First Impressions and Construction
Upon removing the PW191 from its packaging, we were immediately impressed with the monitor's sleek design. The PW191 features a gloss-black front bezel that's got an almost mirror finish and a machined aluminum base that compliments the panel very well. Take a look for yourself; we think many of you will agree.
The panel at the heart of the Asus PW191 is a 19" widescreen (16:10 aspect ratio), with a native resolution of 1440x900. The panel itself is also outfitted with a "glare-type" coating - dubbed "Color Shine" - just like many of the newer notebooks currently available. If you have any experience with "glare-type" displays, however, you know they are somewhat of a double-edged sword. The glossy covering makes the panel prone to reflections, especially when darker colors are being displayed on screen. But the glossy covering also make colors appear more vivid due to an increase in effective contrast. Throughout our testing of the PW191, we'd definitely say the glare-coating enhanced our overall experience, but we did find ourselves re-positioning the screen occasionally to eliminate reflections from the overhead lights in the lab.
If you divert your eyes to either side of the PW191, you'll see the perforations in the front bezel for the monitor's built-in speakers. The PW191 is equipped with a pair of 2 watt full-range speakers that are much better than their diminutive size suggests. Of course, gamers and movie lovers will not be happy with these built in speakers, but for general desktop use they are more than adequate.
The PW191's aluminum base not only enhances this monitor's visual appeal, but it is quite functional as well. The base acts like a "lazy Susan" and offers 120o of rotation as well as 5o - 25o of tilt, height adjustment, and 90o of pivot. The build quality of the base and the panel is very good, and overall, the PW191 definitely feels solid to the touch. We've used a handful of Dell panels over the years, and while we've liked their image quality and value, we've always found the plastics used for the bezels and bases to feel somewhat flimsy. We did not get that feeling when manipulating the PW191.