Looking for a suitable replacement LCD monitor in the last 12 months, I recently purchased the Asus PW191 for £215. The ASUS PW191 is a 19 widescreen (16:10 ratio) LCD monitor featuring built in speakers with 1 x VGA and 1 x DVI input. The main specs as quoted from the Asus website are as follows:
TFT-LCD (Anti-Reflection Glare Type Panel)
19" Wide Screen
Contrast Ratio (Max.):
Viewing Angle (H/V):
ZBD (Zero Bright Dot)
Within recent years, demand for LCD monitors has increased along with improvements in LCD technology and a sharp fall in prices. LCD monitors are now competitively priced and widely affordable with some widescreen 19 monitors now under £150. Although such monitors may perform well and offer good value for money, many have a typical ordinary office look which can clash with the home environment.
The most striking feature of the Asus PW191 is the smart and stylish design. With its aluminium base and black piano lacquer finish, this monitor has style that puts others to shame. With the Taiwanese manufacturer continuing on from its reputation of quality notebooks, Taiwans past reputation of exporting cheaply manufactured goods is quickly being put into reverse.
The monitor features 90 degree rotation and height adjustment, a feature I have found most use for playing classic side scrolling arcade shooters with Mame.
The PW191 features a VGA and DVI input, taking advantage of this I have an XBOX 360 and PC simultaneously connected without the need to swap cables. The monitor comes complete with both DVI and VGA cables which fit neatly just beneath the monitor.
The monitor features touch sensitive controls with backlit icons on the bottom right corner of the bezel. When the monitor is switched off, these disappear. Although the menu includes all the options that one would expect, initially the touch sensitivity can be difficult to navigate through. This takes some getting used but after a while it becomes a lot easier.
With the PC and XBOX 360 hooked up, the 8ms response rate is more than sufficient to keep up with fast pace of games. The colours are vivid, vibrant and bright making this monitor suitable for multimedia use as well as typing documents and web browsing. With the XBOX 360 output set to 1280 x 720, the monitor scales non native resolutions well. The only drawback being that the 16:9 image is stretched to the 16:10 ratio of the display.
The panel uses a glossy coating, similar to Sonys XBRITE monitors. In certain environments with artificial lighting this may be unsuitable for some, especially the work professional. Due to the vivid colours and anti-glare coating those who mostly use office design tools that require colour accuracy may not find this monitor suitable. However, for the multimedia home environment, the monitor serves its purpose very well. Further to this the native resolution of 1440x900 is adequate for a 19 monitor of its nature. Those who wish to have more windows open on a single monitor may be better off with a larger monitor with a higher resolution.
Having purchased various LCD monitors in the past, it can be very disappointing to switch on the monitor for the first time only find dead pixels. This is always an annoying distraction. Yet, most manufacturers and retailers do not consider dead pixels a fault, simply referring to the ISO standards. Reassuringly, Asus does away with this nonsense by including a Zero Bright Dot guarantee, what others will refer to as a dead pixel guarantee. Hopefully this is something that all LCD manufacturers will offer eventually.
Browsing the review sites over the past months, the ASUS PW191 appears to have received very high appraisal for the design and average ratings for its technical performance. This could partly be down to who the monitor is aimed at. Work professionals should be looking for more work orientated monitors that offer better colour accuracy and higher resolutions. The glossy coating will only serve as a distraction for the professional. However, as a monitor to be used in the home environment, I have been very pleased with the performance for video playback and gaming use. The built in speakers are sufficient although some may prefer to attach a pair of external speakers. Overall taking into account the very attractive and distinctive styling, connectivity options, ZBD guarantee and suitability for multimedia performance, the Asus PW191 is highly recommended.