Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: Even though the VH242H includes a number of different image-quality presets for various content-type viewing scenarios, we found that most of the time the monitor's default settings were sufficient. That's not to say that tweaking the settings didn't moderately improve the image quality under some circumstances, but that is typically true for most monitors. In our opinion, most of the Splendid preset modes add little value, and the user looking to make appropriate tweaks is better off using the more advanced color temperature, sharpness, and saturation settings. Unfortunately, the sharpness and saturation settings are not user accessible when the display is in Standard Mode--the mode we preferred to use most of the time.
The $249 price tag of the VH242H is well below that of most other 24-inch or 23.6-inch LCD monitors. What makes this even more remarkable is that the VH242H includes features that aren't always found on more expensive displays, such as an HDCP-compliant HDMI connection and built-in stereo speakers. The HDCP-compliant HDMI connection means that not only could we play copy-protected HD content from our PC, but we could also hook up a Blu-ray player, DVR, or PS3 directly to the display via HDMI if we wanted to.
Overall, the VH242H is a solid, inexpensive monitor that displays great-looking images. It includes a number of features that we could probably do without, but often such features are personal preference--one user's cast-away feature or item is another's treasure sometimes. Regardless, you are going to be very hard pressed to find a quality 24-inch or 23.6-inch LCD monitor that comes close to the Asus VH242H's combination of performance, features, and price.