Another year comes by, and we get another product from the magnificent brand that is ASUS. When it comes to the mobile monitor market, ASUS has had an excellent presence with its ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC. The screen is designed to be one of the sleekest looking and one of the easiest to use monitors that we have had the pleasure of reviewing.
With the nature of our job requiring us always to be fully portable and mobile we usually need to get the best help, we can afford. When we are on the road with our laptops and our tablets, we typically need a second screen that can help us manage all the apps that we need to use, and this model fills out that gap perfectly.
Whoever has had contact with the ASUS ZenBook clearly can see that ASUS intended this monitor to be its extension. The design mirrors that of the ZenBook, and its slick and straightforward style just looks amazing from any angle. It’s a tad bit bigger than the iPad Pro, but it’s literally unnoticeable if you did not put them next to each other. The monitor has three buttons at the bottom that are used to adjust individual settings. It comes with a magnetic screen protector that folds on the back creating a stand.
We have to be honest here and say that while we reviewed many portable monitors, we like the design and the functionality of this screen protector. Many of the monitors on the market have either a screen protector that folds unsuccessfully into a stand or a screen protector that looks just plain and bland. You can be sure that this metallic and black design will compliment whatever laptop you have as its slick new-age design fits perfectly with any color pallet and even white laptops.
As everything that is on the mobile monitor market, these can’t boast the quality of the big desktop monitors. Keep in mind that if you want to buy a 24-inch monitor and if you spend the buck you can view everything in 4k quality, which won’t be the case with these small portable models. However, with that said, we were pretty pleased with the performance of the ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC. While we did have to install additional software from the Asus website, and once the scaling was set to 100% instead of the 120% that the Windows 10 automatically applies for you, you will have a pretty good picture on your portable second monitor. Much better than what other models offer.
The only issue we had was with the reflection of the light, which this little monitor reflects a lot. If you have a light source behind you, sometimes the picture will be hard to see. However, when viewed from different angles the monitor produces a clear picture from almost any angle. Additionally, we have to mention that depending on your taste, the monitor might look a bit dark for you, but most people like it. If the dark black finish isn’t what you are looking for, go with the silver gray option.
Outdoors and Brightness
The average brightness of just 154 cd/m², and if you plan to use this screen outdoors, you’re going to have a hard time. The picture is actually not visible if used in the outdoor with lots of light source hitting the monitor. The glossy surface reflects light so good that you will be struggling to see the picture on the screen. But that’s nothing to be alarmed about as these models are not designed to be used in broad daylight.
Like we mentioned before the monitor has several buttons which make it easy to navigate the menu. The installation was done in a few easy steps, and if you wanted to adjust anything additionally, there were several options that can give you exactly what you need. It has a single USB-C that once connected to the laptop will power up the monitor. It will deplete the laptop battery faster, so keep that in mind.
When it comes to this monitor, it’s probably not designed for gaming, or for watching media in the outdoors. However, it does perform above average when it comes to its indoor function of providing a second monitor for additional apps and other functions.
Asus has made the warranty on this little useful piece of hardware, at an astonishing three years. Many of the competitors usually give out only two, and this is one of the reasons many people go for Asus over the rest.
- Dimensions: 14.6″ x 8.9″ x 0.31″
- Weight: 1.72lbs
- Screen Size: 16″
- Resolution: 1920x 1080 FHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Contrast Ratio: 800:1
- Connectivity: USB-C, USB-A
Pros and Cons of ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC
- Beautiful slick design
- Good brightness levels
- Portable and lightweight
- Smart cover protection
- Works with both USB-C and USB-A ports
- Easy setup
- Nod great for outdoor work
- The smart cover is a little floppy
With the price set like it is, the Asus ZenScreen MB16AC is a nice addition to the Zen family that everyone who needs a second monitor can afford. If you are one of those people that are always on the road with a constant need of multiple laptops or display, then this will be the perfect addition to your laptop bag. It is stylish, not expensive, offers an excellent quality in its overall performance, and last but not least, it’s easy to use and transport.
All in all, the ZenScreen MB16AC is the best piece of portable monitor hardware that you can get on the market for this price. The rest of the competition either have a cheaper version but with lower quality in both design and hardware or they offer a much more expansive product but with similar capabilities. If you want to get yourself a monitor that will give you optimal performance for the next few years this one is the best choice. Just keep in mind the drawback of using it outdoors before you purchase it for such activities as it can’t be used with big sources of light around it.