- Good Factory Calibration
- Built-in 7800Mah Battery
- Attractive Design
- USB-C Connectivity
- Pricing Fluctuates Between Retailers
- Limited Gamut Coverage
- Prone to Blurring
- Limited Backlight Cannot Fight Glare
The Asus MB16AP is the middle ground option for professionals on the go that require a brilliant IPS panel that is reliable even if some premium add-ons are missing. This model’s nickname is the ZenScreen Go which further describes its emphasis on portability by adding a built-in battery into the mix. The Asus MB16AP just might be the best option for you if you don’t need touch capabilities and battery-zapping functionality, but let’s check first how it compares to its two siblings.
Asus MB16AP Specifications
- Screen Size: 16 Inches
- Resolution:1920 x 1080 FHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Contrast Ratio: 800:1
- Brightness: 220 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 1 Watt)
- Stand: Height – No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot – No
- VESA Compatibility: No
- Connectivity: USB-C x 1
- Dimensions With Stand (WxHxD): 14.16″ x 8.9″ x .3″
- Weight: 1.88 lbs
Design and Features
The Asus MB16AP shares the same aesthetic with the other two ZenScreen variants which make them look more like premium tablets instead of plasticky budget monitors. The gunmetal adds a nice and luxurious touch to an already premium product that oozes an appeal that professional users will surely pick up. The display isn’t truly bezel-free, but the borders have minimal thicknesses and are flush against the surface of the outer layer.
What makes the Asus MB16AP truly portable is its inclusion of a 7800mah internal battery which means the monitor won’t draw its power requirements from your laptop. This adds a bit more weight, but we reckon the additional third of a pound or so won’t matter a lot to most users. Its also great that you don’t get an increase in thickness, so the device is still pretty easy to slip into one of the slits of your laptop bag.
The Asus MB16AP doesn’t have the joystick for the OSD of its higher-tiered sibling, but the two are surprisingly easier to use than the usual four or five-key layout. The only complaint we have is the numerous presses you have to make to reach a setting. This will wear the buttons down faster, plus it gets tiring if you adjust your screen’s characteristics often such as its brightness.
Thankfully, the Asus MB16AP does feature compatibility with Asus’; DisplayWidget app which lets you tweak the OSD settings directly via your OS. Its easier and more convenient to use since you can use your mouse to click away, but we feel that having a joystick is always more satisfying.
Another distinct feature of the Asus MB16AP is its tri-fold protective cover which also functions as an origami stand. Folding it as instructed lets you prop the monitor up, and it even provides a good range of tilt so you can get a comfortable view. This part attaches via a magnetic strip at the rear, but be careful not to hit the monitor when it’s standing since it can easily undo the fold you’ve set.
The pen hole at the lower corner of the Asus MB16AP is a decent alternative for the folding cover if you want more stability. You only need to insert a pen to hold the display up, without damaging the chassis. This implementation works for both portrait and landscape orientations, so we think many users will prefer it since its much easier to utilize.
The Asus MB16AP utilizes a single USB-C that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode for video signal input and power. The device also comes with a separate charging adapter and a USB-C to USB-A adapter if in case your laptop doesn’t have the former. Take note that you need to have DisplayLink drivers installed for USB-A to work as a display connection.
The Asus MB16AP doesn’t have speakers like the MB16AMT, so you are left with your laptop’s built-in or a pair of headphones. We think this matters less if you consider the functionality of the device and the fact that it’s much easier to connect audio devices to the laptop or PC instead.
Display and Performance
The Asus MB16AP sports a 15.6-inch IPS panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and a 5ms response time. The backlight is a little weaker at 220 cd/m2, while the rated contrast is slightly higher at 800:1. We’re sure why the three models have different numbers as far as the latter is concerned, especially since they share identical, if not the same IPS modules.
You can enjoy the Asus MB16AP’s superb pixel density of around 142PPI which results in a sharper and more detailed screen. small objects like text do not appear smaller since the resolution is still 1080p, but you can notice the added cleanliness of the edges, even in games and movies. The screen does add more space for your workflow, but take note that it won’t be as expansive as a 1440p or 4K variant.
The Asus MB16AP provides 73% coverage of the sRGB gamut with a good, but slightly lower accuracy score of DeltaE 1.8. The screen isn’t the most vibrant we’ve seen in recent times, but the tones are balanced and neutral-looking. There is a slight skew on the color temperature, but we don’t think that it will be disturbing for most users who simply want the added virtual space.
The Asus MB16AP is slightly dimmer than its siblings with a maximum output of around 227 cd/m2. The output isn’t bad when the portable USB-C monitor is used indoors, but using it outside in settings such as alfresco cafes could pose a problem. The limited backlight will face difficulty in fighting glare, especially when sunlight is the source.
The strongest characteristic of the Asus MB16AP’s IPS panel is its contrast which averages at around 1150:1 at around 60% brightness. The screen can provide good grayscale performance and acceptable black luminance, but it can still look slightly grayish in darker environments. The latter is a well-known limitation of IPS technology, so opting for VA types is your only option to avoid this flaw.
The Asus MB16AP did not display any uniformity issues on all of its quadrants, resulting in an illumination spread that looks even from the center towards the edges. Deviances in vibrancy on each sector are unnoticeable to the naked eye, so only a colorimeter can tell you that there are minuscule errors. But please do take note that this aspect varies wildly since there are manufacturing tolerances that can make one IPS module unique from the other.
We don’t recommend the Asus MB16AP as a gaming display since its prone to blurring in quicker sequences and fast-paced play. The 60Hz limitation coupled with a non-boosted pixel response time will readily manifest if you swipe the screen too fast. Casual games are ok, but you have to remember that this product is aimed at productivity instead of entertainment.
The Asus MB16AP doesn’t support FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility, so smooth and tear-free gaming isn’t guaranteed. However, 1080p doesn’t take a lot of horsepower to run, so we think all users won’t run into these issues during use. Input lag could not be measured accurately, but the display feels comparable to a 1080p 60Hz desktop monitor like the BenQ GW2480 in this regard.
Thoughts on the Asus MB16AP
The Asus MB16AP is the better choice if touch capabilities and its extra price are only novelties compared to your needs in multitasking. The IPS panel provides excellent image quality for a secondary display, while the built-in battery can last through a full workload if you manage the settings. We love the premium design of the product which makes it easy to match with today’s opulent laptops with the same color or texture.
One thing that we found perplexing is the Asus MB16AP’s price which can sometimes overlap the MB16AMT’s current cost in the market. This model is desirable for people on the go due to its simplicity and battery, but getting the higher model with extras at a lower cost will always be the way to go. If you are a highly productive individual who wants a massive improvement in multitasking, then the Asus MB16AP is a worthy choice.
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.