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Picking a New LCD Monitor Guide / Asus MS226H Review

picking-a-new-lcd-monitor-guide-asus-ms226h-review

So I’ve recently obtained a new LCD monitor (Asus MS226H) (Actually I received the MS238H instead for unknown reasons), and let me tell anyone interested in the though process of picking out a new monitor about my experience and also information on how to choose a new monitor.


I’ve been using a CRT monitor (one of those big chunky old monitors) until recently where I was given a second-hand 17-in LCD monitor, much like typical monitors found in households today.
However, since I’ve gone and made a new PC (review to come eventually), I wanted to utilize the graphics power only an HD capable monitor could show. Before I can explain why I choose what I did, the lists below help define each aspect of a LCD display.

Check the Latest Sales on the Asus MS226H, HDMI Cables & the newest version, the 23″ Version, the Asus MS238H at Amazon

Buy the Asus MS226H now from Amazon.com

Main Factors:
Screen size: How large the actual display device will be. Bigger is better, of course price and space constraints need to be kept in mind.

Display resolution / widescreen: Higher resolution means a clearer image, but it also gives a larger desktop to work with and in turn, smaller icons, etc.

Response time: Time needed for each pixel on the screen to change colors for a new image, so the lower the better. Most are 8ms, better performance ones are 5ms, and the best for LCD’s now are 2ms.

Adapters: [Note: Many types of adapters have cables that will adapt one type to another.]

D-sub
dsub

DVI
dvi

Video
svideocomposite

Composite video and audio are the three connections from the left, S-Video is the connection type on the right.

HDMI

TV Tuner: Allows input of satellite TV or cable TV box directly to the display. (Considered as the Video type above, but this means it has software + remote to use display as a TV)

Extra-fine specs:

Pixel pitch: distance between pixels, the smaller the better, for a clearer image.

Display colors: how finely colors can be displayed. Mainstream LCD monitors today can handle 16.7million colors.

Brightness: measurement of how bright the display is to the eye, in units of cd/m^2

HDCP: High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection, technology that attempts to disallow viewing of HDCP encrypted media that is pirated. However there are claims of ways around this, and does not have any other uses.

Contrast ratio: measure of the darkest color in contrast to the brightest, so in theory the largest ratio possible is desirable. There are doubts for the method of measuring, so this is not always a dependable aspect of comparison.

Minor Details:
Shell color = Color of the plastic enclosure of the monitor. Color preference may be desirable for a “theme,” or just buy some paint..

USB: Availability of USB ports on the monitor (that connects to the computer). These are not recommended, as I personally have yet to find such a built in extension give data transfer stability.

Stand type: Look into this on each monitor, since some can be wall-mounted, and others have swivel stands. Look for the one suited to specific needs.

Speakers: Built in speakers usually sound nasty. Find a good 2.1 speaker system for around $30.

Webcam: Laptops have them, why shouldn’t desktops? Well, for one, requiring a webcam in the monitor seriously limits the number of options available monitors to choose from.

Manufacturer: Got a gripe with a certain manufacturer? If they are still around, they must be doing something right, and if something else wasn’t their thing, monitors might be! Look for reviews before discarding the entire possibility of each manufacturer.

Last but not least factor:
Price= Self-explanatory.

I hope the above info helps those looking to buy a new monitor.

———————————————————————————–

On to the review!

Asus MS226H
Basic specs you’d find on this monitor: (Specs from the egg, currently priced at $175 – From Amazon.com)
Screen Size 21.5″
Widescreen Yes
Recommended Resolution 1920 x 1080
Viewing Angle 170°(H) / 160°(V)
Pixel Pitch 0.248mm
Display Colors 16.7 Million
Brightness 250 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio ASCR 50000 :1
Response Time 2ms(GTG)
1 D-Sub port
1 HDMI port

Package Contents :
LCD Monitor
User Manual
VGA cable
Power cord
Power adapter
HDMI-to-DVI cable

Power Consumption
< 31 W
Saving Mode: < 1 W

User Controls
SPLENDID Video Preset Mode Selection
Auto. Adjustment
Brightness Adjustment
Contrast Adjustment
Input Selection
Regulatory Approvals UL/cUL, CB, CE, FCC, CCC, BSMI, Gost-R, C-Tick, MEPS, VCCI, PSE, J-MOSS, PSB,China Energy Label, RoHS, WEEE
Stand Adjustments Tilt
Built-in TV Tuner No
Built-in Speakers No
HDCP Support Yes

Features
Trace Free Technology
SPLENDID Video Intelligence Technology
SPLENDID Video Preset Modes (5 modes)
Skin-Tone Selection (3 mode)
Color Temperature Selection(5 modes)
Kensington lock

Dimensions
20.45″ x 14.87″ x 6.14″
Weight 7.16 lbs.

–Specifications End–

Disclaimer: This is not one of those reviews where the product gets shipped here, for pictures taken from arrival, to unpacking, to testing. This is just unofficial insights of a person who purchased the product, and would like to share the feel of owning one.

Feeling adventurous, I had bought one of the newly available LCD models Asus has produced. What catches the eye about this particular monitor is the design. It is very thin, making its appearance sleek and unique. It has touch-sensitive buttons for power and adjustments. A unique ring stand keeps the monitor propped up, but at an angle. Surprisingly it is incredibility light, weighing at a mere 7 lbs, it feels fragile but yet it is just as sturdy as other monitors. I confess it was the slim design and look that persuaded me to get it in the end. However, it’s not all talk and no show, as it great specifications as listed above, matching most of the high end displays out there. Bonus to the slim design and stand design: Lots of room behind the monitor for unsightly wires, and it gets covered up as the monitor sits entirely on the desk and is not raised with a typical stand.

Putting aside all its performance aspects (which are second to none), the angle of the display may be the biggest issue for most people, since it encourages the screen to be placed a little below eye-level for best performance. This would be a nuisance for those who have it at eye-level or above since the stand cannot be changed unless customized, which would void its three year warranty. The glossy finish on the shell is really a dust magnet, and would accumulate a layer every so often. The support for the ring stand is somewhat hard to snap in place, and there is almost no chance of taking the support off with ease once its on.

For those who are upgrading from an 17″ like me, one thing noticeable about this monitor coming out of the box is that it’s HUGE. I sat for at least a minute holding it thinking “HUGE” over and over lol.

Resolutions:
1920×1080
1776×1000
1680×1050
1600×1200
1440×900
1400×1050
1360×768
1280×1024
1280×960
1280×800
1280×768
1280×720
1152×864
1152×648
1024×768
800×600

*Note* These resolutions are only available if your hardware (videocard) supports it.
-Changes will be made to review as new developments occur. Feel free to contribute through comments.

Special addition:
As per request of zack, here’s an addition to the review of this monitor, one fact that all the sites selling this monitor fails to mention in relation of the monitor stand. Here is a picture (click for larger view) of the add-on to the “O” part of the stand that makes the monitor so much more stable.

wow..don’t mind the dust lol

Addition #2
From our reader David’s question, I’d like to give a picture of the unique ring mount from the monitor. As many of our viewers have questions about how it works, I would hope this can clarify questions prior to purchases. After a year of using it, I still recommend it! (It’s in its packaging since my computer is out of commission atm :( )

(Click for larger image.)

Addition #3:
From our reader Kenny’s question, yes there is an audio out 3.5mm port in the back of the monitor. It allows the relay of sound from the HDMI cable to external audio systems. May I add that it works great, no fuzziness or discrepancies of any kind in sound.

Check the Latest Sales on the Asus MS226H, HDMI Cables & the newest version, the 23″ Version, the Asus MS238H at Amazon

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28 Comments

  1. Comments  Enki   |  Saturday, 27 February 2010 at 11:59 AM

    I will post them here instead so everyone may see:
    1920×1080
    1776×1000
    1680×1050
    1600×1200
    1440×900
    1400×1050
    1360×768
    1280×1024
    1280×960
    1280×800
    1280×768
    1280×720
    1152×864
    1152×648
    1024×768
    800×600
    However, performance on higher resolutions varies depending on what application is running, and what video hardware you possess.

  2. Comments  zack   |  Tuesday, 02 March 2010 at 4:30 AM

    when are you going to post the resolutions?

  3. Comments  Enki   |  Tuesday, 02 March 2010 at 5:27 PM

    I’ve already posted it. See my comment or bottom of the page.

  4. Comments  zack   |  Tuesday, 02 March 2010 at 9:30 PM

    oh sorry I completely missed that….my bad…I am thinking of buying this monitor and I am primarily going to use it for gaming….would you suggest this monitor?

  5. Comments  Enki   |  Wednesday, 03 March 2010 at 4:09 PM

    No problem, and I would definitely recommend this monitor if your budget allows it. Not only does it perform as well as other high end displays, the style Asus used here is unique and looks really sleek as well.

  6. Comments  zack   |  Friday, 05 March 2010 at 1:22 AM

    yeah the specs for the price are really good but my only concern is the stand

  7. Comments  Enki   |  Friday, 05 March 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Thanks for checking back zack, and what are your concerns exactly? The stand makes it so that the monitor is at a tilt, and should be set slightly below eye level, otherwise it’s completely stable. Did I mention there’s a extra attachment (that was sorta hard to put on)for the ring that extends out to make it more stabilized? It’s made with clear plastic and not usually pictured in the product pictures. I’ll take some shots for you later and update the post.

  8. Comments  zack   |  Wednesday, 10 March 2010 at 8:54 AM

    Thanks Enki…I bought this monitor a few days. Unfortunately it didn’t come with that extra stand (maybe they don’t sell that in Canada) but still I love it

  9. Comments  Enki   |  Friday, 12 March 2010 at 10:15 PM

    no problem, glad I could be of help, depending where you got it, you may be able to rma it saying its missing a piece, but that’s your call.

  10. Comments  Brett   |  Monday, 22 March 2010 at 10:18 PM

    I have looked around for the last week at various websites that sell monitors, and after changing my mind several times, have mostly settled on this particular one. While the stand doesn’t bother me, are there any ways you’d suggest to easily modify it’s tilt angle? Such as possibly putting a book underneath it to push it’s angle a little forward. I recently bought a ps3 and am getting this monitor so I can play in 1080p HD, and watch blu-rays in high def..so I’m super excited about this. :)

  11. Comments  Enki   |  Tuesday, 23 March 2010 at 12:57 AM

    Yep Brett, I have placed various objects to tilt the monitor forward a bit such as a thin book, or part of a deck of cards, and it’ll tilt the monitor forward fine. However, keep in mind you don’t want the monitor to be balancing upright, and let a breeze send it toppling over to a certain demise! Now that would be just heartbreaking..
    I congratulate you on your purchase of the Asus MS226H, and best of luck with that tilt.

  12. Comments  shane   |  Monday, 26 April 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Does anyone know if the ring stand on this monitor is fully removable?

  13. Comments  Enki   |  Tuesday, 27 April 2010 at 1:45 AM

    Yep, the ring is fully removable so that the screen can be nearly flat on the back. It attatches with a special cut-out design that prevents the ring from moving too much, and secured by a thumbscrew that is easy to remove without a tool. Feel free to ask any other questions if you got any.

  14. Comments  Enki   |  Friday, 04 June 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Interesting update: After owning this monitor for nearly half a year, I just noticed I received the MS238H version (23″) for some reason. It still says MS226H on the invoice. This could be the reason why it included the extra stand piece shown above..
    Anyways, I’m not complaining :)

  15. Comments  Eric   |  Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 1:46 AM

    I have heard of problems using this monitor with windows 7 having 1 inch black bars does anyone know of this or have a solution? also heard from a reviewer that while playing starcraft 2 important info from the game gets cut off at the top, my last concern is the viewing angle when its tilted forward completely if that detracts from the viewing at all I really wanna buy this monitor today from a website but im doing research before I do any help would be appreciated thanks

  16. Comments  Eric   |  Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 8:46 AM

    ok so I answered my own questions by doing some research but have come across other ones is the “splendid try me” sticker removable? I see pictures of it on the internet with and without the sticker also is there a greenish hue when viewing and last does the fact that its tilted back permanently hurt the viewing at all im seriously considering buying this monitor and would appreciate any help

  17. Comments  Eric   |  Saturday, 31 July 2010 at 9:41 AM

    oh and my questions are for the MS238H 23″ not for the MS226H

  18. Comments  Enki   |  Sunday, 01 August 2010 at 2:37 AM

    Hi Eric,
    In response to your questions, yes I encountered a black margin around the border at first, but a simple tweak in ATI Catalyst Control Center corrected this. Seems I didn’t get this problem earlier when I didn’t install the suite for the graphics driver.
    As for Starcraft2, I’m not sure, there should be resolution adjustment available within the game, or you can edit a config file of some sort perhaps? Can’t really answer this as I haven’t played it.
    The “Splendid” sticker comes off almost too easily, and leaves no mark.
    As for the “green hue,” there is a Color Temp option within the monitor, that allows you to adjust a color “theme” if you will, that changes the color ever so slightly to suit your needs. Not enough to notice a overwhelming amount of one color, but this is as close of an explaination I have for you.
    Now, the most important question: the tilt display. The screen tilts back at about a 25degree angle (guessing here, no protractor handy). This does not affect the view at all if it’s at eye-level, or below. But if it’s above eye level, well, you could test it out with any LCD if you put it too high up, but in conclusion the tilt will only affect viewing if it’s way above eye level (it can be propped up for a better view, but use caution as to not let it topple forward, since the tilt comes from it’s resting on its stand that’s keeping it upright).

    Hope I was able to clarify some questions you may have. Let us know if there are any more concerns. Personally, I can’t wait to set up 3 of these side by side =]

  19. Comments  David   |  Monday, 20 September 2010 at 1:18 AM

    Hi, just a quick one, can this monitor be placed on another stand beside of the ring stand ??

  20. Comments  Enki   |  Monday, 20 September 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Hi David, as far as I know, the ring stand is unique to this model.
    To help you out, I’m taking a picture of the mount of the ring stand since there are none up on the internets.

    (Click for larger picture)

    Also, here’s an image of it attatched on a monitor: (Picture below not owned by us)
    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/images/asus_ms246h/P1030860.JPG

    *Also amended to main post*

  21. Comments  Kenny   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Hey guys, on the Asus website, the sepcs says it can support a audio out through a 3.5mm headphone jack. So, if I plugged in my Xbox with the HDMI cable, and plugged in a headphone to this monitor, I should be able to hear it right?

  22. Comments  Enki   |  Monday, 24 January 2011 at 8:52 AM

    That should be correct Kenny! The 3.5mm audio port simply has picture of headphones and the words “FOR HDMI”. I can’t see it being used for anything but audio out, however I cannot test this since I have no HDMI input at the moment. (Using DVI – HDMI cable)

  23. Comments  Enki   |  Tuesday, 01 February 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Update to last post!

    I have tested and will verify that there is an audio out for any HDMI device plugged in. Clear sound as well.
    *Updated main post.

    Glad this review is helping people :)

  24. Comments  Hanne   |  Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 1:43 PM

    I have two of these, and I love them. I just wonder; Can they be wall mounted?

  25. Comments  Enki   |  Sunday, 14 August 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Since you got two already, you should have noticed how these monitors have a unique ring stand, (pictured above).
    Unless Asus decides to make a mount kit for these, they can’t be wall mounted. Unless of course, you’re an engineer who can design one yourself 😉

  26. Comments  Ghasem   |  Sunday, 11 September 2011 at 7:19 AM

    I’ve found a problem with this monitor after using it for a year, the “O” ring on the back of the monitor can’t adjusted to stand completely [ 90 degree o| ] or more [ o/ ]

    it always stand like this [ o\ ]

    it’s annoying when you seat lower, the color became darker & unreal & very poor & it’s very frustrating , so i should put some CD under the “O” ringto make it stand flat, like this [ .o| ]

    but here I see something new from ” Enki ” on the first pic. he used a transparent plastic or glass that doesn’t came with monitor, it will be very helpful. [ ,o| ]

    sorry for my bad language, I’m not fully fluent in English :)

  27. Comments  Enki   |  Monday, 24 October 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Hi Ghasem, sorry I haven’t noticed your post till now. The clear piece of plastic came with the package. It does not help the monitor stand 90 degrees or over. It’s simply an extra supportive piece.
    I’ve placed various items under the stand to get it to stand up straighter when my viewing angle is not above the monitor. Exercise caution, as in doing so, will increase the chance of the monitor toppling over! (taped O-ring stand w/ height boost item may help) Easiest solution is to increase the office chair’s height.

    Having used this monitor for nearly 2 years, I still recommend it as a brilliant device. Light and slim, makes it very portable, though prone to a few scratches on the bezel if transporting w/o any protective materials. The only drawback would be it’s slightly annoying but unique O-ring stand. It’s still better in comparison with a Dell monitor of its size, as it’s smaller, lighter, sleeker looking, and much more LAN-party friendly.
    I would not recommend this monitor for an Eyeinfinity setup. They all lean back slightly due to its unique stand. This won’t provide a fluid screen when used side by side.

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