Asus MS236H - 23in Ultra-Slim Monitor - Asus MS236H

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

Looking at the rear of the monitor, it's immediately apparent that there's no large power input. That's because the MS236H uses a small external power supply, which is actually quite convenient. Another convenience is the presence of both VGA and HDMI inputs, as well as an audio output for accessing the audio from the HDMI. There are no integrated speakers, though, which given the usual quality of such efforts is no bad thing.

It's good to see an HDMI since style so often usurps functionality on a monitor such as this. It means you could use MS236H with any number of HDMI-equipped devices, like games consoles, Blu-ray players or media streamers, with little to no hassle. Of course the 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution is ideal for such sources, too.

Similar can't be said of the actual image quality of the display, though. You wouldn't realise this from the spec sheet, which talks excitedly of a 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (no native figure is provided), a brightness of 250cd/m2 and a 2ms grey-to-grey response time. But, as we well know, such figures are generally very misleading. Much the same can be said of the 170 degree horizontal viewing angles, which are somewhat optimistic.

In reality, the MS236H is average: nothing more, nothing less. Its colour production is okay, its viewing angles reasonable enough for most needs and it doesn't suffer any outstanding motion handling problems, but it stands out in no way whatsoever. Particularly disappointing are both its detail in dark shades and the purity of its black level. Like many cheaper displays based on TN panel technology, it really doesn't bring the finer details out well and dark scenes tend to look a little too grey.

However, provided your demands and expectations are realistic, the MS236H is still a decent enough monitor when judged against similarly specified models. It's just that its design inflates its price by several degrees, with it currently retailing in the region of £200 to £230. Given the MS236H doesn't outperform the BenQ G2222HDL mentioned at the very start of this article, which costs a mere £120, it's clear you're paying a hefty premium for the design. Granted, the Asus does have an HDMI port where the BenQ has none, but there are plenty of £150 or so monitors that do have one in addition to DVI and VGA.

Verdict

If you really like the design of the Asus MS236H - and there's no good reason why you shouldn't - then it's an interesting option. On the whole, though, it's a little too expensive given the features and performance on offer and it suffers from woeful touch controls.

Overall Score

6

Scores In Detail

  • Value 5
  • Image Quality 6
  • Features 6
  • Design 9

jingyeow

March 17, 2010, 3:26 am

Has apple patented the really nice stands they use for their iMac range? I don't understand why monitor manufacturers use all sorts of awful stands. From the little metal feet, to the standard plastic removable shell, to this "plastic ring". It all screams tacky.


Just make a monitor with a nice screen and stand as sturdy as that on the iMac.

Xiphias

March 17, 2010, 4:30 am

Good stand? The stand on the iMac has no adjustment options (expect the somewhat pointless tilt) and absolutely no traction so the slightest knock on the bottom skews the whole screen. While it's not the worst stand ever it is down at the bottom lumped in with all the other stands that don't even have height adjustment.





Is there any sort of VESA or wall-mounting kit available for this monitor? An ultra-thin monitor that takes up lots of room because it has to have a stand seems to defeat the purpose somewhat.

Jamie Kitson

March 19, 2010, 9:08 pm

Can you hang it on a wall? Shame it doesn't have an SD slot.

sprockkets

March 19, 2010, 10:29 pm

I have this monitor. No mention of LED backlighting? Unless my particular one does and yours doesn't. It is a nice monitor, but like you said, nothing special.





The touch controls were hard to use at first but I found that a simple light touch works best.

comments powered by Disqus