ASUS VA249HE monitor, a 24″ budget gaming screen. Missing functionality?
ASUS VA249HE budget gaming 24″ monitor review. Please use our affiliate links!
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We’re on a budget monitor buying spree for an upcoming Live show. I’ve been building a Live stream set, and puchased a few to help set it up. I’m super excited about our first entry, it’s an ASUS an it’s a first, a budget VA or Vertical Alignment type panel.
Now this 23 point 8 inch 1080p ASUS VA249he monitor is an upgrade from the VE248H TN panel currently offered on Amazon, and this VA or Vertical Alignment panel technology used to be reserved for higher end screens but makes a welcome debut at the budget level.
Available currently in the UK, middle east and Asia, it retails for about 137 us dollars, with a 5 millisecond response time with 3 thousand to 1 contrast ratio, very nice specs. I took everything out of the box. The panel makes up most of the 3.7 kilos of weight, on the back you can see the 100 millimeter VESA mounting holes. The post has a removable cover, where you can unscrew it for wall mounting.
The base has a record like grooved surface, shiny and looks great, hopefully not hard to keep clean. Also we have the power cord, and… seriously, a VGA cable? C’mon guys, it’s 2018. The back connectors are a simple affair, and this panel has an HDMI and a VGA input, for older GPUs. The current GTX 10-series and Radeon RXs are digital only, so it’s useless for them.
The ASUS VA249HE monitor took no chances with modernizing the look, the base being the only touch. And I would have liked to see a much thinner bezel, this one is 11 mils, though at least there’s no panel borders. The stem isn’t that tall, so you may want to pick up a shelf if you want it a bit higher. Base assembly was a snap, and when I had to take it off to grab a shot, it wasn’t that hard either. Sticker comes off, and she’s ready.
The front button markings are subtle, but visible, with easy access to only the brightness adjustment. Low Blue Light is a big selling point right now, so the left most button is a quick menu access… not a selector unfortunately. Although the buttons are easy enough to press, I feel that Asus could have spent a little more time on usability. Other panels including my older Asus have a useful Mode select for easy gaming/movie/long typing display settings.
Into the menu, we see the Splendid modes which really should have been mapped to a button to cycle through. The Image has a “Trace Free” feature to improve gaming, I’m guessing. This monitors’ default is with Eco mode off, so if you want you’ll need to go in and enable it. The dimming is a nice touch. But, it pops back up brightly.
I’m just using the standard windows backdrops here to show off the panels’ abilities. Don’t mind the little moire effect you see, when filming displays this occurs, although I found this VA panel a little trickier than IPS ones. However in person, there’s no effect, with a perfect image and the colors are really nice and come through well.
The decision not to minimize bezel and depth hurts the Asus VA249HE monitor where it could have shined, everyone’s seen the minimal bezels and thin screens, and even a budget monitor review coming up shows what can be done at this price point. So it has good build quality but doesn’t stand out of the pack. Next, the sturdiness test. A few bumps to test… I found it to be pretty sturdy. No problems with the base or stand.
The Asus VA249HE monitor uses a textured matte black plastic for the case which was easy to grip and looks decent. Note this model doesn’t feature speakers or a headphone out. What I really would have liked to see is a DVI input, it would have added a couple of dollars to the price but makes it so much more useful, especially if you want to hook up another computer or source.
Two unique abilities this monitor has are in the GamePlus mode, one is called Aimpoint, which gives you a selection of four different cross-hairs to assist you in gaming. The cross-hairs remain on screen, but they’re easy enough to turn off here, you just press the cancel button and it goes away. The other is a timer function, with preset times and placement options to choose from. And it also cancels out easily.
Just wanted to show you a weird thing I noticed during filming, it’s NOT the panel, just how the sensor on my Lumix G7 captures the light coming out. You’ll see similar slight moire on upcoming panel reviews, although I did try to keep the aberrations to a minimum. Again, the Asus looks perfect in person, it’s just how the camera captures the image. Using my Casio EX-10 I attempted to see if this panel accepts 1080p at 24 frames a second, and it doesn’t. Budget panels aren’t TV’s, so this is fairly normal, however gaming monitors can and my old Asus VE276Q can also.
Gaming on this monitor was fun, good quality picture and no noticeable ghosting issues whatsoever.
Ok, so Asus has brought Vertical Alignment display design to a budget price point, with 5 second response time and excellent color and advertised 3 thousand to 1 contrast ratio. So should you pick one up? This monitor does 1080p and casual gaming pretty well, and with the bonus of the cross-hair and timer features for the cost of just under 140 us dollars, giving the Asus VA249HE monitor an 8 on the meter.
I usually rate Asus products well due to their build quality and design, but to score higher they needed to thin the housing to keep up with the market trend, and they lost a point with the removal of an input. It looks to be a way of separating their products though, with the next up VP247H having DVI and HDMI at 160 bucks, or the even better dual HDMI VG245H at 170 us. Strangely enough their ultra thin VZ249H IPS model looks amazing but only comes with HDMI and D-sub. At 195 bucks for a 24 inch, I guess the mark-up for a great design is about 60 bucks.
With the included SplendidPlus features found on the brand’s latest offerings, I’m also awarding the Asus VA249HE monitor a Techspin Prime award for bringing VA technology in reach for those with modest budgets. The tech is supposed to offer extra vibrant colors and better gamut than TN panels, though side-by-side with two other TN panels they looked… pretty much the same.
The one thing I really need on this monitor is a dedicated button to switch the SplendidPlus viewing modes. This omission really hurts usability for me, it’s too bad they made this design change in favor of Low Blue Light menu access, and not even a cycle. It’s just a really poor design decision by Asus.
Overall, it’s an awesome low-budget gaming monitor that’s good for entertainment and some photo/video editing, a really great monitor for the price. The Asus VA249HE monitor is available in some parts of the globe, with US availability coming fairly soon! If you decide to up grab one, buying through our affiliate links will help us out here, with no extra cost to you.