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:
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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
That means the monitor most likely has its own its own video controller making it much slower.
PCI-e 1.1 1x 250MB/s
USB 3.0 5.0Gb/s (400MB/s+ in practice)
Either way, there is plenty to spare.
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.