Monitor Reviews: 22-40" LCD Displays

REVIEW / Asus VE278Q

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Alexandre Botella Published on November 29, 2010
Updated on November 29, 2010
Translated by Sam McGeever

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Screen size 27 inches
  • Panel type TN
  • Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Response time 2 ms
  • Inputs (HDMI / DVI / VGA / Component) 1 / 1 / 1 / 0
  • Other details Display Port input, headphone output, 2 x 3 W speakers
Asus is extending its range of monitors with the VE278Q, a 27'' monitor with a 2 ms TN panel,  whose 1920 x 1080 pixel display is backlit with LEDs.

Unlike the manufacturer's Designo range, whose monitors, including the LS246H and MS2387H, rely on an unusual design to stand out, the VE278Q is setting out to build a solid reputation based on its performance alone.

Hardware: inputs save the day

Finished from head to toe in shiny plastic, the VE278Q has what is ultimately a fairly traditional look for a monitor.  It rests on a round stand which only allows the screen to be tilted back a few degrees.  With no accessories (you don't get a USB hub for instance) the only thing left to look at is its connectivity, which, fortunately, is pretty decent.  There are VGA, DVI, HDMI and Display Port inputs at the back, but for audio, there's just a single line in wired up to a pair of 2 x 3 W speakers or a line out.

Responsiveness: needs adjusting

Although it's billed as a 2 ms monitor, meaning it should be suited for gamers, the VE278Q's default configuration didn't convince us of this.  You can, however, improve things by using the onscreen menu to adjust the 'Trace Free' option from 0 to 40.  Be careful not to go any further, otherwise you might end up with reverse ghosting.

Responsiveness
 Light
Background
Dark
Background
Average
 This graph shows the time, measured in ms, that the monitor takes to entirely remove the previous frame.  The shorter the time, the more fluid moving images will appear.

If you set it up this way, the VE278Q is very good and becomes an excellent choice for gamers who aren't ready to make the jump to a more responsive-but more expensive-120 Hz display.  Fast-moving objects are displayed with enough clarity to suit these demanding users.

Input lag is so low it falls below the threshold of visibility to the naked eye.  There's absolutely nothing to worry about when you're gaming online: this monitor won't be what's holding you back.

Colours: a pleasant surprise


The VE278Q does a more than satisfactory job of reproducing colours without the need for any further intervention.  No one colour dominates, and although the gamma curve is slightly out of place, there is no real problem with the distribution of brightness across different shades of grey.  The deltaE score, or the average discrepancy between the colours requested by the graphics card and those actually shown on screen, is under 3.0, the limit below which we consider the colour reproduction to be accurate.

We still tried to see if we could make things any better, but we didn't manage.  But don't worry, this monitor is very good as it is and will be perfectly fine for the majority of users.  The only people who might have a real problem with it are those who spend a lot of time editing photos, or users who can't stand TN technology because of the uneven nature of colours.  They're more likely to want to try an IPS-based screen, like the Dell U2410.

At over 980:1, the VE278Q's contrast ratio is above the average value for monitors, 850:1.
Movies
By default, upscaling of SD sources to HD is poor quality and the results are blurry.

The good news that you can get rid of this blur by moving from Standard to Cinema mode. The bad news is that a lot of detail in darker parts of the frame disappears along the way.

For upscaling itself, there's nothing else you can do, other than leaving the job to your favourite console or DVD player, so the monitor can receive a 1080p signal directly.

PROS

  • Colours are accurate without any calibration
  • Above average contrast
  • Responsive
  • Lots of connectivity options

CONS

  • TN panel, so poor vertical viewing angles
  • Stand doesn't allow movement

CONCLUSION 4/5

With an alternative panel technology and a slightly more flexible stand, the VE278Q would have easily managed five stars instead of four. It's a good 27'' monitor and represents value for money.
4 Asus VE278Q Digitalversus 2010-11-29 00:00:00
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