The installation of the DisplayLink driver and ‘virtual graphics card’ is actually one of those many situations where having Windows XP instead of Vista makes life slightly easier. If you’re running XP, installation will be automatic, while with Vista the driver requires a manual install. It’s also worth noting that the driver comes on a mini-CD, meaning slot-loaders will have to resort to downloading the relevant software from the net.
Unfortunately, this was also the most unstable version of DisplayLink I’ve encountered (including the Toshiba’s DynaDock DVI), with many glitches before I got it working properly. I wish I could say things improved once it was reasonably stable, but when it came to testing the panel’s visual quality there were further disappointments in store. I might as well get it over with: the image quality produed by the VW223B is terrible even for a TN. The first thing that you can spot as soon as you start using the Asus is its incredibly poor viewing angles. There is so much colour and contrast shift here that it’s not even suitable for light entertainment use, since especially on the vertical plane the image quickly turns into a visual negative. This is most definitely a monitor for working rather than gaming or watching movies.
There is some form of Dynamic Contrast present, which brings the claimed ratio up from 1000 to 3000 (still modest compared to the SyncMaster T200 20in LCD Monitor). It works well enough to want it on (though it’s sensibly only enabled during Theatre or Game modes) There’s also significant banding across a large range of colour tones. Though text is sharp colours aren’t clean, and the final nail in the VW223B’s shiny coffin is severe pixel tracking problems, all of which renders some surprisingly accomplished black levels rather pointless.
The VW223B goes to prove that bigger is not always better. It has the least adjustability, most awkward OSD and worst image quality of the DisplayLink screens we’ve tested (or of any we’ve had through the office in a while). So unless you’re desperate for the extra two inches, go for the rather good 20in LG Flatron L206WU instead.
Score in detail
Image Quality 4
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.