Asus VG23AH review: Asus VG23AH

Games: When evaluating the look of games on a monitor, the two most important features to consider are vibrancy and color. If the monitor can display games with a bright and vibrant cleanness, this goes a long way toward benefiting its looks. If colors can also pop with fullness and depth, games can usually look great. Streaking is a different concern that honestly isn't very pervasive with most modern monitors, but if you're concerned about it, be sure to check out the last paragraph in this section.

Different still is input lag, which is, put simply, the time it takes from when you input an action through your keyboard, mouse, or gamepad to when you see that action represented onscreen. Every monitor has a degree of input lag, but only a very small percentage of people would even notice it. Given that, it's not something I find valuable enough to test for. PSA over.

Under the Game preset, Dragon Age II displayed with a high vibrancy and deep color saturation. The Game preset actually may be a bit too saturated in color, which while great in certain games, can be distracting in games going for a more somber tone. This is more of a personal preference, however. If you find that the Games preset teems with too much color, the sRGB preset is a great alternative that still retains some vibrancy.

To test refresh rate, I used DisplayMate's motion graphics tests and stared at a number of colored blocks as they moved around the screen at various speeds. The VG23AH surprisingly displayed only slightly more noticeable streaking than the Samsung PX2370 did. That said, both monitors' levels of streaking were more than some of the faster, 120Hz displays like the Asus VG278H.

3D performance: I used Crysis 2 and Diablo 3 to evaluate the VG23AH's 3D capability. The VG23AH uses a passive solution for 3D, which by its nature only sends half the horizontal lines (540; half of 1080) of resolution to each eye. Conversely, active-shutter 3D solutions send the full 1080p image to both eyes. Compared with another passive-3D solution I recently tested, the HP 2311gt, the resolution downgrade wasn't as noticeable as it is here. That's not to say that 3D images on the VG23AH look like they're running at half the resolution. They don't, but they definitely don't look as sharp as the full 1080p image.

However, the real problem with the VG23AH's 3D performance is the offensively high amount of ghosting that occurs. In Diablo 3 especially, the level of ghosting is so egregious that game assets like your character's icon on the minimap, are doubled instead of just showing one image. Moving away from the screen diminishes the doubling effect somewhat, but not enough that I'd want to continue playing the game in this way.

Reducing the 3D depth helps as well, but even when turned up to max, the feeling of depth is slight at best, especially in Crysis 2. And while the effect was more prominent in Diablo 3, turning the depth up increased the amount of double-image occurrences.

To put it quite bluntly, the implementation of 3D on the VG23AH is bad. Really bad.

Photos: Thanks to its color accuracy, the sRGB preset was best at viewing. The preset doesn't oversaturate and has no real perceivable tint problems. Though you do lose a bit of color pop and vibrancy, it's a small price to pay for accuracy in this case.

Viewing angle: The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing colors as the manufacturer intended. Most monitors aren't designed to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when not viewed from optimal angles.

Antiglare (AG) screen coating plays a part as well. Some viewers prefer the coating not be applied at all, while others favor only a limited amount. Still others are completely indifferent; however, AG coating doesn't adversely affect quality, and its merits, or lack thereof, are strictly a question of preference.

The VG23AH uses an in-plane switching (IPS) panel, which provides a wide viewing angle from the right and left sides, as well as the top and bottom. Changes in color that you'd see very quickly on a twisted nematic (TN) panel, aren't apparent here until viewing at an extremely lateral angle from the left or right.

The amount of AG coating is light, evidence by the fact that I could easily see the reflection of the fluorescent ceiling lights in my test room when the monitor is tilted back and my viewing angle is from an extremely low position.

Brightness (in cd/m2)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP 2311gt
248 
HP 2311xi
244 
Asus VG23AH
235 

Contrast
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP 2311gt
1,195:1 
Samsung PX2370
948:1 
Asus VG23AH
947:1 
Dell S2330MX
899:1 
HP 2311xi
829:1 

Performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test LCD monitors.

Service and support
Asus backs the VG23AH with a three-year casing-and-panel warranty that covers the backlight. This includes its Zero Bright Dot guarantee, which promises full monitor replacement if any stuck pixels are found. The company also offers support through a 24-7 toll-free number, e-mail, and Web chat. At the time of this review, no drivers were available on the company's Web site for the VG23AH; that's surprising, given that the monitor was released weeks ago. That's not a deal breaker, of course -- the monitor does come with these files -- but an online repository for such support is always welcome. The monitor's manual, however, is available on the site.

Conclusion
The VG23AH costs about $300, which is a great price for an IPS display, especially since the overall performance is good, particularly when displaying movies. I'd have no trouble recommending it, simply based on that, but it also helps that you get some useful ergonomic options options and two HDMI ports. Also, the OSD navigation design is clunky, but the options within are robust and useful.

If you've never experienced 3D however and are excited to try it, don't make this monitor your first experience. After experiencing its 3D, you likely won't be too excited about the tech anymore. Luckily, there are other monitors that do 3D much more justice.

My advice: ignore the 3D. This is a great media consumption monitor that offers IPS performance for a low price and excels at displaying movies.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Quick Specifications See All

  • Display Type LED-backlit LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
  • Diagonal Size 23 in
  • Pixel Pitch 0.2652 mm
  • Image Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Hot Products