Asus ML248H review
We were impressed by the unique design of the 24in Full HD ML248H. Like many new LED-backlit monitors, it's incredibly thin and light, but its stand is cleverly designed to resemble two interlocking rings. Although it looks complicated, it's actually quite easy to assemble, and the join between the rings is hinged so you can turn the monitor through about 35 degrees.
With a white back panel, this is one of those monitors whose rear is as attractive as its front, so it's ideal for reception desks or open-plan offices. It doesn't have a VESA mount for a wall bracket, however, and you'll also have to hide the small power brick out of sight. It has VGA and HDMI inputs, so you can connect a games console or Blu-ray player if you use VGA for your PC.
Although the ML248H's backlight is impressively bright, it's not very even. Asus's menu uses touch-sensitive controls that only light up to reveal their icons once you touch them. Touch-sensitive controls are generally a pain, as they don't provide feedback and you have to look where you're pressing, but we found the menu itself fairly easy to navigate and use.
Asus has crammed all the standard image quality controls - contrast, brightness and colour temperature - under the Color sub-menu, while the first sub-menu is reserved for its "Splendid" presets. These are mostly awful, with wildly over-saturated colours and contrast. There's an sRGB preset that we found a bit too dark, opting instead for the Standard preset.
With a little tweaking, we found the image to be acceptable, although colours were a bit duller than on other monitors we've tested. We found the image controls to be quite subtle, allowing for fine adjustment (unlike the heavy-handed presets), so it would be worth using a calibration tool if you were to do serious photography work, for example.
As it ships, we found the ML248H capable of producing reasonably accurate colours and decent levels of contrast. Blacks weren't quite as deep as we'd like, but overall, image quality was acceptable. Our problem lies with the price: even the ML248H's superb design isn't worth such a premium. The Hannspree HF257H has comparable image quality, is larger and costs a lot less. As a brand-new model, we're expecting the ML248H's price to drop in the coming months, but at the moment we can't recommend it.
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