Asus VG248QE: A 24-Inch, 144 Hz Gaming Monitor Under $300

Results: Brightness And Contrast

Uncalibrated

Before calibrating any panel, we measure zero and 100 percent signals at both ends of the brightness control range. This shows us how contrast is affected at the extremes of a monitor's luminance capability. We do not increase the contrast control past the clipping point. While doing this would increase a monitor’s light output, the brightest signal levels would not be visible. It'd result in crushed highlight detail. Our numbers show the maximum light level possible with no signal clipping.

Our comparison group for this review includes the last six displays Tom's Hardware reviewed.

At over 412 cd/m2, Asus' VG248QE is one of the brightest monitors we’ve tested. In fact, only the HP ZR2740w edges it out among screens reviewed this year. While you might not want to maximize brightness in many tasks, this kind of light output can significantly reduce off-axis falloff.

Let’s see if it affects the maximum black level, though.

This is still an excellent result for such a light powerhouse. At .2949 cd/m2, the VG248QE runs with the majority. Even at maximum settings, you get a decent black level. TN screens have always had a small advantage in this area, and this measurement demonstrates that.

Asus’ wide dynamic range should generate an excellent contrast result.

The VG248QE takes second place in our comparison group, and third place overall for the year. The only other monitor we’ve tested that maintains such a high contrast ratio at maximum brightness is Samsung's S27B970D, which would take second place here.

For the next group of measurements, we turn down the brightness control to its minimum setting, and leave the contrast unchanged. The VG248QE measures 80.0679 cd/m2, which is well above our minimum standard of 50 cd/m2. We recommend staying above that level to avoid eyestrain. At this low brightness setting, we often see amazing black level numbers.

A minimum black level of .0121 cd/m2 is really low. Only the HP E271i measures lower, and that monitor only has half the max output at minimum brightness. It doesn’t get any better than this, at least for now!

This minimum on/off contrast ratio number is simply astounding. Remember that the HP is below our minimum white standard of 50 cd/m2, while Asus is not. With the tremendous dynamic range of this monitor and its wide control range, you can easily make it work in any imaginable viewing environment. We expect this to be a very useful feature for gamers using their rigs at LAN parties and other off-site venues. All you have to do is set your Brightness control to taste.

After Calibration

Since we consider 200 cd/m2 to be an ideal average for peak output, we calibrate all of our test monitors to that value. In a room with some ambient light (like an office), this brightness level provides a sharp, punchy image with maximum detail and minimum eye fatigue. It's also the sweet spot for gamma and grayscale tracking, which we'll look at on the next page.

We start with the calibrated black level. This can sometimes rise a bit from the monitor’s default state. The tradeoff in contrast is well worth the gain in color accuracy.

Does this mean the Asus VG248QE is our new calibrated black level champ? It does for this comparison group, but it takes second place overall for the year. ViewSonic's VX2770Smh, which we tested back in January, enjoys that honor. The margin is quite small, however (a difference of only .0064). Asus obviously engineered this panel for maximum dynamic range, and achieved its goal. This should bode well for its calibrated contrast ratio.

Once again, the VG248QE leads this group, but remains in second place overall behind ViewSonic's VX2770Smh for the year. There aren’t many monitors that can maintain such high contrast after calibration. Again, the engineering here is top-notch.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

Another important measure of contrast is ANSI. To perform this test, a checkerboard pattern of sixteen zero- and 100-percent squares is measured. This is somewhat more real-world than on/off measurements because it tests a display’s ability to simultaneously maintain both low black and full white levels, and factors in screen uniformity. The average of the eight full-white measurements is divided by the average of the eight full-black measurements to arrive at the ANSI result.

We see many screens falter in this measurement. ANSI contrast is an extremely demanding test. For the VG248QE to do so well speaks to the quality of the grid polarizer used in its construction. This part is responsible for preventing light bleed between the darkest and lightest pixels in an LCD display. We’ve come to expect great ANSI performance from LG-based panels. Now we can add AU Optronics to the list. Asus made an excellent choice there.

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  • CaptainTom
    I gotta wonder if 1 ms vs 5 ms really makes a difference...
    3
  • ff6shadow
    I own this. Bought when it was first available. Great monitor for gaming. I use 2x GTX Titans with it.
    4
  • iam2thecrowe
    i don't like the sound of this dithering BS, i guess that's why its cheap....
    -8
  • SWEETMUSK
    if I have $300 dollars I will not buy for 24 inch "TN" screen
    IPS is much better then TN
    0
  • Axonn
    People who think 144 Hz is more important than an 8-bit panel are in for a big, big fail.
    -3
  • ryude
    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.
    4
  • Plusthinking Iq
    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.
    2
  • CraigN
    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.
    0
  • CraigN
    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
  • Turik
    The final picture is not of the VG248QE?
    0
  • Turik
    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
    0
  • ubercake
    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.
    -6
  • finder
    -1
  • twztechman
    Anonymous said:
    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.
    6
  • CraigN
    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??
    0
  • BigMack70
    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 ??????
    9
  • ubercake
    Anonymous said:
    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'.
    8
  • moogleslam
    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
  • jdon
    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!
    0
  • vpnuser
    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.
    3