook users aren't interested in spending extra on upgrades they don't need. This is a practical and affordable display, with slim bezels and a compact stand that ensure there isn't any wasted space on your desk.
- Ultra-slim bezels on three sides
- Wide viewing angle
- VESA Wall mount compatible
- Great price
- No support for 4K or HDR
- Only HDMI and VGA for connectivity
- Limited adjustment with the included stand
Best Built-in Secondary Chromebook External Monitor: SideTrak Portable USB Monitor
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.
- Lighter than other monitors
- Rotates 180-degrees
- Can be used in portrait mode
- Easily slides-out from the holder
- No dedicated power source
- Must install software to work
- Refresh rate limited to 60Hz
Best Chromebook External Monitor for 4K: LG 27UD58-B 4K UHD
The LG 27UD58 may not look as pretty as other options, but LG has 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.
- Compatible with VESA mounts
- Built-in software for easier window management
- Various display pre-set modes included
- Multiple connection options
- No USB-C
- Bezels bigger than similar options
- Included stand not adjustable
Pick the best Chromebook external monitors
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 ViewSonic VX3211 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 AMD Free Sync to improve your gaming experience, even if you want to use it with a Windows PC.
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.
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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