This article continues our series of reviews of 19-inch LCD monitors. It covers eight models with a screen aspect ratio of both 5:4 and 16:10. Although the latter aspect ratio is quickly penetrating the low-end market sector, classic 5:4 models are in demand still. Moreover, it is among these classic models that you can occasionally see 19-inchers with matrix types other than TN whereas widescreen 19-inch models are all based on TN technology with its notoriously small viewing angles. Widescreen monitors are also evolving, though. You can sometimes meet very special models such as the ViewSonic you will see in this review – it has an unusual resolution for its screen size.
Use the following link for a description of our testing methodology, the equipment we use, and a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of LCD monitors mean: X-bit Labs Presents: LCD Monitors Testing Methodology In Depth. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this article abounds in, check out an appropriate section of the mentioned article for an explanation.
You can also view all previous monitor reviews in our Monitors section.
The opener of this review is the ASUS VB191T, a multimedia model with a TN matrix and a classic aspect ratio of 5:4. Such monitors are still popular among people who don’t like widescreen models and don’t need a larger screen. Some users also prefer them because of the large pixel pitch.
Judging by the specs, the monitor doesn’t have response time compensation. The declared contrast ratio is dynamic, of course. TN matrixes can’t have such a high level of static contrast. To remind you, the dynamic contrast ratio is calculated as the static contrast ratio multiplied by the backlight brightness adjustment range in dynamic contrast mode. In fact, dynamic contrast should rather be called dynamic brightness because the point of this technology is in adjusting the monitor’s backlight brightness automatically depending on the prevalence of light or dark halftones in the current picture.
The monitor’s exterior design resembles the widescreen VW191 series. The screen is surrounded with a thin black plastic bezel. A row of control buttons can be seen at the bottom of the front panel. This calm, restrained and eye-pleasing design is going to look good in the office as well as at home.
Made from black plastic, the stand only allows you to adjust the tilt of the screen. You can replace it with a VESA-compatible mount using the holes in the back panel.
The monitor has analog and digital video inputs, an audio input, and a connector for the integrated power adapter. Unfortunately, there is no headphones connector here.
Located in the bottom right of the front panel, the controls are quite handy but accompanied with barely readable icons almost the same color as the case. The Power button is at the end of the row and is the only one to have a highlighting LED. Quick access is provided to the brightness and sound volume settings, to choosing a Splendid mode, and to the automatic adjustment feature (you can run this procedure by holding the Splendid button pressed for a few seconds).
ASUS’s standard menu has a few traditional drawbacks. It doesn’t remember the last changed option but always opens up on the tab for selecting a Splendid mode. This is odd because there is a quick-access button for this feature – you don’t even have to enter the menu at all. And if you plan to connect the monitor to two signal sources simultaneously, the lack of a quick-access button to choose the input may be inconvenient. You have to go into the menu to select the video input to use.