This will be a my quick run-down on the Asus VG248QE. I will be speaking about the monitor only in it's Lightboost mode running at 120 Hz. I feel that is the only mode worthy of having a 1080P TN panel sitting on my desk.
The box and packaging is usual Asus quality. Everything came nicely packed and protected.
The stand allows for a nice range of height adjustment. It has tilt, base swivel and portrait rotation (monitor height must be fully extended to accomplish portrait rotation). Just like this monitors sister the BenQ XL2411T, the monitors can be adjusted high enough for proper viewing for us taller people. I do find the Asus stand slightly more attractive than the BenQ's very basic stand. The monitor has standard 100mm x 100mm VESA mounting bracket, with the screws being covered by removable rubber tabs.
The monitor offers, DL-DVI, Displaport 1.2 and HDMI. Although HDMI will not allow for refresh rates of 120-144 Hz. Audio inputs are provided if you dare use built in monitor speakers!
I just had to take a picture of these amusing speakers located in black here.
The front surface of the bezel, the stand base and back panel are all gloss black which I prefer. The inside lip of the bezel is matte black to prevent any glare issues. The panel has a matte anti-reflection coating. Although not as strong of a coating as found on some IPS displays, you can still see some sparkle. It does a fairly good job of eliminating reflections in a bright room, but at the typical cost of image quality.
Back light bleed is surprisingly minimal on the display, with only a hint along the bottom 1/3rd (remember cameras almost always over-exaggerate BLB in photo's).
Using a Spyder 3 Elite and custom adjusting the NVIDIA control panel settings, the crimson tint on both of these 1ms panels in Lightboost (LB) mode can be virtually eliminated. I suspect in addition to the LCD panels themselves being identical between the Asus and the BenQ, that also the LED back-light is from the same OEM. The panel and electronics chassis are of a floating design, relying on the front bezel to secure the LCD panel inside the monitor frame. This is unfortunately bad news for individuals wanting to remove the bezels and use VESA mounts. Since the electronics chassis is simply taped to the back of the LCD panel, and said chassis takes up most of the surface area, you would have to be very creative in order to modify for VESA mounting points.
Here the stock stand mounts only to the monitor housing itself.
The LCD panel chassis bracket is of a somewhat thicker design as shown here.
The monitors control buttons are of fairly good quality. I still prefer tactile buttons such as these over touch-sensitive buttons that seem to be popular these days and usually don't work as well.
In LB mode, you get two options for image adjustments. LB brightness and contrast.
One interesting feature that I like is Asus's Splendid "Game Plus". It allows HUD type floating cross hair's and an on-screen timer. For those that play "hardcore" type modes in games that do not allow a cross hair, it is an interesting feature.
Select-able cross hair types. I wish there was a more "minimalist" cross hair, but these are better than nothing.
Cross hair as it remains on screen. One nice thing about this cross hair setting is all you have to do is press the "S" button on the monitor and it quickly disappears.
Some colored image uniformity shots.
Setting LB to it's 10% position provides the greatest reduction in motion blur of 1.4 ms pulses. This allows me to full read Pixperan F4 scrolling text at a speed of 30 at 120 Hz. LB brightness setting of 100% increases the pulse width to 2.1 ms. A greater pulse width is obviously necessary to generate the brighter image. This does lead to a somewhat lesser clear motion, dropping my reading of Pixperan clearly into the 28-29 range and 30 becoming more difficult to read than at the 1.4 ms pulse 10% setting. One issue with the 10% setting as although it does work well in a dim room at night, it's brightness in a day-lit room (even with windows behind the display with shade) isn't up to par. This requires you to increase the LB brightness, and hence slightly reduce motion clarity. Even still, I don't feel the 100% LB brightness mode is quite up to par for use in a day-lit room with windows behind the display. Hence my mod to remove the matte film to increase brightness (more on that at the end of the article). The first image below is at a 10% LB setting, the second at 100% while viewing a bright web site such as the Beeb. The brightness difference is also more apparent in person than in photo's.
A few shots after calibration in a dim room at 10% LB. Stock color calibration is fairly bad, but can be made much more pleasing after calibration.
Overall for a street price of $279 as I write this, you get a heck of a value for your money. At least on this panel I have here, quality control seems to be pretty high. Back light bleed is minimal, there are zero stuck or dead pixels. The housing and stand are well made. A word of caution though for those that wish to remove the bezel, Asus has used a particularly strong snap design. It requires much more force than most monitors I have disassembled in the past. If force is applied in improper positions you risk breaking the plastic. I used a special trim tool to assist.
Gaming on this monitor is a pleasure as far as motion clarity is concerned. As a FW900 aficionado, this monitor with the right settings can have just as clear of motion. While the FW900 does have superior image quality, you also have a smaller image (22.5" versus 24"). Using NVIDIA driver 313.96, enabling Lightboost has been a fairly painless experience (although as some others have found out there is a bug in which under certain circumstances your computer will start pausing and behaving extremely sluggishly when adjusting 3D settings). Interestingly enough, the monitor seems to like to stay "stuck" in LB mode, even after adjusting settings in the control panel. This is actually a boon for those of us that bought this monitor for 24/7 LB mode like myself.
Yes, there are no fancy color calibration results, panel luminosity tests, gamma curves and input lag tests in this run-down. I'll leave that to those with more time. As for input lag, I am fairly certain that users will not be disappointed (and I no longer have my FW900's to do a real test with). As a long time competitive FPS player, it feels great, just like it's sister the BenQ XL2411T. That monitor was reviewed to have only a few ms input lag which is completely in the trivial numbers department. I wouldn't be surprised if the Asus and the BenQ have similar if not identical electronics components to one another above and beyond the panel and back light.
After having used a 1440P Catleap IPS panel at 130 Hz for many months, 1080P TN is a bit hard to swallow. The motion clarity on the Asus us superb, but of course with all current display technologies there are huge trade-offs. It just depends on where your priorities lie and what content you view with your monitor. I do find that 1080P does make somethings (especially at distance) in more "realistic" designed games like BF3 a bit difficult to see versus a 1440P panel.
My last note will be with the matte anti-glare film. I have never been a fan. They reduce perceived contrast, black levels, color quality, screen clarity. Basically every aspect of display quality besides glare is reduced. That is a trade-off I am not willing to make. Another huge detriment of matte film is that it reduces brightness levels (one of the largest reasons for this mod). This monitor could use some help in the brightness area in a lit room. I am currently building a clean-box to remove the matte film and apply a high quality gloss layer. This should improve the image quality drastically, as TN panels need the most help in that regard. If you've seen one of Samsung's "Ultra-Clear" glossy TN panels, you would understand. In order to properly ensure that the underlying polarization layer is not damaged at any point during the monitors life, a protective gloss film will be required. A gloss modification service may be provided in the future for those that want the benefits of a gloss screen in a market where none-exists (120+ Hz Lightboost). Also, when installing a new adhesive film layer, a clean-box must be used or any dust or debris particles will adorn your image permanently. You wouldn't want one of these stuck in-between the layers of your new display now would you
PS: with motion clarity this good, you must try Chromium wheel smooth scroller. Reading text as it smoothly scrolls up like liquid is a pleasure!Edited by CallsignVega - 2/1/13 at 11:31am