USB-powered monitors, good ones, are hard - well, next to impossible - to come by. I had only been to one other Computex before I stepped foot into Taiwan again this year for my second. I get excited to see things that I don't usually see commonly, with my meeting with DisplayLink leaving me very, very impressed.
I saw a USB-powered monitor, an ASUS-built one, and wrote a news article about it, stating how I was impressed and that it was "one of the best technologies shown at Computex hands down".
Well, now I have that ASUS monitor in my lab, and I've taken it for a ride. Let's talk specs, since this is going to be one of the more important parts of the review.
So, we have a 15.6-inch 1920x1080, or "Full HD" panel, which is quite nice, considering its USB-powered. Moving on, we have to expect it to be a TN panel, which it is, and we have a response time of 11ms. Power consumption is super-low, at under 5W.
All of this comes in with at just 800g... yes, under 1kg! I thought the monitor felt super light to hold, lighter than my expectations, actually. Filling these specs out, we have the single USB 3.0 port, which handles both the power, and data stream to get a picture from your PC, to the display.
All of this comes in a package that is mighty thin, with the same thought process applied to its price. ASUS has a price of just $219 on this monitor, which is quite amazing considering its weight, thinness and quality.
Just how thin is the MB168B+? Thin. It has an 8mm profile.
There's also an included ASUS Smart Case, which is a two-way adjustable stand, and protective sleeve for your MB168B+. You can just slot your MB168B+ on top, and it'll sit there nice and safe.
The ASUS MB168B+ also auto adjusts to whichever rotation you have it, be it portrait or landscape, which is a nice touch indeed. Some people love having their monitors in portrait, so there's no need to worry about getting elbow-deep in display configurations finding it, just flip your MB168B+ and bam, it auto rotates for you.
ASUS is light on the in-box contents, which is good: you don't need much to get the MB168B+ working. As you can see in the shot above, the box is a simple brown and black box.
Opening the box, we have the MB168B+ in some styrofoam packaging to keep it safe, and the required USB 3.0 cable.
Taking the monitor out of the box, we have the full contents: the ASUS MB168B+ itself, the USB 3.0 cable, a quick start guide, starter CD and VIP Member Notice booklet.
A Look Around the MB168B+
Moving on, we have the screen itself, which looks quite nice. You don't want something on your desk, or toting around with you, that looks anything but, right?
On the left side of the MB168B+, we have the power button, and brightness control.
Below these controls, we have the USB 3.0 port that handles both data and power.
Flipping the ASUS MB168B+ onto its back, we have that same gorgeous metallic finish that its Transformer Pad range of tablets features.
ASUS also provided me with the leather case for the MB168B+, which is actually quite stylish. It doubles as a stand for the display, which is actually quite handy.
The pattern on the case is actually quite stylish, too.