ASUS VW266H Monitor Review
Taking a Good Look
Firstly it's important to say that the front of the VW266H is actually uniform and the very deep black bit in the middle of our first shot is an aberration caused by the image processing.
With that out of the way the first impression is clearly size. For anyone who was brought up on 14" TVs the shift over to 19" monitors felt like sitting in front of a cinema. Now 24" is the norm we've all got used to having enormous amounts of display acreage available to us. However even with that said the difference that 26" makes is quite considerable.
The rear of the monitor is very sleek with a nicely curved Asus branded backplate. This actually hides a cool little feature which I'll get to below.
The front of the monitor is in Piano black, which has become very popular lately especially since the release of the original Playstation 3. Of course it does mean that you can't touch it, breathe on it, or have it somewhere where dust exists unless you are one of these people who just doesn't care about how your stuff looks. For the rest of us it's certainly high maintenance, even if it looks great.
If you remember the Designo review you'll remember that it had touch buttons. Thankfully in keeping with the more sensible nature of the VW266H Asus have returned to buttons that have a much more tactile response and don't require activation before you can tell which button does what. A great improvement. As indeed is the exceptionally small and dim power LED. As a monitor is something you're staring at every moment you're in front of the PC it is important that you aren't blinded by something stating the rather obvious fact that the monitor is on. After all it isn't as if the 2 million odd pixels don't give us a clue as to the on/off state of the monitor.
The stand that comes included with the VW266H is a sturdy number, as one would hope given the size of the monitor it has to support. Unfortunately it only supports tilt movement, with no rotation or vertical adjustment possible. With the quality of stands supplied with most monitors a conspiracy theorist would think that manufacturers have a vested interest in keeping the third-part VESA stand makers in business. Even for a value monitor such as this we'd hope it was possible to supply a stand that allowed three-dimensional adjustments.
One of the really cool features of the VW266H is how thin it is for a large LCD monitor. We all know that LED monitors are usually even thinner but by and large they forgo the VESA compatibility we have here, but for a 26" monitor is doesn't take up any more deskspace than it has to. The vents on the top ensure that even the tiny amount of heat given off by flat-panel monitors in comparison to their CRT forebears is still expunged swiftly, aiding the lifespan of the monitor.
Wow. Connectivity ahoy. From left to right we have HDMI (which is great to see on a monitor at this price), DVI, VGA and the Component inputs. Alongside those are the audio through-ports for anyone who fancies routing their audio via the monitor.
And now the little secret to the VW266H. You'll have noticed on the previous page that this is a VESA compatible monitor. But if you look at the rear above there isn't any VESA mount. Asus have, as always, kept one eye on design and yet have also taken into consideration functionality. So the Asus-stamped rear panel you see above just pulls off, revealing the 100mm VESA mount in all its glory.
This does make you wonder where you're supposed to put the back bit and why, considering it's the back they bothered to cover it up. However for those of us with a great stand we love it's nice to be able to utilise it.