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Asus MS246H LCD Monitor

Tech Expert Holiday Gift Guide
By

Photography by Andrew HansonPhotography by Andrew Hanson

Asus MS246H LCD Monitor

Price: $239

Creative types often complain about having to stare at a monitor all day long. But what if that monitor was beautiful to look at? Asus’ Designo MS series will make home and office workers proud of their desk space. And because Asus hasn’t put a high premium on its good design, this monitor can be purchased for less than the cost of an average 24" high-def monitor.

The most striking aspect of this monitor is its profile that is 0.65" thick, like a novella. The second thing you notice is the ring stand that keeps this skinny screen upright. It is mounted at the back of the screen and is rather pliable. Push on the front of the monitor with your finger, and the screen will slide back ever so slightly, adjusting the angle at which it rests against the ring. Pull the screen forward and the ring returns to a more upright position. The range of motion isn’t huge, but it makes a difference. And because the monitor doesn’t perch on a stand, but rather leans against the ring, it doesn’t sit so high on the desk and block views of your workspace.

Asus’ third design accomplishment is the two-tone (black and white) color scheme. The front bezel of the monitor is black, as is the ring on the back. But a white frame goes around the black on the front, and the entire backside of the monitor is a pearly white as well. The rear is subtly curvy, too. This monitor stands out in a sea of shiny black monoliths.

On the lower right-hand corner of the monitor bezel sits a row of touch-sensitive LED buttons for power, brightness, contrast, color temperature, and video inputs.

As for the obligatory specification details, the monitor offers a native resolution of 1920x1080 (16:9 aspect ratio), HDMI (as well as VGA) input, and a cable and adapter. You can thus connect this monitor to gaming consoles, desktop PCs, and laptops to watch true HD (1080p) video. There’s also an earphone jack.

Asus claims a two ms response time, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, brightness of 250 cd/m2, and color saturation of 72%.

When using this monitor alongside a standard 15" laptop, we found the Asus monitor to be much more crisp and bright than the laptop screen. The colors presented by this monitor aren’t as rich as those we’ve seen on ultra high-end displays, but HD content looks smooth and clear on the screen. This is the best looking (picture quality- and hardware design-wise) monitor we’ve seen this holiday season for under $250. --Rachel Rosmarin

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    beehew , November 17, 2009 1:28 PM
    I don't have an iPhone owner on my gift list. In fact, if I were to receive an iPhone owner, I would return them the next day.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    didymus03 , November 17, 2009 6:41 AM
    "...and iPhone owners (because they're on everyone's gift list)."

    Interesting assumption + over generalization...
  • 14 Hide
    beehew , November 17, 2009 1:28 PM
    I don't have an iPhone owner on my gift list. In fact, if I were to receive an iPhone owner, I would return them the next day.
  • -7 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , November 17, 2009 3:30 PM
    beehewI don't have an iPhone owner on my gift list. In fact, if I were to receive an iPhone owner, I would return them the next day.

    Oh, that's cute!
    Apple has sold 35 million iPhones. Odds are you're buying a gift for one of them. It would not make sense for Tom's Guide to ignore this demographic. Agreed?

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Editor, Tom's Guide
  • 0 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , November 17, 2009 4:52 PM
    Great guide Tom's! The GorillapodSLR might go on my list now. The ioSafe drive is mighty tempting too. :-D
  • 1 Hide
    bobw , November 17, 2009 5:19 PM
    Welcome back Sarah!
  • 2 Hide
    smokinu , November 17, 2009 5:34 PM
    Absolutely beautiful. Oh and the tech stuff is pretty nice as well


    Absolutely beautiful. Oh and the tech stuff is pretty nice as well


  • 0 Hide
    jodpel , November 17, 2009 5:56 PM
    I am thoroughly enjoying this list. I can't afford anything on it, but it is very cool. I do have the Monster Turbine headphones and they are excellent. The only drawback of them is they aren't very snug in your ears if you are moving around a lot (mowing the yard, etc.)
    @beehew: I am one of the 35 million iPhone users. Does this mean you aren't getting me anything for Christmas this year? :( 
  • 0 Hide
    andyviant , November 17, 2009 6:31 PM
    Devin - Unless you're typing upside down, that oled keypad is on the LEFT of the keyboard. It's okay -- looking at the picture I'm a bit distracted as well, and in fact took me a bit to see there was a keyboard there at all.
  • 1 Hide
    DemonBiscuit , November 17, 2009 7:20 PM
    Monster Turbine headphones? Really? Not only are there better options out there but who wants to help support this company? Their products are proven time and again to have over exaggerated performance claims and I won't even mention their litigious nature over others use of the word 'Monster'. Terrible, terrible choice.

    Other than that not a bad list.
  • -3 Hide
    DemonBiscuit , November 17, 2009 7:20 PM
    Monster Turbine headphones? Really? Not only are there better options out there but who wants to help support this company? Their products are proven time and again to have over exaggerated performance claims and I won't even mention their litigious nature over others use of the word 'Monster'. Terrible, terrible choice.

    Other than that not a bad list.
  • 1 Hide
    DemonBiscuit , November 17, 2009 7:31 PM
    Fujifilm S200EXR meet the Olympus sp590-uz. Better zoom, less money, great camera too.
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , November 17, 2009 7:41 PM
    DemonBiscuitFujifilm S200EXR meet the Olympus sp590-uz. Better zoom, less money, great camera too.

    That is a good camera, too. They are, however, about the same price. The Fujifilm has manual zoom and shoots RAW images (the Olympus has a slightly smaller feature set but bigger zoom).
  • 7 Hide
    beehew , November 17, 2009 8:34 PM
    TomsguiderachelOh, that's cute!Apple has sold 35 million iPhones. Odds are you're buying a gift for one of them. It would not make sense for Tom's Guide to ignore this demographic. Agreed?Rachel RosmarinEditor, Tom's Guide

    Odds are...pretty bad. IF that figure were to be limited to US sales alone, that would mean that ~8% of the population has one. And that sales figure counts all the people that HAD to upgrade to the newest one a year after its original release. iPhones are not as widely distributed throughout the popoulation as some would believe. I know one person who has one and they aren't on my list.
  • -7 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , November 17, 2009 8:37 PM
    beehewOdds are...pretty bad. IF that figure were to be limited to US sales alone, that would mean that ~8% of the population has one. And that sales figure counts all the people that HAD to upgrade to the newest one a year after its original release. iPhones are not as widely distributed throughout the popoulation as some would believe. I know one person who has one and they aren't on my list.

    Are you joking? Do you think that the Tom's readership is reflective of the general U.S. population? Our readers are far more likely than an average U.S. resident to own an iPhone, believe me. This conversation is a little silly--we cover iPhones here at Tom's Guide, take it or leave it.
  • 2 Hide
    tehue , November 17, 2009 8:40 PM
    I couldn't care less for the gadgets... well, maybe just a little.
    I'm just happy Sarah is back.
    Thanks for bringing sexy back to Tom's!!!
  • 0 Hide
    accolite , November 17, 2009 8:47 PM
    "I couldn't care less for the gadgets... well, maybe just a little.
    I'm just happy Sarah is back.
    Thanks for bringing sexy back to Tom's!!!"

    Agreed...
  • 0 Hide
    stm1185 , November 17, 2009 9:11 PM
    Im seriously considering a Zune HD, I love the idea of the Zune pass subscription, paying $15 a month, get 10 songs to keep, + "rent" as much as a I want. It is very interesting. If that also included video both on the Zune and on my 360, id definitely be hooked.
  • 0 Hide
    dconnors , November 17, 2009 9:25 PM
    DemonBiscuitMonster Turbine headphones? Really? Not only are there better options out there but who wants to help support this company? Their products are proven time and again to have over exaggerated performance claims and I won't even mention their litigious nature over others use of the word 'Monster'. Terrible, terrible choice.Other than that not a bad list.


    Thanks for catching that! Fixed!
    -Devin
  • 6 Hide
    cashews , November 17, 2009 11:51 PM
    TomsguiderachelAre you joking? Do you think that the Tom's readership is reflective of the general U.S. population? Our readers are far more likely than an average U.S. resident to own an iPhone, believe me. This conversation is a little silly--we cover iPhones here at Tom's Guide, take it or leave it.


    A bit of a rough reply, the guy was just expressing his opinion.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 18, 2009 12:01 AM
    PMS
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