Ever since the invention of laptops, you basically get the convenience of gaming or being productive almost anywhere you choose. It beats the hassle of being tied to a desk with a huge desktop. The interesting thing here is, a lot of people have made their own version multiple displays. What’s more interesting is ASUS coming up with a sleek 15.6″ version of their IPS displays and made it portable! Our initial concern upon acquiring the product was the worth for its price. So, we asked ASUS to give us a shot in taking it for a spin.
ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC Specifications:
- Panel Size: Wide Screen 15.6″ 16:9 Display
- Bezel: 6.5mm
- Panel Type: IPS
- True Resolution: 1920×1080
- I/O Ports: USB Type C (USB-C or USB 3.0 signal)
- Accessories included: ASUS Smart Case, DisplayPort over USB-C, USB Type-C to A adapter, ZenScreen Pen, Quick start guide
The ZenScreen MB16AC is a very stylish companion to their wide range of premium ultrabooks called the ZenBook. As many are aware, the Zenbook is well known for their slim and attractive design that use metallic silver, gray, and black colors – the ZenScreen definitely follows this pattern.
The lower bezel contains three buttons – two for navigating the on-screen menu, and another on the lower-right for the power button. While on the left-hand side of the ZenScreen is the input port, a USB Type-C port.
The viewing angles are on a good level as typical for IPS. The content is clearly legible from all sides without brightness loss or ghosting.
We use the Spyder 5 Elite software for measuring color accuracy and calibrating the monitor. The results determined that compared to other monitors, the sRGB and NTSC rating of the ZenScreen is pretty low at 45% NTSC and 63% sRGB.
If you’re looking to work with Adobe RGB images, you need a monitor that can display 100% of Adobe RGB. Cheaper monitors struggle to deliver 100% of sRGB. Anything above 90% is fine, but currently, laptops and monitors carry out about cover 60-70%. If you aren’t bothered by accurate colours then, for most uses, you can get away with screens with as low as 70% sRGB coverage.
The ZenScreen, however, does not stand out at all with an sRGB color space coverage of 63%.
We also found the brightness to be quite dark initially, so we upped it to 100%. We’d usually never have to go anywhere near 100% on standard monitors – and doing so would blow out the colors, and quite possibly our eyes – but even at 100% the ZenScreen MB16A’s screen was still quite dim. During the calibration, the required brightness was supposed to be around 200 but we only got 165 considering this was already maxed out.
There are a lot of other options out there for portable screens. Although, I don’t think any of them look anywhere as nice as the ZenScreen. With the professional design to the thin for factor, this definitely stands out against the competition.
The remaining question here is, does the performance justify the price tag?
My thought are that if you really need a second screen on the road or for productivity, the ZenScreen might be a viable solution for you. It certainly is easy to use. One of the things we loved about the ZenScreen is that there are a lot of options to set it up without the sacrifice of carrying something bulky around.
The only downside is the limited color reproduction and low overall brightness. Something we can definitely overlook, especially since this is one of ASUS’ first. So, ultimately, the PHP 15,000 tag is quite heavy on an average income here in the Philippines. Nevertheless, we believe that this would definitely be something that could become a trend for people who are on-the-go. With that, we give it our recommendation.