|ASUS VW266H Widescreen LCD Monitor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Monitor | HDTV|
|Written by Doug Dallam|
|Sunday, 05 June 2011|
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ASUS VW266H Detailed Features
Obviously these are the controls. I can never remember what the icons stand for so I just start from the left and start pushing until I get what I want. And you will get what you want because this monitor comes with a whole box of settings. So, for posterity, let's go over them.
Starting on the left, we have the "modes." There are a total of 5 modes. You're probably familiar with these "modes" if you've ever adjusted an LCD television in the past couple of years. They give you a variable picture according to brightness and contrast, sharpness, color, saturation, and color temperature. Just hit the button on the fly and you get what seems like a brighter or darker display. Mode choices: Scenery, Theater, Game, Night, and Standard. Next we have the volume control, then the Menu, the Brightness, Input (DVI, HDMI Component, and VGA), and last the on/off button.
My only gripe is that I would have put the Menu button on the far left, not right in the middle, but then who am I right? Actually, I have another gripe too. The button navigation system is a little frustrating because the icons don't always correspond to what you want to do when navigating the menu. That is, however, a minor objection when considering a monitor. The OSD, though, is nicely laid out. Harking back to the menu button, this is the blood and guts of the monitor, and the options you have available get pretty gory. I'm not going to go into each one, but I'll mention a few.
You get preset color temps with Cool, Normal, Warm, sRGB, and User Mode. User mode allows you to adjust red, green, and blue to your needs. The preset sRGB mode does a pretty decent all around, general job of controlling the red, green and blue output. However, I sometimes put my graphics level IPS LCD side by side and use the "User" option to adjust by sight, which further improves color accuracy. I did, however, get the best color accuracy after hardware calibrating the monitor, and we'll go over that in depth later. Another noteworthy adjustment is the "Skin Tones" preset. You get three to choose from: Reddish, Natural, and Yellowish. The preset options are a nice touch and should satisfy most users, but you also get manual adjustments if you need them.
Additionally, if you use one of the preset modes (Theater, Gaming, Night, etc.), you won't be able to access the sRGB option since the sRGB option adjusts all of the monitor color and contrast variables to its own color table. If you see the sRGB option grayed out, simply choose the "Standard" option preset and the sRGB option will be available. Last, let me say that you can drive this monitor to an eye frying, thermonuclear contrast level using the manual or preset adjustments. I'm not kidding. This thing gets really bright. Thankfully, setting it to "Standard" brings contrast back to reality.
Let's look at the main OSD settings:
You can see above what I was talking about when I said some options will gray out if others are selected.
Now this is something you need to know if you have a need for color accuracy and you want to use hardware calibration tools. You won't find Kelvin numbers under the Cool, Normal, and Warm options. What you get is simply Cool, Normal, and Warm. I researched and could not find what each of those corresponded too on the Kelvin scale, so I'm guessing they correspond to other monitors Kelvin numbers, such as "Normal" would be at or very close to 6500. Choosing them confirmed this as "Normal" was much less blue than "Cool" and not as red as "Warm." This is important for calibration because your calibration hardware will ask you to use the monitor's factory settings, plus 6500 Kelvin. Well, actually you can just set the hardware to auto-dumb mode and let it go, and you'll probably get the same result. Anything we can do to get better color accuracy, however, is a benefit.
Here we have the business end of the monitor. This is pretty standard as you get DVI, HDMI, Component, and VGA inputs. You can also see that you have audio input and output jacks. Green is input and the other, black, is headphones or output. The input is there because the ASUS VW266H comes with internal speakers. Do any of you ever use those? Well, I guess they could be useful. I can imagine a time when I'm really broke and need to listen to some music and all I have is my monitor. Kidding aside, I can see that for office use they could provide some sound when needed at no extra cost or desktop real estate. Still, I've never used internal monitor speakers, and later on I'll tell you why. For now, let's get a little deeper into the technology of the ASUS VW266H LCD panel.