Asus VG236H is one of Asus’ new 120 Hz monitors designed for gaming. It’s a 23-inch monitor with a 1920x1080 resolution and 3D support (requires Nvidia 3D Vision). Asus has also incorporated some nice ergonomic features in VG236H.
We are looking forward to looking at the first Asus 120 Hz monitor. We have already tested 120 Hz monitors from Samsung, LG, and Alienware. But how good is VG236H compared to these monitors? Read the full review here.
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2 ms (g2g)
Up to 16.2 million colors
Color gamut support:
72 % of NTSC
6 bit for each color
Viewing angles (H/V):
41.9cm x 55.0cm x 25.0cm (with stand)
Price and retailer:
Our first impressions
Asus VG236H is not different from most monitors today. The frame is made from black, glossy plastic and the stand is round.
The cabinet feels right and is solid.
The stand also allows users to adjust VG236H in height and this is a nice feature that few of gamer monitors today incorporate. A tilt function is also integrated.
At the lower right corner of the cabinet we found the buttons for navigating through the menus. These are actual buttons and not touch-sensitive buttons.
Inputs are located on the back and VG236H has DVI, HDMI and component.
In the menus VG236H has the following picture setting options: brightness, contrast, Trace Free (Overdrive), color temp, and RGB. An aspect ratio control menu is also available that has Full, 4:3 and Overscan.
You can also select from these picture presets: Scenery, Standard, Theater, Game and Night View.
You can see our energy measurements on Asus VG236H below.
After calibration I measured energy consumption on VG236H to 26.2 W. This is common for non-LED monitors but a bit lower than the 23-inch 120 Hz Alienware AW2310 monitor.
Also, please note that LCD monitors uses less power after calibration. This is common on flat panel displays because many picture parameters are reduced during calibration.
We use the DVI input for testing. The graphic card is Geforce GTX260.
The monitor has been measured and calibrated with a LaCie Blue Eye Pro. We also examine the monitor with the help of our monitorTest. And finally we test the monitor in games, movies etc.
Picture quality on Asus VG236H
Out-of-box picture quality on VG236H is measured below in the sRGB picture mode.
The graph says this:
The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two factors; here it’s the difference between the measured color on the panel and the actual color that is our target.
A delta value lower that 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual color.
A delta value over 4 or 5 results in wrong colors.
A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colors.
A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colors. The target is 0.
Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.
The out-of-box result is impressive and this is quite surprising to me. Gaming monitors often have too vivid and over-saturated colors and wrong gamma tracking. This is a common trick to enhance different picture characteristics.
But not on VG236H. Our VG236H had vecolorry minor color deviations primarily because of a pretty accurate gamma tracking. We aim for 2.2 gamma and VG236H had a gamma varying from 2.27 to 2.16 which is very good for a gaming monitor.
The color temperature is also accurate, although brightness is too high for all-round usage (but suited for 3D gaming).
I tried to see how much I could squeeze out of VG236H and did a calibration.
The calibrated result is very good. I didn’t have to change much because of the very good standard settings so I just did a RGB calibration and reduced brightness.
After that gamma varied by just 0.05 which is very good for a gaming monitor. The color deviations are also very low and the color temperature is very close to our 6500 Kelvin target.
My calibrated settings are.
The Trace Free setting option is an Overdrive controller that can change the response time characteristics. I’ll get back to that in the “response time and games”-section.
The color gradation and reproduction is fair. I tested with some smooth gradients and VG236H is above average but I still saw some bands in the smooth gradients.
This is a common effect with the cheap TN panels and gaming monitors. Asus does manage to reproduce most colors but some of the darker colors are not perfectly distinguished.
All in all the color reproduction on VG236H is above average and better than on the Samsung 2233rz but not 100% on par with the Alienware AW2310 (although color accuracy is better on VG236H).
Asus VG236H has a glossy panel and even though some people like this, the reflections are annoying during daytime. Sometimes objects are mirrored in the darker parts of the image on VG236H and sunlight can be a problem, too.
Below I have measured black level and contrast ratio:
Contrast ratio +/- 50
After calibration I measured a black depth of 0.14 cd/m2 which is better than on LG W2363D and Alienware AW2310, and close to the black depth we got from Samsung 2233rz. We still prefer a deeper black reproduction but compared to the competition this is a fair result.
Shadow detailing on VG236H is fair but the glossy panel seems to cut some of the darkest grey tones. I was able to distinguish most grey tones but the 3-4 tones closest to black were reproduced as black.
Finally I've taken a picture of in a completely dark room to examine clouding / backlight bleeding issues.
Asus VG236H has some minor backlight bleeding at the edges but it’s acceptable and no serious issue. The picture enhances the clouding a bit compared to what I saw in practice.
Response and games
The response time is, of course, of major importance with gaming monitors and in this section I will examine the response time, trailing, overdrive trailing and input lag. When both the LG W2363D and Asus VG236H review are online I will also release a comparison article so stay tuned.
Response time on Asus VG236H is good. VG236H is not my absolute top pick in regards of response time and trailing but it’s performing as a gamer monitor should.
I saw some minor trailing and blurring on motion and trailing was a bit worse on dark color transitions than on color transitions.
The Trace Free setting in the menus is an Overdrive controller. The default value is 60 and I suggest that you keep it there. Increase it to 80 and you get too pronounced Overdrive trailing and lower it to 40 and you get more intense trailing and blurring on motion.
At 60 I still see some minor Overdrive trailing (the halo around moving objects) but it’s very subtle and only visible on some of the dark color transitions.
Asus VG236H is, however, a very fast monitor, and very suited for gaming and movies. The response time is fast but not the fastest we have seen.
We also did some input lag testing. Input lag is the delay from the input signal to the actual picture is displayed on the panel. To test input lag we use a DVI splitter and our own inputlagTest software.
I measured input lag to 0 frames (compared to W2363D that we found to have zero input lag) which is a perfect result just like on LG’s W2363D. In the later W2363D vs. VG236H article I’ll also include some input lag comparison pictures for you. Input lag testing with two side-by-side monitors can have some minor discrepancies but the result is an indicator of a very good performance.
Please notice that you need a dual-link DVI cable to get 120 Hz. 120 Hz is not supported through HDMI on VG236H.
I won’t say much about the 3D gaming experience on VG236H other that it’s convincing.
The experience is pretty much similar to other 120 Hz monitors and VG236H has some minor crosstalk but nothing alarming. The Trace Free option is also maxed out in the 3D mode.
The brightness value is very high on VG236H when the brightness setting is maxed out at 100% and this is important because the 3D glasses reduce brightness a lot.
One very annoying aspect, however, is the glossy panel. Because it reflects light it can affect the 3D experience if you play during daytime. And therefore I suggest that 3D on VG236H is enjoyed in dark rooms.
Obviously the viewing angles are not great because of the TN panel technology. I experienced some heavy color shifting from angles and contrast is reduced.
Especially some of the bright colors change a lot from angles and becomes almost complementary. This is not very pretty to observe.
VG236H is a very successful 120 Hz monitor from Asus. The glossy, black frame is quite ordinary but the height adjustment feature is a nice addition. The glossy panel can be problematic at times, however.
Color accuracy is very good, even in the Standard picture mode. The color gradation is also fair and close to the Alienware AW2310 that we praised for it’s color reproduction in the gamer monitor segment. The black level was measured to 0.14 cd/m2 after calibration which is average. The viewing angles are narrow.
VG236H has very low response time and only minor trailing and Overdrive trailing. The input lag was measured to 0 ms and these two aspects contribute to a very good gaming experience, as well as a convincing 3D picture quality.
Asus VG236H is a very good 120 Hz monitor and definitely worth considering if you’re a gamer. 120 Hz is a must for gamers today and recently more 120 Hz monitors have arrived. VG236H also does well compared to the competition and even though it has a few downsides we award it with our Highly Recommended Award for its gaming performance.