Overview and Specifications

First off, let’s get the name down for this 23 inch, 120Hz display, because ASUS is selling the VG236 in two different packages and model numbers. One is the VG236H, which comes with a NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit and retails for $499. The other is the VG246HE, which is the exact same display, but comes without a bundled NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit and retails for $349. Both of those packages contain the exact same display, but just differ in whether they include the shutter glasses you’ll need to do stereoscopic 3D.

ASUS is basically selling you the 3D Vision Kit for $150, which is a pretty sweet deal. As of this writing, the same NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit is retailing on Newegg for $174.

The VG236H packs HDMI, DVI-D, and component video inputs, though the only one that will work with 120Hz refresh rates, and thus 3D, is DVI-D.

HDMI, DVI-D (120Hz and NVIDIA 3D), and Component Video

The VG236H display is glossy, as is nearly all of the bezel. ASUS claims to have added an antireflection coating to the display, as they well should. It no doubt mitigates the reflection a bit, but there’s still going to be unavoidable glare, especially if you have lights behind you. That might be killer for some, but it isn't a huge issue - I still wish it was matte though. The VG236H is also a TN panel, partly out of necessity to drive that super fast refresh rate, however color quality is actually pretty good as we’ll show in a minute. ASUS is using a technology called Dual Side driving to get to 120Hz.

Hate it or love it, the VG236H is also 16:9, and thus native 1920x1080. Finding 16:10 1920x1200 monitors which used to be the norm, not the exception, is increasingly difficult. Honestly, I’d rather have my extra 120 pixels of image height when hunting down people in games than deal with two black bars when playing back anamorphic video content. Oh well, 1080P is more marketable I guess.

Let’s go into the rest of the specifications:

ASUS VG236H - Specifications
Property Quoted Specification
Video Inputs DVI-D (120 Hz 3D), HDMI, Component YPbPr
Panel Type TN (with Dual Side driving), CCFL backlight
Pixel Pitch 0.265 mm
Colors 16.7 Million (24 bit)
Brightness 400 nits maximum
Contrast Ratio 1,000:1 (standard), or 100,000:1 (dynamic)
Response Time 2ms (g2g) with Overdive/"Trace Free" control
Viewable Size 23" (54.8 cm) diagonal
Resolution 1920x1080 at 120Hz (1080P)
Viewing Angle 170 degrees horizontal, 160 degrees vertical
Power Consumption (operation) <60 watts typical
Power Consumption (standby) <2 watts typical
Screen Treatment Glossy (with antireflection coating)
Height-Adjustable Yes: ~4" (100 mm) of travel
Tilt Yes: -5 degrees to 15 degrees
Pivot No
Swivel Yes: +/- 150 degrees
VESA Wall Mounting Yes - 100x100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 21.7" (550 mm) x 16.5" (420 mm) x 9.8" (250 mm)
Weight w/o Stand 15.4 lbs (7.0 kg)
Additional Features NVIDIA 3D Vision Kit, 120 Hz operation
Limited Warranty 3 years - repair or replacement
Accessories DVI-D cable, power cable, quick start guide, manual, warranty card, support CD, NVIDIA 3D Demo DVD, NVIDIA 3D vision kit
Price VG236H (includes 3D vision kit): $499
VG236HE (w/o 3D kit): $349

ASUS definitely understands its gamer segment, as including component and HDMI video inputs is definitely an added plus for people who want to hook up a game console or two. Of course, the caveat with HDMI on a display like this is that there’s no audio out for connecting headsets, something which would definitely put this over the top for most gamers. We could get upset about DisplayPort being absent, but honestly it isn’t that big of a deal, yet.


Introduction Impressions and Subjective Analysis
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  • HDPeeT - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    120hz HDTVs have more input lag because they don't actually accept 120hz input signals but instead interpolate frames from a 60hz or 24hz signal. This of course takes a considerable amount of time since the display has to analyze several frames before it can create the interpolated frames. 120hz/3D monitors such as this one actually accept a true 120hz signal from your video card, so there is no need to create additional ones through interpolation. All things being equal, a monitor that is receiving 120fps SHOULD have LESS lag than one that is only receiving 60fps. Of course all things might NOT be equal here, as the display might have more processing than some of the faster 60hz monitors out there.

    Like you, I also don't understand how they came up with the 3.9ms figure............he did say that the Asus was "consistently" 1 frame behind the other LCD, which would mean it has at LEAST 8ms of input lag.
  • DarkUltra - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    The DVI link tech is not buffering or packadge based. It transfers all three colors, one pixel at a tiime. Fortunately, LCD can have zero input lag (compared to a CRT). Overdrive is not really a digital processing job, like say interpolation or scaling. It just gives the crystals an initial volt bump, then lowers the volt to normal levels. This is so the crystals turn faster.


    However, input lag should be measured on the same output.

    testing with two displays connected to the two outputs of a video card and using a clone mode does not give accurate results – they simply vary too much! So in order to compare displays and have an accurate judgment on the presence or lack of input lag you must use a passive video splitter that is capable of splitting a single video signal to two displays.

  • nvmarino - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    Great news! Thanks for the extra effort!
  • Stokestack - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    "and I’ve yet to see passive polarization methods used outside the movie theatre"

    They exist. At SIGGRAPH at least two years ago, someone (I think it was JVC) demoed a 3-D monitor that had every other horizontal line polarized in the opposite direction. Not a bad choice; you got half vertical resolution, but full horizontal resolution.
  • DarkUltra - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    Is there a white halo effect around text and graphics in 2D "desktop" use like the Acer GD245HQ? Is there a sharpening effect? Can it be adjusted?

  • dgz - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    "The necessity for 120Hz panels arose entirely out of the ongoing 3D obsession" is plain wrong.

    Quake should be played at 120Hz as all other frantic FPS games. For CoD kids 60Hz and "3D" may be fine, though.
  • dgz - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    Good ol' CRTs, how I miss you :(
  • dgz - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    Just asking.
  • Zap - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    Regarding polarized 3D mentioned in the article, IZ3D has brought polarized 3D tech (using cheap polarized glasses) to gamers for several years. Just wanted to throw that out there.
  • zoxo - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    I think every 3D technology that uses active glasses is garbage. Manufacturers need to create circularly polarized monitors before it is really usable.

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