Double up your Chromebook's display with an external monitor
Source: Android Central
Best External Monitors for your Chromebook Android Central2020
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
You’ll find monitors from BenQ on any best-of list even if you’re not completely 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.
- Full-featured 4K HDR monitor
- Excellent color accuracy
- Custom display modes for creatives
- Hotkey Puck G2
- Features to prevent eye strain and damage
- Quite expensive
- Thunderbolt 3 not yet supported by Chromebooks
- Sizes might be too large for some
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 Value: BenQ EW3270U 4K HDR
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 95% DCI-P3 coverage for outstanding color accuracy. You can get it in 28 and 32-inch sizes, along with a 27-inch version specifically designed for gaming with a 60Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time. 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 a great pick if you just want a reliable 4K monitor for using your Chromebook at home.
- 4K HDR 10-bit display
- Multiple ports
- Great value for the size and resolution
- Eye-care technology
- A version designed for gaming
- Integrated speakers with headphone jack
- USB-C can’t be used to supply power to Chromebook
- Thunderbolt 3 not yet supported
- Sizes might be too large for some
BenQ EW3270U 4K HDR
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: LG 32UD99-W 32-Inch 4K UHD
This 32-inch 4K monitor by LG 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 IPS display and the black stabilizer that improves image clarity in deep-dark scenes. The display offers a 60Hz refresh rate and a 5ms response time.
The integrated stand not only allows you to adjust the monitor’s height but you can also pivot the monitor into portrait orientation for photo editing and productivity — an excellent feature for creatives. The included stand was designed using a VESA standard mount, giving you the freedom to mount it elsewhere in your home office.
LG offers video input options for HDMI, USB 3.0, DisplayPort, and USB-C, and includes cables for all connection types in the box — because it’s always nice to have options. It’s also worth noting that this monitor features a matte finish that’s great for cutting down on screen glare but not the best for preserving the intensity of color contrast, especially with depicting deepest black (although the black stabilizer is there to help). Just something to consider, especially if you’ve got a lot of natural light in your home office.
- Ultra HD 4K Monitor delivers sharp image clarity
- Nearly bezel-free design
- Compatible with VESA Standard Mount
- Adjustable stand
- Portrait mode
- Unimpressive 60Hz refresh rate
- Matte display not the best for depicting deepest black
LG 32UD99-W 32-Inch 4K UHD
A reliable 4K monitor to use as a second screen
LG’s 32-inch 4K monitor is a great option for gamers and creators alike that sports a sleek design with a pivoting stand.
Best 1080p: Asus VA27EHE Full HD
There are some great savings to be had if you don’t really care about 4K for your Chromebook’s second screen. Case in point is the excellent ASUS VA27EHE, 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 27-inch model we’ve linked to below). ASUS also includes flicker-free and low blue light technologies to help ensure eye comfort while you work or play.
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 D-Sub — but if that suits the needs of you and your Chromebook this is a heck of a lot of monitor at this price.
- 27-inch frameless design looks great
- Great value for a Full HD monitor
- Compatible with VESA wall mounts
- Features for eye comfort
- Only offers HDMI and VGA
- Not as future-proof as a 4K monitor
Asus VA27EHE Full HD
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
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.
- 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
- Not as rugged as we’d like
- Pen hole is a weird design choice
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 great for mirroring your smartphone.
Best Budget Monitor: *AOC 22V2H Full HD
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
- Frameless, ulltra-thin design is stunning and modern
- IPS panel delivers realistic colors
- All for under $100
- Eye-care technology
- 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.
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.
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