ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC USB-C Portable Monitor
Written by Michael Larabel in Monitors on 28 June 2017. Page 4 of 4. 24 Comments

Curious about the power consumption, I ran some quick tests from a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. I used the Phoronix Test Suite to monitor the battery power use when browsing the file manager, running a few basic terminal commands, and briefly launching Firefox, followed by an idling period. I then reproduced those steps when the ZenScreen was connected with its default 50% brightness and then again when set to 100% brightness.

Using the ASUS ZenScreen led to around 9 Watts more power use on average or around a peak of 11 Watts more than without the portable monitor connected. Setting to 100% brightness, the power use was only slightly higher.

Overall, the ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC is a novel monitor. It's great to have a 15.6-inch 1080p display that weighs less than two pounds and only requires a single USB cable for power and video. Obviously I wouldn't recommend the monitor for gaming or other display intensive tasks, but for basic desktop/web needs, it works out surprisingly well.

The main downside for Linux users is the need to use DisplayLink's proprietary Linux driver for USB 3.0 support and sadly no DisplayPort Alt Mode support. But at least on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, DisplayLink's DKMS module is working out fine on the few desktops and laptops I have tested. My second complaint is about the monitor's case being a bit of a nuisance and just taking time to get used to figuring out how to properly use the magnetic case.

Another complaint would be the IPS display lacking an anti-glare coating. Working outside with this monitor was possible, but not in direct sunlight.

But overall if you want a secondary display that is very portable and you can easily take with you, the ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC is a very interesting product. The MB16AC portable USB monitor can be found for about $250 USD via Amazon.com or NewEgg but is currently out-of-stock at most Internet retailers with it looking like broader availability will happen in July.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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