ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor Review: Viewing Angles, Menu and Conclusion

October 11, 2010 by J.R. Nelson Reads (33,060)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 6
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 7
    • Usability
    • 8
    • Design
    • 7
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Features
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 7.17
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Menu and more
ASUS tends to be a pretty comprehensive menuing system into their monitors, the entirety of which can be controlled by the series of buttons along the bottom edge.

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ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor

Volume and brightness can be controlled without having to delve into the menus; since there’s only one button for each, users have to press first one button to engage the mode, then the second in order to raise or lower the level.

There are also entries in order to change or turn off the dynamic contrast, switch between the various processing modes (Game, Text, Movie, etc) and more.  While ASUS likes to make a big deal out of their various “Splendid” video processing enhancements (check out what all of the different modes mean here), they are largely useless.

ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor

ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor

This isn’t so much a dig at ASUS rather a call to arms for every other display manufacturer out there – these modes are a pain to use, though a dedicated button on the bottom definitely goes a way toward making them easier to activate.

Picture and performance
Two features of the VE276Q, picture-in-picture, and the built-in speakers, clearly show that ASUS wants users to split their attention and watch the Internet and TV at the same time.  The PiP works pretty well, but the speakers are something of a letdown.  They provide clear, intelligible reproduction, but the bass is boomy and the treble feels muddy.  In short, unless external speakers are an absolute no-no, they’re a try.

Color saturation, or how vivid the colors look, is one aspect, as is contrast, brightness, motion blur, refresh rates – all of these go into how pretty the picture on the screen looks, so let’s tackle them.

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The screen on the VE276Q is matte, not glossy. Neither is particularly better than the other; choosing one typically comes down to personal preference.  Matte screens have fewer problems with glare, while glossy screens give a ‘wetter’, more saturated look.

ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor

Viewing angles were surprisingly solid for a TN panel like the one found in the ASUS. Horizontal viewing angles were sufficiently stable that the color shifting viewers experience when looking from off-center shouldn’t be a problem for most tasks. It’s noticeable enough that this is definitely not a photo monitor, but it’s slight enough that pulling double-duty as a television shouldn’t be too bad – within reason.

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Vertical viewing angles were noticeably worse. Again, it’s not too surprising. The only time it should really affect use is when using it away from a desk, like lying on a couch or chair from across the room.

There was some backlight bleed on very dark content.  It happens mostly at the outer edges of the screen. The severity depends on the backlight setting, but even at zero, there’s a bit of light.

The following shots, taken at backlight settings of 0, 25, 50 and 100, give an idea of the kind of results users can expect when viewing the display in a completely dark room.

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At minimum and maximum light settings, respectively (measured in cd/m2):

ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor ASUS VE276Q LCD Monitor

On the box and in the specifications, ASUS lists the contrast ratio as approaching 100000:1, which is very high, and the result of a dynamic contrast ratio. What that means is that during very dark areas, the backlight and contrast and lowered and on very bright/white areas, they’re brightened.

In fact, the ASUS utility can push the factors higher than the monitor’s firmware will allow them to be set manually. Static contrast ratios provide a more realistic estimate of how good a picture will look. In today’s monitors, the standard is typically floating around 1000:1, which the VE276Q manages to effectively surpass.

Backlight level Contrast ratio
0 970:1
25 1019:1
50 1019:1
75 1129:1
100 1129:1

To find a useful contrast rating, over 90 different measurements were taken and averaged in order to produce a final result.  An interesting find was how different the contrast ratio was at different backlight settings.  Minimum backlight settings provided the worst contrast ratio (but have the best black levels) while maximum backlight settings provided the best (but have much weaker black light levels).

ASUS VE276Q LCD MonitorConclusion
The ASUS VE276Q 27-inch monitor is a basic monitor with one major attribute: it’s size. The 1080p panel, which feels a little restrained at this expanse, delivers a great, lag-free gaming experience, and the viewing angles, while not incredible, are good enough to handle pulling double-duty as a TV from time to time.

That double-duty ability, including the monitor’s picture-in-picture functionality, make the VE276Q a great choice for those with limited space – like dorm rooms. The four display connectors in back mean that this ASUS monitor can be connected to just about anything out there – a plus for those cramped rooms.

Even though it’s not perfect, it’s a 27-inch, 1080p display with lots of inputs for $300. What more can you want?

Pros

  • Lots of inputs
  • Low cost
  • No lag, decent contrast

Cons

  • Flat, muddy speakers
  • Limited stand flexibility
  • Plastic scratches easily


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