Asus has joined the bargain-basement IPS monitor bandwagon with the 23-inch ML239H - at the time of writing, the cheapest IPS monitor to come through our test lab doors.
Paul Urquhart | Tuesday, December 20 2011
Product type: 23-inch LCD monitor
RRP incl GST: $499
- 23-inch, 1920 x 1080
- LED-backlit IPS panel
- Tilt and swivel adjustments
- Poor response times
Another budget IPS monitor with typically excellent viewing angles and colour accuracy, let down by some particularly nasty image ghosting.
Asus has joined the bargain-basement IPS monitor bandwagon with its latest offering, the 23-inch ML239H. Its RRP is currently a midrange $499 but if you shop around, you can find it for as low as $299, making it the cheapest IPS-based monitor to come through our doors. Does the quality reflect the price, though?
Build-wise, it certainly doesn’t feel as cheap as it could. Asus generally designs good, durable products and this screen is no exception, with a solid feel to it and a nice piano-black finish. There’s no DVI connection (but it comes with an HDMI to DVI cable) so perhaps it's with these small things that Asus managed to save a few dollars.
The first thing I always check with IPS monitors is the colour accuracy, both at default settings and after a tinker with the settings. Out of the box, the colours on the ML239H were terribly out of whack, but in the first preset mode I tried (sRGB) they were spot on. A good start.
The next check is for shadow and highlight details, and again the news was good: after a quick fiddle with the brightness and contrast settings, the ML239H proved to have an acceptable black level and good contrast in bright areas of images.
To round out the good aspects, I can also report that viewing angles are up to the usual IPS standard. However, things take a turn for the worse once you start to look at the response times.
It is impossible to tell how good a screen is by its advertised response time, in this case 5ms, and in this regard I found the ML239H to be exceptionally poor. At every tested transition, there was noticeable ghosting.
There’s a setting on this screen called “trace free” which you can adjust between 0 and 100, and is supposed to compensate for a slow response time. However, any setting lower than the default of 60 made ghosting worse, and anything higher resulted in noticeable artefacts around rapidly changing pixels.
Overall it’s another good, cheap IPS panel. As long as you’re not planning to use it for fast-paced gaming or media, I can recommend you check it out.
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