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Asus MS236H Ultra Slim Panel review

The Asus MS236H panel is exceptionally attractive and wouldn’t look out of place on Steve Jobs office desk. The front bezel is finished in piano black with a pure white surround which is very sexy.

The rear of the screen is minimal in nature with a frosted ring which acts as the stand. Not only is it dramatically appealing to look at, but it is reasonably practical as it offers adjustable options via a 11 to 22 degree tilt.

While it looks in the image as if it would slide backwards there are two rubber feet under the fascia which offer stability. I wouldn’t say it was as stable as a traditionally designed screen, but the appearance is totally eye catching and deserves a bonus point for trying to be different.

While this might not seem ideal as a ‘workhorse’ computer monitor it scores higher if used in the context of a living room or kitchen environment. Several visitors to our offices showed a particular interest in the unit due to the striking design ethic.

The front of the screen has a small row of touch sensitive buttons which light blue when activated. While we have had positive experiences with this interface system on the Dell monitors we have reviewed, the Asus implementation seems to be slightly temperamental.

Above you can see the buttons, all activated as well as the highly reflective piano black surface, which gets dirty very quickly. Fingerprints and smudges covered our unit after even 10 minutes of adjusting settings. There are not many settings to play with apart from a range of picture modes which don’t add anything to the image quality. Contrast, Brightness and Colour temperature controls are included, which really only need adjusted once. Thankfully.

Studying connectivity we can see that this is clearly more targeted to the living room audience that an enthusiast computer user. There is no support for DVI or Displayport, in fact the only digital option is HDMI. VGA is supported but we shudder to think that anyone is still using an analog input in 2010. Asus have incorporated an HDMI audio option via HDMI although there are no integrated speakers built into the unit.

Above you can see just how thin the panel is, without the ring stand. This is helped due to Asus moving the power input to an external unit which is a really positive move.

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