ASUS VG278H 27” 3D Gaming Monitor Review
While the whole 3D movie “revolution” seems to be waning (again) there is one area where 3D has the potential to provide a better, more immersive experience: PC gaming. Initially many will turn their noses up at the proposition of stereo 3D on a relatively small computer monitor but there is no way to accurately describe the tangible benefits it can bring to the table. Will it help you frag enemies faster or facilitate co op play? Absolutely not but adding another dimension to onscreen images can revitalize old games and breathe new life into stale genres. While we have been reticent towards delving too deeply into this niche – preferring to focus more on “professional” monitors than “gaming” monitors - the all new ASUS VG278H caused a stir when it was first announced alongside NVIDIA’s 3D Vision 2 kit so we just had to take a closer look.
As the “27” and “G” in the name suggests, the VG278H is a 27” monitor that is part of ASUS’ Gaming lineup. This was the unofficial partner product for the 3D Vision 2 launch and seems to have been designed from the ground up to be a turnkey solution for anyone looking for anyone looking for a large stereoscopic monitor. Not only is there a massive amount of screen real estate but an integrated emitter allows for multiple pairs of 3D Vision glasses to be wireless hooked up without additional components. Advanced features like Lightboost are also included and should help eliminate many of the previous generation’s glaring faults.
When taken at face value, ASUS has priced this monitor very competitively. For about $650 you get an LED backlit TN-based 27” screen that includes a pair of 3D Vision 2 glasses and is capable of handling demanding 3D applications. It should also excel in 2D workloads by virtue of a native 120Hz refresh rate. To give you some perspective of where this stands, many 27” 3D monitors sell for similar prices sans glasses or emitter.
Unfortunately, to meet this extremely aggressive MSRP ASUS did have to make significant concessions on the panel side of the equation. For all intents and purposes “stereoscopic 3D” – especially second generation 3D – goes hand in hand with TN panel technology even though some companies have unsuccessfully tried to introduce ultra expensive IPS-based designs. While a TN panel may be par for the course for gaming monitors, a resolution of just 1920 x 1080 is certainly a bit disconcerting since typical 27” panels use 2560 x 1440 and even for a 24” monitor “1080P” is a touch on the low end.
A rather large dot pitch ratio may indeed prove to be a significant Achilles’ heel but the VG278H’s unique capabilities may just be able to overcome this and allow it to win a place in the hearts of PC gaming enthusiasts.
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