In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel. Sharp picture quality. Accurate colors. Wide viewing angles. Dark blacks.
Middling dark-grayscale performance.
- Bottom Line
The 16-inch-class AOC I1659FWUX is a portable USB-powered monitor that uses an IPS panel to deliver accurate colors and wide viewing angles.
When we reviewed AOC's E1659Fwux portable USB monitor back in 2015, we were impressed with its color accuracy and sharp 1080p picture, but its viewing-angle and grayscale performance left something to be desired. With the new I1659FWUX ($199.99), AOC has resolved the viewing-angle issue by outfitting the display with a 15.6-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel that delivers accurate colors and wide viewing angles. It also features inky blacks, though its dark-grayscale performance could be better. Regardless, it's our top pick for portable USB monitors.
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Design and Features
The I1659FWUX shares the same design as the AOC E1659Fwux and the E1759Fwu models. Its 15.6-inch IPS panel has a non-reflective coating and is housed in a glossy-black cabinet with a rotating, silver picture-frame stand that lets you view in Portrait or Landscape mode. As with previous models, the image on the screen automatically rotates when you turn the panel. At 2.6 pounds and measuring 9.1 by 14.6 by 1.4 inches (HWD), the I1659FWUX is light enough to travel with and will fit in most briefcases and laptop bags.
The panel has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 700:1 contrast ratio, a 220 cd/m2 peak brightness, a 60Hz refresh rate, and a 25-millisecond (black-to-white) pixel response. As with other portable USB monitors, the I1659FWUX lacks controls of any kind and has only one port; in this case, it's a USB 3.0 port that's tucked away at the rear of the cabinet, next to the folding stand.
AOC covers the I1659FWUX with a three-year warrany for parts, labor, and backlight. It comes with a protective travel case, a USB cable, and a resource CD containing a User Guide and the necessary DisplayLink software, which you'll have to install on your PC or laptop in order for the monitor to work.
The I1659FWUX delivered fairly accurate colors in our tests. As shown on the chromaticity chart below, red, green, and blue color measurements, which are represented by the colored dots, are relatively close to their ideal CIE coordinates, which are represented by the boxes.
The panel's ability to display dark blacks helped give colors some pop, but it was unable to correctly display dark grays in the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test. The three darkest shades appeared black, rather than transitioning from dark gray to black. As a result, shadow detail in my test photos was a bit muddy. However, light-grayscale performance was good, which resulted in sharp highlight detail.
As with most IPS monitors, the I1659FWUX provided wide viewing angles; it showed no noticeable color shifting or loss of luminance when viewed from an extreme top, side, or bottom angle. You can use the I1659FWUX for watching movies on the go, but the panel's 25-millisecond pixel response produced a good deal of motion blur in our Crysis 3 (PC) gaming test, and gameplay was noticeably choppy. This comes as no surprise, as the display is not designed for gaming.
The AOC I1659FWUX is the first portable USB monitor we've reviewed that uses an IPS panel. It's also the best-performing USB display we've tested, delivering accurate colors, a sharp 1080p picture, and wide viewing angles. Moreover, at a little over 2 pounds and less than an inch-and-a-half thick, it is highly portable and makes for an easy travel companion. Its dark-grayscale performance notwithstanding, the I1659FWUX earns our Editors' Choice nod for portable USB monitors.
By John R. Delaney Contributing Editor
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for… More »
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