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Asus VS278Q review

Limited native res and old-school panel tech don't make for a good recipe

Our Verdict

For

  • Decent colour and contrast
  • 1ms response time

Against

  • Bad case of the fizzies
  • Tilt-only stand and lack of DVI input

Spare a thought for your average PC monitor. With tablets and phones making all the tech headlines, they're the forgotten souls of the technology nation. The de facto resolution for high-end smartphones is now 720p HD and 1080p looks like becoming mainstream for tablets, with some devices going higher even than that.

The Retina display on the iPad 3 set the tone here, with its monster 2,048 by 1,536 pixel grid. Now Google has announced the Nexus 10 with its 2,560 x 1,600 10-inch panel. That's a resolution we've previously only seen on high-end 30-inch monster monitors.

In that context, what to make of the new Asus VS278Q and it's 1,920 x 1,080 native? Well, 1080p is standard on even the cheapest 22-inch monitors these days. So while this 27-inch Asus is physically larger, you're not getting anything extra by way of desktop space or visual data.

That's a bad thing as a nice big pixel grid makes all the difference for multi-tasking and for applications like image editing that involve lots of tool bars. And it's just nice to have lots of room to work with - once you're used to the 2,560 x 1,400 pixels offered by some 27-inch monitors 1080p feels quite restrictive.

But hang on, what about games? Now, you could argue that games simply look better at higher resolutions. And that's true so long as you're using the same detail settings and frame rates. But that's easier said than done when you consider that 2,560 x 1,400 has roughly twice the number of pixels to feed as 1,920 x 1,080. More to the point, the in-game visual difference between the two resolutions is relatively subtle.

If we had to choose between 1,920 x 1,080, all the graphics options enabled and super-slick frame rates on the one hand and 2,560 x 1,600, some options disabled and choppy frame rates, we'd take the former.

Gaming grade

That means the Asus VS278Q and its plain-Jane 1080p pixel grid might not be such a dead duck after all. Indeed, with its claimed 1ms pixel response, could it be the perfect gaming tool?

Sadly, the image quality on offer isn't good enough for that. Nor is the overall feature set. For starters, the vertical viewing angles are pretty poor. There's plenty of evidence in our test images of colour compression in brighter tones.

There's some really nasty pixel fizz when rendering certain colours, too. There's always some pixel fizz on TN panels due to the need to use dithering to increase colour depth, but this Asus has a particularly bad case of fizzitus.

That's a shame because the colours and contrast on offer are pretty good. And as you would expect from that 1ms rating, this is one quick panel.

That said, as an out and out gaming panel, the lack of 120Hz support means there's still room for improvement in terms of speed and response.

Elsewhere, the tilt-only stand scores further demerits for its lack of adjustability and its flimsiness. Then there's the lack of DVI input. Okay, you get two HDMI sockets and one DisplayPort. But we'd still like to see DVI.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD Monitor
Number of Screens1
HDCP SupportedYes
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, WEEE, RoHS, ErP
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
VESA Mount CompatibleYes
VGAYes
DisplayPortYes
Adjustable Display AngleYes
Product FamilyVS
ColourBlack
Brightness300 cd/m²
Screen ModeFull HD
Colour Support16.7 Million Colours
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Brand NameAsus
Contrast Ratio80,000,000:1
Mount TypeWall Mountable
Screen Size68.6 cm (27")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Response Time1 ms
SpeakersYes
Built-in DevicesSpeaker
Operating Power Consumption45 W
Height470.1 mm
Width648.9 mm
Depth50 mm
Product SeriesVS
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelVS278Q
Product NameVS278Q Widescreen LCD Monitor
Manufacturer Part Number90LMF6101Q01081C-
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

Superior Image Quality Meets Classic Elegant Design

Delicate touches make a monitor truly great, VS278Q Full HD LED monitor, with extremely quick 1ms response time, 80,000,000:1 high contrast ratio, DisplayPort and dual HDMI interfaces, is optimized for the finest image and color quality. This approach extends to the sturdy stand and slim profile without compromising style in ensuring stability and durability.

Package Contents
  • VS278Q Widescreen LCD Monitor
  • VGA Cable
  • Audio Cable
  • Power Cord
  • Quick Start Guide
  • HDMI to DVI Adapter
Limited Warranty3 Year
Weight (Approximate)5.10 kg