ASUS ML248H: Thin for the Win?by Chris Heinonen on October 27, 2011 12:00 AM EST
Introduction and Hardware Impressions
The stand for the ML248 is unlike any monitor stand I’ve seen before. Comprised of a pair of rings that lock together and then into the rear of the display, this allows for tilt and swivel adjustments but no height adjustment. It is dead simple to install, though, which is nice. The back of the display is a white plastic that stands out compared to the standard black, though likely it won’t be seen much of the time. Perhaps because of the slim profile of the display, there is only a single HDMI input and one D-sub input, but no DVI or DisplayPort inputs available. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to audio carried over HDMI, but no integrated speakers or USB hub in the display. Of course if you were to wall mount this, good luck in getting to that headphone jack.
The front of the display is a shiny black with a fairly thin bezel around the top and sides of the screen, but a very large bezel at the lower half of the display. Perhaps the large bezel at the bottom is necessary to house the electronics and inputs while keeping the overall thin profile, but it causes a couple of issues in my use. The first is that it raises the display up by a few inches compared to if it had no bezel at the bottom. Depending on the height of your desk this might not matter, but for me it puts the display at such a height that I can’t get the angle I want on the display; it makes placement a bit harder and more limited in my experience compared to no bezel.
Another complaint is that the ML248H has LED lit controls that are touch sensitive buttons, but they’re annoying to use in practice. The labels of the buttons disappear until you hit a button to light them up, but that also causes a menu to pop up on the screen. Since you can’t see which menu option you’re selecting until after you touch the panel, you almost always have to back out of that initial menu and then pop up the correct one. Having the initial touch just light up the buttons and the second touch pop up the menu would be far more user friendly. I’m still a fan of actual buttons over touch sensitive ones for my display adjustments as well, but that would ruin the look of the ASUS. On the bright side, the buttons are accurate in responding to touches and I didn’t find myself having to hit them repeatedly to get them to respond.
The one final issue caused by using such a thin display is that the monitor can’t use a standard IEC cord but instead has an external power brick that you will now have to hide away as well. I’m sure most people won’t have an issue hiding the cord and adapter away, but it does make for more of a wiring mess than a typical IEC power cord would.
Here’s an overview of the full display specs:
|Video Inputs||HDMI 1.3, D-sub|
|Pixel Pitch||0.2768 mm|
|Brightness||250 nits (Typical)|
|Contrast Ratio||1,000:1 (Typical)|
|Response Time||2 ms (GTG)|
|Resolution||1920x1080 at 60 Hz|
|Viewing Angle||170 degrees horizontal, 160 degrees vertical|
|Power Consumption (operation)||< 30 W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||< 1W|
|Screen Treatment||Antiglare with hard-coating 3H|
|Tilt||-5 degrees to +20 degrees|
|Swivel||-20 degrees to +20 degrees|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes: 100 mm x 100 mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||572mm x 431mm x 221mm|
|Weight||9.04 pounds with stand|
|Additional Features||Headphone Jack (rear)|
|Limited Warranty||3 Years Limited Parts and Labor|
|Accessories||Power adapter, VGA cable, HDMI to DVI Cable|
The OSD menus for the ASUS are pretty well designed overall. The touch sensitive buttons are well spaced and respond well to touches, so you don’t have to hit them multiple times to get an input or worry if you’re hitting the correct one. The main issue, as noted above, is that since the labels for the buttons are hidden until you actually press a button, and you don’t know which one to hit for the menu until you actually try one. That might put you into the brightness or contrast adjustments, and then you have to navigate back out into the main menu. I wish the labels would either stay illuminated (well, that might be a different sort of annoying), or better would be to have the first touch light up the menus instead of selecting an option.
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Exodite - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkI believe you may have misinterpreted my one-word reply.
I don't particularly see the need for a new article title, I'm merely confirming my agreement with rsgeiger regarding the horrendous bezel on the display in question.
There's no saving grace for that IMO, my apologies to ASUS.
JarredWalton - Friday, October 28, 2011 - linkIt was a response to this thread in particular, not you Exodite. :-)
ProDigit - Friday, October 28, 2011 - linkthen you should have posted a thread, instead of posted a reply.
It seems people on anand are eager to reply on the first comment, so their reply will stay on the first page.. I've noticed so far...
rsgeiger - Monday, October 31, 2011 - linkPoint taken Jarred. I guess my interpretation of the title, even with with the question mark, just triggered a reaction in me about the market and where it is headed. I have no issues in general with your writing or choice of title (most times :-)
On another note, I didn't expect to get so many responses. I'm glad my taste is shared by others.
Zap - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkI also agree. Ugly bezel. The bezel is what you see when you are actually using the monitor, so it should be unobtrusive. Don't make the bezel "fancy" and don't use it for advertising space. If you want to go fancy with "thin," then make a thin bezel. Want to see something impressive? Samsung has big screen HDTVs with ultra thin bezels. I think they are marketing it as less than a quarter inch. On a huge 46-65" screen (the size range they make) how big will that bezel look from your couch? Now THAT is what I call impressive!
NCM - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkAnd while we're on the subject of aesthetics, I take issue with the article's claim that the rear appearance doesn't matter. In our office the rear of virtually every display is visible, and other than the Apple displays they all look like butt—appropriately, you might say. (Of course this Asus monitor pretty much looks like butt from any angle.)
Is a little attention to wire management and a clean appearance on the back really so much to ask?
ProDigit - Friday, October 28, 2011 - linkStrange butt you have, besides, I don't care about the back of a monitor. I'm not the one looking at it. If you don't like it, then throw a towel over it.
Valitri - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkEveryone is so negative about TN panels. How many of you actually use IPS screens? Do you use these for gaming, how is it?
I currently use, admittidely only a mediocre, Samsung P2770 27" TN monitor with a 1080p resolution. My next monitor I am considering 120hz to reduce tearing in gaming. I don't believe you can get that in an IPS screen right now. My only experience with an IPS screen is my iPhone 4, which I absolutely love. I am definately more concerned with tearing and input lag (mouse lag) then I am accurate color reproduction and would like to get some face time with an IPS to see how it really compared.
know of fence - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkVsync is the procedure/setting that removes horizontal screen tearing. It has been explained here on Anandtech many a time.
My guess is that 120Hz screens exist mainly for (shutter glasses) 3d support, because at 60 Hz it causes headaches.
JarredWalton - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkThat's true, but running at 120Hz does tend to reduce the perception of image tearing because the display is refreshing so quickly.