After last month’s Labs, where we looked at high-end monitors (the results of which you can see in our January issue) , the Asus VK278Q feels like a bit of a step-down. That’s understandable – it’s comparing IPS apples against LCD oranges.
Which is not to say that the VK278Q doesn't have it's own appeal, in the form of some unique features.
The VK278Q is a slick, glossy black, from its rounded base to its widescreen bezel. There’s almost no adjustment for the easy to attach base – you can tilt it forward or back perhaps 5 degrees, but there’s no swivel, and no height adjustment. There’s also a little bit of wobble – we’d like it to be slightly more robust and able to stand up to the rigours of an average desk.
The on-screen display is clear and straightforward to navigate, although we’d have liked the adjustment menus somewhere other than under the screen bezel.
The 1920 x 1080, 16:9 screen provides for Full HD, and also features a 2MP webcamera at the top, but we couldn’t get the supplied LifeFrame software working on our Windows XP system. One additional touch is picture-in-picture, which lets you view two screens at once, via two different signal inputs.
There’s no complaint about the colours, however: the LED backlighting means that whites are crisp and and bright, and the colour accuracy is good. Colour gradients are smooth, and while the viewing angle isn’t the best we’ve seen, even with a widescreen 27in monitor there’s only a little darkening at the corners as a result. Colour saturation is good too, and the response time is a fast 2ms grey to grey.
The Dell 27in monitor is remarkable for its connectivity, and the Asus stacks up well, despite the budget price. There’s displayport, VGA, DVI and HDMI available as well as one USB port and audio connectors.
With good image quality and a three year warranty, the Asus VK278Q might look like a great deal, but LCD can’t compare on image quality to the likes of the similarly priced Dell U2711 27in IPS monitor.