ASUS ML248H: Thin for the Win?by Chris Heinonen on October 27, 2011 12:00 AM EST
Introduction and Hardware Impressions
The stand for the ML248 is unlike any monitor stand I’ve seen before. Comprised of a pair of rings that lock together and then into the rear of the display, this allows for tilt and swivel adjustments but no height adjustment. It is dead simple to install, though, which is nice. The back of the display is a white plastic that stands out compared to the standard black, though likely it won’t be seen much of the time. Perhaps because of the slim profile of the display, there is only a single HDMI input and one D-sub input, but no DVI or DisplayPort inputs available. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to audio carried over HDMI, but no integrated speakers or USB hub in the display. Of course if you were to wall mount this, good luck in getting to that headphone jack.
The front of the display is a shiny black with a fairly thin bezel around the top and sides of the screen, but a very large bezel at the lower half of the display. Perhaps the large bezel at the bottom is necessary to house the electronics and inputs while keeping the overall thin profile, but it causes a couple of issues in my use. The first is that it raises the display up by a few inches compared to if it had no bezel at the bottom. Depending on the height of your desk this might not matter, but for me it puts the display at such a height that I can’t get the angle I want on the display; it makes placement a bit harder and more limited in my experience compared to no bezel.
Another complaint is that the ML248H has LED lit controls that are touch sensitive buttons, but they’re annoying to use in practice. The labels of the buttons disappear until you hit a button to light them up, but that also causes a menu to pop up on the screen. Since you can’t see which menu option you’re selecting until after you touch the panel, you almost always have to back out of that initial menu and then pop up the correct one. Having the initial touch just light up the buttons and the second touch pop up the menu would be far more user friendly. I’m still a fan of actual buttons over touch sensitive ones for my display adjustments as well, but that would ruin the look of the ASUS. On the bright side, the buttons are accurate in responding to touches and I didn’t find myself having to hit them repeatedly to get them to respond.
The one final issue caused by using such a thin display is that the monitor can’t use a standard IEC cord but instead has an external power brick that you will now have to hide away as well. I’m sure most people won’t have an issue hiding the cord and adapter away, but it does make for more of a wiring mess than a typical IEC power cord would.
Here’s an overview of the full display specs:
|Video Inputs||HDMI 1.3, D-sub|
|Pixel Pitch||0.2768 mm|
|Brightness||250 nits (Typical)|
|Contrast Ratio||1,000:1 (Typical)|
|Response Time||2 ms (GTG)|
|Resolution||1920x1080 at 60 Hz|
|Viewing Angle||170 degrees horizontal, 160 degrees vertical|
|Power Consumption (operation)||< 30 W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||< 1W|
|Screen Treatment||Antiglare with hard-coating 3H|
|Tilt||-5 degrees to +20 degrees|
|Swivel||-20 degrees to +20 degrees|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes: 100 mm x 100 mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||572mm x 431mm x 221mm|
|Weight||9.04 pounds with stand|
|Additional Features||Headphone Jack (rear)|
|Limited Warranty||3 Years Limited Parts and Labor|
|Accessories||Power adapter, VGA cable, HDMI to DVI Cable|
The OSD menus for the ASUS are pretty well designed overall. The touch sensitive buttons are well spaced and respond well to touches, so you don’t have to hit them multiple times to get an input or worry if you’re hitting the correct one. The main issue, as noted above, is that since the labels for the buttons are hidden until you actually press a button, and you don’t know which one to hit for the menu until you actually try one. That might put you into the brightness or contrast adjustments, and then you have to navigate back out into the main menu. I wish the labels would either stay illuminated (well, that might be a different sort of annoying), or better would be to have the first touch light up the menus instead of selecting an option.
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Exodite - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkGladly.
Point being that not everyone appreciates, or even sees, the same thing.
Displays are entering an era of holier-than-thou douchebaggery (I just made up a word!) that has long been reserved for audiophiles.
The analogy is apt, I've yet to come across a modern computer where I've considered it worth the money to upgrade from integrated audio solutions.
Same holds for TN vs. IPS, PVA/MVA etc.
Broheim - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linklol@"TN is still the best", IPS is superior in every way except for response time, not just color reproduction... and e-IPS is damned cheap.
Xajel - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkfor that price, I think it's okay, but there's better solutions...
the most con. - for me - about this other than the quality of TN display is lack of VESA mount, but it's TN quality alone is a good reason to stop me from taking it !!
ProDigit - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkI'd be glad if I won it, eventhough it's far from a winner monitor!
Right now, I'm more looking into supersized monitors, that are like 38-42in in size for my PC!
rsgeiger - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkI logged in just to say that this monitor has the ugliest bezel I have seen in my entire life! It doesn't help if it is thin if the front facing side has no redeemable qualities.
I know this didn't offer much to the conversation, and I apologize for that. But i could not in good conscience let this go unchallenged.
mcturkey - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkI have to agree with you. I don't understand the fascination with making LCDs any thinner than they already are unless you're also going to reduce the size of the bezel. Show me the 25-30" screens with 1-2MM bezels!
cheinonen - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkMy issue with making these displays so thin is that it necessitates an external power brick for them, which just makes my workspace more of a cluttered mess. With TVs I understand the fascination, since they are far more likely to be wall mounted and you want them to be as unobtrusive as possible, but LED LCD TVs still have room for a regular power supply and IEC power cord instead of an external power brick. I'd rather have a larger display with no external power brick, but perhaps I am in the minority now.
ProDigit - Friday, October 28, 2011 - linkI always put my bricks and cabling behind my desk. No worries, no clutter (just between the desk and the wall, where no one sees them).
Exodite - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkWord.
JarredWalton - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - linkThe article title is a question, you'll notice, as in, "Does making this a thin monitor actually make it better?" The answer, as you can read in our conclusion, is that there's nothing particularly compelling about this particular monitor. But hey, if someone has a better article title (that isn't outright insulting to ASUS -- no reason to be rude), let's hear it.