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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor 3D Vision-2 Kit
Closer Look: ASUS VG278H
ASUS VG278H Detailed Features
Monitor Testing Methodology
NVIDIA 3D Vision Special Effects
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 Final Thoughts

I'm very picky about my vision because I depend on my eyes for all facets of my professional life. It's important to me, which is why I already regularly wear digital eyewear to help ease the strain after many long hours on the computer (see our reviews). So while the original NVIDIA 3D Vision shutter glasses were a great leap forward in terms of available technology, they seemed to take the contrast out of colors and made everything darker. Announed just a few months ago, NVIDIA's 3D Vision 2 technology solves one of the biggest complains with stereoscopic shutter glasses: eye strain caused by the darkened lens. Lighter lens paired with brighter LED-backlit monitor panels make 3D Vision as vivid and colorful as pictures without the glasses and effects. Packaging the ASUS VG278H monitor with NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 glasses was a brilliant decision, ensuring the best possible experience is delivered to enthusiasts.

Bleeding edge technology tends to sell at a premium, and 3D Vision monitors are not much different. For those who can afford the hardware, it earns its value back by delivering a whole new dimension of entertainment. Single-display 3D Vision (one ASUS VG278H kit) offers most of what I consider to be the total 3D experience, although 3D Vision Surround with three 3D-ready monitors is truly something to behold. I'll admit to a bias towards 3D technology, in the same way that I'm biased towards drinking clean water. Sure, you can live with something less satisfying, but if you can afford the premium products it makes sense to enjoy them.

In my own experience with a triple-monitor 3D Vision Surround setup is that it gives you a competitive advantage with PC video games featuring large maps with distant view ranges, especially first person shooters such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Medal of Honor. It opens up your peripheral vision to expose hidden enemies, allowing you to gain a tactical advantage over other players. Unfortunately, this technology is limited to video games and the Windows Desktop because NVIDIA 3D Vision movies and multimedia are reduced to a single window. Watching 3D Blu-ray movies through 3D Vision 2 was a treat, and seemed to have more range than 3D movies at the theater. While two hours with the older (3D Vision) shutter glasses might push the limits, the new 3D Vision 2 glasses eased the effect and made me forget I was wearing anything.

ASUS-LCD-Monitor-VG278-3D-Vision-Kit-Angle.jpg

ASUS VG278H Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

If you're reading this article, chances are very good that you're either interested in 3D Vision technology or already have a 3D monitor you want to upgrade. In either case, you probably understand that the ASUS VG278H monitor kit is a premium product focused directly at enthusiast gamers willing to spend more on hardware to receive a much higher level of realism from their entertainment sources. Simply put: it's not intended as a mainstream display for casual computing.

Overall, the ASUS VG278H performed above my expectations. The SPLENDID Video Intelligence Technology allowed the monitor to quickly switch between five viewing modes: Scenery, Standard, Theater, Game, and Night View. Each mode had it's own set of perks, but Standard mode is sufficient for most activities. I personally tested the VG278H with several games and movies, in both standard 2D and enhanced 3D environments, and there was absolutely no ghosting at any point. Additionally, the old issue where 3D Vision (1) shutter glasses made games slightly darker has been resolved with LightBoost technology and the new 3D Vision 2 glasses.

The VG278H features a polished piano black bezel surrounding a matte-finished TFT LCD panel. While I realize that nearly every single monitor produced these days offers a glossy finish, there are times when a reflective glare around the edge distracts from the center panel so the matte finish was appreciated. The adjustable stand comes with the same piano black finish, and offers movement in every direction. Out of the box this monitor's LED backlighting was too bright for me, leading me to custom-adjust my settings to +10 Brightness and +80 Contrast. After two months of daily use with different settings I have not experienced any LED light bleed issues, and UDPixel did not pronounce any TN TFT panel concerns.

Functionality is one area where the ASUS VG278H really stands tall. Aside from the fully adjustable stand, the monitor itself offers nearly as much flexibility. Dual-link DVI, HDMI, and component video input ensure that the VG278H remains compatible with every modern platform. Some might consider 120Hz monitors a 3D-only necessity, but the added definition helps everything look better - especially HD video. Of course, this monitor is all about 3D, which is why it comes bundled with a 3D Vision kit. As I've mentioned throughout this article, 3D Vision helps to double to fun in video games and make 3D movies incredibly immersive.

As of January 2012, the ASUS VG278H kit costs $699.99 at NewEgg. Despite the fact that this is a premium enthusiast product, the ASUS VG278H still offers some value savings. Taken separately, the cost of a LED-lit 27" TN-TFT LCD monitor and NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 kit easily exceed the price of the ASUS VG278H package. ASUS offers this kit with a three-year limited warranty, which is appreciated considering the randomness of some monitor failures and problems. While the combo discount is nice, I think another way ASUS/NVIDIA could have enhanced this kit would be to include a 3D movie or game. I suppose this is where consumers can apply that money they've just saved.

In summary, the ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor 3D Vision 2 Kit is a unique collection of products specifically designed to compliment each other and deliver the best possible 3D media experience. There are plenty of 3D options being developed and sold right now, but none of them offer the realism that 3D Vision does. Video games, movies, streaming multimedia and broadcasts, photos - this is all familiar territory for NVIDIA's stereoscopic 3D technology. The ASUS VG278H builds on this opportunity, and produces rich color and sharp contrast in a 1080p package. For cutting edge enthusiasts who can afford to ride the 3D wave, ASUS' VG278H is an effective way of introducing them to the latest technology supported by a vast number of media platforms.

I consider NVIDIA 3D Vision the perfect gift for the man who has everything. It's easy to recommend the ASUS VG278H monitor kit to enthusiasts wanting the most realistic special effects added to their games and movies. The LED-backlit monitor is far brighter than previous 3D products, and NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 makes the experience much more enjoyable. Combined to create the ideal 3D entertainment package, the ASUS VG278H 3D Vision 2 kit earns the Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer AwardPros:

+ Includes NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 second-generation glasses
+ 27-Inch 1920x1080p high-definition widescreen display
+ HDMI, component video, and DVI-D input
+ 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio
+ 2ms Response time (gray to gray)
+ 120Hz Refresh rate improves 2D definition as well
+ 3-Year ASUS warranty support
+ Compatible with 3D-DVD and 3D Blu-ray players
+ Not a single stuck pixel or artifact with UDPixel

Cons:

- Menu buttons blend into bezel in dark environments
- Not equipped with integrated speakers
- Requires modern GeForce video card for 3D effects
- Expensive enthusiast product

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.25
  • Appearance: 9.75
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 7.50

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.


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Comments 

 
# RE: ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor 3D Vision-2 Kitkallymoral 2012-01-18 04:41
VG278H amazing LCD monitor best thing is NVIDIA 3D Vision-2 glasses kit, 120Hz high-definition 1080p picture quality, and 3D special effects.
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# ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor 3D Vision-2 KitPaleRider 2012-01-31 01:50
I find it difficult to believe that if this thing were so good, only 51% of the buyers who wrote a review at NewEgg.com gave it a 5 out of 5 Egg rating.
Thank you for the disclaimer stating that these reviews express the opinion of only the author, as this "review" appears to be an advertisement for NewEgg.com.
3D technology has not evolved far enough yet. Also, from the people I know personally and those in the various Forums I frequent, they're really not interested in it. They, myself included, think that this is a fad that is being directed at our children by companies such as Nvidia and the gaming industry. You can tell by the limited amount of 3D movies that Hollywood is also not very interested in this technology.
What is the time frame of 3D fads? 5 to 10 years between attempts to coerce people into thinking it's worthwhile?
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# RightMergatroid 2012-01-31 16:27
Most of the "reviewers" over at the "Egg" couldn't find their butts even if they had a dog.

I have used 3D on a CRT monitor back in the day with a Deluxe Geforce card that came with 3D LCD shutter glasses. It was awesome on Mechwarrior games at the time using a 19" monitor running at 120Hz (dropping to 60 for 3D), and I can't see it getting any worse. Personally I think PC games are the killer app for 3D.

I have the 2D version of that ASUS monitor, along with another 27" ASUS monitor on my desk right now and I can attest to the quality of the ASUS monitor products. I service LCD monitors and TVs for a living and I see a lot of them. I have not checked out the 3D version but personally I doubt it's going to be worse quality than their 2D monitors. At the very least you get a 27" 120Hz LCD monitor which would almost make it worth the purchase even without 3D.

Considering 3D for PCs has been around for almost 20 years (if not longer) I think you and your friends are completely wrong about it being a fad. Personally, I can't see how you can even talk about it if you haven't tried it.

Now, 3D TV is quite another beast. Count me in on the "not interested" pile in regards to 3d TVs and movies.
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# 3D RepJim Krisvoy 2012-02-01 17:14
I beg to differ with you on 3D theatrical content. There are a minimum of 3-5 3D titles coming out on average this year, ultimately to feed the now growing 3D TV market. As far as aiming 3D monitors at children, if its used for educational purposes, learning retention nearly doubles (as far as older research is concerned) and about 17% or more with current research.3D can provide a nice aesthetic - and a number of more well established feature directors appear right now to be establishing the trend. Like anything else, there will be a number of misfires, but 3D is here to stay. Get used to it.
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# 3D repJim Krisvoy 2012-02-01 17:15
Sorry for the typo. I meant an average of 3-5 3D titles are in theatres every month - with more to come.
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# RE: 3D repNsmithey 2012-05-05 19:54
I have an app on my passive 3d Tv, called "Vudu" which currently has about 50 3d movie titles you can rent, for about $1 more than the non-3D versions, which I consider well worth the price! New 3d movie titles are added as they're released.

I also have an app on my blu ray player, which has a free streaming Internet TV station, which features a variety of 3d shows, including National Geographic and History channel 3d shows, children shows, and even some sports.

I believe that Direct TV now offers several 3d channels, including an ESPN sports channel that broadcast games primarily in 3d.
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# If you don't like 3D you haven't seen it properly yetMudwump 2012-12-15 17:10
PaleRider you live in the past. 3D is amazing on games and I don't shill for ANY hardware or software manufacturers. It's small minded fools like you who cause many people to miss out on what will be the most amazing experience in media they've ever had. Everyone I've had sit down in front of this monitor specifically (past technologies weren't quite as good) have said - without fail - "I want one of these" a very short time after viewing. The problem with 3D movies is they cut between shots so much, as we expect of movies. They also keep 3D "safe" and don't push the depth very much. With games you often find the 3D setting is by default "safe" as well - about 15% depth. If you push it to 95% you are immersed fully in what is going on.

I hope one day people stop listening to fools like PaleRider and all those others out there who've never actually seen the technology used properly and will give this a proper go. It won't be long before this WILL be the default way to play games.
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# I believe you are confusedNate Swetland 2012-01-31 05:51
I think you confuse newegg.com reviews with actual product reviews. Also, even though "only" 51% of newegg reviews give it 5/5, another 16% give it 4/5, leaving more than a third of the people who bought it giving it an 80% or higher rating. Newegg (and other e-tailer) reviews tend to get marks off for shipping times, rebate troubles, etc. so, they tend to be skewed. Marking off an egg because it took an extra 3 days to ship is not a reflection on the product.

Also, I don't think a 24" 3D Computer monitor is marketed towards serious 3D Movie/TV watchers, so speaking of the lack of Hollywood titles in 3D misses the point. I wouldn't purchase this to sit at my desk and watch Avatar, I would buy it to play 3D Arkham City or similar. The reviewer states that there are over 500 titles optimized for Nvidia 3D gaming, so the market is there.

3D may seem a fad, but games and movies continue to be released and re-released in 3D, so it is a fad that the industry is trying to secure. I don't think it will disappear at this point.

3D is something where you either like it, or you don't. ASUS makes great products, and it looks like they made another one. If I had a spare $700, I would consider getting one.
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# Mostly agreedMergatroid 2012-01-31 16:49
You have to remember that 3D TVs and 3D computer monitors are completely different beasts. 3D 120Hz or 240Hz LCD TVs are quasi 120/240 at best while 120Hz LCD monitors ate TRUE 120 Hz. Plus, this is a 27" 3D monitor (which is one of the reasons it's so expensive) and not a 24".

Don't believe it? Just try running a computer at 120Hz on a supposedly 120Hz LCD TV.
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# RE: Mostly agreedNsmithey 2012-05-05 19:43
i have a 65" Vizio passive 3d hd TV. (led/led) and hook it up to my laptop sometimes for 3d gaming, and the picture, as well as the 3d effect, is pretty incredible.

It's just not all that practical, so I also got an active 3d monitor, which is great,, but it is kind of small, so thinking of upgrading to a 27".
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# RE: ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor 3D Vision-2 KitRhialto 2012-01-31 09:20
Give Trine 2 a spin in 3D, it's absolutly WOW.

I'm waiting for Kepler then I'll look into finally getting a LCD, my current CRT does 3D not so bad and I guess this monitor will easily beat my current setup.
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# Too bad it's only nVidiaMergatroid 2012-01-31 17:32
I own two ASUS 27" monitors and they're pretty good, but they ARE a budget 27" LCD monitor. Both were around the $300-$350 Canadian area. (VK278Q and MT276HT). I love 'em both but they're not perfect.
Too bad this is an nVidia only kit. I was thinking about this model a little as a 3rd monitor on my system but I'll have to look for something else now since I'm using 2 x HD6970.
Gotta watch those specs. Most monitor companies are guilty of fudging them, and I doubt ASUS is any different in that respect.

#maximumpc.com/article/features/display_myths_shatte red?page=0%2C0

Pay special attention to the discussion on contrast ratio, pixel response and pixel smearing.
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# 3D VisionaryBrian 2012-02-09 06:29
Having been an early adopter of stereoscopic 3D in both films and games
And yes 3D TV I have a lot of respect for the formats strengths as well as some of its weakness , 3D vision 2 addresses part of the low brightness issue which is a big plus. with movies we are still dealing with canned stereospace (only one object in scene is truly in proper perspective) but proper 3D filmaking resolves many of those issues by using focal depth to call the eyes to the correct object of intrest.
3D realy adds to films created for that format, and giving what I have seen and heard the film industry has no loss of intrest in the format given the number of planned 3D films being released this year
3D gaming is a very strong calling for the format I would like to see 3D games make much better use of "perspective correct 3D with with proper use of focal depth , one unique thing the could be done with 3D gaming is to use "eye tracking" to unlock the stereospace so perseption changes "on the fly depending on what the user "choses to look at" on the screen.this makes viewing 3D content on the screen much like we see
the natural world.
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# Yep..IM0001 2012-02-09 07:29
A buddy and I both won this monitor kit at the Nvidia Lan in October. To power it I had to go out and swap my 5870 for 2 560ti's and I can truly say, it was completely worth it. Like the op states, World of Tanks is one of the games I play quite regularly and it was practically born for 3D Vision. The added depth and detail makes the game come alive. Many other games are great as well like Batman, Mafia, and even strategy games like LoL and SC2 which makes them look a bit less flat.

I have seen a few threads in various places about this monitor having brightness/color issues, and while it may not be anywhere near as accurate as a good professional panel (or even my 6 year old Gateway) with some careful tuning and patience, it can reproduce a pretty good picture.

And outside of gaming, the first thing I did was hook this monitor up to my PS3 for some 3D Pirates of the Caribbean and I can say you will not be disappointed. The added depth is better than theatre quality since it is a full HD Active 3D and not the passive kind that some users can have a little trouble with. It was also extremely easy to setup, just use HDMI, detect the video settings in the PS3 display settings option (you have to chose the 3D options that only show up when hooked up to a 3D display) and your off. Also the PS3 has some great 3D capable games like Gran Turismo 5, Wipeout HD, and Super Stardust HD.

Also on top of it all, being a 120Hz monitor has also opened my eyes to 120FPS smooth play, my old 60Hz monitor never produced such a smooth image and it can be seen from the windows desktop all the way into games like TF2 and other fast shooters. The lack of tearing really is a beautiful thing to behold. The same thing that is said about 3D TV's can be said about 3D monitors. Usually if they are good at 3D, they are really good at 2D.

Though this is an expensive entry into the land of 3D, now after using it I would have paid for mine and even may pick 2 more up in the coming month after I build a new rig.
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# RE: Yep..JackNaylorPE 2012-02-14 06:52
I also have twin 560 Ti's (factory OC'd Asus models further OC'd to 1020 Mhz) with the 24" Asus 120Hz monitor, or better said, Son No. 3 does. I have played a bit of Arkham City and it was visually amazing though I don't get much opportunity to play with the kids hogging it all the time :).

Frankly I don't get much out of 3D movies, other than I-MAX but 3D on the PC was well worth the $250 cost premium (extra $100 for 120 HZ monitor + $150 for 2 glasses). On top of that, the 120Hz monitor pays dividends outside of gaming with picture quality, smoothness and crispness.
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# tv tunermuscle23 2012-05-05 05:20
i know that that asus vg278h does not have tv tuner built in it but can you install a tv tuner on it to use it to watch tv shows?
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# RE: tv tunerDavid Ramsey 2012-05-05 08:24
No. The best you could do would be to watch streaming TV from a site like Hulu, or add a TV tuner to your computer.
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# In a wayMergatroid 2012-05-05 18:28
You could plug it into an HD set top box via HDMI and use it as a TV.

It's a monitor, it will display anything you send to it if it's plugged in correctly and the signal supports the correct video mode (most HD set top boxes convert everything to 720p or 1080p which should work fine). It's not going to work on Standard Definition NTSC video though (which doesn't matter because it doesn't have any NTSC video ports anyway)
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# RE: tv tunerNsmithey 2012-05-05 19:59
II you have cable TV, you usually just hook up a cable box to the monitor via HDMI. If your cable box doesn't have HDMI, you can usually ask your cable provider for a different box that does have HDMI.
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# 3D moviesDim 2012-05-22 09:33
Does anyone knows how to play 3D movies from a torrent file on ASUS VG278H.I've try everything,but still nothig happend.The games look fine on 3D,but no movies could be played with any player that i've got(cyberlink,bsplay er,the standart player that it comes monitor)
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# Yeah, go buy themMergatroid 2012-05-22 16:18
Maybe if you purchase the movie instead of stealing it, you wouldn't have any problems with 3D.
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# Good buy not GreatEvE Cap Pilot 2012-10-03 17:07
I bought 3 of these just so i could pay BF3 in 3D surround (3 monitors working as one in 3D) It wasn't that great, maybe because they are too big and the resolution is only 1900x1080 and should be almost 2x that for a anyting over 24". Even at 24" the resolution should be 1900x1200 not 1080 (lower res.)

The 3D was good but outside of 3d the big screen and extremely low resoluttion and low amount of 3D games gave me a bit of buyers remorse. 3x 27" 2500x1600 2D monitors would have been a better deal I think since I have only used the 3D a few time out of 2 months.

It is a good buy and I am the envy of my friends but it is not as great as I thought ($1500 dollars for only good when you are expecting "holy Batman that GREAT") 3d games (BF3 just isn't that good yet I guess)

The nVidia 3D calibration screen is AMAZING as the object actually comes out of the screen. It looks like you can touch it. No movie or games has even came close to that. So when games become like that, that will be the time to invest into 3D. For now just wait. Save your money for better resolution. FULL HD 1080 is lower(a lot lower) than 1900x1200.
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