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Asus VW202T review: ASUS VW202T

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The Good Excellent display quality for the right price.

The Bad Shallow viewing angles. Speakers are terrible.

The Bottom Line ASUS's VW202T hits that sweet spot between price, performance and size. Only those who need colour perfection should steer clear, for everyone else this is spot on.

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8.0 Overall

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There's a lot of 22-inch monitors floating around at the moment, and honestly if you're looking to purchase one it's pretty hard to go wrong -- this is down to the fact that by and large most companies use the same panel, throw in their own electronics, tweaks and software and then bundle it under their own chassis and brand.

ASUS's VW202T is actually a 20-inch screen, but seems to mirror the exact performance of its bigger brethren, with a native resolution of 1,680x1,050, a response time of 5ms and the use of a TN panel. It also exhibits the same shallow vertical viewing angles and discolouration on the horizontals once you've moved your head too far -- but this won't trouble most, as sitting directly in front of it is perfectly fine.

Design
Surrounded by a black matte bezel with a silver trim at the bottom, the design is unobtrusive and non-offensive. Five buttons are worked into the silver trim on the right hand side, for image presets (ASUS's "Splendid" technology), adjustment/navigation, menu and power, the latter lit by a blue light when active.

The stand is basic but reasonably robust, allowing the user to only tilt the screen -- swivel and height adjustments can only be made by moving the whole unit, or by propping it up with that unread copy of "The Great History of Shoelace Aglets" a well meaning relative gave to you. A cable management clip is featured on the neck.

Speakers are built into the back of the unit and situated at the top of the screen, although they flange and distort as well as vibrate the chassis if you set the volume to above 50 percent -- as usual, it's best to simply buy your own speakers, and we'd much prefer this feature to be dropped to save some cash on the product.

Features
ASUS's included "Splendid" technology is simply a set of image presets, that like the rest tends to over-contrast and over-saturate images, resulting in loss of subtle colour detail. These modes are generally designed to make things look vibrant in the high light environment of a store, to help ship units where the floor staff are unlikely to properly calibrate demo stock -- most home users will do much better by leaving it set to "Standard" and custom calibrating.

On the interface side, the left navigation button allows access to quick volume control, while the right brings up brightness adjustment. The menu is easy enough to navigate, and is generally quite responsive.

Video inputs are kept to DVI and VGA only, with of course the ability to switch between them, while a single 3.5mm jack is used for audio input.

Performance
Firing up Half-Life 2: Episode 2, gaming was immersive and trouble free. Movies were similarly good, however the shallow viewing angles limits an ideal experience to an audience of one, sitting directly in front of the monitor. Running DisplayMate (our image quality testing tool) the VW202T whipped through the test gauntlet. No real show stoppers were present, but the screen did exhibit a tendency to crush to blacks a little too quickly on the gradients.

Needless to say graphic designers and colour perfectionists should invest elsewhere, but for the vast majority of consumers, this is a great monitor. At the time of writing, with a little bit of searching you can pick it up for around AU$300-350, which can only sweeten the deal. Recommended.

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