• 6, November, 2016

ASUS VG248(QE) Monitor Review: One For The Gamers

Screen specs:
•LED backlit LCD monitor
•Screen panel size: 24.0’ (61.0cm) / 16:9
•Resolution: 1920×1080 Full HD
•Refresh rate: 144Hz
•Response time: 1ms
•Inputs: HDMI , DisplayPort, Dual-link DVI-D

Audio features:
•Stereo Speakers : 2W x 2 Stereo RMS
•PC Audio Input : 3.5mm Mini-Jack
•AV Audio Input : HDMI, DisplayPort
•Earphone jack : 3.5mm Mini-Jack (for HDMI & DisplayPort Only)

Over 60fps gaming
With the rise of over 60fps gaming comes the search for monitors with a higher refresh rate, and let’s be honest: once you’ve tried gaming at 120 Hz it is difficult to turn back to the old 30-fps traditional gaming. Gaming over 60fps isn’t just a fad as our eyes do actually allow us to perceive the difference between a 30fps video and let’s say a 120 Hz one. The result of a higher refresh rate translates into much smoother movement which almost feels life-like; and this adds a lot to video gaming; whether you are looking at fast paced 1st person shooters where a higher refresh rate really increases your movement and aiming precision or even a top-down game where all the animations will look buttery smooth. And let’s face it: you didn’t buy yourself a top desktop rig only to have your monitor capping your refresh rate; you just want to push your hardware as far as it can go.

Colour vs refresh rate
When looking for a good monitor, you are really looking for something which will give you good colour reproduction and good viewing angles. With regards to this we think that the VG248 (QE) does very well at compromising between offering a reasonable colour reproduction along with those higher refresh rates. Because let’s be honest: to find a 144 Hz monitor at this price means that some compromises will have to be made; but we’re happy to say that the smoothness of the experience even running something as simple as your windows desktop and dragging the mouse around makes it all totally worth it. What we’re saying is: it is not the sharpest display but it still pulls some good colours; and its smoothness really provides you with an experience that you might not be able to walk away from. As with a lot of tech, to get all the functions you’ve got to be ready to compromise a bit; and this monitor offers the best of both worlds.

The right inputs for 2016
The other thing which works well for us is the fact that along with the HDMI port comes the much needed and more contemporary DisplayPort, so you can really crank up those higher refresh rates. On top of this all, they’ve still included a Dual-link DVI-D input for those older cards, and this will still work for the older 3d vision systems if this is something you’re still rolling with. Sure there is no more VGA input but you should be able to get an adaptor if you’re still running a system with VGA output; after all nothing wrong with older technology as long as it still works!

Extra audio features
This is very handy for a PC monitor, as a lot of PC monitors tend to exclude any sort of audio peripherals. The VG248 (QE) sports a couple of little speakers so you can still get stereo sound from your devices plugged into the HDMI or DisplayPort. They are only 2W speakers so they are not particularly loud nor are they bass driven; but they work well for things like casual YouTube videos. The great thing about this monitor is that it also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack output so you can plug some desktop speakers to it. After all why not make the most of HDMI and DisplayPort’s audio capabilities?

A great stand
The VG248 (QE) comes with a solid height adjustable stand so you will be able to set the height of your monitor with a good degree of flexibility. Furthermore, you can swivel the screen upwards and downwards; and you can pivot from its base. This is a great monitor stand which gives you all the flexibility you need; something that is often missing with other monitors for that price range. Nothing worse than getting a great looking screen only to have to angle it with a dodgy bit of cardboard to get it to the right viewing angle. Fortunately, it won’t be the case here. Of course, this monitor comes with VESA wall mounting so no worries of you must wall mount; Asus has got you covered.

Our gaming experience
We are having a great time with this monitor. We’ve tried fast-paced games like Doom (2016), running it through a rig sporting a GTX 1080 and the movement is just out of this world. The refresh rate is definitely fast enough for us to disable the ‘motion blur’ settings and still get flawless movement; the game just plays great how it is really meant to be played (see what we did there…). We then fired up Dirt Rally (2016), another fast paced modern game and again we were just blown away by all this smoothness of movement. Sure the colours could maybe do with a bit of extra definition, and we could do with slightly better viewing angles; but we’re that impressed that we are definitely keeping this monitor as our office gaming monitor. It is exactly as we said at the beginning of the review: once you’ve tried 144 Hz, you can’t go back!

This monitor is definitely one for the gamers. The higher refresh rates elevates your gaming to a whole other level; and we consider this the ideal way to transit from 60 Hz to the newer standards of gaming in 2016. Beyond its refresh rate, this monitor has all the right inputs you will need for your gaming rig. Its design and solid / flexible stand also make it one of the better contenders for a desktop 24’ screen; no annoying inconveniences there.

Of course we could have always done with more inputs and a slight better colour management but honestly for that price you will find it hard to get something like this monitor. Also we regret the absence of any real G-sync (NVIDIAGPU’s) or Freesync (AMD GPU’s). This monitor was released in 2013 so it lacks the 2014 DP 1.2a specification which adds support for Adaptive-sync. NVIDIA did release a VG248 G-Sync mod kit but it is no longer available. To be fair, monitors which support G-sync and Freesync generally tend to be sold starting around £400 so not a deal breaker, but worth mentioning all the same.

If you fancy an in-depth review of the VG248, why not check this site here, you’ll find all the info you need if this monitor has got your attention.