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Asus PW191 LCD Review 176

Tom's Hardware has quite the flattering review of one of the latest LCDs coming from Asus, the Asus PW191. From the review: "I won't mince words. The PW191 is the handsomest monitor I've ever seen. It's true that people's tastes vary, but no one can deny that the Asus designers have talent. While a lot of their competitors are using a white Macintosh look for lack of better ideas, Asus is innovating, offering designs that are both personal and novel. And they've applied that know-how to good effect in designing the PW191. The monitor's lines are superb, and the choice of colors is elegant and restrained."
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Asus PW191 LCD Review

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  • So tempting (Score:5, Informative)

    by DingerX ( 847589 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @05:39AM (#15183958) Journal
    to paste the subtitle of the article "Looks can deceive", the tag: "Unfortunately, its performance is not always on par with its design." and the performance section, then slam slashdot and Tom's Hardware for shameless advertisement, and watch the karma arc from +5 informative to -1 troll.

    But I'm lazy. So I'll just point out that they laud the design, but not the performance, and the review is not quite as gushing as the slashdot summary suggests.
    • Tell me about it! (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I can't even use my login anymore, at least not if I want to get a shot at some replies...I went from +2 Karma to 'Terrible' after I upset an "Editor" with mild criticism. *cough*MichaelSims*cough*. Now everything I post from my User ID is automatically modded -1.
    • I fail to see any "innovation" in the monitor's design. The review seems to be saying: "OMG!!! They made their monitor *black* instead of *white* how astonishing!!! This is an amazing innovation!!!"

      I say, BFD. The monitor isn't ugly, but it looks exactly the same as every other flatpanel monitor I've seen except a) its black, and b) its based is burnished metal. I admit that there isn't really much room for artsy design in monitors, the function has fixed the form pretty severely, but are people really
    • I have set the my preferences not to include Scuttle Monkeys reviews.. I slowly get the feeling slashdot is not the place for real nerds, since they would not care about such superficial story. Maybe it's time to wait and see if some better alternative to slashdot emerges. If that happens, slashdot has lost me as a user/submitter.
    • The design is NOT bad, although I do not think it has reached Apple Cinema HD display caliber, as the poster claims. The summary was a bit misleading- I looked at the prices for that LCD and it was pretty easy to figure out that pixel performance was not great without reading the review.
      • Yes, I found it strange that the summary was making such a big deal about the actual plastic design, rather than the display quality. Most geeks wouldnt care what their screen looks like around the edges, as long as it isn't distracting. It's how it affects your work/browsing/gaming that actually makes a difference.
  • Do they make one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by m4c north ( 816240 )
    without the tiny tinny speakers?
    • The tiny speakers in my Relisys screen here actually sounds better, to my ears, than my cheap and crappy computer speakers.

      Thankfully, I rarely use either; I normally have the whole lot piped through my stereo amp and into a pair of 16-inch-tall speaker cabs, or use a decent pair of headphones.
  • heh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by g1bb0ns ( 771897 )
    They just HAD to add speakers....
  • Sorry, but it doesn't look any nicer that the Xerox monitor [xerox-displays.com] on my desk.

    Not that I think it looks bad. It just doesn't look special to me.

    Why is this on slashdot?
  • by asnare ( 530666 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @05:45AM (#15183971)
    So, um, what's with the link to the article bouncing off pheedo.com? I'd assume the submitter was trying to make a few bucks from referrals, but no-one is attributed. (Maybe that means ScuttleMonkey is?)


    - Andrew

  • by podz ( 887481 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @05:53AM (#15183978)
    The fat borders around the screen are really not nice, IMO. I wait for the day when somebody makes a monitor with zero border. I just bought a Fujitsu-Siemens Scaleoview C19-1W [fujitsu-siemens.com], same design as the W19-1 in the picture, and it only has a 1.5cm border.
    • Exactly, the huge borders and polished base make this thing look cheap and crappy.

      Give me a Samsung Syncmaster over this any day:

      Pics [tomshw.it], Pics [tomshw.it], Pics [speci.hu], Pics [synnex.com], Pics [samsung.ch].

      Not only does it look so much better, the panel also gives excellent contrast, brightness and response, plus the screen can be rotated 90 degrees...

      This high rate of slashvertisements is getting really annoying.
      • hell, even a dell has smaller borders than this thing. What does it look like next to another 19", that is what I want to know.
      • I used to be a syncmaster fan myself, but samsung failed me on two requirements:
        1 - Their wide screen displays were either too expensive ($2000+) or too crappy (low contrast ratios, narrow and assimetric view angles);
        2 - They removed the OSD controls from newer displays in favor of software.

        Since I was looking for a wide screen monitor with high contrast ratio, the widest possible view angle, a reasonable AVERAGE response time, and the best possible color accuracy, I ended up choosing an HP F105 instead of
    • I would suggest that you not buy this:

      http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=1075 3 [lacie.com]

      Those panels are removable. Among other things, they are there to reduce the psychological affect of adjacent colors of surrounding objects possibly distorting the percieved colors.
    • Indeed. First thing I thought ``this would look so crappy when you stretch the desktop over 2 monitors''.
    • The monitor has built in loudspeakers, which would explain the phat borders:
      The monitor is fully equipped. In addition to DVI and VGA connectors, there are two loudspeakers, and for once their quality is above average as the speakers in LCD monitors are usually a disaster. But they still aren't quite what you could call satisfactory. Other models do much better in this department.
  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @05:56AM (#15183984)
    I have a ViewSonic monitor in front of me from a couple of years ago, it is mixed black and silver ... Personally I find the look of this large CRT monitor to be superior to that thin acer one.

    The black plastic, beyond looking cheap, also has sharp edges which is very old fashioned... As is the polished base... The thing looks like a late 80's television...

    I wouldn't buy that monitor just because of the way it looks. Dell, Apple and some of ViewSonic's range look far more attractive. As do some of the other monitors in Acer's range.
    • The thing looks like a late 80's television...

      Great! Then it will be in style again right after the rounded-white-plastic look that Apple revived from the 1970's will seem old (Apple already has gotten past the 1960's big bold colors and flowers look).
      • I'm waiting for the TV/Furniture thing to come back into style. It weighed a ton, but that stuff was pretty cool.

        It had a wooden border around the screen that was massive. You could also jump around ontop of the thing without hurting it. It's a shame my parents tossed it instead of replacing the CRT.
    • I agree: buying a monitor based on look alone is only for people who have secretaries to read all their email. The durability, the brightness, the contrast, the ease of the controls, the accuracy of the colors, the responsiveness of the screen, the cost, the evenness of the brightness all across the screen matter a lot if you're doing artistic work, viewing DVD's, or playing games.

      But /.'ing an article that says a monitor stinks as a monitor but it has a pretty design is like putting up a billboard that say
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 23, 2006 @05:57AM (#15183987)
    I can't believe people are sat around discussing the aesthetics of a monitor that looks just like every other flat screen monitor on the market. It looks like a monitor. It has all the bits a monitor typically has in the same place that a monitor typically has them. That's it.
    • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @09:52AM (#15184416) Journal
      But dude, its lines are unrestrained. UNRESTRAINED!!!!

      I don't know about you, but do you know how much it bugs me went I you have to look at a monitor's restrained lines all day long?

      Just the other day I was telling my coworker that I would pay good money for a monitor with a form that is innovating, offering designs that are both personal and novel.
    • Thank you, John. C. Dvorak. I'd like to know what you are smoking so the rest of us can get some.

      I don't think it looks like every other monitor, in fact, I haven't seen any other monitor that has a stand that looks like that. The machined metal look on the stand is the thing that I almost never see.
    • It wouldn't be so bad if people would move beyond that crap and actually talk about the rest of the article. Which goes on to talk about real stuff, like optical filtering and latency. The later is an issue with me: I naively replace my dying CRT with a Dell LCD — and now I have to switch my video to low resolution before I can watch DVDs or MPEGs.
  • Ugly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bloater ( 12932 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @06:03AM (#15183997) Homepage Journal
    What an ugly monitor, inch thick bevel, eighties shiny brushed base. It has a semi-retro "lampstand" feel that could have really worked (especially if it had a wall attachment or desk clamp) but is poorly executed looking a cheap childs toy.
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @06:03AM (#15183998)
    Here are a few more selected quotes:

    Asus has decided to follow the trend and use a panel with an optical filter. That was a mistake. Despite the manufacturer's claims on its Website that the reflectivity of the optical filter is especially low, when viewing a dark picture, the LCD panel is as reflective as the gloss-finished shell.

    As always with panels that use filters, the colours are showy. They're well saturated, but imprecise, as our calibrator test shows...

    The colour rendering was far from being ideal. Frankly, I can't understand why LCD manufacturers insist on using these filters when the results are always so mediocre...

    Asus didn't use overdrive technology for this panel. The result is that it's not really a contender as far as responsiveness is concerned... It's no catastrophe, but this kind of latency takes us back a year or so...

    I was waiting to see how the PW191 would perform screening movies. And sad to say, video noise was still much too evident. A lot of sparkling was visible. Note that Asus offers a sharpness adjustment (which is rare on an LCD monitor) that lets you soften the focus slightly. That helped a little, but the sparkling didn't disappear completely... We hate to harp on this issue, but the optical filter means that you'll have to watch your movies in total darkness, especially if the film tends to be dark (e.g. Sin City or The Matrix).

    And finally, from the conclusion:

    The finish is exceptional. It's probably the best-looking monitor available on the market today. And beyond the good looks, the picture is very sharp and the colours are very good in video games. In itself, the PW191 is a good product, but it's obvious that the panel was poorly chosen. It's slower than its competitors, yet doesn't solve the video-noise problems that plague them.

    So, it's a good monitor, apart from the LCD panel. Forgive me if I don't rush out to get one... (Or am I completely out of touch and all LCD monitors are this bad?)
    • So, it's a good monitor, apart from the LCD panel. Forgive me if I don't rush out to get one... (Or am I completely out of touch and all LCD monitors are this bad?)
      I've yet to find an LCD monitor that's as good as a CRT and isn't ridiculously expensive. If I were to buy a new monitor now, I'd probably go for a CRT. I just can't understand what's supposed to be so great about LCDs - they're either too expensive and/or suited to only one task.
      • I have yet to find an LCD to offer equivalent screen size, dot pitch, top resolution and latency to my monitor without (And that is the key word) resorting to one of Apple's rather sexy displays for way over budget - http://www.apple.com/uk/displays/ [apple.com]
      • Less power consumption, less place on your desktop /wall whatever. I agree with the picture issue, but the power consumption argument alone had me made to switch. And yes the pictures compared to good crts especially in moving areas are dreadful, and even the high end gear is still not up to the task. But for most people, including me, it is good enough.
      • I just can't understand what's supposed to be so great about LCDs

        23" Apple Cinema Display [apple.com]: Depth: 7.3 inches (not counting stand: 1.5 inches); Weight: 15.5 pounds

        Sony GDM-FW900 22.5" CRT [superwarehouse.com]: Depth: 10.6 inches; Weight: 92.6 pounds

        Depth and weight. My current computer table, with all the music equipment I have on it, would not support an extra 77 pounds of monitor. Neither would my back, when I feel like reconfiguring things.

        There's also the sharpness advantage of LCDs. The very best CRTs aren't too b

        • The very best CRTs aren't too bad, but at the highest resolutions they all run into issues with pixels being smaller than the dot pitch. At that point there's absolutely no way text or images can be sharp.

          And this is why I I say bullshit - I'm reading your post from approximately 15 feet from my 21" monitor at 20486x1536 and I can read your text perfectly and with razor-sharp clarity. I can BARELY do that with a 19" LCD at 1280x1024 at the same distance, thanks to Microsoft's ClearType technology. Those
          • LCD tech can easily have better sharpness than CRT. There used to be LCD panels that could display 200dpi, the IBM T221 and there was a Viewsonic too, with a 3840x2400 native panel. Some laptops are available in something like 1920x1200 in a 15" display. I have not seen a CRT that can display that resolution, the phosphor dot pitch simply isn't there.

            Clear type doesn't sacrifice sharpness unless it is improperly set. I hate Cleartype because it turns the edges of text into a rainbow, so I just turn it
      • Awesome for gaming. Native resolution is low for general use if you are a 1600x stickler but its made for gaming. At least as good as a nice, but maybe not ultra high end, monitor and running in the low 300s. On the high side but not for what you get, and only $50-75 more than a good 19" monitor.
    • I will try to explain it.

      The thing you need to understand is that most buyers don't understand concerns about color accuracy, if it looks better to their untrained eye, then the picture quality must be better. If they see an image that looks vibrant, they will chose that over an image that is accurate. This is especially the case with TVs. Many monitors and TVs are set at 9300K or higher because phosphors (in both CRTs and LCD backlights) are more efficient at the blue end of the spectrum, and thus, bri
  • The review praises the monitor for its looks, but then states how slow the panel is compared to the competitors. Not to mention that It has built in speakers which are probably worth no more than 5 bucks a piece. It may look nice, but then again, so does my 2005fpw. I sure as hell won't be trading it in anytime soon. Bwahahaha, my dream realized! Tom's bites the dust!
  • Get a Samsung SyncMaster 930BF [samsung.com]. I like it very much, and they also have a 2 ms variant that is a bit more expensive. Okay it doesn't look very dashing, but it performs :)
    • I have a Samsung SyncMaster 940B, which seems to have a higher response time than the 930BF -- I don't see any other differences. I guess I'm not the most demanding of monitor consumers, but I like it just fine. The image quality and sharpness is great and Samsung's menu system for all the tuning options is actually intuitively laid out, though for the most part the auto-adjust works just fine. Still, it's nice to be able to understand what buttons to press in what sequence on the couple of occasions whe
    • The following is my opinion:

      The 930BF doesn't perform. I sit close enough to my monitor that I could notice a difference in contrast between the middle and bottom of the display. The reason for this is the poor viewing angle (+/- 170 I think) and 700:1 contrast ratio. Admittedly, 700:1 is better than the cheap deals you usually see from companies like ASUS, but you still lose the difference between light gray and white.

      I ended up returning the monitor and getting a Dell for about $50 more that had a viewing
  • Is it just me or is the bezel on that thing huge. I know that they're technically not measuring the bezel in the size of the display anymore but still, is there no way it could be made smaller?
  • yay, a silver base (Score:4, Insightful)

    by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @06:26AM (#15184031) Homepage
    Umm, it's a regular black plastic LCD monitor with a metalic silver base. Wh00p.

    The real question: is this slashvertisment for Toms Hardware or for Asus? Or for both?
  • Form over Function (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Solder Fumes ( 797270 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @06:40AM (#15184043)
    Slashdot is a site that should be praising developments in technical ability, not slightly overdesigned monitors that suck in actual usage.

    ScuttleMonkey, you can get away with this shit, but that doesn't mean we are going to eat it. I gradually get to the point of almost subscribing, and then another stunt like this comes along.
  • by wheany ( 460585 ) <wheany+sd@iki.fi> on Sunday April 23, 2006 @06:40AM (#15184044) Homepage Journal
    Wow, that must have been the most [next page]
    interesting and informative [next page]
    review I have ever read on [next page]
    any site!
  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @07:02AM (#15184081) Homepage Journal
    My boss just got himself a widescreen LCD (against my better judgement of course) now he's discovering the main drawback for people who use their machines like we do.

    Its a lovely display, running local applications in the natural resolution (1440 x 900) is a pleasure to the eyes and having the extra width is nice, however he spends approximately 50% of his day using VNC onto machines with 1280*1024 displays.
    This wasn't a problem before because he could just full screen it, now all I hear is muffled cursing because the screen no longer fits.
    Its amusing really, and proves sometimes higher sounding specs really aren't all they are cracked up to be.
  • Nice try, no cigar (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FishandChips ( 695645 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @07:18AM (#15184107) Journal
    Posting a story whose link bounces off an intermediate website is dishonest without an explanation as to why. The assumption is that someone is exploiting Slashdot readers to score referral dollars. It is really no different from a journalist who buys shares in a company the day before he writes an article saying how wonderful it is. The next day he sells the shares. I hope I am wrong about this and look forward to ScuttleMonkey adding a note of explanation to the summary.

    I'd already seen this article. It is a minor piece of no great interest and pretty well tells the reader not to buy the monitor anyway because Asus have put a crap screen inside a very nice case.
  • Criticisms (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nexum ( 516661 ) on Sunday April 23, 2006 @07:59AM (#15184158)
    Well, it may catch the eye at first, but that is not necessarily a sign of beneficial ergonomics.

    Two things that are noticeable within the first second:

    - The base is exceptionally shiny, bear in mind that this is something that you are designed to stare at for hours on end, shiny is a big no-no. There are consumer reports of people patching up the tiny little chrome Apple symbol on Apple's screens because they reflect light and distract. This thing will likely be much worse.

    - The bezel around the screen is amazingly thick - it may be because it houses speakers - but considering these are only 19" screens, and all of the noise being made recently about dual monitors ("30% Performance increase" etc. etc.), these look like very poor performers when it comes to using more than one together. That bezel x 2 must be over a couple inches thick.
  • by vondo ( 303621 ) * on Sunday April 23, 2006 @08:51AM (#15184252)
    Like all of Tom's (and most other reviews) this is a lot of verbage for not much information. I didn't notice it with this one, but many reviews repeat the same thing over and over. All (I presume) in an effort to get the review to spread over as many short pages as possible to deliver as many ads as possible.

    But this one is even worse: "We rate the unit's suitability for gaming on a scale of one to five for FPS, RTS or RPG titles" and again "Here again we use a five-point rating system." But where are these numbers? First page? No. Last page? No. Where referenced? No. Not anywhere that I could find.

    Tom's site is just not really worth it anymore.
  • Conclusion

    First the bad news. The touch-sensitive buttons are not sensitive enough, and if you change adjustments often, they are a problem. And why did Asus have to use the glare-filter technology? We know it's a general trend, but consider this: Sony, who first developed this technology, doesn't even dare offer it on its own top-of-the-line products. The same monitor without the filter would perform much better.

    The selling price, around $400, is far from excessive for a monitor of this quality. The finish

    • In itself, the PW191 is a good product, but it's obvious that the panel was poorly chosen. It's slower than its competitors, yet doesn't solve the video-noise problems that plague them. We're waiting for the 20" version in the hope that these problems will be taken care of.

      Ummm... why would the 20" version fix any of the aforementioned problems?

      Unless they use a different LCD with higher quality/response times, they'll just be offering the same crap... but bigger.

  • 6 bit color? (Score:2, Informative)

    by peanutious ( 730210 )
    The first page of the review shows that the color count is 16.2M, this typically means that each channel is only 6 bits or 262,144 true colors dithered up to 16.2M. If you spend much time editing pictures, 6 bits per channel can drive you nuts. More details here [about.com] On the positive side, Asus's website shows a 1 year ZBD (zero bright dot) warranty, and a 3 year panel warranty. link [asus.com]
  • Many manufacturers often use for their advertising premium photos of the (non working) aluminium model, specially crafted for that photo session, which of course looks significantly better than production line models made of plastic. Do not believe ad photos.
  • From TFA:

    Tested with the Gretag Eye-One Display 2, the PW191 wasn't all that impressive. The panel's color range covered the sRGB color space and no more. Looking at the curve on the left, you can see a characteristic S pattern, indicating a gamma problem. That also explains the results of the previous LaCie Blue Eye test.


    Asus didn't use overdrive technology for this panel. The result is that it's not really a contender as far as responsiveness is concerned. The latency reached 25 ms in the worst c

  • I've heard bad things about the life-span of LCDs, and that they're not repairable. I don't mind my $130 dollar crt croaking after 2 or 3 years and not being worth fixing, but if I'm gonna drop $400+ on something it damn well better hold up for at least 10.
  • These incremental LCD improvements are welcome. But where's the "tileable LCD" already? I want to tile any number of LCDs in any multiple of their resolution. I remember in the late 1990s reports of bezel tech that allowed a slightly larger surface layer than the one facing the actual display. Extending out past the frame edge, so edge pixels could appear adjacent to the edge of the next tile. With just a tiny seam fastened by a tiny cylindrical edge sliding into a cylindrical notch in the adjacent edge. Dr
  • the Asus VX2025wm [viewsonic.com], which is a lot better. For a bit higher price, you get:

    * 800:1 contrast.
    * 1680x1050 resolution.
    * 176 degree viewing angles.

    Higher contrast, size, resolution, viewing angles -- precisely what you want in the thing you'll be staring at for the next few years.
  • How are they innovating? From what I see, they took a commodity low-resolution (1440 x 900) panel and put it in a chassis with NO VESA mount, and added a few user-selectable brightness/contrast profiles. Sure the case looks nice, but before I dump my 21" CRT monitors I want:

    - VESA compliance (so I can remove the desk mount and SUSPEND them over my desk on a custom mount)
    - a resolution at LEAST as high as 1920x1440
    - VGA and DVI capability, S-video would be a nice to have
    - I'l
  • Maybe this is the wrong forum to expect high-end consumer electronics to be sold because most of the readers are in college, but this looks like a clearance item that they've desperately asked slashdot to push.

    The 24" Dell is regarded as the best of the best, but it's the monitory you'll encounter in your day jobs as soon as you get jobs. You don't want to pay for the same thing at home that you get at your day jobs. You want to pay for something better and that only leaves the 30" Dell.

    Only 2 resellers h

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