The Asus VG278HE boasts a 144Hz refresh rate for flicker-free 3D gaming, but its TN panel could mean a sacrifice in image quality.
Asus has announced its first monitor to smash the 120Hz refresh rate barrier, the 144Hz VG278HE.
Designed for use with Nvidia's 3D Vision 2 shutter-glasses system - although without the integrated synchronisation hardware, so you'll need a dongle - the system features a 144Hz refresh rate compared to most 3D monitors' 120MHz. The result should, in theory, be a smoother image with less flickering when used with the shutter glasses: instead of each eye getting a 60Hz image, each will receive a 72Hz image.
If you were hoping that the rest of the monitor's specifications would match its impressive refresh rate, we've got some bad news: the 27-inch wide-screen display uses a 1920x1080 twisted-nematic (TN) panel, rather than the increasingly popular and decreasingly expensive in-plane switching (IPS) variant. As a result, buyers can expect lowered viewing angles and a shallower colour gamut than if Asus had splashed out on IPS technology - although the 2ms grey-to-grey response time is certainly welcome.
To help counteract this, Asus has included numerous technologies designed to boost the quality of TN panels: a dual-side driving system reduces the charging time of the liquid-crystal display panel, preventing ghosting and bright-line effects, while Video Intelligence Technology by Splendid comes with six preset video modes - Scenery, Theatre, Game, Night View, sRGB and Standard - accessible through a hotkey. Regardless of the mode selected, the monitor's maximum brightness is 300 cd/㎡.
The monitor's stand includes 0-100mm height adjustment, ±150° swivel and -5° to 15° tilt. Onboard connectivity includes HDMI 1.4, dual-link DVI and an analogue D-sub VGA port. Audio connectivity, for the on-board 3W stereo speakers, is provided via a 3.5mm input and headphone output.
Official UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, with early models appearing in the channel priced at around £560.