The VW198T is one more widescreen monitor from ASUS.
The monitor’s specs confirm its kinship with the VW198S we have tested earlier. It has the same brightness and dynamic contrast (3000:1), the same viewing angles and native resolution (1680x1050). Yes, this is a third model (the first one was the ViewSonic VX1940w) with an increased resolution and, accordingly, reduced pixel pitch. It means that gamers will need a faster graphics card for this monitor (or have to play at a nonnative resolution). In office applications fonts will look smoother, and you can place two open documents next to each other. There is also a lot of additional space for placing menus, palettes, etc. Even photographs and movies look better on an LCD panel with a small pixel pitch. Of course, these advantages can only be appreciated by people who have good eyesight and don’t mind working with small interface elements. Therefore you should check out if this resolution suits you before purchasing the VW198T.
Unfortunately, the replacement of the letter S with the letter T in the model name only means that the monitor now has a digital interface. It has not acquired response time compensation. Anyway, a DVI input is an important thing for a monitor with a native resolution of 1680x1050, too.
The monitor’s appearance is absolutely the same as that of the above-described models from ASUS: the company probably considers this design to be close to ideal. Perhaps they are right. It is a good combination of simplicity, sternness and certain elegance. On the other hand, users may want to have a wider choice of design options.
The plastic stand allows to adjust the tilt of the screen only.
The digital interface is an important addition to the analog one in this model. The latter can support the resolution of 1680x1050 but EMI may become a problem. The audio input of the integrated speakers (located in the top of the case) can be seen near the video inputs. The connector of the integrated power adapter is on the other side from the stand.
The monitor is controlled by means of the same set of buttons as the above-discussed models from ASUS. The Power button is at the end of the row and differs from the others with its built-in LED. Quick access is provided to the automatic adjustment feature, to the Brightness and Volume settings, and to choosing a Splendid mode.
The menu is identical to the menus of the above-discussed models and has the same drawbacks. It always opens up on the Splendid screen although this technology can be accessed with a dedicated button on the front panel. The menu does not remember the option you changed last. Some menu screens contain too many options and you have to scroll down to see all of them. And finally, some setup options are only available if you have selected a Splendid mode. It is good the menu offers the Aspect Ratio option that allows choosing an aspect ratio of 16:10 or 4:3 for nonnative resolutions.
The monitor has 90% brightness and 80% contrast by default. I achieved a 100nit white by lowering both to 56%. Color gradients are reproduced with slight banding. Darks are reproduced as black at a Contrast of 35% and lower. Lights are indistinguishable from white at a Contrast above 80% (i.e. above the default value). The monitor adjusts its brightness by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 250Hz.
The average nonuniformity of white brightness is 5.1% with a maximum of 12.8%, which is a good result. The numbers are higher for black: 7.0% average and 20.8% maximum. The picture above shows a characteristic X-shaped pattern.