Unfortunately, the 24T1E begins to flounder in the most important category: image quality. There’s distinct backlight bleed from the bottom of the screen, very noticeable in the black bars that surround most widescreen material even on a 16:9 aspect ratio screen such as this. After encountering a succession of monitors a while back where this was not much of an issue, we had hoped it was becoming a thing of the past, but apparently that’s not to be.
Less distracting is some backlight unevenness, which makes one corner of the screen look slightly faded-out. Banding must also be mentioned as it’s the most severe we’ve come across in quite some time. This might not be evident in most normal material, but sooner or later it will rear its ugly head and it is damn ugly! Also, we couldn’t eliminate some red contamination across grey-tones despite the LCD TV’s individual colour controls. As is typical with most cheap LCD displays, fast action highlights some motion issues and viewing angles are at best mediocre.
Mind you, the 1,920 x 1,080 panel also has a few positives that rescue it from being a complete disaster. For one thing, it’s exceptionally sharp, making even the smallest fonts readable. For another, it handles greyscales far better than most TN panels, though Asus’ claimed 20,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio is as fanciful as ever. Despite these positives, however, objectively the image quality isn’t up to even the modest standards of similarly priced offerings.
Getting onto the audio side of things, the 24T1E’s 7W stereo speakers hold up very well indeed – at least when measured by previous integrated efforts. While not quite up to the punchy and voluminous audio produced by the Samsung SyncMaster P2370HD thanks to some distortion at higher volume levels and a slight touch of muddiness in the bass, overall they are certainly enough of a match for the visual aspect of this hybrid for games and films.
Finally on the value aspect, £265 is a reasonable price for what is – despite its shortcomings and image-quality let-downs – a fairly well specified LCD TV Monitor. However, once again Samsung rears its pretty head with the 24in SyncMaster T240HD DTV Monitor. On its side, the Asus has far superior speakers, but the T240HD offers a slightly higher resolution (1,200 vertically as opposed to 1,080), better image quality, an extra digital input (DVI) and arguably more attractive design for just £249 online, around £15 less.
Despite surprisingly good speakers, a comfortable remote and decent connectivity options, the Asus 24T1E is let down by sub-par image quality and a chassis that lacks visual flair. Considering that right now better hybrids can be had for less, there’s little reason to go for this option unless the integrated speakers are particularly important to you.
Score in detail
Image Quality 5