Impressions and Subjective Analysis

Packaging for the VG246H is definitely a step above the drab cardboard boxes all my other monitors have come in, but honestly it’s probably not going to be something you keep around. Still nicely done though.

Inside is lots of styrofoam - the 3D Vision Kit comes cleverly nested in a small recessed area off to the right and gets protected the same way as the display. Carefully placed inside is the display itself, the monitor base, a few accessories bags for cables, a manual and getting started guide, and the warranty.

Assembling the display is easy, but not quite as polished of an undertaking as the other stands I’ve used. You lay the display flat on a desk or table (which is a bit scary, since you could scuff or scratch the important bits you're going to be staring at), and then screw the base into the display arm using a supplied nut which folds down, letting the assembly rotate.

That screw there holds the arm to the base.

The part that’s scary is releasing the height adjustment lock, which is literally a pin jammed in the mechanism, preventing the spring loaded height-adjustment arm from extending. There’s an awesome diagram in the manual which pretty much says it all.

There’s also a yellow warning sticker right above where the pin is too. Thank goodness. Seriously, pull that pin out carefully, and only when you’re ready, or the monitor base will literally smash into your chest, or... other sensitive bits like that diagram above. Not fun.

Other display arms also usually have a height lock with a button of some kind, locking the display in its lowest height position. That makes it easy to transport the whole display assembly without having the base extended all the way and hitting your knees the whole time. Unfortunately, the VG236H lacks one of those - pick the display up, and the base will be sticking all the way out in its maximum extended position. Honestly, this is is the only truly major oversight on the entire display that I have some issue with.

The nice part about the display base however is that it swivels 150 degrees in each direction, which is awesome. The stand also tilts, and you get about 4 inches of height travel.

Tilt: -5 degrees to15 degrees

To be honest, the display arm feels a bit flimsy, but gets the job done just fine. The assembly is nicely balanced as well, not requiring much force to rotate, tilt, or adjust height. There’s no locking mechanisms for any of those three axes of adjustment, however. 

Height Travel

Again, most of the monitor’s plastic bits that face you are glossy plastic, and do show fingerprints. Curiously enough, the back of the display is standard textured matte plastic. I’m left wondering why the whole thing couldn’t be this way. The base of the display is also glossy, as is a bit of the height adjustment arm.

There’s a cable guide on the back, if you use those.

Additionally, the display is VESA mount compatible (the arm it ships with is screwed in there), so you can roll your own stand if you choose like I usually do.

Overview and Specifications Controls, OSD, and Viewing Angles
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  • synaesthetic - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    If your livelihood depends on color accuracy, you can damn well bet it's worth spending money on. Monitors cheaper than $300 have terrible color reproduction.
  • Seikent - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    I have the Samsung 2233RZ monitor (120 hz, 3d ready, 16:10), it is a bit cheaper than this one, but it has some limitations.

    I don't have the shutter glasses, but I don't care too much because I don't have a Nvidia card. I bought it just because the 120 hz refresh rate. Playing with vsync on is awesome, the visual experience is much better, it feels fluid and it is hard to go back. It is hard to understand because you can't see it how it feels without having this monitor in front of you. I recommend you to try one.
  • JGabriel - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    Brian King: "I’d say the vertical angle you get isn’t quite as advertised, but honestly if you’re viewing the monitor from so far down below that this is noticeable, you’re probably doing something wrong ..."

    Or viewing it in portrait mode after attaching it to a pivot arm. Really, Brian, that should have occurred to you, as you bragged about "rolling your own" only a few paragraphs earlier.

  • JGabriel - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    Whoops, sorry for getting your last name wrong, Brian. I mis-read it somehow. Apologies.

  • Brian Klug - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    I agree, but the primary weird viewing angle is from below. From above, it seems much better (like many other TN panels, which is quite typical). I've encountered exactly that issue before putting a TN panel in portrait, and it definitely isn't desirable.

    I would definitely not recommend doing that with this ASUS ;)

  • FH123 - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    Are 3D games, like Metro 2033, any better than what we get to see at the cinema? I saw Avatar (the film) and thought the 3D effects were laughable. In many scenes I could discern at most 3 or 4 planes of depth and, within those planes, everything looked flat. For example there might be a computer monitor in the foreground, then Sigourney Weaver, then the background. Where 3D worked it was mostly when things popped into the foreground, but the actors faces and backgrounds usually looked completely flat. South Park immediately sprang to mind. The actors looked like cardboard cut-outs in front of a background picture.

    Am I the only one noticing this effect? I admit my experience is very limited, as I walked out of Avatar half-way through and haven't watched anything 3D since. Nor do I have the desire to. The 3D effect was jarring and the film lost much of it's brightness, contrast and color saturation. What's the point? I own a good (JVC) projector. Something well recorded and not over-processed like, say, Treme (the TV series), looks far better to me than what I saw at the cinema that day. Depth perception, in that case, comes from low black-levels and proper dynamic range. Less dramatic, but it seems better to me.

    Having said that, perhaps there is some advantage games have over films, even films that rely heavily on CGI, such as Avatar? Do they, perhaps by virtue of having a depth coordinate for every pixel on the screen, give a better continuity of depth perception?
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    I agree with you, so that weird senstation is partly an artifact of 3D being added in after the fact, and partly just poor cinematography.

    The nice thing about games is that the 3D models are there already and have much finer meshes. I'd say that on the whole, no, that experience of things only existing in a few planes of depth is completely absent from gaming in 3D in any of the games I've tested thus far.

  • nvmarino - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    Brian, great review, thanks!

    One of the benfits of a true 120Hz display (120Hz at the input) you didn't mention are the benefits for HTPC usage - a framerate that's evenly divisible by 60 and 24 means you can output both 24fps and 60fps content without having to change the refresh rate in the video card settings. Any chance you can confirm if the monitor supports HDCP on the DVI input? Also, any chance you could see if the commercial Blu-ray players (i.e. PowerDVD, TMT3, and WinDVD) play nice when outputting @120hz? Would also be good to know if Windows Media Center has any issues when outputting @120Hz as well!

    Also, one minor gripe about your review - I think you're incorrectly referring to the system you're testing as "3D Vision Surround". "3D Vision *Surround*" is when using 3D Vision with multiple displays. Since you're reviewing with a single display it's just "3D Vision"...
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    Excellent catch on 3D Vision Surround versus 3D Vision, fixed that!

    I'll test to make sure, but I'm 90% certain that it supports HDCP. It'd be absolutely unforgivable to be shipping a monitor in 2010 without HDCP. Having HDMI onboard pretty much guarantees that at least that input does, but I'll double check. I don't expect any problems though.

  • Brian Klug - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    Just tested with PowerDVD 10 Mark II Version 10.0.1830.51 and playback is perfect - tried a variety of BD titles. Looks good at 120Hz (no stuttering). HDCP apparently does work over the DVI-D datapath.


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