In a bit of offbeat monitor news, MSI has teased via its CES award announcements that it is working on an external display for notebooks that is geared towards gaming. Seemingly externalizing one of MSI's gaming laptop displays, the upcoming Optix MAG161 is a 15.6 monitor with a blistering 240Hz refresh rate.

While few details are available today, it is safe to say that MSI’s Optix MAG161 uses the same 15.6-inch Full-HD 240 Hz LCD panel as the company’s high-end gaming notebooks (such as the GS65 Stealth). The display is said to feature wide viewing angles, so this is not a typical cheap TN-type unit with poor color reproduction.

The industry’s first 240 Hz external monitor for notebooks is said to be 5 mm thick and features HDMI and USB Type-C connectors to maintain compatibility with various laptops. The device will come with a special folio that will protect it during handling and will serve as a stand while in use.

The Optix MAG161 has already won a CES 2020 innovation award (ed: these get issued 2 months in advance of the show itself), so expect to see MSI is set to formally roll-out the external monitor at CES 2020 when it kicks off in January.

Related Reading:

Source: MSI

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - link

    Oh crap, this could be really awesome.

    My use case:
    Making a new build in a Velka 3 case (
    CPU is the Ryzen 3700x, 8-core/16 thread 65W TDP (about as good as you can reasonably keep cool with a Noctua NH L9i)
    GPU is limited to mini-itx sized only. I got the Gigabyte RTX 2070 mini, which also has a USB-C display out (

    External monitor market is pretty starved for high performance options. Most external options are older display panels or are still very expensive, and there's very few options for a high quality, high refresh rate monitor. Likewise, even if you wanted to go the portable full-monitor route, there's limited options at the 24" or smaller size if you want to use something like a monitor bag which is still pretty big for what it is.

    This (could) be a really awesome in a mobile PC setup. Depends on price and whether the overall product is junky. We know the display panel is good, but that doesn't mean an external monitor using that display will be any good, yet, but I'm hopeful.
  • TristanSDX - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - link

    we need larger 240 Hz IPS monitors, like 18-19 inch, do not need to be portable
  • JeffFlanagan - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - link

    Who's we? Not everything is meant to be for you. Other people exist.
  • Valantar - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - link

    Looks great! Hopefully this will actually launch, unlike that Asus from Computex that never materialized. I really, really, really hope it has FreeSync support, though. If not that would be a serious oversight.
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - link

    The question, as always, will be the price. If it gets *too* expensive it might be a better deal to get a tablet and use it as a secondary display - though, I must admit, I don't know many 240Hz tablets.

    That's basically how I use my Surface Pro; it's the "second screen"; makes a great streaming tool (if a four-way multistream on the tablet itself isn't enough, you can plug in a Mini-DisplayPort-to-something to get another one, or two on modern versions).
  • Valantar - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - link

    Uhm... this is a monitor. For gaming. A tablet is not a monitor (no inputs), and sure doesn't have the performance needed for gaming by itself. What you're describing is a use case where normal portable monitors might compare, but definitely not this. Why would you buy a 240Hz monitor for streaming?
  • Toven - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - link

    Still waiting for one of these to come with docking kb+tp. It will be more productive.
  • Valantar - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - link

    Likely too niche of a use case, not to mention that quality would likely be garbage. Input devices shouldn't be made by just anyone.
  • Toven - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - link

    It should be made by Msi themself. And how can a 2-1 laptop without a brain is nicher than a standalone monitor if it can be detach to become a monitor and a wireless keyboard.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - link

    Still waiting for 480Hz...

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now