Best Portable TVs

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 28, 2021
On picnics, in traffic jams and many other circumstances, a portable TV can come in extremely useful. The main advantage of a portable TV is that it's made to be very compact and comes in a durable housing, making it safe to carry it around with you wherever you go. Are you in search of a portable TV? Then you are in luck because in this review we offer you the latest selection of compact TVs so you can choose the one that best suits the size of your car's dashboard. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Screen Size
Display Resolution
Display Technology
Connection Options
Antenna
Package
 
PROS

Thanks to the availability of audio output, the TV can be connected to headphones, enabling you to watch your favorite movies, TV shows or listen to podcasts privately. The headphones come included with the main unit along with a TV antenna, which helps provide better signal reception.

CONS

The built-in speakers are rather low-powered.

OUR VERDICT

This small TV will be an excellent pick for users that need a monitor in their car at all times. Thanks to its wide compatibility with other devices, it can be used as a screen for your GPS, backup camera, phone and simply as a portable television.

detailed parameters
Screen Size

9", 800 x 480 (16:9)

Display Resolution

TV-tuner, Music/Photo/Video playback from USB flash drives and microSD cards

Display Technology

Built-in rechargeable battery (cigarette lighter plug and wall plug included)

Connection Options

Antenna-in, AV-in, Headphones out, microSD slot, USB-port

Antenna

Removable stand, TV antenna, Remote control and headphones included

Package

1 year

PROS
SuperSonic TV-set includes an automatic tuning system with 90 preset stations. Besides, the unit has a built-in antenna, ensuring convenience when used outside the car.
CONS

Putting the stand can be challenge on some dashboards.

OUR VERDICT

A good portable TV with decent screen size and perfect reception of both analog and digital signals. Besides, it is distinguished by the easy channel setting and programming.

detailed parameters
Screen Size

9", 800 x 480 (16:9)

Display Resolution

TV-tuner, Music/Photo/Video playback from USB flash drives and SD cards

Display Technology

Built-in rechargeable battery (cigarette lighter plug and wall plug included)

Connection Options

Antenna-in, AV-in, Headphones out, SD slot, USB-port

Antenna

Removable stand, TV antenna, Remote control included

Package

1 year

PROS

Owing to the rechargeable battery, the TV can operate for up to 4 hours straight from one full charge. To recharge the battery, all you need is to connect the monitor to your car's lighter port or wall plug. 

CONS

The remote requires aiming perfectly at the sensor.

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for a portable TV for your camper van or RV, the Axess TV1703-9 is one of the better options you can find: though small, it provides excellent picture quality and it doesn't take a lot of space, making it suitable for just about any vehicle. The included stable ensures improved stability. 

detailed parameters
Screen Size

9", 800 x 480 (16:9)

Display Resolution

TV-tuner, Music/Photo/Video playback from USB flash drives and SD cards

Display Technology

Built-in rechargeable battery (cigarette lighter plug and wall plug included)

Connection Options

Antenna-in, AV-in, Headphones out, SD slot, USB-port

Antenna

Removable stand, TV antenna, Remote control included

Package

1 year

PROS

The back panel features VESA 100 x 100 mounting holes that can be used for the stationary installation of the monitor.  The 14-inch screen of the TV also proved to be a good alternative to smaller options available for the same price.

CONS

The viewing angle is somewhat limited.

OUR VERDICT

Although it is marketed as a portable model, the sheer size of the screen makes it best used for a camper van or an RV mounted on the wall. However, it can fit nicely in a truck cabin just as well.

detailed parameters
Screen Size

14", 1280 x 800 (16:9)

Display Resolution

TV-tuner, Music/Photo/Video playback from USB flash drives and SD cards

Display Technology

Built-in rechargeable battery (cigarette lighter plug and wall plug included)

Connection Options

Antenna-in, HDMI-in, VGA-in, AV-in, Headphones out, SD slot, USB-port

Antenna

Removable stand, TV antenna, Remote control included

Package

1 year

PROS

The VGA and HDMI ports allow for using this device as a computer screen. Alternatively, it can be used as a second monitor for your backup camera, gaming console screen, as well as a DVD output monitor.

CONS

The monitor does not have a rechargeable battery.

OUR VERDICT

Though it can't pick up TV channels, this small gadget from Podofo offers compatibility with dashcams, audio and video playback, and a very appealing price. Drivers who want a bit of entertainment for their vehicle should look out for this budget model.

detailed parameters
Screen Size

10.1", 1024 x 600 (16:9)

Display Resolution

TV-tuner, Music/Photo/Video playback from USB flash drives

Display Technology

Built-in rechargeable battery (cigarette lighter plug and wall plug included)

Connection Options

Antenna-in, HDMI-in, VGA-in, AV-in, Headphones out, USB-port

Antenna

No Removable stand, TV antenna, Remote control included

Package

1 year

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Pyle (PLTV9553)

Best of Both Worlds

The Pyle PLTV9553 is a good option for those looking for a truly portable TV that can be fitted on the dashboard of a car or truck without too much of a problem. With that being said, the portability is not the main thing that makes it so special.

First of all, what we have here is a high-quality TFT LCD screen that has little to no flickering and that has an amazing range of viewing angles so the image won’t get distorted regardless of the angle you are looking at the screen.

The front panel of the appliance features a surprisingly big number of controls that allow for setting up video settings, switching channels, as well as adjusting volume levels. The remote control that comes together with the TV, on the other hand, has even a bigger number of buttons that enable rewinding and fast-forwarding the playback of media files, as well as selecting channels, adjusting color modes, video, and audio playback settings. The aspect ratio of the screen, on the other hand, is 16:9, which enables watching both newer video formats as well as media with older aspect ratios of 4:3.

Review of Pyle (PLTV9553) Portable TV

More Than Just a Screen

When TV broadcasts are just not enough for you, it is possible to watch your own media, thanks to the built-in microSD slot. The interface supports cards up to 32 GB so it is possible to watch movies, DVDs (if you have a dedicated car DVD player) and TV shows in high-resolution, as well as going through photos and audio tracks.

As for the screen size, it is measured at 9 inches, which should be enough for comfortable viewing inside the car. That said, if you want to really impress your passengers, a 10-inch model is optionally available with the same set of features so you can decide which one will work for you best and take your pick.

To wrap things up, the PLTV9553 from Pyle is, perhaps, one of the best portable TVs for the price out there. Featuring dual stereo speakers, a huge number of interfaces and a decently sized screen, this model makes up for a good option to have in your car, truck, or even an RV when standard monitors are just too big for comfort.

Pyle (PLTV9553) Portable TV in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $0.00
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07DQ3JCXG

 

Supersonic SC499 9 LCD Portable Digital

All in One

The SuperSonic SC499 small TV has a 9" screen. So, it is very convenient and at the same time compact enough. The screen resolution of 640 x 234 pixels is sufficient to provide a clear image for watching your favorite movies, TV shows, series, or cartoons. The screen is based on a TFT panel that boasts a short response time, high contrast, and excellent color rendering. The display also has a built-in LED backlighting.

Connection options of this model feature a USB port to read AVI, MP3 and JPEG files from flash drives. At the same time, there is an SD/MMC card reader for opening files stored on memory cards. Among the other useful inputs and outputs of this TV, we should mention the following: 2 AV input jacks and a headphone jack. Additionally, the SuperSonic SC 499 has a built-in PAL-ATSC-NTSC combination tuner, so, you can watch both digital and analog channels on this TV without too much of a hassle. The tuner also has an automatic tuning system with 90 preset stations, which all can be accessed via the remote control that comes with the monitor.

Review of Supersonic SC499 9 LCD Portable Digital TV

Power and Sound

The main power source for this model is a car socket to which this portable TV is connected by means of a 12 V car DC adapter. In case you are not in the car, there is one more simple way to power your device - a Lithium rechargeable battery. The SuperSonic SC499 9 LCD has built-in speakers that give this tiny gadget quite a high-quality sound. At the same time, if necessary, you can connect low power external speakers by means of AV input jacks and enjoy even better sound.

The package of the SuperSonic SC499 portable TV includes two adapters: an AC adapter for indoor use (for example, if you want to mount your mini TV in the kitchen or bedroom) and a 12 V DC adapter (to be used in the car when going on a long trip). For your comfort, the remote control of this small digital TV enables easy operation of the TV and quick access to settings. Conversely, the package includes a TV stand for convenient placement of the device on a smooth surface anywhere. The instruction manual is also included, allowing you to quickly figure out how to set the TV up and get it up and running in no time.

In the end, this handheld portable TV set will be a great pick for those looking for a monitor that can play pretty much any media format without any additional tweaking with the settings. Relatively easy to mount and even easier to use, it proves that a budget-friendly monitor can be of good use in a car.

Supersonic SC499 9 LCD Portable Digital TV in the use

Additional Info

User Manual

Last updated price $74.98
Stock In stock
ASIN B002G0PYEE

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

This little TV is awesome. I've been told by others its like looking at their flat screen at home the quality of the picture is soooo clear.

Audio

Speaker worked just fine - even outdoors.

Interfaces

I am impressed it reads usb and plays both video and pictures from my sd camera card.

Supported Formats

Excellent TV, Plays well, easy to navigate.

Power

The tv is nice runs a long time on a 12 volt battery.
 

Axess (TV1703-9)

Universal Power Compatibility

The Axess TV1703-9 is one of the smaller appliances of the bunch included on our list, however, its screen is basically of the same size as the other 9-inch models, so what makes it so compact? Firstly, it’s the housing of the device that gives it a distinctively lower profile look. Without cluttering the front plate of the TV with needless buttons and switches, Axess decided to put them on the sides of the main screen instead. As a result, we are getting a well-polished compact TV that doesn’t overwhelm you with buttons from the get-go.

Secondly, it’s the base of the TV that elevates it from the surface in an effective manner and doesn’t make it too bulky at the same time. The base itself is smaller than the width of the whole appliance and makes it appear sleeker and more elegant than your regular car TV.

Moving on, let’s talk specifications. We have already mentioned that the screen size of the actual TV is 9 inches, but what makes this particular appliance stand out from the rest of the models? Starting off, it’s the dual-voltage compatibility, which enables the appliance to operate in both 120 V and 240 V range. Likewise, it is also possible to power it with 9 V and 12 V power cables running from your car battery. For this purpose, the package is equipped with a car lighter port power adapter and cable.

Review of Axess (TV1703-9) Portable TV

Easy to Adjust, Easy to Use

Similarly to other products on the list, this one features a rechargeable lithium battery that has a fairly adequate capacity as for a portable device and can be recharged rather quickly. So quickly, in fact, that you won’t even notice how fast it can be turned back on even when it runs out of juice and you hook it back up to your car battery. Moreover, you are getting all the standard features like AV input and output jacks, as well as a dedicated headphone port.

Likewise, the appliance can be connected to a regular TV or amplified antenna that can boost the standard reception range of the device multiple times, compared to a standard setup. As a neat bonus, the kit comes equipped with a handy TV remote that you can use in a range of 15-20 feet to control the device and for quick access to the settings.

All in all, the TV1703-9 will be an excellent option for you in case you were looking for a good mid-range car TV that doesn’t require a lot of setting up and works right out of the box. On top of that, you are getting a user-friendly interface and simple controls that make using the actual TV a breeze.

Axess (TV1703-9) Portable TV in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $80.21
Stock In stock
ASIN B01DZVGP5Y

 

Tyler (TTV705-14)

When 10 inches Isn't Enough

When 9 or 10 inches is simply not enough for you, your options are rather limited when looking for a good-quality portable TV. Fortunately, Tyler has something to offer and that is an enormous, 14-inch TFT TV box that can fit in most cars and trucks with ease.

As for a start, this small digital TV supports media and TV broadcasts in Full HD, which is not a small feat at all, especially in comparison with other products in the same price range. Since it’s a Full HD-capable device, it would be logical if it had an HDMI port, which it does. Owing to this, you can easily connect any multimedia device such as your phone, tablet, or even a gaming console if that’s what floats your boat. The standard TV playback is supported by an integrated antenna that can catch any broadcast in a 15-mile range. As an option, you can always connect a high-powered antenna via the respective port.

Just like other products on our list, this small TV from Tyler comes together with remote control. But this time around, it’s almost a fully-fledged model that enables switching audio and video modes, color settings, volume levels, and much, much more. On top of the IR controller, you still have access to standard buttons located on the front panel of the TV, which has its uses, especially if the remote runs out of power.

Review of Tyler (TTV705-14) Portable TV

Non-Standard Solutions

Speaking of power, the small digital TV set features a built-in battery that holds up the charge for up to 2.5 hours straight, which is nice, considering its portable nature. Once it runs out of juice, you can use one of the two cables that come together with the monitor - a car lighter charging port or a standard DC adapter that can be plugged into any standard power socket.

Contrary to popular belief that TV speakers should be installed on the front plate of the screen, this appliance features stereo speakers on the back panel of the assembly that enables for a richer sound. However, since they are rather limited in both size and power, don’t expect a cinematic surround sound out of them. As an alternative, it is possible to connect headphones via a 3.5 mm jack located on the side of the TV. On top of that, the standard SD card, RCA, and USB ports are located on the same side as the headphone jack.

Finally, the TTV705-14 from Tyler will come in handy if you need a Full HD TV in your car, truck, camper van or RV and won’t take all the space on the dashboard. Fairly simple in installation and easy to use at the same time, it can certainly elevate your expectations of what a car TV set can manage.

Tyler (TTV705-14) Portable TV in the use
Last updated price $144.95
Stock In stock
ASIN B07MC9KHK3

 

Podofo PD-K0202

Not Just a Screen

We did say that the Podofo PD-K0202 is more than just a screen, so let’s elaborate on that. You can use the cables that come with this model to connect it to a variety of devices. Thanks to the availability of VGA and HDMI ports, you could viably use it as a computer screen or a bigger display for your dashcam or back cam, helping on your drives. Plus, the USB port is key as well, since it gives a way to hook up storage devices to the Podofo screen and play music and movies on it. Lastly, the HDMI can be used as a multimedia playback option to connect your phone or tablet, which is a neat little addition.

Our one complaint would be the fact that this model doesn’t have a built-in battery and works on AC power. It’s not really a problem but having a backup power source is always nice, though that would likely give this product a substantial price bump. All things considered, it’s probably a smart compromise.

This model from Podofo is a great option for drivers that can spare the energy of their vehicle for it. It can play video and audio, serve as a dashcam, or as a way to look behind your car with a wider field of view. Though it lacks a TV tuner, making it not suitable for watching regular TV shows, it's an affordable alternative to a standard portable TV and, thanks to a pretty large screen and good format compatibility, a viable option for watching movies from your USB drive or external HDD.

Review of Podofo PD-K0202 10.1” HD Mini TV Screen

Plenty of Options

Ever wanted to watch a movie while you’re on a little pit-stop during your road trip? Or even just have the benefit of a wider view when you’re backing up the car so you don’t ram into some inattentive driver? All that, and more, is available with the Podofo PD-K0202 10.1-inch HD Mini TV Screen.

Right away we have to point out that the car television part of the name is completely true. You can enjoy music and video on this model but it’s not a whole TV in and of itself. That would require a built-in antenna which this screen lacks. It can, however, playback the most popular audio and video formats such as MP3, MP4, MPEG, and AVI. Or, if you’re a long-haul trucker missing his family, you can use the JPEG support feature to have a picture of your loved ones displayed to soothe your heart.

In terms of video quality, this screen is certainly no slouch. With 10.1-inch screen size and a 1024 x 600 resolution, which is not exactly a standard resolution usually found in this type of devices. With that said, it offers a clear and large image so you can enjoy movies, DVDs, and television shows without squinting and straining your eyes.

To sum up, if you want a bargain option, the Podofo PD-K0202 HD Mini is a great find that stands its ground against high-end competition pretty well.
Podofo PD-K0202 10.1” HD Mini TV Screen in the use
Last updated price $78.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B0779PM23K

 

What Is a Portable TV?

These days TVs aren't a novelty and can be found in just about any home. You can find large TVs with a screen diagonal up to 85 inches, curved TVs and many other varieties to fit any room interior and personal needs. Besides that, there are portable models designed to be carried around and/or to be mounted inside vehicles that give the flexibility to watch your favorite shows or movies anywhere you go, be it a picnic at the park, a break during work hours, or a long family trip.

The advantages of portable TVs are pretty obvious: they can be moved from place to place and provide you with a source of entertainment no matter where you go. In this review, you can find the selection of the best 5 portable TVs along with the key features that should be taken into account when making a choice. Here you can find budget-friendly models as well as top-tier car TVs designed to be connected to phones, tablets, or even fully-fledged gaming consoles at a whim, all of them being ideal for use on the go.

At the same time, if you are looking for a device to play DVDs or CDs, we recommend checking out our car DVD players review. Conversely, a reliable backup camera that operates wirelessly is also a great option to have in your vehicle, especially if it doesn’t have one from the factory.

Best Portable TVs

What Features to Compare

Image Quality

First things first, you should consider image characteristics such as screen size and image resolution. More often than not, portable TVs have about the same screen size as a tablet, ranging from 7 inches all the way up to 15 inches, so they can be easily embedded in a car and feature 800x480 pixels of image resolution, which is considered the optimal rate comfortable for viewing.

The next parameter to consider is the aspect ratio (standard and widescreen). In case you are not a fan of streaming media, the ratio of 4:3 will be fine. For a more detailed picture, though, it is better to opt for 16:9, which enables better quality of video content. 

Also, check out display technologies. In general, portable models use active panels like TFT which give them good brightness, high contrast, and short response time. However, it's worth pointing out that the quality of image might change at times, depending on the viewing angle, and get lighter or darker. This is a common issue for portable TVs and is to be expected.

Connection Options

The other thing that is important to pay attention to when choosing a portable TV is connection options. They should include a USB port to playback media files stored on external memory cards and a built-in card reader for SD, MS and MMC memory cards. It's best to go for a model that can read such formats as AVI, DivX, MPEG 1/2/4, MP3, and JPEG.

The availability of composite A/V inputs/outputs is also essential providing you with the opportunity to connect external audio and video devices.

As for TV signal reception, make sure the TV you choose has a built-in digital tuner so you can convert the signal into a high-quality picture. Most any portable TVs have built-in antennas to receive a TV signal from a TV-tower or a re-transmitter (within the city or surrounding area). For anyone needing stronger signal reception capable of going out of this area, an external antenna is required, preferably with an amplifier.

Power Source

Next thing to consider is what power source a TV requires. As a rule, portable TVs are designed to be powered via a car socket allowing you to take them with you on trips. That said, some models may also be powered by batteries, which may come in handy when you go on a picnic and have no car adapter on hands. The latest models offer the third option - a special docking station. By using this station, the TV can provide you with up to 150 hours of playtime. One other benefit of this docking station is that it features its own sound system which can enhance the quality of sound of a portable TV, a great option considering that the maximum power of most embedded speakers is 2W at best.

Package

Finally, you should pay attention to the package included with purchase. Make sure that a TV has a good antenna. Then find out if a remote control comes included (you don't want to buy it separately). Most portable TV models come including stands allowing you to mount them in a headrest and a special cover letting you transport and store your TV conveniently if need be. Aside from these things, make sure to check if the package contains an A/V cable, power adapter, car adapter, headphones, batteries, and instruction manual.

Did you know?

Television is an everyday part of our life, just as much radio was a staple of American homes in the 20th century. And though we might view it as mundane, there are some facts about your home television set and what’s on it that might surprise you. Let’s take a brief look at a few.

Older Than It Looks

If you had to guess, when would you say television was invented? We’re betting you wouldn’t go any higher than the 1920’s at most and that makes sense. After all, there were barely any movies before that point so why would there be television sets. That’s not the right answer, though, as TV, at least in its initial form, predates film by a few decades. The very first mechanical television models started to pop up way back in the early 19th century, far from what most people assume. But if we’re talking about the more familiar electronic models, they only appeared in 1927 and even then only as a prototype. Not just far from the modern-era sets but far from a workable appliance. Still, just a short ten years later the technology improved and electronic television sets started to spread across American households.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

There are hundreds of long-running series that are available on TV even now but while something like The Simpsons may seem ever-present, there are shows that have been on the air longer than the iconic cartoon. For one, our British friends have been enjoying (or despising) the record-breaking soap opera Coronation Street since 1960 with several cast members passing away and anniversary episodes aplenty. As for the off-air options, there’s the legendary Gunsmoke, an old western that lasted 20 whole years, not to mention its pre-television years when it made rounds on the radio. And, since we’ve mentioned The Simpsons it’s only fair to point out that it’s a record breaker in the USA only. The title of the actual longest-running animated series has been taken by a Japanese cartoon Sazae-san. This series has over 7000 episodes and has been on the air since 1969, almost as long as Coronation Street.

The Whole World is Watching

Now, not every show is destined to last for decades. However, there are other metrics of success and viewership is certainly one of them. If we exclude sporting events such as the Super Bowl game and Olympics, only counting scripted shows, we’d have to name the groundbreaking classic M*A*S*H. Its finale had 105.9 million viewers glued to the screen on initial broadcast. For reference, the Apollo 11 (aka the first ever people landing on the Moon) gathered somewhere around 125-150 million viewers. The only other scripted drama to reach anywhere near such numbers was the eighth episode of Roots, which gathered precisely 100 million viewers on its initial showing. No other show has managed to drum up nine-digit numbers besides these two, though the numerous Super Bowls have been reaching these records nearly every year. And, just to give you an idea of what that kind of viewership means, there are shows on air even now that are struggling to reach 0.5 million viewers. M*A*S*H and Roots weren’t just outliers, they were phenomenal successes and seminal events.

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