While we tend to get worked up into a frenzy over the latest DX11 graphics cards and get deep into the latest multi-core processor releases, displays get comparatively little bandwidth here. Maybe it's because it is much more difficult to definitively quantify which monitor is better than another using a standard benchmark. As a result, testing displays can be a subjective affair that is often far from conclusive. Although some reviews are helpful, shopping for a display is best done in person, to get a better feel for image quality, aesthetics, form factor, etc.
Today we're taking a look at a monitor that's part of a new trend sweeping the display market. No, we're not talking about 3D technology. The Asus MS238H is the first LCD monitor we've tested that features LED backlighting. This is basically the same technology found in the HDTV arena which makes displays thinner and lighter than ever before. LED back lit displays are so slim, they can be hung on walls like picture frames, eliminating the need for the heavy duty mounts that standard LCD products previously required. Furthermore, the MS238H sports a 23" widescreen layout, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, 2 ms response time, and ring shaped stand that distinguishes it from every other monitor available. As an added bonus, this TN display panel carries an affordable asking price, and should make this monitor an intriguing option for mainstream consumers. But enough with the hype. Let's find out if the MS238H is a worthy candidate for your next upgrade purchase.
||1920 x 1080
||16 : 9
||DC 10,000,000:1 (ASCR)
||2 ms (GTG)
||170º / 160º (Horizontal / Vertical)
||Twisted Nematic (TN) panel
||D-Sub, HDMI, Audio
||33W in operating mode / 1W in stand by
Energy Star Compliant
||Ring - Tilt Adjustable
|Dimensions (with stand)
||22.3" x 16.02" x 5.94". (WxHxD)
||Power Cord, D-sub Cable, HDMI to DVI Cable
Quick Start Guide, Ring Stand
||2 Years Limited (Parts/Labor)
Nearly all the specifications listed here are identical to many other 23" TN panels out there, with just a few exceptions. Specifically, Asus lists the dynamic contrast ratio at 10,000,000:1. As impressive as it sounds, its more marketing lingo than anything else. A dynamic contrast ratio measures the maximum difference between the brightest whites and darkest blacks the display can create, just not simultaneously. As a result, this particular number is not representative of the difference in luminance during actual use. Static contrast ratio is actually the number you should care about, but is not listed for the MS238H.
So, what else comes with the monitor? The accessory bundle consists of the basics to get you connected as quickly as possible after opening the box. It includes a VGA cable, power cord, HDMI-DVI cable, quick start guide, and warranty card. In general, monitors only come with basic necessities so this particular bundle meets our expectations. But we think it would be even better if the bundle included a cleaning cloth to wipe down the monitor from time to time. Nevertheless, keep reading as we go into more detail on the other features this display has to offer.