ASUS’ monitor naming system is rather confusing. For example, what does the letter M mean in MW221u? It can hardly be Multimedia because ASUS’ VW series has integrated speakers as well, and the MW221u has no other multimedia feature. It seems that the monitor series from ASUS differ in exterior design only and various technologies can be present or absent in any series.
Judging by the specs, it is an ordinary monitor with a TN matrix. As opposed to the two above-discussed models, it features Response Time Compensation, though. The horizontal viewing angle is large but you should keep it in mind that it is measured according to the 5:1 method. For other matrix types, the viewing angles are measured by a contrast ratio reduction to 10:1.
The monitor has a typical design for an ASUS product: we have tested similar-looking models with smaller screen diagonals. It looks neat. This monitor is going to look well both at home and in the office.
The stand allows adjusting the tilt of the screen. The seemingly large case is mostly empty: there is a large square depression in the center, covered with a decorative panel, where the connectors are located.
The monitor offers both analog and digital inputs. A line audio input is located nearby. The power adapter is integrated into the case.
Located in the bottom part of the front panel, the monitor’s controls are designed as petals carved out in the thin metallic bar.
Quick access is provided to the sound volume of the integrated speakers, to switching the Splendid modes (I’ll talk about them below), and to the automatic adjustment of analog signal (you should press the Splendid button for a few second to evoke it).
The standard ASUS menu isn’t very user-friendly, particularly because you find yourself on the Splendid mode selection tab every time you enter the menu. I don’t understand that – it is easier to select a Splendid mode with the quick-access button on the front panel without even opening the menu!
Interestingly, Sharpness and some color reproduction settings are available in each mode except for Standard. It is good that you can change and save the settings of each mode (most other monitors allow changing the settings only for one mode while the other modes are non-editable).
The brightness and contrast settings are set at 90% and 60%, respectively, by default. I lowered the brightness to 70% and left the contrast default to achieve a 100nit brightness of white. The brightness is regulated by backlight modulation at a frequency of 216Hz.
You should keep the contrast setting within 35%-80%. If it is below this range, the monitor loses dark halftones. If above, you lose light halftones.
Alas, that’s not the only problem. In every mode, save for Standard, the sharpness of the image worsens greatly notwithstanding the digital connection. I couldn’t correct this with the Sharpness setting. Oddly enough, it is in the Standard mode that the Sharpness setting is just blocked.
Color gradients look striped, but that’s not very conspicuous.
The average brightness uniformity is 5.1% on white, with a maximum deflection of 15.0%. For black, the average is 4.8% and the maximum is 15.6%. Both results are good enough, especially for black.