The monitor has 90% brightness and 80% contrast by default (in the Standard mode). To achieve a 100nit brightness of white I reduced the brightness setting to 68% and the contrast setting to 70%. The brightness is controlled by means of backlight modulation at a frequency of 290Hz.
Alas, the implementation of the Splendid technology is accompanied with one defect you can observe in many other monitors from ASUS: the user-defined settings are reset when you switch into a Splendid mode. For example, if you select 50% brightness for everyday work and then switch to the Game mode to play a game, on returning to the Standard mode you’ll find that the brightness setting is set at 90% rather than at 50%.
The monitor displays color gradients with barely visible banding.
The color gamut is quite ordinary for a modern LCD monitor (not counting in the few models that feature backlight lamps with improved phosphors). It is better than the standard sRGB color space in greens but somewhat worse than it in reds and blues.
The gamma curves lie close to each other as well as to the theoretical curve for gamma 2.2. The monitor doesn’t lose any halftones in lights or darks when you reduce its contrast or brightness setting.
The color temperature is set up oddly with the Warm mode being colder than the Normal mode, but this is the only complaint I can express. More importantly, the temperature dispersion for the different levels of gray is small, about 500K in the Normal mode that suits best for home applications. That’s a good result for a monitor of this class.
The MW201u is based on a “fast” TN matrix with response time compensation and the matrix is indeed fast with an average response of only 3.4 milliseconds, according to our measurements. The response time grows up considerably, up to 8-9 milliseconds, on a few transitions between light halftones. This is not a problem at all because your eye is unlikely to see the ghosting effect at such high speeds.
Alas, the RTC error average is 10%. That’s not downright bad as we’ve seen monitors with an RTC error average of over 15% even, but it’s not a good result, either. You are going to occasionally see light shadowing, the characteristic visual artifact of RTC technology.
The monitor offers an average contrast ratio even for a TN matrix. It is higher than 300:1 in one mode only.
Overall, the ASUS MW201u is a good home monitor that offers a neat setup of color reproduction and a low speed of the matrix. Besides the poor viewing angles typical of TN matrixes, it only has ergonomics-related problems: its stand lacks any kind of screen height adjustment; its controls aren’t quite handy; and it resets the user-defined settings as soon as you switch into a Splendid mode. The latter thing is incomprehensible really. I’ve seen no monitor from other manufacturers behave like that (the quick switching between preset modes is available on many models), but ASUS monitors all come with this drawback.