ASUS VN247H - The Ultimate Surround/Eyefinity Monitor?
Before I get into this, I just want to point out that these are $190 monitors from a well known supplier and should not be compared against higher price points. Also, my knowledge is limited to what I have purchased and a few things I have read online. As a last note, I will be providing some images, but users are cautioned that my camera is NOT an accurate reproduction of what it actually looks like to the eye (colour is off, etc)
Some other monitors you may wish to consider researching (IPS):
-lg ips237L ($260 ish)
-AOC I2367FH ($180-200 ish)
-Samsung S23A700D ($300 ish)
-Sorry I'm short on links, but it's hard to find real info on thin bezel monitors.
Okay, now let's move on to my impressions of this monitor in question!
Image: Initial build setup before any calibration/tweaks
Specifications of note:
1ms g2g response time!
HDMI input or VGA (WTF?) and comes with DVI->HDMI cable
LED technology (TN panel)
250 cd/m2 brightness
Anti-glare coating (more on this later)
Basic build impressions:
The stand is very solid, but the base the screws into the stand never gets tight enough and causes the monitor to wobble easily by itself. I have all 3 sitting on my desk side by side with a tiny bit of tape across the top gaps and have no issues with wobbling from heavy typing or mouse use. By itself, this may be an issue though. The matte finish is quite nice to look at and I can't complain about looks. One thing I absolutely love is the minimal depth between the bezel and the protective screen cover. The buttons are somewhat easy enough to press, but you can accidentally apply pressure to the screen itself why trying to support the monitor as you push the buttons. It should be noted they are *behind* the monitor, not under the bottom.
Out of the box, ASUS LED monitors seem to be garbage for image quality. The theater/scenery mode looks pretty nice to the eyes, but their gamma settings are completely wrong if you're a fan of 2.2 ish. They look pretty decent in either of the preset modes noted, but you will probably want to do some calibration with the graphics driver or windows calibration tool. The most annoying part is that they offer no gamma adjustments for the monitor itself. Colour reproduction is reasonable with tweaking, but I used to own a Samsung SyncMaster E2320X and I have not had either of my ASUS monitors be able to provide as nice of image quality with any amount of tweaks. Although these are reasonable for gaming and general use, I hesitated to buy ASUS again just because the colour reproduction and gamma is not that great.
A note about the anti-glare covering. I find that it is *reasonable* and does a good job about the glare, but there is a slight cost of clarity. I do notice a tiny bit of graininess as a result. I took the time to look at high quality images, videos, and of course some gaming to get a feel for the impact of this. It is noticeable on things like menus in games and barely noticeable in pictures/images that have a large variety of colour/change. It is going to be noticed by anyone really really picky about this and large single coloured areas get a tiny bit grainy feeling as a result. Although, depending on your calibration or preset mode use and if you chose to turn ASCR or not, this issue will probably go away entirely. Speaking of ASCR and preset modes, you'll find that this monitor looks best with higher brightness/ASCR/contrasty... which most people are fine with, but not everyone. You pretty much end up with a problem of either dark/black areas being too dark/black or a bit of greyness/washed out look.
Finally, as for backlight bleed, I find it is on par or better than the majority of monitors I have looked at. With some further testing in dark environments, I'm really happy with the backlight bleed. Nothing really stands out in any one area, although there seems to be a very soft/minor bleed throughout most of the monitor with a tiny bit extra on the sides (not top or bottom).
Bezel Bezel Bezel where?:
Aside from the blazing fast response time of 1ms g2g, the bezel is the reason I bought these monitors. My previous trio had 17mm bezel & a fair amount of depth. I used the "stack one behind the other" trick to overlap the bezel and it creates some not so nice side effects. Needless to say, 11mm seems to be the minimum gap you can buy from edge of bezel to edge of image, so don't be alarmed by the black gap between the image and the bezel (2mm). These look amazing in surround and the bezel correction turns out GREAT! I have everything positive to say about the bezel gaps in surround compared to the alternatives (excepting any real expensive or custom solutions). It is not super important, but the bottom bezel border is a bit larger than the top and sides, which are the same 11m total gap.
Image: 11mm total image to outer bezel gap.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...2/DSCF0394.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...h_DSCF0395.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...h_DSCF0396.jpg
Image: Aside from the need to clean my camera lense, you'll notice the bezel depth and image gaps.
The gaming experience is simply great! I didn't have any real problems/issues and the bezel is barely noticeable. After getting the best compromise I can stand for the colour calibration, I found it looked pretty nice and there were no areas that were "hard to see" etc. It really is a great setup for surround and I feel it definitely is an improvement over my previous setup.
-Obviously the bezel and bezel correction portion of the gaming is nothing short of great! In terms of the surround/eyefinity, it gets an amazing grade in the bezel/seam department :D.
-Moving on to the viewing angles, it suffers just as bad as any monitors I've seen or used for surround. You really need to move to an IPS (but good luck getting fast response times) to fix the issues here. Gets a passing grade of average for viewing angles (during normal use, this shouldn't bother the average person).
-I can't say much about image ghosting as I don't really notice it on any monitor I've ever owned, but I think the specs speak for themselves on this matter. Gets an amazing grade for response time :D.
Some final (?) thoughts:
So, do you want to buy these monitors for your surround or eyefinity setup? Let me answer that question by saying who wouldn't want to buy these monitors. If you can't say any of the following bug you, I'd highly suggest them unless you know of a monitor combo at this price point (or lower) that offers the same or more.
1. If you want great colour/image quality and reproduction. Although it looks pretty nice with tweaking and features, it is pretty average in this category.
2. If you want IPS/viewing angles. I would love to use IPS for surround, but price point and response time for gaming are going to be the big 2 drawbacks with any thin bezel options for sale. AOC suffers from pretty lackluster image quality for an IPS and LG's option costs more.
3. If you can't stand any level of noticeable anti-glare coating.
4. If you want features that aren't offered and are willing to pay more or don't like the 23.6" screen size.
Examples of Bezel correction and gaming:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...h_DSCF0402.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...h_DSCF0403.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...h_DSCF0404.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...h_DSCF0407.jpg
Examples of surround gaming:
Damn bro, that looks like a nice setup. I, too, am "plagued" by the Eyefinity disease. Once you play a game with it, there is no way one monitor will suffice again. I really hope with the upcoming consoles we see alot more support for Eyefinity/Surround cuz it really enhances game play. I never saw Eyefinity on anything other than what I use (Dell Ultrasharp 2410 IPS) and I was wondering how "bad" are the viewing angles on the wing monitors. Is it bad enough that colours look way different than the primary monitor? I ask because I have a friend looking into an Eyefinity setup and I'm really pushing him towards IPS monitors but if it's acceptable it may be wise to save the $600 and go with something like you have there. Plus with money you saved you can buy a wider desk :-) You're gonna bump that desk with your leg and your wing monitors will be no more. That last picture scares me lol
P.S. Very professional review
80% of the stand is on the desk and I have no issues (with this set, I taped all 3 monitors together, gives them a ton extra stability). As for the viewing angle, it is pretty minor the difference, you mostly notice it in desktop mode and rarely notice while gaming. This will depend on the angle you tilt your side monitors at. Yes, I'm hoping to buy a desk after I move :) I had to tilt the monitors a little more aggressively than I wanted. Only reason I'd suggest other people go IPS over TN is if they are a colour/image purist and dislike how the TN look.
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