Should I buy the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor?

The pros and the cons of this particular piece of hardware

Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor
(Image credit: Asus)

We get it: you want to know what the best portable monitor for you is, and we're here to help you make that decision. There are plenty of top-quality monitors available for you to choose between, but we've done a lot of the hard work in terms of product research.

In particular, we're going to focus in on the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH monitor, a fine choice if you want a display with as many bells and whistles as possible, and you're happy to pay extra for quality workmanship. It's a portable monitor that we'd very much recommend.

But is it the right portable monitor for you? We'll help you answer that question below, and when you've done with this guide you might want to check out our lists of the best ultrawide monitors and the best 4K monitors.

Should I buy the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor?

Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor

(Image credit: Asus)

On the strength of the hardware alone, we'd say that yes, you should buy the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor – but not everyone's gadget needs are the same, and for some of you, it might be better off spending your money elsewhere. It's important to weigh up what you're going to need from your next display upgrade, as there are plenty of fantastic monitors around at the moment to pick from.

As the name suggests, the key benefit of a portable monitor is that you can more easily pick it up and take it along with you. These compact displays are often used for working on the go, because they're small enough to fit on a hotel desk or a train table, and they don't usually need a separate power supply – they can run from the power coming from the USB ports on your laptop.

Of course you don't have to use them while you're on the move. If you want something that's not going to take up much room on an office desk or dining room table, then you can buy a portable monitor to be less portable too. As they're typically smaller than standard monitors, they usually cost less too, although the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH is a model that's towards the more expensive end of the market.

What are the specs of the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor?

Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor

(Image credit: Asus)

As far as portable monitors go, dimensions and weight are key: you want a screen that's going to be easy to carry around with you and straightforward to set up. The Asus ZenScreen MB16AH measures 359.8 mm x 227.6 mm x 9 mm (that's 14.17 inches x 8.96 inches x 0.35 inches) and weighs in at 730 grams (1.61 pounds). In terms of the market as a whole, it's one of the larger portable monitors you can pick up.

Those dimensions allow for a screen size of 15.6 inches corner to corner. This is an IPS LCD screen running at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, with a refresh rate of 60 Hz, a typical brightness of 250 nits, and a typical contrast ratio of 700:1. While that isn't a groundbreaking set of specs when it comes to monitors in general, it's impressive for a portable monitor running off USB power.

It's worth mentioning the connectivity options here as well, because you get two USB-C ports plus a micro HDMI port for hooking up laptop and desktop computers – many portable monitors just stick with a single port. We've mentioned that the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH is one of the pricier models on the market at the moment, but it's worth bearing in mind that you do get numerous extra features in return for your extra cash.

What are the best features of the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor?

Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor

(Image credit: Asus)

One of the notable features of the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH that we haven't talked about yet is the way you can use it in both landscape and portrait orientation, and the screen will automatically adjust itself depending on how it's positioned. Use it in its wide configuration for watching movies, or in its tall configuration for keeping an eye on social media feeds – it's up to you.

Asus has also added certain refinements to the ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor to reduce glare and flicker. On top of that, there's a blue light filter mode for reducing eye strain late at night. Bundle all of these features together, add in the specs that we've previously mentioned, and there's a lot to like here.

When talking about the best features of this particular portable monitor, we have to talk about its design: it's an extremely stylish, lightweight and thin device, which you can easily slot into just about any bag. With decent colour, contrast and brightness, together with wide viewing angles, it's clear that the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH has plenty in the positives column and very few drawbacks to talk about.

What else do I need to know about the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor?

Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor

(Image credit: Asus)

We've covered just about everything there is to know about the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor, but there are a few other points to make. You get a foldable grey sleeve case included with the monitor which we rather like the look of: not only does it keep the display protected while in transit, it also doubles up as a stand to keep the monitor propped up while you're using it.

There are some basic speakers included with the monitor too, so if you're dabbling in some gaming or watching a movie on the screen then you don't have to worry about hooking up extra units just to hear what's happening. The speakers aren't great, but they'll do, and there is a headphone jack port for more private (and better quality) listening.

Lastly, it's worth knowing that there are different variations of this particular portable monitor: the Asus ZenScreen Go MB16AHP comes with an integrated battery so you can use it without any power source at all, while the Asus ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT adds a battery and a touchscreen display, so you can tap on the screen to operate it. As you might expect, those other two models will cost you more money.

What are the alternatives to the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH portable monitor?

Dell C1422H

(Image credit: Dell)

There are actually several alternatives to the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH out there – check out our best portable monitor guide to see some of the top picks besides this one. As always, you need to bear in mind what you're going to be doing with your screen and how much money you've got available to spend to help you figure out which model is going to be the right one for you.

One alternative to the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH that's well worth considering is the Dell C1422H. At 14 inches corner to corner it's smaller (and lighter) than the Asus model we've considered in this article, so it's maybe one to think about if you've got a smaller bag or a smaller laptop you're considering a portable monitor for. It's also worth noting that the Dell monitor doesn't have an HDMI input, just two USB-C ones.

There's a stand integrated right into the Dell C1422H, so it's easy to prop up, but it doesn't have the portrait orientation that the Asus ZenScreen MB16AH offers. In general, they both offer the same style and build quality – it's just that the Dell model gives you a smaller size and one or two fewer features in return for a more affordable price.

David Nield
David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.