ASUS Designo MS246H LCD monitor

ASUS' latest LCD monitor has a distinctive design

Looking like a small flat-screen television instead of an LCD monitor, ASUS' Designo MS246H is one of the more interesting and stylish monitors we've reviewed. With a distinctive hollow circular stand that sits behind the monitor, the 24in, Full HD Designo MS246H manages to stick out from the crowd. It also doesn’t skimp on too many features.

The strange circle-shaped stand is the ASUS' Designo MS246H most distinctive design feature. Though it will certainly contribute to a more stylish looking office or computer room, it lacks the adjustability and effectiveness of a regular monitor stand — the screen tilts, but doesn't swivel. When placed on a flat table it tends to slide around a little too much — ASUS seems to be aware of this and so includes a plastic wedge in the sales package that keeps things a little sturdier. On the plus side, it's easy to adjust the angle of the Designo MS246H with a simple push.

The ASUS Designo MS246H's glossy white and black finish provide a distinctive look and feel, though it's prone to picking up fingerprints and smudges. The glossy surface also reflects office lighting, which can be distracting. Thankfully the screen itself has a matte finish, so reflections are minimised. The unconventional design of the MS246H means it can't be wall mounted.

A "designo" monitor wouldn’t be complete without touch-sensitive buttons. Though the soft white light certainly looks great, a button has to be pressed for the keys to light up, which is annoying. The buttons also hit and miss, often not registering presses.

The ASUS Designo M246H LCD monitor is a Full HD screen with a resolution of 1920x1080. An HDMI input means it's ideal for connecting to one of the latest high=-definition gaming consoles, including Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. The Designo M246H also includes a standard VGA port, but lacks a DVI input. ASUS includes a DVI-to-HDMI cable in the sales package. Due to the design, the ASUS Designo M246H uses its own external power brick rather than a standard three-pronged cable.

Using DisplayMate, we put the ASUS Designo M246H through its paces and were generally impressed. Like most TN (twisted nematic) panels, viewing angles aren't great, with noticeable vertical colour shift. However, the Designo M246H impressed with its handling of fast motion. Games and fast-paced movies in particular benefited from the 2ms response time during our tests. Though it's not particularly geared towards office use, the ASUS Designo M246H displays sharp and clear text with no visible aberrations.

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