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Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories

Asus VG248QE: A 24-Inch, 144 Hz Gaming Monitor Under $300
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Every performance-oriented gaming rig needs a speedy display to keep up with cutting-edge GPUs. Asus delivers up to 144 Hz with its VG248QE 24-inch TN-based monitor. Is its display performance as impressive as the company's sub-$300 price tag?

While most monitors come in a suitcase-style box that keeps the screen upright, the VG248QE is laid down in a more traditionally-shaped carton. It’s very large, affording a lot of room for protective foam. Included cables are DisplayPort, dual-link DVI, stereo audio (1/8" mini-plug), and an IEC power cord.

The only assembly required is screwing on the round base with the integrated wingnut. Also in the box is a CD with a user's manual, drivers, and ICC profiles. The software package includes Nvidia 3D Vision support. To complete that package, you’ll need an appropriate Nvidia graphics card and the company's 3D Vision kit with glasses and an emitter.

VG248QE: A Product 360

The VG248QE has every possible position adjustment: four inches of height, 15 degrees of tilt, 90 degrees of swivel, and rotation to portrait mode. All the movements feel nicely balanced without excess play. And the panel stays where you put it. If you want to use your own bracket, four screws release the upright to reveal a 100 mm VESA mount. The upright also has a small cable management clip in back to keep things tidy. The clip and the top of the upright are finished in bright red, which makes for a racy little accent.

Otherwise, the monitor’s styling is fairly ordinary. The plastic has a glossy finish that falls a bit shy of piano black. The screen has an effective anti-glare layer that does a good job of rejecting light, without creating image artifacts like grain or clarity reduction.

The bezel is 17 mm wide on the top and sides, and 20 mm wide on the bottom. The bulge on the panel’s back isn’t too big. In fact, it's actually nicely tapered from side to side. The control buttons are found on the bottom-right, facing down. They have a high-quality feel when you click them, putting up just the right amount of resistance. Labels printed on the front convey their functions. The first one is a hotkey that cycles through the six Splendid modes. Next, for menu navigation, is the minus/down button. This one is also a hotkey for GamePlus (more on that below). Third is menu, fourth is both plus/up and the brightness hotkey. Fifth is the input selector. And last is the power toggle.

Pressing the GamePlus hotkey pops up a little menu with a couple of unique options. With this feature, you can put a hardware-generated aiming point in the screen center (there are four reticules), or display a countdown timer for use in real-time strategy games. You can’t have both at the same time, though. The timer can be placed on the top, middle, or bottom of the screen’s left side. The available presets are 30, 40, 50, 60, or 90 minutes. Pressing the first control key turns the feature off.

Subtle though it may be, you can see the red trim we’re talking about. It’s just a cable keeper, but it does make for a nice bit of bling in an otherwise industrial design. There's even a little more red on top of the upright that isn't visible in the photo. The base is two parts, similar to a lazy Susan. That way you can swivel the panel 45 degrees in either direction without anything rubbing on your desktop. Vents across the top are just for cooling; the speakers are actually on the lower half of the panel, just under the VESA mount.

Of course, there is a portrait mode that's just about ideal for word processing on a 24-inch monitor. It’s a little less convenient for Web browsing though, because most websites are formatted at 1200 pixels wide, while this monitor is only 1080. The best use would probably be in conjunction with another 24- or 27-inch screen in its landscape orientation.

Inputs face downwards and include one DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI connector. There is no VGA input and there are no USB ports. If you plan to game or watch in stereo, you’ll have to use the DVI connection with a dual-link cable and an Nvidia 3D Vision kit. For audio, there’s a stereo mini-jack (3.5 mm) and a headphone output. In the shot above, you can see the stereo speakers contained in a small housing just below the inputs. They are vented to the sides and rear. Their small size limits frequency response to the upper-mid-range. We wouldn’t call them tinny by any means, but their soundstage is pretty narrow. Aside from a separate desktop sound system, your best option for audio is going to come from a good pair of headphones.

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  • 3 Hide
    CaptainTom , October 2, 2013 10:04 PM
    I gotta wonder if 1 ms vs 5 ms really makes a difference...
  • 4 Hide
    ff6shadow , October 2, 2013 11:45 PM
    I own this. Bought when it was first available. Great monitor for gaming. I use 2x GTX Titans with it.
  • -7 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , October 2, 2013 11:56 PM
    i don't like the sound of this dithering BS, i guess that's why its cheap....
  • 1 Hide
    SWEETMUSK , October 3, 2013 12:08 AM
    if I have $300 dollars I will not buy for 24 inch "TN" screen
    IPS is much better then TN
  • 0 Hide
    Axonn , October 3, 2013 1:37 AM
    People who think 144 Hz is more important than an 8-bit panel are in for a big, big fail.
  • 4 Hide
    ryude , October 3, 2013 2:03 AM
    This monitor uses PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) for the backlight, which causing flickering. The only 144hz monitor that does not use PWM is the BenQ XL2420TE.
  • 2 Hide
    Plusthinking Iq , October 3, 2013 2:25 AM
    they only sell BenQ XL2420T version in my country, so i bought the asus for the double pwm hz. pwm, the scourge og the lcd monitor.
  • -1 Hide
    CraigN , October 3, 2013 5:07 AM
    ryude - yes, it uses PWM, however, as an owner of one of these monitors, I have not noticed any flickering at all. It's a really solid performing monitor. That same PWM comes in real handy when running in Lightboost mode for even more reductions to input lag.

    CaptainTom, 1ms makes a huge difference over 5ms. I didn't think it would at first until I bought one of these. Next to my old 24" HDTV that was my monitor for awhile, the difference is insane.

  • -1 Hide
    CraigN , October 3, 2013 5:08 AM
    PS , Christian, your SmartBuy award photo at the end of the article is the wrong ASUS monitor ;)  Also, would you guys mind releasing the ICC profile you guys calibrated for your tests?
  • -1 Hide
    Turik , October 3, 2013 5:11 AM
    The final picture is not of the VG248QE?
  • 0 Hide
    Turik , October 3, 2013 5:13 AM
    As someone with a high quality 1440p IPS and 2 of these monitors, for most gaming I prefer these. For World of Warcraft or other MMOs where screen space is a luxury, it's hard to give up the high-res IPS, and the color quality is noticable, but with a proper ICC profile and some tweaking, it's a good looking monitor.

    ICC profile is use is here: http://pcmonitors.info/reviews/asus-vg248qe
  • -4 Hide
    ubercake , October 3, 2013 5:17 AM
    The thing is contrast is lacking big time on IPS monitors less than $500. So who cares about color accuracy if you can't see all the shades? Cheap IPS monitors are not only slow because of inherent input lag, but also a fail when it comes to contrast.

    These high refresh rate monitors offer an incredible performance boost for first-person shooters if you have video cards that can produce frame rates close to the high refresh rates (or higher than 60Hz consistently). I've tried 1440p 60Hz monitors and can't stand the lower refresh. I've tried 60Hz surround setups and can't stand the low refresh. Once you go to these monitors, you develop a need for them. Nothing with lower refresh rates compares any longer. If you've never had it, you don't miss it and don't know what you're missing.

    If you don't have the kind of GPU power to consistently get you beyond the 60fps mark at 1080p, 60Hz monitors are the way to go. I still wouldn't settle for cheap IPS monitors with crappy contrast ratios though. For shooters, the input lag is also a terrible characteristic of the cheap IPS monitor.
  • 0 Hide
    finder , October 3, 2013 5:27 AM
    and it's backlight flickering as hell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBYnnBfub4E&mode=post-play
  • 5 Hide
    twztechman , October 3, 2013 5:43 AM
    Quote:
    I own this. Bought when it was first available. Great monitor for gaming. I use 2x GTX Titans with it.


    2 Titans for 1980x1080 resolution? That's a bit silly. You have spent $2000 for video cards and you are gaming on one 1980x1080 24 inch monitor!
    You should have at least 3 of these monitors for a surround set-up.
  • 0 Hide
    CraigN , October 3, 2013 5:47 AM
    Turik - I'm aware of the one at pcmonitors.info, as well as the one included with the disk. I was just wondering if it was (possible) for them to release their post-calibrated icc. I have no idea how monitor calibrators work (I didn't need to alter much on my personal VG248QE to be satisfied, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better) so I just thought it couldn't hurt to ask.

    Also - does anyone own one of these and notice that opening Pictures come up darker/dimmer than they look as thumbnails or in image preview??
  • 8 Hide
    BigMack70 , October 3, 2013 5:57 AM
    I just wonder if/when we'll ever get a panel like this at high resolution (1440p/4k), because I'm done with 1080p.

    ASUS... could you pretty please make us a 144 Hz 1440p IPS screen ??????
  • 7 Hide
    ubercake , October 3, 2013 6:06 AM
    Quote:
    I just wonder if/when we'll ever get a panel like this at high resolution (1440p/4k), because I'm done with 1080p.

    ASUS... could you pretty please make us a 144 Hz 1440p IPS screen ??????


    I second the 'pretty please'.
  • 0 Hide
    moogleslam , October 3, 2013 6:48 AM
    If I understand things correctly, if your monitor updates faster than the frame rate pumped out by your graphics card, you don't have screen tearing anymore, and therefore no longer need vsync?
  • 0 Hide
    jdon , October 3, 2013 6:51 AM
    I've looked at IPS panels and TN panels in some depth, and found that other than the viewing angle, I'm not able to perceive much difference. Then my fiancee laughed at me and said, "You really are THAT colorblind, huh?" ....It actually kind of makes me glad that I can appreciate the better frame rates without being disappointed by the lack of color depth!
  • 3 Hide
    vpnuser , October 3, 2013 7:02 AM
    I own one of these as well as a 27" Dell 1440p IPS panel, and I prefer this one for gaming. 120hz with 2D lightboost has 0 ghosting. Sure the color is crap compared to the IPS, but what good is color when it looks like 24fps movie blur in games? Quoted from my girlfriend, who can't tell the difference between 1080p and 720p movies, within 5 minutes of me setting up the monitor ; "That's really smooth."

    I would prefer the best of both worlds, but I don't think current graphics cards are quite up to the task. (At least not for less than a $2500 machine) Current IPS panels out there can pull the hz, but can't match the response times just yet.

    Add in the fact that the industry will be pushing for 4k soon, and you can kiss 120hz goodbye for a while.
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