Articles: Monitors

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I personally prefer to have colors reproduced as closely as possible to natural ones. That’s why the Splendid feature with its adjustment of the color saturation parameter is no better for me than the ordinary browsing through brightness/contrast presets as implemented in a lot of today’s monitors (LightView technology from LG, MagicBright from Samsung, ECO from Sony). I prefer Samsung’s approach which separates saturation and brightness adjustments which go under the names of MagicColor and MagicBright, respectively, and you can use one feature without touching the other. But after all, this all depends on your particular tastes and preferences, of course.

Another interesting thing about this monitor is the opportunity of fine-tuning color reproduction through the so-called Skin Tone parameter which can be set at Reddish, Natural and Yellowish. This setting affects some colors other than the color of the skin of movie characters – the monitor is not as intelligent as to precisely distinguish the outline of each face in each frame.

The menu itself has an ordinary design and its usability is average, too.

The monitor displays color gradients well enough, yet you can see color bands in them at some levels of contrast. The backlighting is not exactly uniform – there are light bands along the top and bottom edges of the screen. The matrix is TN+Film, so its vertical viewing angles aren’t very wide.

The gamma curves are nearly ideal at the default settings (Standard Mode). At the reduced brightness and contrast settings the gamma value is for some reason reduced, too, resulting in a paler image:

Anyway, the monitor doesn’t have any problems reproducing halftones.

Unfortunately, the color temperature setup isn’t very accurate. The sRGB mode has the smallest difference between white and gray, but the temperature in this mode is about 500K lower than necessary. Strangely enough, the Warm mode turns to be colder than sRGB (and also has a big difference between the temperatures of white and gray). The Normal mode has a rather warm white color, but cold gray tones. In the Cool mode the temperature is as high as 15,000K.

The monitor can’t boast a good response time, either. Like the AL1916Ws, it has a rather slow matrix with a pixel rise time of over 30 milliseconds at the maximum. The response time graph of the PW191 lacks the sudden fall on the black-white transition which is characteristic of TN+Film matrixes, but I think this is only due to the fact that the signal coming to the matrix is not exactly pure white even when the highest contrast setting is selected in the menu. There is nothing wrong about that since no user is likely to work with the contrast slider set at the maximum, so the drop of speed in the right part of the graph doesn’t give you any real advantages. This is just a laboratory obtained result that allows matrix manufacturers to write down a low response time value in the specs.

The contrast ratio is similar to that of the Acer AL1916Ws, but the max brightness is lower. On the other hand, 200 nits is still quite enough for movies and games even under daylight.

Being a rather ordinary monitor in terms of technical parameters (except for its native resolution of 1440x900), the ASUS PW191 features an extravagant appearance: touch-sensitive buttons with highlighting, functional design, a very stable and practical stand. This model is superior from this point of view, but the AL1916Ws makes up for its low-end looks with its better setup. The difference between the two doesn’t go beyond color reproduction, though. The response time, contrast and viewing angle parameters of these two models are in fact identical.

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