Review Price free/subscription
At the rear on the underside you’ll find both D-Sub and DVI connections, a line input for the speakers, a plug for the subwoofer and the upstream USB port. There’s even a Kensington lock, which could prove useful if you take the screen to a LAN party and want to keep it secure.
In the box, Asus has supplied a D-Sub cable that also integrates a USB port and a line-in cable, which would make cabling neater but I can’t imagine anyone would want to use it instead of DVI.
As far as marketing goes, response time is surely getting old as a headline grabbing figure but Asus is persevering, quoting 2ms grey-to-grey. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with LCD response time in games ever since we dropped to below 25ms or so. Perhaps some are more sensitive to it but I’ve never encountered anyone who found the response time to be an issue. The colours and the contrast ratio are more of an issue for me.
In Windows I found that the image was quite bright and clear, with the glossy high contrast coasting enhancing colours. However, it doesn’t have a particularly natural look. Asus has several colour modes for different types of activity but I found that none looked quite right, with either a greenish or a reddish tinge.
The contrast ratio is given as a very high sounding 800:1 so I fired up Doom 3 to see how it coped with a very dark game. In fact, I could only see any detail by using the ‘Night View’ mode which has the effect of boosting gamma, but that meant that the dark part of the screen were washed out.
In Counter-Strike: Source I found that the gaming preset mode skewed the colours fairy unpleasantly. Setting the monitor to sRGB and used the natural setting was the best I could get it, but even so it tended to look a little washed out, though thanks to the response time the action was smooth and involving.
DisplayMate also revealed some quite chronic banding that I couldn’t minimise to any significant degree.
The sound quality from the speakers was actually one of the most impressive things about this display. It produced a fair old amount of volume and unplugging the subwoofer revealed just how much that contributed to filling in the sound. The SRS Surround also added a pleasing expansiveness to the sound though at the expense of accuracy.
If you are mainly interested in gaming and don’t have the space for separate dedicated speakers this would do the job, and the easy access to the headphone socket is a boon too.
Overall then, the Asus does its job as a gaming monitor and the webcam, USB ports and speakers make it a easy to live with. Ultimately, it’s the lack of widescreen that detracts from this as a real gaming contender. Hopefully Asus can produce a widescreen 20in effort with a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution if not a 1,920 x 1,200 24in version too.
The Asus PG191 does have an eye catching design, the integrated webcam is a good touch and thanks to the subwoofer, the speakers are the best I’ve heard integrated into a monitor. However, I found colours to be over-saturated and unnatural and severe banding was also evident. Furthermore, a real gaming monitor would have a widescreen aspect ratio, and all in all I’m not sure it quite does enough to justify its asking price.
Trusted Reviews is part of the Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Technology Network