ASUS ZenScreen OLED MQ16AH (designer review)

Review unit provided by ASUS Singapore

The ASUS ZenScreen OLED MQ16AH is a portable 15.6-inch 1080P OLED display with 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut and Delta E color difference.

The display will be available for sale in September 2022. Official retail price is USD 399 and here in Singapore it's SGD 739. The pricing is actually higher compared to other 15.6-inch OLED displays such as the ones from PRISM+ and INNOCN. So the big question is can the features from this ASUS display compete with other brands?

Video review

This is the 15-min video review.


These are the items included in the box and they may vary depending on region:

  • Mini HDMI to HDMI cable
  • USB-A power adapter and plugs
  • Quick start guide
  • USB Type-C to A adapter
  • USB-C video cable
  • USB-C to A cable (for charging)
  • Warranty Card
  • ZenScreen smart cover
  • ZenScreen tripod hole cover
  • Colour calibration report


Cables are braided and quality looks good.


The thinnest part of the display is just 5mm and the weight is 650g.The flip-cover and stand will add more weight but overall this display is considered lightweight and compact. This is something you can bring along with a laptop without adding too much bulk.


The included flip-cover case is called a Smart Case. The material on both sides look like PU leather to me which is great because it will not attract dust.


Bottom of the display is slightly thicker and there you can find a tripod mount.


The Smart Case can be deployed in many positions. This is the classic triangle fold.


This is very similar to the position above.


There are three possible triangle folds.


And these two positions are for low angles.

The display has wide viewing angles with minimal shift in colours and brightness.


One of the main selling points of this display is it has a tripod mount.


It is possible to mount the display on a tripod so that the display is higher on the table and more ergonomic.

Unfortunately, there's no tripod included. The ASUS tripod shown in the product photo above is actually an excellent tripod but for some reason is not available for sale. And ASUS continues to show that tripod with the many compatible displays that they sell.

ASUS, can you just make more of that tripod and sell it.

If you want to buy yourself a tabletop tripod, make sure to get one where the base is wide for stability, and one that's tall enough especially if you want to use the display vertically. Or just use the Smart Case.


On the left are buttons for the power, OSD, one USB-C port for video and the other USB-C port for power.

If your computer or laptop can provide enough power via USB-C to power the ASUS display, you can use a single USB-C video cable connection. Otherwise you'll need to connect the display to a power source, which is why there is a USB power adapter included.


The ASUS display has no Power Delivery feature so it can’t charge a connected laptop. When connected to a laptop, it will drain the laptop battery faster if you’re using a dual display setup. I usually connect my laptop to external power when using the external display, unless I’m outdoors.


The ports on the other side are 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C video and mini HDMI. The two dots on the front are proximity sensors that will dim the display after few minutes of inactivity and it works quite effectively.

This side that will be inaccessible when the Smart Case is deployed vertically. In other words, you can't use HDMI connection when the Smart Case is deployed vertically. And that's where tripod mounting is useful.

The advertised auto-rotation feature doesn't seem to work by default. And it also doesn't work after I installed the MQ16AH driver (Windows only) and ASUS DisplayWidget. You can always change the orientation via OS settings. There's no MacOS driver so MacOS users will have to change the orientation via MacOS System Preferences anyway.


Colours on the display look terrific out of the box and are able to match the Macbook Air display quite well even without calibration.

My Spyder5pro colour calibrator does not work with OLED displays so I can't measure the exact colour gamut and brightness. According the ASUS, this OLED display supports 100% DCI-P3 with Delta E .

Typical brightness is rated at 360 nits. HDR brightness at 400 nits. This display is really bright and I just have it at 50% brightness because any higher my eyes will hurt.

Typical contrast ratio is 100,000:1 and HDR contrast ratio is 1 million:1.

This is a colour accurate display that's good enough for visual content creation.


Downside the the display is resolution is just 1920 x 1080 pixels and on a 15.6-inch display there is noticeable pixelation when working from one arms length away.


Another downside is for certain display modes under the OSD, there's this fuzziness or lack of sharpness. The text can be more fuzzy than my 15.6-inch FHD LCD displays. But thankfully you can adjust the sharpness by choosing the right display mode that allows for sharpness adjustments.

Oh, the display is glossy and is not a touchscreen.

Below are the display modes available.

  • Standard
  • sRGB
  • Scenery
  • Theater
  • Game View
  • Reading
  • Darkroom

Certain adjustments will be locked depending on which display mode you choose.


This OLED display is vibrant, bright and has good contrast so it's very enjoyable to watch shows on it.

Maximum brightness for HDR is just 400 nits and that is not going to get you true HDR effect. This display is marketed as a HDR10 display but I don't consider this to be a HDR display.


Gaming is enjoyable thanks to the image quality. Response time is 1ms (GtG) and display refresh rate is 60Hz.

Conclusion

The ASUS ZenScreen OLED MQ16AH is a beautiful portable display. The visual quality is fantastic and only affected by the 1080P resolution. The Smart Case with its many possible deployment is quite convenient and useful. Proximity sensor is useful too. And dual display productivity is awesome.

As to whether it's worth USD 399 or SGD 739, you can decide for yourself. If ASUS had included the tripod, it would be a good deal.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful display
+ Lightweight and compact
+ Supports USB-C and HDMI
+ Flip-cover case with many deployment positions
+ Vibrant, bright OLED display
+ Excellent contrast ratio
+ Proximity sensor to save power
- 1080P resolution has noticeable pixelation on a 15.6-inch display
- Vertical deployment of Smart Case blocks mini HDMI port
- Auto-rotation does not work
- No tripod included
- Advertised tripod not available for sale
- Some display modes have less than ideal sharpness
- Pricey

Availability

If you're interested to get this display, consider supporting my blog by buying through the affiliate links listed below at no extra cost.

ASUS displays are available from ASUS online store.

Here in Singapore they are available from Lazada SG and Shopee SG.

They can also be found on Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP)

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