Manufacturer:Asus UK Price (as reviewed): TBC US Price (as reviewed): TBC
Asus is not a manufacturer that you’d normally associate with monitors, but the Taiwanese manufacturer best known for its motherboards has really started to make a push into the monitor space over the past twelve months. Its range is getting fairly large now and there is a selection of displays tailored for different user groups.
The PG221 is the second addition to Asus’ PG-series of gaming monitors and was first shown off at this year’s CeBIT trade show in March. Asus’ first gaming monitor was a standard aspect 19” display that was kitted out with striking looks and respectable performance, but was ultimately let down by a very high price and its rather limiting 1280x1024 resolution.
You see, gamers have started moving to widescreen monitors en masse, and a recent poll in the bit-tech community discussion forums proved this was happening faster than we could have imagined. Not only were we very surprised at the percentage of voters that had 20”, 21” and 22” widescreen monitors, we were equally amazed by the percentage of voters that used a 24” widescreen monitor as their main monitor too.
The past six months has been a transitional time for 20”, 21” and 22” widescreen monitors with a 1680x1050 resolution. This is thanks to some healthy price drops and improved widescreen support in games. The PG221 jumps onto the widescreen bandwagon and is a much needed addition to the company’s gaming monitor range, especially if Asus wants to be taken seriously in the gaming monitor market.
Let’s find out how it gets on...
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22" (wide) viewable area
1680x1050 native resolution
2ms response time (grey-to-grey)
2000:1 contrast ratio (Asus Smart Contrast Ratio)
DVI (with HDCP), VGA, Component, S-Video, Composite inputs
Tilt (20° to -5°), swivel (+60° to -60°)
Viewing angle: 170° vertical, 160° horizontal
Built in 1.3m pixel webcam, speakers and subwoofer
On paper, the Asus PG221 comes with an impressive set of features that should not only cater for the PC gamer, but also for the PC gamer that also has a couple of consoles in their armoury too. At first, the contrast ratio seems great too, but we’ll get onto that in a bit – we had some other hurdles to get over first...