Asus LS221H monitor

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The ASUS LS221H a very attractive, high quality monitor at a very competitive price.

Asus is an up and coming name in the notebook and monitor markets. Asus branded monitors and notebooks have become more prevalent in recent years, the brand has been around for some time, but was hidden inside computers until now.

According to Asus, it shipped 55 million motherboards during 2006, meaning that a third of all desktop computers (whatever branding might appear on the exterior) relied on Asus technology. The Asus LS221H reviewed here reflects Asus' dedication to both quality and style.

Test Procedure
Screens are assessed largely on subjective basis. But to do this we consider a range of specific conditions such as image quality, colour reproduction, brightness and contrast, as well as image sharpness and blurring caused by inadequate pixel response times. Image quality is assessed while viewing a range of scenes including bright daylight, night scenes and fast action.

The onscreen display (OSD) should be easy to access and use. Navigation should be logical and easy, with a few logical menu levels and appropriate wording. The remote control should also display intuitive layout and labelling.

As part of the process we also evaluate the build quality for durability and attractive design. The device needs to be able to last and it needs to impress even when turned off.

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Design and Features
Billed as the "world's slimmest 22 inch widescreen" Asus spruiks; "Its diamond cut corners and glass edges fused with glossy black piano finish chassis and bottom dressed in genuine leather exude sophisticated elegance."

You can be forgiven for expecting a device dripping in bling but the Asus LS221H has a classy conservative style. Leather is restricted to a strip under the LCD featuring only the 'Asus' brand name.

At 45mm thick we accept that it is very much the thinnest 22 inch screen available. Its image quality is excellent and for those who prefer lots of data on the screen at once, the 1680x1050 pixel display will be a welcome viewing. This screen provides brilliant colour — if anything hues seem too intense at times. When comparing a colour test pattern on a notebook screen with the same image on the Asus LS221H LDC the comparison could be described as watercolours versus oil paints. Contrast performance is also pleasing. Blacks and whites are both vivid.

Connectivity is addressed with both VGA and HDMI inputs present.

The OSD (on Screen Display) provides plenty of options. Preset options exist for situations such as gaming, darkened rooms and scenery. The user can also easily customise contrast and brightness settings and set colour warmth.

Physically, its stand can only be tilted — or removed to allow for wall mounting. No options for swivel or height adjustment are available. This limited range of adjustments is unlikely to be an issue since adjusting tilt negates the need.

Perhaps the most impressive design quality of the stand is that it houses the power and data sockets. Typically plugs for monitors must be pushed upwards into downwards facing sockets; this can be inconvenient — particularly since the stand often tends to obstruct your hands — a nice touch.

The bevelled-edge glass front attracts plenty of fingerprints, but this complaint can be levelled at any glass surfaces. Overall it is a very attractive device. Image quality is well above average with the unit offering high resolution and a speedy response time (2ms).

The screen is very well built and although it can wobble a bit, the stand itself remains firmly planted. Its rear facing, stand mounted power and data sockets are a great idea.

Its warranty is three years including pick-up and delivery. A one-year warranty applies against pixels going dull. At $599 this is a very attractively priced piece of office equipment. Its only really lacks some internal speakers.