Review: Asus MS238H

Our score: 3/5
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May 3, 2010 9:17 AM
5 want this Me too!
 
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Published: April 29, 2010 11:00 PM
By Alexandre Botella
The MS238H is a central model in Asus' new monitor range. You may remember that we've already tested this range's superstar monitor, the LS246H, which got a pretty decent score. Just like the LS246H, the Asus MS238H has the same unusual design with a photo-frame-style stand at the rear. It has a 2 ms Full HD TN panel and unlike the LS246H, the MS238H has a matte screen with LED backlighting that helps push down power consumption.

Stylish, but not exactly practical


Whether you love or you hate its original design, you have to admit that it's not enormously practical. The stand is fixed in place and can't be adjusted and video entries are limited to VGA and HDMI. It doesn't have any built-in speakers, but Asus has included a headphones socket for an easy way to channel audio input from the HDMI entry to a pair of headphones or a 2.1 or 2.0 speaker set.

Excellent responsiveness
Coloured   Transparent
Average ghosting
over ten frames

The MS238H is a 60 Hz monitor and makes a good alternative to the more responsive but also more expensive 120 Hz screens on the market. Its decent performances make it a good choice for gamers as well as for office computing and web browsing.

What's more, the average input lag of under one frame per second is low enough not to be a problem in multiplayer games. You'll even have the advantage over opponents using monitors with a higher input lag.

Colours need adjusting

Default colours

Ideal colours
Compare the MS238H to other LCD monitors in our product face-off

Until now, this monitor's performances have been very similar to those of the higher-end LS246H. However, colour reproduction is a different story entirely. The MS238H just can't compete with the LS246H as the average difference between the colours requested by the graphics card and those actually displayed by the monitor, or deltaE, is 4.1 (it should be under 3 for colour defects to go unnoticed). One of the many problems we detected was poor management of the distribution of brightness levels. In practice, this makes the grey shades too dark, like in the image above. Plus, given that it's impossible to correct the colours via the internal menu, your only option is to download a calibration profile or, better still, to calibrate it yourself if you have all the necessary equipment.

The contrast ratio is 870:1, which is close to the average recorded value of 850:1. It remains constant so long as you don't change the brightness to under 50 (100 cd/m²). Below that, the contrast drops.

SD upscaling needs improving

Upscaling SD sources like DVDs and digital TV programmes really isn't the MS238H's strong point. You'd be better off using it with a device that can already upscale a 1080p signal (like a DVD/Blu-ray player) rather than rely on the MS238H.
3/5 Asus MS238H DigitalVersus 2010-04-30 00:00:00

Pros

  • Responsiveness
  • Unusual design

Cons

  • TN panel makes the screen look dark from certain angles
  • Design lacks some practical features
  • Inaccurate colours can't be corrected

Conclusion

This monitor makes a good choice for gamers, but not for anyone looking to edit photos with any degree of accuracy.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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