- Weighs at 900 gram and still is portable AF
- Has the essential I/Os - a USB-C Port and Micro HDMI
- Good sounding speakers for a Portable Monitor
- Brings better Versatility and Flow to work or Play
- Touch Screen Panel brings endless possibilities
- The Sleeve could be better and Improved
- Can't use TouchScreen on Non-Thunderbolt and through HDMI
- Could have gone with a Full Sized HDMI port on Display
The thing about being on the move is that you need to heavily rely on the portable machines you own, and it comes in assorted sizes and dimension. But it only packs one display which is quite the challenge to put up with if you own a thin and light laptop and want to multitask at ease, the smaller display on your laptop is challenging to work on – case in point, when I was at Computex stuck with my ZenBook’s cute 13” Display. It happened to be that same Computex 2019 event where ASUS announced the ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT – A Portable monitor you can bring it anywhere and have that extra display to work on. We got to review it and it’s an essential thing to have in your bag.
Looks and Feel
ASUS is known to follow their signature design through and through based on the series. It’s no surprise that the ZenScreen Touch carries the “Zen” element which makes the display belong right where it should in their series. Right away it does look like a tablet of sorts covered in this magnetic sleeve with protects the display from damages as displays are prone to breaking quick if you don’t handle with care. Once you open up the sleeves or remove it, the ZenScreen has a black bezel going around the display with an Olive Grey color bezel at the bottom that has the Joystick controller on one end, the power button, and a hole to slot in your pen to use it as a stand on the other.
On the back, the ZenScreen Touch has the signature Zen Spiral Design which has a nice look to it and blends well if you happen to own a ZenBook laptop to go along with it. Finally, if you are worried about the weight – don’t be as it weighs just at 900g, that’s like a shy of 1KG.
The ZenScreen Touch gets an interesting update: It’s now touchscreen. The display can recognize up to 10-point. Other features include:
- 6” Full HD IPS Touch Screen Display
- Built-in Speakers (One on either sides)
- 7800mAh Battery | Claims to last up to 3-4 hours of usage
- USB-C Port and Micro HDMI
Display and Experience
During our time using it, we paired it with our ASUS ExpertBook and my personal daily driver – Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G. Let us start off our experience with the Laptop. It’s amazing that the ASUS ZenScreen Touch has two ports – a USB-C and a Micro HDMI given that these days laptop no longer have a lot of I/Os to go along with and USB-C is becoming increasingly common. Once we connected the USB-C cable to the laptop as it supports ThunderBolt, the connection was seamless, and it detected just like any other display would. In fact, the touch screen aspect of the ZenScreen was working too – making it intuitive.
The colors on the display are pretty great as it uses an IPS Panel – that means wider viewing angle and better colors overall. The matte finish on the screen is a nice touch as you don’t have to worry about smudging up the display when you interact it via touch and when you use it on the move, it does help you eliminate that glare under bright light, making it easier to use. ASUS did add features like Flicker Free Low Blue Light experience, so you can just use the controls on the monitor to take advantage on that. It does support portrait mode, but we didn’t use it as we prefer using it side by side in a resolution, we are comfortable with.
The fact that they have baked a speaker into the display is a very smart move, say if you have a laptop with inferior speakers – the ZenScreen Touch speaker makes up for it and the position of it is just well placed and doesn’t get blocked by any surface. They do lack bass and elements of audio which you would get from a proper speaker, but on a portable monitor – this has to be the best sounding speaker I have used so far. So, if you do plan to get this – get ready to tuck that laptop away and use this touch display to watch that favorite Netflix Show of yours.
Now, the whole idea of the Portable Display is to bring a better display on the move to get work done, right? But what about play? Lucky for you – this display’s I/O allows you to even dock your Nintendo Switch and play multiplayer games on the move. If you happen to own a phone that comes with a desktop mode – like the Galaxy Series, you are in for a treat. We fired up our Note20 via the USB-C Port and right away, the phone detected the external display and launched Samsung Dex. The experience is pretty amazing as you can take advantage of the display with Dex and control the Audio Output, the touch screen experience is near perfect with snappy feel and very responsive. Sure, it does lack the I/O for you to connect a Mouse or Keyboard, but you can always add a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse to go along with it to take advantage of the setup.
One thing I do wish it were better with the ZenScreen Touch – is the sleeve as it is flimsy and hard to put up with as it slides and falls flat quite often. You could get a better case via 3rd party source, but we cannot guarantee it would protect the display as well as the pre-included sleeve. So, I would suggest use the sleeve and get another hard-shell case of sorts to store the display away and the cables you’d like to bring on the move along with your devices.
Do remember that the touchscreen only works via USB-C connection – if you are connecting via the Micro HDMI, you can’t use it. Make sure that your laptops have Thunderbolt port to begin with.
The ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT is a must have and a favorite peripheral to bring on the move or even to use it at home as a tertiary display to my existing monitor setup as I could use the touch screen to interact with software like the Adobe Suite and so on. The fact that it also adds up as a potential secondary display to your laptop on the move, is a cherry-on-top – perfecting the experience tenfold.
It does cost a pretty penny – coming in at about RM 1768 (as listed in this Shopee Store) but it’s a good investment, just like how we purchase monitor for our desk setup for long term use case. For that, we give the ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT the Gold Vesper Choice Award for the best Portable Display we can recommend.
Thanks to ASUS Malaysia for providing us the ASUS ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT for us to review and be able to make this content.