ASUS TUF Gaming Monitor VG249Q Review

ASUS TUF Gaming Monitor VG249Q Review

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Buy it at Amazon: ASUS TUF Gaming Monitor VG249Q [Affiliate Link]
Buy at Amazon [ Affiliate Product Link]

Takeaway: Super smooth gameplay, rich/accurate colors, enhances gaming experience.

You’ll receive the monitor, 6’ power cable, 6’ DisplayPort cable, stand base, illustrated setup instructions, and warranty booklet. To assemble, place the bottom of the stand attached to the monitor out-of-the-box into the center of the stand base; there’s a hook that slides into this bracket, then tighten the thumb screw towards the back using the small handle or a screwdriver. The footprint of the base is about 8.5” x 11” and on the bottom are six small rubber feet to keep the stand from sliding. The monitor with the base weighs about 13.5 lbs and the screen is 21” wide 12.75” tall giving it close to a 24” viewable diameter.

The monitor is able to rotate on this base to pivot from portrait orientation to landscape 90° in both directions. It’s also adjustable in height six inches (15cm), making the maximum height 15” – 21” from the table to the top of the screen. As well the monitor can be swiveled about 60° to either side and tilts back about 20°. The bezel at the top and sides of the screen are super thin, at about 1/16th of an inch, however, along the bottom, the chin is about ¾”. In the lower right there are 6 unmarked buttons and then the power button and power LED.

At the back of the monitor, on the left hand side we have the power cable input, and on the right the video and audio inputs. There’s one HDMI 1.4 port, a DisplayPort 1.2, and a VGA input with audio input. You also have two stereo 2Watt speakers along the bottom, and a plastic cover over the built-in cable management clips. There’s a Kensington lock slot on the right-hand side of the monitor. Note that the swivel stand can be removed and replaced with a compatible VESA mount by removing the screws on the bracket.

The easiest way to attach the cables to this monitor is by pivoting it to portrait mode, which gives you easy access to the power input and video input. If you use HDMI or DisplayPort as the connection type, audio is automatically transmitted to the monitor through these cables. The monitor I’d been using previously is the HP W2071d, a 1600x900 display at 60 Hz, while the VG249Q is 1920x1080 (1080p) at 144 Hz. Both were set to the factory defaults for comparison and right away you could see the difference in color and saturation: where the ASUS colors are deep and rich and my old monitor just looked washed out. Because the VG249 is an IPS display, it’s got great viewing angles of 178° so even at near parallel, the image on the screen is sharp and the colors don’t really look that different, which is not the case with the HP TN monitor.

Using the on-screen menu keys for the ASUS, you can choose a display profile, under Game Visual: the default is Racing mode, Scenery mode has a higher saturation brightness and contrast, cinema has cooler tones with more contrast, RTS/RPG has lower contrast but more brightness and is very similar to FPS mode, sRGB is pretty close to Racing mode, and MOBA mode appears to restrict the color gamut and highlights certain elements on screen. I wasn't a huge fan of the onboard menu navigation as the icons and functions change depending where you are in the menu tree. From the main menu you can access things like input selection and the blue light filter, which has 4 levels of filtering to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of blue light. However, each level intensifies a slight yellow tint and level 4 significantly darkens the screen.

From the full menu page you can also make adjustments to individual settings like brightness, contrast, saturation, color temp, and skin tone. Here’s where you can also turn on Adaptive-Sync or FreeSync with AMD video cards, so that the monitor's vertical refresh rate and the frame rate of GPU will adjust to match each other dynamically to reduce tearing (for NVIDIA cards this feature is called G-sync and you can turn this on in the NVIDIA control panel, but note that as of the making of this video, you’ll get a non-compatibility warning with this monitor). Keep in mind that Adaptive-sync features are only available is you hook your monitor up using the DisplayPort cable.

Now if you play a lot of fast-motion games, you may want to turn on the “Extreme Low Motion Blur” feature or ELMB. This helps to reduce ghosting effects for fast moving objects on the screen, but I did notice that it produced more visible corona artifacts. One of the advantages of having such thin bezels is that you can potentially use multiple monitors nearly seamlessly. For alignment purposes, you can toggle on alignment lines so you can get all your monitors lined up. As well you can toggle on a crosshair in the center of your screen, countdown timer for tracking gameplay time, and live FPS counter. The last setting I thought was kind of neat was the ability to turn on and off the power LED, though it’s already pretty small and unobtrusive.

When gaming, settings like Shadow Boost help bump up the visibility in dark areas. With adaptive-sync enabled there was virtually no tearing or micro judders. Just note that adaptive-sync and ELMB cannot be enabled at the same time so you’ll have to decide which is more important for the games you play. In general, I could tell there was a big difference in the smoothness of the visuals. I thought having ELMB set to “standard” was sufficient to remove the worst motion blur since the improvement to “turbo” wasn’t as noticeable and darkened the screen a lot.

As noted earlier, the biggest difference I saw between this monitor and my old one was in the color depth, as it has 8-bit color support via 6-bit + FRC to achieve close to the full sRGB color space resulting in more pronounced contrast and deeper saturation. For me, this also makes the monitor great for creative work for things like post processing photos and editing video. The built-in stereo speakers are not that great, but if you don’t have room for other speakers on your desktop, they will output audio just fine. The master volume setting can also be access via the on-board controls. However, if you used the VGA cable for video input, you’ll have to hook up an AUX cable for sound output, but in my opinion there’s no point in spending the money for this monitor if you’re going to use VGA.

Of course, this being an IPS panel, in pitch black conditions there will be some degree of IPS glow along the edges and in the corners of the screen. That’s just a limitation of the technology and in most situations with ambient light isn’t that noticeable. Overall, this monitor was a significant upgrade for my setup. It’s a great entry-level IPS panel and really does improve the whole gaming experience with its high refresh rates. It’s also budget friendly and performs well as a general use monitor for those that work with visual media and is perfectly suitable for watching Full HD movies, but just not in 4K.

Buy it at Amazon: ASUS TUF Gaming Monitor VG249Q [Affiliate Link]
Buy at Amazon [ Affiliate Product Link]


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