ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR review: a portable monitor at a palatable price

The ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR could be just what you’re looking for if you’re not too fussy about colours.

An ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR portable monitor sitting on a desk
(Image: © Beth Crane)

Our Verdict

Portable, simple to use and affordable, the ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR is a great choice for creatives who need a second monitor on a budget. The screen is clear and crisp, although brightness and colour accuracy are sometimes wanting; you get what you pay for. This is a great lower-budget second monitor for those jobs that don’t require 100% colour accuracy, and it’s a simple and functional way to extend your workspace without a tonne of complex wiring. It’s perfect for writing or audio editing but also functions fine for early-draft graphics work.

For

  • Extremely portable
  • Plug and play (but drivers improve it)
  • Affordable

Against

  • A bit dull for visual work
  • USB-C cable is a bit awkward

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I love to use a double screen, whether I’m editing, writing or drawing. Previously I waxed lyrical about the HP E34m G4’s curved screen because I finally found something big enough to contain my setup in a single screen. While I’m used to working with a lot of space in my home setup, when I’m out and about I tend to be stuck with a single 16:9 box. And this is one of the main reasons I’ve struggled to work while travelling; a double screen is so key to my audio-editing, writing and admin setup that without that second monitor, I feel like I’m missing a limb.

Enter the ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR. One of a new round of portable monitors, the ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR is hyper-portable, plug-and-play friendly and because it’s run solely off of its USB-C cable, it doesn’t require you to hog all the plugs (a coffee-shop crime). Retailing at around £169, it’s a budget version of big OLED sister the ASUS ZenScreen MQ16AH, with a smaller price tag to go with its lower-spec screen.

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Screen:LED IPS 15.6" 16:9
Display viewing area: 34.4 x 19.3cm/13.5 x 7.6 inches
Resolution:FHD 1920 x 1080p
Display surface:Non-glare
Response time:5ms (GTG)
Pixel pitch:0.179mm
Refresh rate:60Hz
Brightness:250 nits
Display colours262k
Viewing angle:(CR≧10, H/V) : 178°/ 178°
Contrast ratio:800:1
Connectivity:USB-C
Dimensions:36.01 x 22.56 x 1.18 cm (14.18" x 8.88" x 0.46")
Weight:1.05kg (780g without stand)
Additional featuresTÜV Flicker-free, TÜV Low Blue Light
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ASUS ZenScreen MB166CRASUS ZenScreen MQ16AH
Brightness: 250 nitsBrightness (HDR, peak): 400 nits
Row 1 - Cell 0 Brightness (typical): 360nits
Contrast ratio: 800:!Contrast ratio (HDR, Max): 1,000,000:1
Row 3 - Cell 0 Contrast ratio (typical): 100,000:1
Display colours: 262kDisplay colours: 1.0737 billion (10 bit)
Row 5 - Cell 0 Colour space (DCI-P3): 100%
The Verdict
4

out of 10

ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR

Portable, simple to use and affordable, the ASUS ZenScreen MB166CR is a great choice for creatives who need a second monitor on a budget. The screen is clear and crisp, although brightness and colour accuracy are sometimes wanting; you get what you pay for. This is a great lower-budget second monitor for those jobs that don’t require 100% colour accuracy, and it’s a simple and functional way to extend your workspace without a tonne of complex wiring. It’s perfect for writing or audio editing but also functions fine for early-draft graphics work.