Review

Asus ZenScreen Touch MB16AMT review

Portable displays are a niche, but growing market. They cater mostly to travelers, office workers, and people who work in multiple locations. Asus is a huge maker in the display market, so of course, the company has a portable display. The Asus ZenScreen Touch comes with tons of bells and whistles. The question is, does that make it good? Let’s find out in our full review.

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What is the Asus ZenScreen Touch?

Asus ZenScreen Touch 2
The Asus ZenScreen Touch is a pricey portable display. It connects to devices like your desktop PC, laptop, phone, or even gaming system. The device runs on its own 7,800mAh battery so you can take it anywhere and use it without an AC adapter. The one we purchased off of Amazon came with a charger too.

The display itself has an excellent design. The gray borders and textured aluminum back look and feel great. There is also a folio case included with the packaging. It’s plastic with a leather texture, and it’s also quite nice. You can adjust the folio case in several ways to prop up the display at a variety of angles.

There are only two ports on the Asus ZenScreen Touch. There is a micro-HDMI port on the bottom left spine and a USB Type-C port below the micro-HDMI. The USB Type-C port also doubles as the charging port. The top left and top right spines house the display’s speakers. Finally, the front bottom bezel of the device sports a menu joystick on the left, a power button to the right, and a hole to place the included stylus.

Overall, this portable display has an excellent design with a bunch of goodies. The included stylus is also a ballpoint pen. The package includes the stylus, the folio case, a charging brick (at least ours did), a USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable, a USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter, and a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable. There is no shortage of accessories in the box.


How to set up and use the Asus ZenScreen Touch

Asus ZenScreen Touch Menu
The setup process for the Asus ZenScreen Touch is fairly self-explanatory. You connect the display to your device and then it becomes a second monitor. It comes with compatibility for virtually everything, and it really does work just like a desktop monitor with its own battery.

The device’s menu is also surprisingly intuitive. You press the menu button to open up some quick options like input, in case you have two connected devices. The full menu lets you choose your display mode (there are eight), add a blue light filter, change the brightness and contrast, and do a few other things. It took me around three minutes to get used to the menu system. It really is quite friendly.

Luckily, the display comes with instructions for things like the menu, the various folio case configurations, and all of that other stuff. It really doesn’t take more than five or ten minutes to get it up and running.


How does the Asus ZenScreen Touch perform?

Asus ZenScreen Touch 1
I tested the Asus ZenScreen Touch with my Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (via USB Type-C), my desktop (via HMDI), and my laptop (via both USB Type-C and HDMI). All three devices worked just fine with no issues over several hours of testing on each. Let’s take a look at the specs before we continue.

Screen size15.6-inches
Screen tech and resolutionIPS, 10-point multitouch, 1080p
Contrast ratio700:1
Peak brightness250 nits
Battery size7,800mAh
SRGB69%
AdobeRGB52%
ConnectionsMicro-HDMI, USB Type-C
Thunderbolt 3 support?Yes
Speakers?Yes

There is a lot to like about the Asus ZenScreen Touch. The large size and acceptable aspect ratio make it easy to see whatever you’re doing at a decent distance. The brightness was good enough for most situations and the glare wasn’t too bad. You can tweak the settings to change things around a bit, but the default color mode is suitable for most. I never had to increase the brightness from 50% in a well-lit room.

The battery life was decent too. I averaged about 6-8 hours per charge over four charges. The good news is the micro-HDMI port leaves the USB Type-C port open so you can charge and use the display as a standard USB-powered portable display if needed. I conducted a few full days at work with the device as a second display to my laptop. I had no issues in terms of battery life, but I did have the charger plugged in the whole time. It lasted about six hours at 50% brightness with my Note 20 Ultra.

Overall, the Asus ZenScreen Touch is an able performer. The large screen and decent contrast ratio make it excellent for productivity work. In addition, the 10-point multi-touch capabilities worked with both Android and Windows 10 out of the box without any issues. The 1080p resolution is sharp enough for most, and it even performed amicably in gaming. However, creative types will probably want to look for a higher resolution display with better SRGB values for their work. Plus, lower SRGB values also negatively affect media consumption and gaming.


What I like about the Asus ZenScreen Touch

  • Performs as a regular USB-powered portable display if you want it to. The battery is a nice touch, though.
  • The brightness, contrast ratio, and peak brightness make it excellent for productivity.
  • The touch screen works with Android and Windows 10, and it’s quite fun to use.
  • Excellent design.
  • The inclusion of speakers, the folio case, the stylus, and all the cables make for good extras.
  • The pen hole is actually really useful. You can use it to not only store the pen, but the stylus itself can act as a kickstand to hold the display in either landscape or portrait mode.
  • IPS display provides outstanding viewing angles.

What I dislike about the Asus ZenScreen Touch

  • SRGB and AdobeRGB values are much lower than we’d like for such an expensive display. This is not great for creative work. It’s only average for gaming and media consumption too. The colors look a little flat.
  • Battery life is only just okay.
  • The display works quite well. However, with the battery and everything, connections can be a little finicky.
  • The folio case is versatile but surprisingly difficult to use at first.

Is the Asus ZenScreen Touch good?

Asus ZenScreen Touch ports
The Asus ZenScreen Touch is an above-average portable display. Its performance is more than good enough for most people. However, this thing also costs well over $300 in a market where most “good enough” touchscreen displays run between $150-$250.

Nevertheless, the extras are great, and the ZenScreen Touch has an outstanding, sleek design. The touch screen capabilities are solid and the inclusion of a 7,800mAh battery for added portability will certainly appeal to some. Plus, little extras like the wide viewing angles and a stylus make it great for business and work settings.

Read more: The best monitors

The contrast ratio and peak brightness are acceptable, but the SRGB and AdobeRGB numbers mean colors simply won’t be that bright or vibrant. This is where the ZenScreen Touch becomes frustrating. It’s absolutely outstanding at some tasks like office work while being downright ordinary at others. For $300, I would want a little less ordinary and a little more excellence. That said, I certainly wouldn’t shed a tear if I ever received this portable display as a gift. Click the button below to check out the ZenScreen Touch on Amazon.

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