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ASUS VG278H 27” 3D Gaming Monitor Review

Author: AkG
Date: February 25, 2012
Product Name: VG278H
Part Number: VG278H
Warranty: 3 Years
 
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Conclusion


Like it or not, 3D is here to stay until Hollywood says otherwise and in the HDTV realm a least, that means years of image quality sacrifices are ahead of us. On the PC monitor front, the quality of stereoscopic 3D panels seems to be gradually improving as NVIDIA gradually asserts their control over the specifications attached to their monitor partners’ products. For the time being -or at least until AMD gets over their failed “open platform” bender- 3D Vision 2 is the way to go for anyone considering in-game stereoscopic 3D and the ASUS VG278H is one of the best monitors available if you want support for NVIDIA’s technology.

When it comes to stereo 3D gaming, the VG278H is a resounding success since it incorporates a number of features that immeasurably help anyone transitioning away from 2D. Instead of requiring hours of setup time, the intuitive OSD and excellent default colour profile allow for a successful plug and play experience with a minimum of end user input. Even if you find the out of box experience to be lacking, ASUS provides enough easily accessible options that relatively fine grain control can be applied to nearly every possible aspect of this monitor. Even during 2D gaming it was able to wow us with a true non-interpolated 120Hz refresh rate which is still something of a rarity these days. We did however find ourselves wishing for the on-the-fly depth adjustments granted by the dynamic wheel on NVIDIA’s 3D Vision breakout box but the integrated IR emitter on the VG278H was still able to adequately meet (and in some cases surpass) our needs.

The inclusion of NVIDIA-specific features like LightBoost and anti ghosting technology shouldn’t be overlooked either. Take LightBoost for example; its overdrive profile dynamically increases the LED backlight which virtually eliminates the much complained about brightness dropoff when using active polarized glasses. Not only do these features enhance immersion but they also add improvements in precisely the areas we found lacking with previous generation 3D monitors.

Unfortunately, there are some areas where ASUS’ newest gaming monitor falls short. It may incorporate a gaggle of features meant to take stereo 3D to the next level but minor amounts of crosstalk still creep into the image every now and then. We’re also not a fan of the 1080P resolution stretched across such a large surface but that’s the price you have to pay for a (somewhat) bargain price. That low resolution acts as a double sided sword though since you’d have to pay a fortune for graphics card setup that can play stereoscopic games at anything above 1080P.

One of the main questions you have to ask yourself before plunging into the 3D monitor pool is whether the investment is worth it or not. By selling their VG278H for a price of about $650, ASUS is forcing their potential consumers to either go 3D and accept a TN panel or pay the big bucks for a higher resolution IPS or PLS display. The ultimate direction of a purchase will be up to you but by including a pair of 3D Vision 2 glasses and an integrated IR emitter alongside an excellent all-round gaming monitor with a 3 year warranty, ASUS has brought a surprising amount of value to what used to be a highly overpriced market niche.

 
 
 

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