These days, it's sometimes difficult to remember that Asus also does other products beside a certain line of netbooks (the Eee PC, in case you've been holidaying on another planet). Whether it's the catchy three-letter name or just the revolutionary - when it launched - hardware for the price, but the Eee is, in some ways at least, comparable to the Nintendo Wii when it comes to customer demand. But today, we're not looking at another Eee. Instead, I have a comparatively unassuming monitor in front of me, the 22in VW223B, with an interesting surprise up its shiny sleeve.
By unassuming I do not mean bland-looking, mind you, as the VW223B is anything but. From the moment you unpack it you can see it's rather stylish. It has an appeal that is somewhat similar to the Samsung SyncMaster 225uw, but sleeker. This is like the Samsung's slimmer, more rounded little brother (okay, so in fact it looks more like the Samsung SyncMaster 226cw).
In keeping with this, the bezel around the screen is really rather thin - around 15mm, since you asked. Though it is almost 25mm at the bottom, a single silver strip divides up the lower edge to make it look just as thin as the rest. It's a trick often employed on monitors (including the aforementioned Samsung), but rarely to such good effect. Apart from this strip, the bezel is cleaner than on most displays; like the Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP, the logo and menu buttons are the only visual blemishes, and both are incorporated into the aforementioned strip to minimize their intrusiveness. Thankfully, the LED is blue and so small it never distracts, and is actually integrated into the silver power button.
As you've probably guessed by now, the Asus sports the usual high-gloss piano black finish. Some people don't like this due to its reflectivity, but it's not something that's ever bothered me enough to not appreciate the boost in looks. Furthermore, there are no curves to be found here: the bezel's only concession being slightly rounded corners. The solid, round base forms a nice contrast in both shape and texture; concentric rings give it a unique matte appearance that's quite fetching, with a narrow glossy edge adding that little extra touch.
The monitor's back is also rather attractive, with a smooth, unified matte finish. There's another thoughtful little touch in that the mounting holes for VESA compatibility are covered with small rubber plugs.
Assembly is easy as pie, and consists of clicking the base into the screen and stand. Disassembly isn't quite as effortless, but for most that's a non-issue. Build quality is another high-point of the VW223B, with solid construction all round (there is no creaking or flex anywhere on this entire monitor), and plastics that feel like they will stand the test of time.