As I wrote above talking about the Acer AL2016WBsd, the DVI interface has now come even to entry-level monitors, but there are still a few models available that have an analog interface only. The ASUS VW202S is one of them. Considering that it is somewhat more expensive that the technically similar models from Acer, Samsung and LG, which have a digital input, I’m interested to see if there is something behind that price difference.
There’s nothing extraordinary about the specifications. The monitor is based on a widescreen TN matrix without response time compensation. The contrast ratio is high because the monitor features dynamic contrast technology (the backlight brightness is automatically adjusted depending on the currently displayed image).
The monitor looks neat, simple and quite appealing. It’s got a black (dark-gray, to be exact) matte case with a silvery streak along the bottom edge. The stand is made from black plastic.
Adjusting the tilt of the screen is the only option with this stand. You can replace it with a VESA-compatible mount using the fasteners at the monitor’s back panel.
The VW202S is one of the few 20” monitors that don’t have a digital interface. It doesn’t make the user’s life harder, yet it is easier to deal with the DVI interface – no problems with image quality, no need to adjust the monitor for the signal, etc. The digital output is currently offered even by many notebooks and mainboards with integrated graphics.
The monitor is also equipped with integrated speakers and has a line audio input. It is located at the other end of the case, next to the power connector.
The control buttons are placed in a row in the bottom right of the front panel. Their labels are painted in gray and perfectly readable. The Try Me sticker points at the button for switching between factory-set modes I’ll discuss below. The same button does double duty launching the auto-adjustment procedure – just press and hold it for a couple of seconds.
ASUS’ traditional menu isn’t quite user-friendly. I don’t quite understand why the first tab lists the preset modes although you don’t have to enter the menu at all to access them – a press on the Splendid button would suffice. The menu doesn’t remember the last changed option and always opens up on the first tab. Besides that, the menu is slow especially when you are switching between the Splendid modes.
What I like is that the menu offers the option of choosing an image aspect ratio. You can make the monitor stretch out a non-widescreen picture to its native 16:10 ratio or leave it as it is, adding black bands on the sides. This option is usually missing in inexpensive monitors.
Alas, I had problems with some display resolutions. For example, the monitor wouldn’t work normally at 1280x800 (an aspect ratio of 16:10) – the image was larger than the screen after the auto-adjustment and the menu didn’t offer the manual adjustment option. There was no problem with a resolution of 1280x768 (16:9) except that the monitor distorted its proportions, stretching it out to its native 16:10.