Monday, November 02, 2015

More Screen Real Estate



Subtitle: ASUS MB168+ USB Monitor Review

Foreword
At the time of purchasing the ASUS monitor that I'm about to complement was a good choice.  It may not be top of the tree right now, so do your own analysis ....


The Problem
In Marcus' latter years, read 2015 !!,  I'm finding two things

a) My eyes are definitely not as sharp as they once were
b) Mobility means I may be away for periods /on the road/ armed only with a 14" laptop screen


It's just not enough for the most basic visual multitasking IMHO.  Imagine that I startup a Virtual machine or two on my laptop, or I'm using several large windows like a movie, and a browser and a spreadsheet simultaneously.

No, a single 14" screen really does not cut it.

And then I discovered USB Monitors.  Previously I did not even know this category existed. I feel like a dummy.

Eventually I bought the ASUS MB168+  . Note there is a lesser resolution model, but the + model has the full HD 1920x1080 pixel resolution.




I picked up the unit from a local store, it was so light I feared that I had been given an empty box so I opened it up before leaving!




Comes with a case that is good on protection and can be reassembled to make a very space inefficient stand!



Plugged in and it worked straight away under Microsoft Windows 



 First techy screen





 In glorious dual screen action!



 USB3 input cable is on the left of the monitor

There are some brightness controls on this left edge too



And On ebay

 The supplied ASUS case protects the screen nicely and you can also stash the USB3 cable in there too.  But on the desk it takes up too much space.

So I ebayed a Tablet stand for practically nothing and use this to stand up the screen without issue.



Performance



 I don't use or need any hardcore graphics.  But I can confirm that the USB and local screen don't differ much in performance.  And to watch a movie either screen can do so even at max resolution.







I tried running Winsat on local and USB3 Asus screen but I'm not sure I was doing it right!   I concluded that since the performance was easily in excess of what I needed that I would leave it there :-)

Conclusions

- USB3 monitors are just simply a brilliant addition to the road warrior

- Increased screen real estate at a very modest price

- Single USB3 connection supplying data signal and all required power, and can work with a laptop without AC adapter

- HD screen model  i.e. 1920x1080 available

- Use with simple ebay stand to make setup more compact

Highly recommended.



Links
ASUS MB168+