|ASUS VG278H LCD Monitor 3D Vision-2 Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Monitor | HDTV|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 17 January 2012|
Page 6 of 6
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 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.
+ Includes NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 second-generation glasses
- Menu buttons blend into bezel in dark environments
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.