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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  • B3an - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    It's the less pixels and the simple fact that it's not good for a monitor. If you watch movies all day then its great. But for pretty much ANYTHING else it's inferior, even for something like reading this review as you have less vertical space and have to scroll more.

    I also don't like paying the same as a 16:10 monitor for less pixels.

    It's getting harder to buy a quality LCD these days, you have shitty glossy screens, more and more ridiculously poor image quality TN panels, and now a inferior aspect ratio to top it off. Technology is meant to improve over time not go backwards.
  • Mr Perfect - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    Yes, the cut down pixels are a large part of my complaint. 16:9 is great for TVs since it fits the format of the content, but why deliberately cut down the vertical viewing space for a PC monitor? What could we possible gain from knocking it from 1920x1200 down to 1920x1080? It seems that the mainstream monitors are using 16:9 in the 24" space, while the higher quality models still offer 16:10. All 30" screens seem to be 16:10 yet, but who's got that kind of money?

    BTW, B3an, there are some newer 16:10 IPS screens kicking around. None of them are 120Hz though. :( TFTCentral has recently reviewed the HP ZR24W, NEC PA241W, Dell U2410, NEC LCD2490WUXi, NEC 24WMGX3 and HP LP2475W. They report that Hazro will soon be launching an updated line of 24" IPS screens as well, the HZ24W models a, b, and c.
  • seapeople - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    I disagree, I think 16:9 is a good aspect ratio. Yes, you have to scroll a bit more vertically, but you always have to scroll vertically anyway so why does it matter that much? On the other hand, the wider aspect ratio makes it easier to look at content side by side and/or prevent horizontal scrolling on wide content which is a pain.

    With that said, obviously 1900x1200 is better than 1900x1080 because it contains more pixels. However, I've found 1920x1080 monitors to be generally cheaper than the 1920x1200 equivalent. My 1920x1080 23" Dell monitor that I bought on sale for $160 18 months ago is an example.
  • DarkUltra - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    It really is a lot of display real estate you lose. It's not just a slim border at top and bottom. You can actually fit two Ribbon menus in the 120 vertical pixels, or two Windows 7 double-sized task bars. It's not about less width; there are bigger monitors. It's about having 3,7 cm extra height "for free" at same desk space.

    Old games like the 1600x1200 resolution better, and RTS games like Starcraft with a hud at the bottom is much better with 1920x1200.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    16:10 gives 23% more area with 4:3 pillarboxed content. That's huge.
  • medi01 - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    To create 4:3 X inches monitor, you need 12% more stuff. Is it clear?
  • Stokestack - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    Glossy doesn't look better ANYWHERE. Even in a pitch-black closet, the image from the glossy screen still illuminates YOU, creating your reflection in the monitor. Therefore, those "deep blacks" and "rich colors" are neither; they're covered by a sheen of reflection in essentially all cases.

    It's a fraud that preys on consumer ignorance.
  • synaesthetic - Monday, August 9, 2010 - link

    I miss my old 17" samsung LCD monitor. :(

    yeah, it was only 1280x1024 but... 5:4, not glossy and it... was pretty.
  • Stargrazer - Saturday, August 7, 2010 - link

    "Further, instead of getting tearing above 60 FPS like you would with vsync off on a traditional 60Hz LCD, you get smoother gameplay that just looks more fluid. I definitely can tell the difference, and now I don’t want to go back."

    How much of a difference do you notice when vsync is *on*?
  • DarkUltra - Sunday, August 8, 2010 - link

    Twice as much I would say. IF the objects move across the speed at 120 pixels per second, or you got a big jittery object that darts all around the screen. To make an impression the object needs enough "samples" across the temporal dimension to let the eye follow it.

    In other words, if you look around slowly in an FPS game, even 10FPS could be enough. If you flick your wrist fast, or enemies move fast, you can track them at up to 60 movements per second in 120fps/hz.

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