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The MW221u’s color gamut is standard, being somewhat smaller than the sRGB color space in reds and surpassing it in greens. Monitors equipped with backlight lamps with improved phosphors have a much larger color gamut in greens, though.

The gamma curves look normal at the default settings (Standard Mode): the blue curve coincides with the theoretical one, but the value of gamma is too high for the green and red curves.

Although the monitor is declared to have a response time of 2 milliseconds, I could find no trace of Response Time Compensation technology in it. The response average is as high as 12.9 milliseconds (GtG) – six times as high as the specified response! Looking over Web forums I found that many users had criticized early batches of this model due to gross RTC artifacts and ASUS began to ship the MW221u with RTC disabled by default but it could be enabled by pressing the Menu button for 8 seconds (the user manual doesn’t mention this).

Indeed, when I held the button pressed for a while, I saw an OverDrive menu with two options: Yes and No. Alas, it didn’t change anything: the response time remained the same irrespective of what I chose in it. So, I have to tell you that this monitor doesn’t have Response Time Compensation and its real response has little to do with the specified value.

The color temperature modes are set up rather sloppily. It is higher than 7500K even in the Warm mode (the image looks somewhat cold as the result), and there is a considerable difference between the temperatures of different grays.

The contrast ratio isn’t high, barely reaching 300:1. That’s a very modest result for a modern monitor.

As I told you above, the quality of the Splendid modes is low. The image is not sharp in them for some reason.

All the modes offer similar brightness by default: from 150 to 200 nits. On the other hand, every mode can be set up manually for any level of brightness.

The modes differ in the color gamut setup, too. For example, the Theater Mode is almost no different from the Standard Mode.

The Night View Mode is meant for games. Making dark halftones brighter, it should help you spot an enemy who’s lurking in shadows. Indeed, the gamma curves are higher in the area of darks, but then the blue and green curves are sagging while the red curve hits the ceiling of the diagram.

The Game Mode is meant for games where there are no enemies lurking in shadows, but it doesn’t differ much from the previous mode: darks tones are normal, but lights have little to do with accurate color reproduction.

The Scenery mode doesn’t please me, either. Green and blue are too dark, having a too high value of gamma. Red is high from the middle of the diagram, reaching saturation. The lightest tones of red are displayed as the same color as the result.

Highs:

  • Neat exterior design
  • Manual adjustment of each of the Splendid modes

Lows:

  • Sloppy color reproduction setup
  • Slow matrix (although the manufacturer specifies a fast response time)
  • Poor color reproduction setup in the Splendid modes
  • Problems with image sharpness in the Splendid modes

Recommended usage:

  • Text-based applications (documents, spreadsheets, Internet)
  • Movies and games that don’t require a fast matrix
 
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