In an earlier article I reviewed Samsung’s Touch of Color series of LCD monitors that differed from their numerous opponents with excellent design and good setup quality. Of course, this series is currently the top of Samsung’s product line-up.
Other brands are trying to follow the suit by introducing premium-class monitors of their own. They are supposed to differ from regular products with design and, occasionally, specifications. I will discuss two such models in this review and see if their real capabilities are up to their market positioning.
Use the following link for a description of our testing methodology and the equipment we use as well as for a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of LCD monitors mean:X-bit Labs Presents: LCD Monitors Testing Methodology In Depth. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this article abounds in, check out an appropriate section of the mentioned article for an explanation.
You can also check out the Monitors section of our site if this review doesn’t cover the model you are interested in.
ASUS does not spare superlative epithets in the description of this monitor and also points at specific advantages of the LS221H over the competition. These refer to its exterior design mostly: it claims to be the world’s slimmest 22-inch monitor and has a glossy black case, a leather-trimmed front panel and a protective sheet of glass. Sounds appealing, but let’s see what this monitor really is.
The monitor is based on a 22-inch TN matrix with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a native resolution of 1680x1050 pixels. That’s all quite normal for a modern LCD monitor. The viewing angles are specified to be 170 and 160 degrees wide horizontally and vertically, respectively. But you should keep it in mind that they are measured according to a relaxed method. Therefore, 170 degrees of a specified viewing angle are going to look quite different on IPS and TN matrixes, for example.
The manufacturer declares two contrast ratios for this monitor. The static one is 1000:1 and the dynamic one is 4000:1. The static contrast ratio refers to the monitor’s ordinary operation mode whereas the dynamic contrast ratio refers to a special mode in which the brightness of the backlight lamps is being adjusted automatically depending on the currently displayed visual content. The latter mode is meant and suitable only for movies. Certain manufacturers declare only the bigger number of the two in their product specs, which is somewhat misleading.
The LS221H has a specified response time of 2 milliseconds (GtG) which means that it has a fast matrix with response time compensation. The RTC technology has one downside, though. It may provoke specific visual artifacts that show up as white trails behind moving objects. You will see below if these artifacts are strong on the LS221H.