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We’ve reviewed several portable monitors over the past few years and they tend to check all the boxes when it comes to performance and features. While the ViewSonic VX1755 and the Asus ROG Strix XG16AHPE were geared more toward gamers looking for portable alternatives, the Asus ZenScreen MB166C is more productivity-centered and includes functionality that we rarely see in this segment.
The Asus ZenScreen MB166C features a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel, 60Hz refresh rate, 5ms response time, and is very portable at only 1.72 lbs. If that isn’t enough, the ZenScreen includes a built-in accelerometer that supports auto-rotation from landscape to portrait mode (or vice versa).
However, unlike the Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AWP, it lacks built-in Wi-Fi, which allows you to use the monitor in a wireless configuration for screen mirroring with Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS devices. You’ll have to do with USB-C, which caters to port connectivity to source devices and charging. And for the affordable price, the ZenScreen MB166C is easily one of the best portable monitors thanks to its rich feature set and vibrant colors.
About the Asus ZenScreen MB166C
Here are the main specs of the portable monitor we reviewed:
- Display size: 15.6 inches
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080pixels
- Refresh rate: 60Hz
- Peak brightness: 250 nits (rated)
- HDR support: No
- Color depth: 8-bit (6-bit + FRC)
- Contrast ratio: 800:1 (rated)
- Pixel response time (GtG): 5ms
- Ports: 1 x USB-C video/data/power
Design and Build Quality
The Asus ZenScreen MB166C is the epitome of sleek and minimalist design. Measuring 15.6 inches diagonally, it’s compact enough to fit into most backpacks or laptop bags. The slim bezels surrounding the display give it a modern look and maximize the screen real estate. The display is protected by a durable matte finish, which not only enhances its aesthetics but also helps reduce glare and reflections.
One of the standout features of the MB166C is its impressive build quality. The sturdy metallic chassis provides a premium feel, while the innovative kickstand on the back allows for multiple viewing angles, catering to different user preferences. It’s worth noting that the kickstand is robust enough to support the monitor even on slightly uneven surfaces, which is a testament to the attention to detail in the design. There’s a threaded hole at the rear of the monitor that allows you attach the ZenScreen MB166C to a conventional tripod or table mount for seamless productivity.
While this portable doesn’t feature wireless connectivity options, the single USB-C port is enough for most casual users. This port provides for both power and data transmission, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Still, we’ve seen portable monitors at this price point with better connectivity, including a micro-HDMI for connectivity to devices that lack USB-C.
The ZenScreen MB166C boasts a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel with a maximum brightness of 250cd/m2 that delivers vivid and accurate colors. The color reproduction is commendable, offering a wide sRGB color gamut, which is particularly beneficial for content creators and professionals working with multimedia.
The IPS technology ensures wide viewing angles, which is crucial for collaborative work or presentations. Whether you’re giving a team presentation or sharing your screen with a colleague, the MB166C ensures that the visuals remain clear and consistent.
Additionally, the display features Asus’s proprietary Ultra-Low Blue Light technology and Flicker-Free technology, reducing eye strain during prolonged usage. This is a thoughtful inclusion for users who spend long hours in front of the screen.
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Performance and Functionality
The performance of the Asus ZenScreen MB166C is nothing short of impressive. With a refresh rate of 60Hz, it delivers smooth visuals, making it suitable for a wide range of tasks, from document editing to casual gaming. While it may not be optimized for high-end gaming, it handles casual gaming with ease.
As mentioned, the MB166C is geared towards professionals who frequently travel, and its image quality makes it a perfect choice for those needs. It provides a bright, crisp image with decent color performance. The monitor can handle most tasks from photography, videography, and digital art workflows, and looks attractive when it’s time to kick back and enjoy a game or Netflix.
Brightness at 250cd/m2 nits isn’t among its strongest qualities, but it’s a better deal than most budget portable monitors out there. This level of brightness isn’t a trivial feature. Portable monitors are more likely to be used in situations where light control isn’t available. The MB166C’s brightness will make it more comfortable to use in these situations.
Portability and Battery Life
Portability is a key selling point of the Asus ZenScreen MB166C. Weighing just 1.72 pounds and measuring 0.46 inches in thickness, it’s incredibly easy to carry around. The included smart case not only protects during transit but also doubles as a versatile stand, allowing for both portrait and landscape orientations.
The monitor can be powered directly from a compatible laptop or device through the USB-C connection, eliminating the need for an additional power adapter. This is a significant advantage for users who value simplicity and efficiency in their setup.
Asus ZenScreen MB166C Review: Verdict
The Asus ZenScreen MB166C stands as a testament to Asus’s commitment to innovation and user-centric design. Its exceptional build quality, impressive display, and versatile connectivity options make it a standout choice in the realm of portable monitors.
Whether you’re a professional on the go or a student in need of extra screen space, the Asus ZenScreen MB166C offers a seamless and immersive secondary display experience. With its impressive performance and thoughtful features, it sets a high standard for portable monitors in its class.
Asus ZenScreen MB166C
The Asus ZenScreen MB166C is a portable monitor for professionals and students that delivers a bright, vibrant image and plentiful of features, and its affordable price makes it a perfect alternative to OLED alternatives.
- Excellent color performance
- Built-in stand
- Only USB-C port
- No wireless connectivity
Last update on 2023-09-27 at 19:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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ASUS ZenScreen 15.6” 1080P Portable USB Monitor (MB166C) - Full HD, IPS, USB Type-C, USB-Powered, Eye Care, Tripod Mountable, Anti-Glare Surface, Protective Sleeve, 3-Year Warranty, 8.9"x14.2"x0.5"
25 used from $87.76