Asus VG278H £540
25th Nov 2011 | 12:43
If only real life was in 3D, like on this PC monitor
Asus has jumped right on Nvidia's second generation of 3D Vision, incorporating its new LightBoost technology in the new Asus VG278H.
You know the usual pattern - 3D monitor is a capable gaming screen, lacks the colour quality of IPS panels, is slightly overpriced, that kind of thing... well the Asus VG278H is a bit different.
The reason? LightBoost.
This is Nvidia's big idea for improving 3D image quality. LightBoost is essentially an extra layer to the panel that compensates for any dimness before the image, making it twice as bright as previous 3D screens.
The shocker is that LightBoost actually does make a big difference. But that's not the only endearing feature of this screen; there's the height-adjustable bezel, bundled Nvidia 3D Vision 2 glasses and 27-inch panel.
Asus made one of the best 3D Vision screens for the last generation in the Asus VG236H, but there's plenty to be wary of when buying a 3D monitor though, so the Asus VG278H isn't home and dry yet - let's put our scrutinising hats on.
We're impressed with the efforts Asus has gone to with the VG278H's bezel. It's rare to get a height-adjustable panel outside of IPS screens, which is madness because it's a feature that everyone welcomes.
The panel surround does look a bit cheap and flimsy for a monitor costing over £500 (or $650 in the US), though.
The screen itself is an LED-backlit 27-inch TN, and as such image quality is a mixed bag.
It suffered gradient banding from white to black in our tests, displaying striped shades instead of smooth transitions. The viewing angle is also poor – and there's some serious colour distortion at wider angles.
But then there's LightBoost.
In 2D mode it doesn't count for much, but this screen (paired with Nvidia's new specs) produced the first truly clear, deep, colourful and frankly jaw-dropping 3D experience we've seen. And mostly thanks to that increased brightness .
Close-up objects don't appear to be painted on your eyeballs, and the middle ground doesn't look like a pop-up book, which is genuinely refreshing.
For the first time, we actually enjoyed the 3D experience. Who'd have thought something that sounded so much like marketing codswallop would actually be really good?
As a gaming monitor, this is top-notch.
If you're going to be the only one watching it, the viewing angle isn't much of an issue and it's plenty big enough. It will become a problem if you try to get two or more people involved, though, so be warned.
We're genuinely impressed by the 3D experience on offer from the Asus VG278H 3D PC monitor. The 3D Vision 2 glasses supplied team up with LightBoost to deliver better depth and image clarity than we've seen before in a 3D screen.
The tradeoff for nippy 120 Hz computer screens is often image quality, and this monitor's no exception. Don't expect a professional-quality colour palette or brilliant viewing angles - this screen's purely about the 3D.
Factoring in the premium for the new LightBoost tech and LED backlighting, the £120 glasses thrown in, and the 27 inches of panel, the Asus VG278H certainly isn't a rip-off. For 3D lovers, this is a must-have, and for sceptics this could be a game-changer.