Of all the 24in LCDs we’ve seen, none has come close to matching the quality and value offered by the Samsung SyncMaster 245B (web ID: 97987). The 245B can currently be picked up for $535, a price no other quality screen has been able to match, but some are getting close.
Asus’ MK241H is a fine example. It may not have a fully adjustable stand – it only tilts and swivels – but it compensates in other ways. It comes with a pair of 2W speakers on the rear; they’re not loud enough to fill a room, but for solo gaming they’ll be fine. A headphone socket also sits on the underside of the screen.
There’s also a rotating webcam above the screen, connected via USB, and integrated stereo microphones. You have to be sitting quite close to be heard clearly, but it’s certainly more convenient than using separate devices.
But a monitor of this size lives or dies by its image quality, and here the Asus performed well. It’s a good job it required hardly any tweaking out of the box, as the control buttons are wobbly, but over HDMI we were delighted with the colours it produced.
We noted a slight green tinge in our greyscale tinting test, and minor banding in the gradient ramps. But this doesn’t have a big impact, and elsewhere it was superb. The black level is deep and the white almost blinding, thanks to the 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
Dynamic contrast often results in wildly swinging brightness levels during films, but Asus’ version works surprisingly subtly.
The display is oversaturated and produced some of the most vivid greens and reds we’ve seen. But despite the fact it isn’t a monitor we’d choose for photo editing, this does result in truly immersive games and videos. It’s capable of displaying an HD source pixel for pixel, so you can choose to watch a 1080p video stretched to the full 1920 x 1200 resolution, or with black bars above and below.
It won’t be for everyone – typing in Word will give you a headache if you don’t reduce the brightness. But if you want a 24in LCD for HD movies and games, the Asus MK241H is an excellent example of just how good an LCD can look.
This Review appeared in the July, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing