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Asus Announces USB-powered Full HD Portable Monitor

By - Source: Asus | B 24 comments

Take your second screen on the road with you!

Asus has announced the availability of its MB168 series portable USB-powered monitor. The panel measures 15.6 inches and is designed for both laptops and PCs, though obviously the intended market here is laptops and mobile work stations. The MB186 measures 8mm thick and weighs in at under 2lbs. Asus is calling it the slimmest lightest companion display in the world.

 

The 15.6-inch MB168 comes in two variations, one that offers a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 and another that offers 1366 x 768. Both models use a single USB 3.0 port for video and power and are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 (though you will see a small difference in brightness if you're using USB 2.0). Asus's EzLink technology means graphics processing is offloaded to dedicated hardware in the monitor so you can run up to five MB168s on the same machine if you want to.

The MB168 utilizes a mercury-free LED-backlit display that consumes 5W in active use and 0W in standby, which means it shouldn't have too much of an effect on your laptop's battery life.

Asus didn't mention pricing, though you can bet the HD version will be the pricier of the two. We'll keep you posted on cost and availability.

Our sister site, LAPTOP, went hands-on with the MB168 back in June at Computex. Check it their impressions here and hands-on video below:

Asus USB Monitor

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  • 8 Hide
    BringMeAnother , August 29, 2013 3:25 PM
    Yay! Finally a portable 1080p USB powered screen. I've been waiting for this one since Engadget mentioned it at Computex. According to that article, the 1080p screen should cost around $209 and weight 1.8 pounds if plans hasn't changed. Glad to see it's compatible with USB 2.0 too. I'm still wishing for the Lenovo ThinkVision LT1423p for it's wacom pen, touchscreen and wireless connectivity though.
  • 3 Hide
    nevilence , August 29, 2013 3:34 PM
    I like it, very nifty
  • 2 Hide
    clonazepam , August 29, 2013 3:38 PM
    Anyone else hoping it was Jane in the video?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 29, 2013 3:47 PM
    If I was still running 60hz screens, this would definitely be something I'd be interested in. Once you go 120hz+, you never go back...
  • -2 Hide
    smeezekitty , August 29, 2013 5:03 PM
    "Both models use a single USB 3.0 port for video and power and are backwards compatible with USB 2.0"
    Wait... For power and VIDEO? USB is a bit slow for video.
    I think it would be kind of laggy. I would prefer that it would just have a VGA or DVI input
  • 6 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , August 29, 2013 5:40 PM
    Quote:
    "Both models use a single USB 3.0 port for video and power and are backwards compatible with USB 2.0"
    Wait... For power and VIDEO? USB is a bit slow for video.
    I think it would be kind of laggy. I would prefer that it would just have a VGA or DVI input


    DVI single link - 3.96 Gb/s
    USB 3.0 - 5.0 Gb/s
  • 5 Hide
    smeezekitty , August 29, 2013 5:56 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    "Both models use a single USB 3.0 port for video and power and are backwards compatible with USB 2.0"
    Wait... For power and VIDEO? USB is a bit slow for video.
    I think it would be kind of laggy. I would prefer that it would just have a VGA or DVI input


    DVI single link - 3.96 Gb/s
    USB 3.0 - 5.0 Gb/s

    But that is raw bandwidth. USB cannot transfer raw video because the host's GPU cannot output to USB.
    That means the monitor most likely has its own its own video controller making it much slower.

  • -5 Hide
    teh_chem , August 29, 2013 6:07 PM
    I did not think that there was a real market for something like this.
  • -2 Hide
    praeses , August 29, 2013 6:07 PM
    From my understanding it is more like USB is used to connect to the graphics processor in the display so it would be more like:

    PCI-e 1.1 1x 250MB/s
    USB 3.0 5.0Gb/s (400MB/s+ in practice)

    Either way, there is plenty to spare.
  • 6 Hide
    InvalidError , August 29, 2013 6:42 PM
    Quote:
    But that is raw bandwidth. USB cannot transfer raw video because the host's GPU cannot output to USB.
    That means the monitor most likely has its own its own video controller making it much slower.

    Most laptops' graphics can barely handle gaming on the laptop's primary display so there is no point arguing about it being slower than the laptop's built-in GPU/IGP.

    Most people who would carry an add-on display with their laptop would do so for productivity and presentations, not for 3D gaming. For video playback, USB3 has more than enough bandwidth to handle raw host-decoded video at 1920x1080p hi10 at 60fps so no problem there either.
  • 0 Hide
    GoldenI , August 29, 2013 7:35 PM
    Ou, fancy-shmancy! :D 
  • 0 Hide
    egilbe , August 29, 2013 8:33 PM
    very cool!
  • 0 Hide
    tranzparentl , August 30, 2013 4:26 AM
    Close but no cigar. I am still waiting for a wifi touchscreen monitor that I can use like a tablet but is a monitor for my desktop. Lenovo announced one and then never released it.... http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/06/lenovo-thinkvision-lt1423p-mobile-monitor/
  • 0 Hide
    Rosanjin , August 30, 2013 5:36 AM
    This would be helpful with hardware errors with the video subsystem on client computers. Very helpful indeed.
  • 0 Hide
    Soda-88 , August 30, 2013 5:39 AM
    This thing would be better exponentially if it was touch capable...
  • 0 Hide
    alxianthelast , August 30, 2013 7:02 PM
    skimmed the article and didn't see touch or wifi/bluetooth compatibility. Stern expression at Asus. Apparently this is a common reaction.
  • 0 Hide
    alxianthelast , August 30, 2013 7:06 PM
    hmm. watched the video.. indeed being able to use this with a phone over MHL would be sweet.. and touch would seal the deal. I like that it is thin and light but it looks so cheap and fragile that it would probably end up folded in half in less than a week.
  • 0 Hide
    Blues_wolf , August 31, 2013 3:25 PM
    I'ld love to have a couple of those in the datacenter, easier than carry a crt or lcd to those servers without kvm :-D
  • 0 Hide
    washerebefore , September 9, 2013 3:45 PM
    Where can u buy this?? Newegg does not have it nor Amazon as of today .. don't see it listed on USA ASUS web site either?

    thanks invaliderror.. I'll be watching
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , September 9, 2013 3:53 PM
    Quote:
    Where can u buy this??

    Nowhere yet. This is a product announcement, not a product launch. No availability date or price have been set yet.
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