Remember that 120 Hz monitors like this are more responsive, but also allow you to dive into the world of 3D using a 3D Vision kit and a recent Nvidia graphics card.
Build Quality and Design: better than most
It seems that Asus has learnt some lessons from its competitors' mistakes, and the hardware here is a little more user-friendly than on some other 120 Hz monitors we've tested. While the Acer GD245HQ, currently the 120 Hz screen that the others need to beat has VGA, DVI and HDMI, Asus has chosen DVI and HDMI, but with a height-adjustable, rotating stand. That makes it better on this front.
Note that the VG236H has a glossy screen, so you'll need to be careful about where you put it, avoiding natural light sources that can provoke the reflections that this sort of finish suffers from.
Colours: dreadful to start with, but much better later
|Measured Colours: Factory Settings
Look out: when you first switch it on, the VG236H's brightness is an aggressive, if not downright unpleasant, 300 cd/m². That's not the only problem either: the colour temperature is too high, the gamma curve to low, leaving a deltaE of 4.7. In practice, that means the colours aren't reproduced accurately and tend towards blue with shades of grey that are too light. In short, we suggest you avoid this monitor's default settings.
|Measured Colours: After Correction
Compare the Asus VG236H to other LCD monitors in our Product Face-Off
Incredibly, though, you can reduce all of these problems by making two simple changes to the settings on the menu. You just need to turn brightness down to 44 and set the colours to 'Warm'. Not only does the screen dim enough to be usable, the gamma curve and colour temperature both return to normal. The average deltaE falls under 3.0, the figure at which we consider the colours to be accurate, and these two settings pull this monitor's score in this section up from two to four stars.
Adjusting the settings like this also improves the contrast ratio, climbing from a default of 750:1 to above 850:1 when set up correctly.
Responsiveness: very good but not the best
over ten frames
Although the VG236H is faster than any 60 Hz screen because of its higher refresh rate, it isn't the fastest amongst 120 Hz monitors, meaning the Acer GD245HQ can maintain its crown.
So it's not the best 120 Hz monitor, but that doesn't mean it isn't fast enough to keep up with rapid movement in any type of game, and will, of course, also be fine with less demanding office work.
Remember, you can trade a little bit of responsiveness off against playing using 3D Vision. Although the majority of games are compatible with this system, the results aren't always even.
Movies: upscaling needs some work
Films aren't displayed anywhere near as well as they would be on a TV. Monitor manufacturers still haven't realized they need to include the right circuitry to improve video display, and without it, upscaling SD sources is far from perfect. You'll need to rely on a dedicated player to do all the hard work upstream and send a 1080p signal straight to your monitor.
- Accurate colours after configuration
- 3D compatible
- Good hardware
- Colours aren't accurate by default
- Too bright by default
- TN panel, so poor vertical viewing angles
The VG236H isn't the fastest 120 Hz monitor, but it what it lacks in responsiveness, it makes up for with extra hardware features its competitors are lacking. Once it's set up properly, it has colours that are as good as the Acer GD245HQ's. If usability is important for you, it's the best 3D monitor around. If not, head for the GD245HQ.