Asus ZenScreen MB16AC Transportable Monitor evaluation

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The Asus ZenScreen MB16A Transportable Monitor is a classy USB-powered monitor that is designed to make multi-screen setups for folks utilizing laptops possible.

Having a second display screen to increase your desktop is a good way to enhance productiveness, however for laptop computer house owners – who may profit probably the most from additional display screen area – that’s not at all times handy, particularly in case you journey lots.

With the ZenScreen MB16A, Asus has provide you with a gorgeous gadget that is straightforward to hold, and which makes extending your display screen area extremely easy. Nonetheless, at AED999, it is an costly proposition, so does the MB16A do sufficient to warrant its price ticket?

The ZenScreen MB16A's metallic design is reminiscent of Asus' Zenbook laptops

The ZenScreen MB16A’s metallic design is paying homage to Asus’ Zenbook laptops


The ‘Zen’ a part of the ZenScreen MB16A’s title makes it clear that Asus sees this gadget as a companion to its trendy ZenBook vary of premium laptops. ZenBooks are well-known for his or her slim and enticing designs that make the most of metallic silver, grey and black colours, and the ZenScreen MB16A clearly takes its design cues from these gadgets.

The MB16A’s dimensions are 14.16 x 8.91 x 0.31 inches (36 x 22.6 x 0.8cm), making it only a bit greater than an iPad Professional. If this sounds a bit on the large aspect, keep in mind that that is nonetheless way more transportable than an ordinary monitor, and with a weight of 800g it is also far more comfy to hold. And the slim bezels on the sides and high of the display screen imply nearly all of the physique might be occupied by the 15.6-inch display screen.

Two buttons on the front-left of the ZenScreen MB16A enable you to navigate the on-screen menu and adjust the level of blue light emitted from LED backlight

Two buttons on the front-left of the ZenScreen MB16A allow you to navigate the on-screen menu and modify the extent of blue mild emitted from LED backlight

The underside bezel is wider, and comprises three buttons – two for navigating the on-screen menu and adjusting the blue mild degree of the backlight, plus an influence button. The design of those buttons continues the Zen design ethos, and once more helps to make the ZenScreen look very good certainly. On the left-hand aspect of the physique is the ZenScreen MB16A’s solely enter, a USB Kind-C port.

A single USB-C port is the only input on the ZenScreen MB16A

A single USB-C port is the one enter on the ZenScreen MB16A

This single port helps to maintain the design of the Asus ZenScreen MB16A clear and easy, and it’s versatile sufficient to supply energy to the monitor whereas additionally displaying 1080p photos. A USB-C-to-standard USB adaptor is included if the machine you’re plugging the MB16A into doesn’t have a USB-C port, which is a pleasant contact.

The ZenScreen MB16A comes with a magnetic display screen protector that can be folded right into a stand, in a similar way to the iPad’s Magic Cowl. It’s one other good contact, and mixing display screen safety and stand in a single skinny gadget helps to make this a simple accent to hold round. 

The ZenScreen MB16A's screen protector also doubles as a stand

The ZenScreen MB16A’s display screen protector additionally doubles as a stand

Nonetheless, the method of turning cowl into stand is a bit fiddly, and it might have been good to have some clearer directions – though in case you’re achieved at origami you shouldn’t have an excessive amount of of an issue.

The again of the ZenScreen MB16A will look acquainted to anybody who’s used a ZenBook laptop computer – it has a sensible metallic design with the Asus brand etched in. General, this can be a very properly designed display screen, and reminds us that Asus has an actual aptitude for creating enticing gadgets. 

When you have a ZenBook laptop computer this display screen shall be a stunning praise to it, though after all it is suitable with every other laptop computer or desktop, and can look equally good alongside these.

The ZenScreen MB16A carries on the design ethos of the ZenBook range

The ZenScreen MB16A carries on the design ethos of the ZenBook vary


Because the Asus ZenScreen MB16A is a cell monitor that derives each its energy provide and video feed by way of USB, we’re not anticipating picture high quality that rivals costly normal displays – however on the excessive value Asus is asking for, we’d nonetheless wish to see superb picture high quality that makes the monitor comfy to make use of.

The excellent news is that, on the entire, the ZenScreen MB16A performs admirably, with the IPS panel rendering 1080p content material properly. Nonetheless, we did must make a couple of tweaks earlier than we have been proud of how the show regarded.

We first used it with a PC and not using a USB-C port, so we would have liked to make use of the adaptor, and obtain the mandatory drivers from the Asus web site. This wasn’t an issue, though as soon as Home windows 10 had put in the drivers and we turned on the display screen, Home windows 10 set the scaling to 120%.

This makes texts, icons and home windows bigger, which might make issues simpler to make use of, however in our view it appears to be like a bit ugly. Setting the scaling to 100% (executed simply by means of Home windows 10’s settings) made issues look a lot nicer.

We additionally discovered the brightness to be fairly darkish initially, so we upped it to 100%. We’d normally by no means must go wherever close to 100% on normal displays – and doing so would blow out the colours, and fairly presumably our eyes – however even at 100% the ZenScreen MB16A’s display screen was nonetheless fairly dim.

After all, in case you’re working this second display screen from a laptop computer that is powered by a battery, its decrease brightness ranges will assist delay the battery lifetime of your machine; nonetheless we might have appreciated the choice to make it somewhat brighter.

Utilizing the on-screen menu is fairly easy because of the front-facing buttons on the underside bezel. There a lot of presets you may select from (it’s also possible to save a configuration to simply revert to in a while), in addition to different options equivalent to a blue mild filter (for utilizing at evening), and an auto-rotate setting that may be simply enabled.

Viewing angles on the Asus ZenScreen MB16A are good, which is useful for a comparatively small display screen measurement, though the glass display screen does replicate mild fairly simply. It is also price noting that whereas the ZenScreen MB16A appears to be like like a pill, it’s not a touchscreen.

On the entire, efficiency is sweet. We wouldn’t suggest this display screen for gaming or watching media on, however that isn’t what it’s designed for. As a second display screen for displaying extra home windows and purposes it does a high quality job, though you might discover it is advisable to tweak a couple of settings to get an image high quality that you just’re proud of.


When you’re commonly engaged on the highway and wish a second display screen that is straightforward to hold and appears good and classy, the Asus ZenScreen MB16A Transportable Monitor is a wonderful accompaniment. Its mild and slim design makes it straightforward to move, and the display screen protector that doubles as a stand is a superb contact.

When you use an Asus ZenBook then that is an much more compelling buy, because it’s an incredible companion gadget that makes use of the identical design language.

Nonetheless, it’s an costly monitor, so if pure portability isn’t your major concern you’d be higher off taking a look at more cost effective displays that may even provide higher image high quality.

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