Portable monitors have been around for a while. Most people consider portable monitors a novelty that gives the convenience of portability at the expense of performance and picture quality. The Asus ROG XG17AHPE is a mobile gaming screen that shows that some portable monitors might not be a joke after all. It's got a 240Hz refresh rate, along with a 3ms response time, all crammed into a thin and light 17 inch IPS display and built-in speaker to boot.
I can attest to how much of a pain it is to need a second monitor on the road and, even worse, trying to travel with one. Part of me wishes this monitor was around during my old LAN party days; it would have saved me a whole lot of trouble. The XG17 easily fits into a backpack or even a large messenger bag. You simply plug it in via USB-C, and you're ready to rock.
Panel size: 17-inch
Native resolution: 1920 X 1080
Maximum refresh: 240Hz
Response time: 3ms
Native contrast: 1,000:1
Display inputs: 1 x micro HDMI, 2 x USB Type-C
Connectivity: 3.5mm headphone
Speakers: 2 x 1W Front-facing
Battery: Built-in 7800 mAh
Warranty: 36 months
The foldable smart case, which acts as both a cover and a stand for the XG17, was a tad unwieldy. You need to be wary of a wobbly table as if the monitor gets the least bit jostled it'll fall back flat, which is very annoying if you happen to be the middle of the match of Mortal Kombat 11 or a flowing Twitter rant.
It would have been great to have some sort of fixed kickstand instead of doing some strange folio origami to get the monitor from falling over, but that's what Asus has gone with. There is a version of the XG17 that comes with a tripod stand and carrying bag for an extra $100, but that feels expensive on what is already a costly display.
The portability of the XG17 is its main selling point. It comes in at 2.3 lbs and only 0.4 inches thin; it mostly feels like you're carrying around a giant tablet that plugs into your laptop or game console. I can't overstate how incredibly convenient it has been to pair my work laptop with the XG17 and work on my balcony on a nice day. It's a perfect work-from-home companion if you're tight on space or don't have a desk. You can easily set it pretty much anywhere... so long as nothing bumps into the surface, you're using.
But the Asus screen is also specced for gaming too. I used the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 with an RTX 2060 and a 1080p 120Hz display to see the 240Hz upgrade the XG17 provided in action. I started with the usual suspects, such as CS Go and Call of Duty, and was thoroughly impressed with the fast refresh rate and the color accuracy, even during most intense shootouts.
Though, one of my favorite non-scientific ways of seeing how fast and colorful a monitor is the Goku test where I played Dragonball FighterZ with nothing but Gokus fighting on screen. The colors popped without oversaturating and kept up with all the action on the screen. It passed the Goku test with a high GPS (Gokus Per Second).
The XG17 works surprisingly well with the consoles too. I know plenty of people who like to travel with their PS4 only to find the HDMI ports on the hotel TV inaccessible, much to their dismay. There are a place and a market for folks who need a nice looking display that travels well. I wouldn't be surprised if we see these sort of displays marketing directly to different esports teams and leagues for a little on-the-go practice.
The XG17 also comes with a built-in 7800mAh battery, which lasted close to three hours non-gaming and a little under two hours when I played the final act of Resident Evil 3 Remake on my balcony. The monitor supports quick charge 3.0, so an hour of charge got me back to around 60 percent, which is pretty damned speedy. If you have a power bank, you can squeeze out some more game time in case you're stuck at the airport or a BBQ. For the most part, I kept the display plugged in and charging.
Outside of gaming, I found the XG17 extra useful standing when plugged into my MacBook Pro in portrait mode for working at the dining room table. Here, I can efficiently work in a doc and monitor Twitter or Slack for breaking news. For me, two screens are crucial to getting anything done, as with most people working from home right now. The two USB-C and micro-HDM ports mean that you can also plug-in other devices, from phones to a Nintendo Switch.
The XG17 offers an excellent second screen experience that travels easily without compromising color or speed. The $500 price point will be a significant barrier for most people considering that you can buy a 27 inch 240Hz for around $400. This portable monitor is really for those gamers with travel-heavy schedules and who need a high-performance display that you don't have to check-in. But we'll admit, that's a hell of a niche audience to target. The ROG Strix XG17AHPE is coming to store shelves in early May.