Review: Asus VG248QE: Top Choice for Gamers

Our score: 5/5
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December 18, 2013 9:03 AM
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Published: April 1, 2013 11:00 AM
By Alexandre Botella
Translated by: Catherine Barraclough
Asus has outed an brand new 3D gaming monitor in the form of the VG248QE. This 24" Full HD display is announced with a 1 ms response time and a 144 Hz refresh rate rather than the standard 120 Hz. This is supposed to help keep movement looking smooth and sharp onscreen. On paper, it looks like the VG248QE could be one of the best options out there for gamers. So how does it shape up in practice?

Design & Build4/5



The Asus VG248QE looks a lot like its 23" ancestor, the VG236H. Its stand and casing are made from glossy black plastic and aren't the most original in design, but the finish is impeccable. This monitor is height-adjustable, swivels and the screen can be spun round into portrait mode. 

Asus VG248QE review - from the side
 
Asus VG248QE review  - from the front
 
There are plenty of video connections on hand too, with DVI, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort sockets.

Asus VG248QE review - connections

Audio is covered by 2 x 2-watt speakers and a headphones socket around the back of the screen. An audio entry is also on hand so you can input sound when using the analogue video connections (the VGA and DVI connections only input video signals whereas HDMI inputs both video and audio).

Asus VG248QE review - portrait mode


Seeing as this monitor has a TN screen, you'll need to make sure you sit facing the screen directly when using it in portrait mode, otherwise the screen will look too dark or light when viewed from the left or right. In landscape mode, the screen looks light/dark  when viewed from above or below. Asus could have got round this by using a VA or an IPS screen panel, although this would have affected the screen's responsiveness. And seeing as this monitor is first and foremost aimed at gamers, Asus' choice is understandable here.

Colours & Contrast3/5



Asus VG248QE review - colour tempColour temperature and greys — factory settings
Asus VG248QE review - gammaGamma — factory settings
Asus VG248QE review - coloursDelta E (colour fidelity) - factory settings

Colours aren't as accurate as they could be in this 24" monitor. Out of the box, the colour temperature is too high, which makes for a blue overtone. The gamma (distribution of brightness levels over the grey scale) isn't ideal either. Plus, with the factory settings, we measured the average Delta E at 4.1 (Delta E measures the difference between "perfect" colours and those displayed onscreen, and should be under 3 for colours to be considered "accurate").  



Asus VG248QE review - colour temp correctedColour temperature and greys — sRGB colour mode
Asus VG248QE review - gamma correctedGamma — sRGB colour mode
Asus VG248QE review - colours correctedDelta E (colour fidelity) sRGB colour mode

Switching the colour mode to sRGB brings the Delta E down to a more respectable 3.5 and gets rid of the blue tinge. The gamma still isn't perfect but gets considerably better. Another good thing about sRGB mode is that it brings the screen brightness down from 382 cd/m² to 250 cd/m², which is much less harsh on the eyes. However, this in turn pushes down contrast from 950:1 to 700:1 because the black level doesn't budge as the brightness drops. This monitor therefore isn't ideal for photo editing of graphic design. Still, those kinds of users will no doubt have already been put off by the TN display, as TN technology doesn't keep colour reproduction even and consistent over the screen. 

Responsiveness5/5



In 2D, the VG248QE can be used with its 144 Hz maximum refresh rate. To get the very best out of this display, change the TraceFree option from 60 to 80—don't go any higher otherwise reverse ghosting appears!

Responsiveness
Asus VG248QE review - responsiveness
White
Background
Black
Background
Average

This graph shows the ghosting time, in ms, which measures the time it takes this monitor to fully remove the previous frame. The shorter the time, the more fluid moving images will appear.


It's in this field that we were really expecting the VG248QE to impress, and it doesn't disappoint! We measured the ghosting time at 4 ms, making this the most responsive monitor we've reviewed yet. It knocks the Acer GN245HQ off our previous top-spot. This Asus VG248QE is therefore an excellent choice for gamers, especially FPS gamers looking to get response times as close as possible to good-old CRT screens ... or for other users looking for top-rate performances.

On top of that, the input lag of just 13.3 ms is too low to be noticeable. It therefore won't penalise gamers in online multiplayer set-ups.  

Nvidia 3D Vision 2
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If you already have an Nvidia 3D Vision 2 kit or if you're up for buying one, then this 24" monitor can be used for 3D gaming. Unlike the Asus VG278H, however, the only compatible 3D source here is a computer loaded with an Nvidia graphics card. The VG248QE can't be used with other 3D devices, as the monitor has no built-in infrared emitter for synchronising with 3D glasses. The VG248QE therefore can't be used with a 3D Blu-ray player or for 3G gaming with consoles like the PlayStation 3. A separate IR emitter supplied with the Nvidia kit needs to be hooked up to one of the computer's USB ports.

Once the 3D Vision 2 kit is installed, the 3D mode is very good. Although the maximum refresh rate is 60Hz per eye rather than the 72 Hz you may have been expecting, the left and right images don't really end up overlapping onto one another (crosstalk).

The LightBoost function is a nice touch too. This adjusts the screen's brightness on the fly to make up for the loss in brightness caused by using active-shutter glasses. Basically, the VG248QE is as good in 3D mode as it is in 2D!
5/5 Asus VG248QE DigitalVersus 2013-04-01 12:00:00

Pros

  • Fast screen response time (ghosting time measured at 4 ms)
  • Smooth onscreen movement in 2D mode at 144 Hz
  • Low input lag
  • Practical stand
  • Good-quality 3D mode

Cons

  • Contrast drops when you adjust the settings to improve picture quality (700:1)
  • Colours aren't accurate out of the box (uneven gamma / blue overtone)
  • Brightness is way too high with the factory settings (380 cd/m²)
  • No built-in IR emitter
  • No 3D glasses included
  • 3D restricted to 60 Hz per eye rather than the 72 Hz you might expect

Conclusion

While the Asus VG248QE may not be a top choice for graphic designers, this monitor could really appeal to gamers thanks to its record-breaking response time and its smooth, sharp onscreen images in all situations (in both 2D and 3D). It's just a shame that there's no IR emitter built-in, as you can't hook up a 3D Blu-ray player like you can with the VG278H.

OUR SCORE 5/5
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