Wide Format LCD Monitors: Part 2

In Use

At low brightness, the monitor was quite comfortable to use with office applications. But you'll have to take care not to place it too close to a window. You'll also have worry about glare from wall lamps, halogen lamps, etc.

Gaming is feasible on this monitor. It's not a hard-core gamer's display, but it's good enough for occasional use. Gamers will get the most out of the vivid colors the PW191 can deliver.

I was waiting to see how the PW191 would perform screening movies. And sad to say, video noise was still much too evident. A lot of sparkling was visible. Note that Asus offers a sharpness adjustment (which is rare on an LCD monitor) that lets you soften the focus slightly. That helped a little, but the sparkling didn't disappear completely. You'll need to be a good 5 ft. from the screen for it to become imperceptible. On the other hand, the Splendid Cinema mode worked quite well. The colors were beautiful, though we needed to tweak the flesh tones some to avoid purplish skin. Fortunately Asus offers a flesh-tone adjustment directly in the OSD. We hate to harp on this issue, but the optical filter means that you'll have to watch your movies in total darkness, especially films that tend to be dark (e.g. Sin City, The Matrix).


First the bad news. The touch-sensitive buttons are not sensitive enough, and if you change adjustments often, you may quickly find them a pain. And why did Asus have to use glare-filter technology? We know it's a general trend, but consider this: Sony, who first developed this technology, doesn't even dare offer it on its own top-of-the-line displays. In my opinion, the same monitor without the filter would perform much better.

The selling price, around $400 on the Web, is far from excessive for a monitor of this quality. The finish is exceptional. It's probably the best-looking monitor available on the market today. And beyond the good looks, the picture is very sharp and the colors are very good in video games. In itself, the PW191 is a good product, but it's obvious that the panel was poorly chosen. It's slower than its competitors, yet doesn't solve the video-noise problems that plague them. We're waiting for the 20" version and hope these problems will be taken care of.