The AOC E1659Fwu is a 15.6-inch portable USB 3.0 monitor that is designed for frequent travellers who require a versatile secondary display for viewing multi-page spreadsheets and documents or giving presentations.
- USB 3.0 technology
- A slim, thin and portable design
- Sharp image quality
- Screen is a bit reflective
- Hum-hum color accuracy
The updated AOC E1659Fwu 15.6-inch USB 3.0 monitor offers travelling business professionals a portable, sleek and versatile device with a sturdier kickstand and enhanced picture quality. Its predecessor, the AOC e1649Fwu scored well with its color and text quality and affordable price but we thought it was somewhat bulky and was held back by narrow viewing angles.
AOC corrects those design flaws in the new model, by delivering a portable monitor with sharp text and bright (though, not very accurate) colours and fairly wide viewing angles and is also affordable. And, there are notable improvements, including USB 3.0 connectivity and a more premium chassis.
- Don’t fancy a portable monitor? Check out our best office monitors
The E1659Fwu sports a shiny black finish and weighs about the same as its predecessor (2.4 pounds), but is slightly thinner at 0.9 inches against the AOC E1649Fwu’s 1.4 inches. The 16-inch (15.6 inches viewable) has a 1,366-by-768 resolution and a shiny anti-glare coating that easily reflects ambient light.
In the new model, AOC installed a set of VESA mounting holes that you can use to hang the monitor on a wall. Or, depending on your usage, you can use the silver stand to prop it up in either landscape or portrait mode. Like the earlier model, the E1659Fwu gets an auto-pivot feature that automatically adjusts the image orientation once the panel is flipped.
This is the first USB monitor we’re reviewing that uses USB 3.0 technology. The port is set on the rear of the cabinet near the stand. As with every USB monitor we’ve reviewed, the E1659Fwu receives video signal via DisplayLink software and draws power from your PC via a USB cable. You don’t have ports, buttons or dials to fiddle with since the monitor doesn’t have picture adjustments. If you need to adjust the screen brightness, you can use the DisplayLink control panel.
Installation can be done on the fly; after installing the DisplayLink software, the next step is all about plugging the USB cable into the monitor and connecting it to your laptop or desktop. Done. Bundled into the package is a USB Y-cable that offers two host connectors that you can use with older PCs, but depending on your PC, sometimes it might be necessary to use two USB ports to provide adequate power for the monitor.
The included DisplayLink Manager software lets you adjust the panel brightness, but also lets you choose how the monitor behaves; you can decide to use it as your primary display or an extension of your primary display (extended desktop).
The AOC E1659Fwu led portable monitor is a fairly good performer. It delivers vibrant colors set on a dark black background and does a nice job displaying dark shades of gray efficiently. While its grayscale performance is not quite as good, its lightest shades of gray are acceptable. Again, even though colors appear sharp, they aren’t very accurate.
The E1659Fwu’s colors won’t match up perfectly with your primary display’s color reproduction, but it’s a common phenomenon with most inexpensive TN (twisted nematic) panels, that suffer from middling viewing angle performance. Small text is sharp and easy to read on the 15.6-inch screen, making this monitor an excellent choice for professionals who need a portable panel for displaying documents and charts in a small conference room setting.
Also, by using USB 3.0 connection point, AOC eliminates the lacklustre video issues most users experienced on the AOC E1649Fwu. If you’ll be using it for streaming videos, you’ll be impressed by the smooth playback without any stutter or lag.
The 16-inch E1659Fwu is a portable USB 3.0 monitor that is designed for frequent travellers who require a versatile secondary display for viewing multi-page spreadsheets and documents or giving presentations. It’s a refreshed update over its predecessor that was rather heavy and bulky, now delivered in a slim and light profile that you can carry in a briefcase or laptop bag, and since it draws power from your laptop or desktop’s USB port, you really don’t need a bulky power adapter.
Is there a better alternative?
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better portable USB 3.0 monitor at this price than what AOC are offering. The closest competitor must be the 15.6-inch ASUS MB169B+ that also connect via a single USB 3.0 for both power and transmission, but tops out with a better Full HD (1920-by-1080) screen resolution, over the E1659Fwu’s 1366-by-768 res-screen.
In addition to a higher 1080p resolution, the MB169B+ adds a sleek and metallic finish and an Asus Smart Case that suffices as both a two-way adjustable and protective sleeve. In fact, it looks like a big-screen tablet, and that’s what you exactly need to carry into business meeting. However, you’ll pay slightly more for the premium design and better-quality images and visual performance.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The AOC E1659Fwu 15.6-inch ultra slim monitor delivers a sharp picture and crisp text, even though its color accuracy is less stellar. For the price, it’s a definite kill, and the use of USB 3.0 technology lets you view clean, lag-free video.
If the reflective video is an issue or the resolution is a bit low for your liking, the ASUS MB169B+ may be a better choice, it offers a higher resolution and looks a lot more professional than most portable monitors in the market. It remains our Editors’ Choice for portable USB 3.0 monitors.
AOC e1659Fwu 15.6-Inch Ultra Slim 1366x768 Res 200 cd/m2 Brightness USB 3.0-Powered Portable LED Monitor w/ Case
2 used from $139.66