For an entry-level gaming monitor designed with simplicity in mind, the $199 Asus VG245H has a ton of neat features to offer. This affordable 1080p display packs vibrant colors, fast response times and some truly impressive ergonomics that make it work well in just about any setup. Factor in a painlessly easy-to-use interface, some useful overlay features and AMD FreeSync support, and you've got one of the best monitors out there in the sub-$200 range.
Despite its basic design, the VG245H packs plenty of little touches that are both practical and attractive. The display retains some of the signature flourishes of Asus' flagship gaming products, including a sharply angled base and some sleek, Mayan-inspired etchings on the rear panel. A small hole on the monitor's stand makes it easy to manage your cables.
But the VG245H's adjustability is the real star of the show here. You can raise or lower the screen 5 inches up or down, tilt it 33 degrees backward or 5 degrees forward, or swivel it 90 degrees to the left or right. You can even pivot the monitor vertically into portrait mode, should you want to use it as a second display for viewing your Twitch chat.
Ports and Interface
The VG245H's highly practical design extends to its on-screen interface, which is painlessly easy to navigate thanks to a set of physical buttons behind the right side of the display. The monitor's small directional nub makes flipping through menus a breeze, and there are dedicated buttons for switching display modes and activating special GamePlus features with just a few taps.
Asus kept the port selection simple on this monitor, including a VGA input port, two HDMI connections, and audio-in and headphone jacks. If you game on both a PC and PS4 or Xbox One, you'll have no problem keeping both devices plugged in.
Thanks to its impressive colors and responsive 75-hertz refresh rate, the VG245H's 24-inch 1920 x 1080 screen proved to be a worthwhile companion for both immersive single-player experiences and hectic multiplayer games.
On the display’s Scenery mode, Rise of the Tomb Raider popped with color, from Lara Croft's bright-red coat to the soft oranges and blues of the sky above. More importantly, there wasn't a hint of noticeable display lag, which allowed me to bounce from cliff to cliff and headshot my enemies with precision.
Asus' monitor held up just as well for Heroes of the Storm, a multiplayer battle arena game in which you must keep track of tons of on-screen characters at once. The monitor's Scenery mode and ultrasaturated RTS mode made it easy to distinguish between the hordes of red and blue units on the battlefield, and clicking my way around enemies and launching special attacks always felt instant.
The VG245H made a nice showpiece for Battlefield 1, a shooter that's as frenetic as it is immersive. The green, grassy Italian plains I fought on looked rich, as did the many explosions that were happening around me. The monitor's FPS mode (which dulls colors a bit to help you focus) worked well here, but once again, I found the more balanced Scenery mode more enjoyable. As with the previous titles, running and gunning felt super responsive and lag-free.
Brightness and Color
The VG245H's strong real-world performance was backed up by some (mostly) strong test results in our lab. The display registered an average brightness of 252.6 nits on our light meter, which tops our 247-nit average but comes up short of the ViewSonic XG2401 (355 nits) and the BenQ RL2455HM (270 nits).
Asus' monitor netted a Delta-E color-accuracy score of 3.29 (lower numbers are better), edging past our 3.6 average and the BenQ's 3.75 while trailing the ViewSonic's 2.34.
It's not often that gaming monitors have decent (or any) speakers, and they’re even rarer on an entry-level display. That's why the VG245H's built-in 2-watt speakers were such a pleasant surprise. While they weren't exactly booming, the speakers were loud and crisp enough to let me easily hear where enemy gunfire and footsteps were coming from in games like Rise of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield 1.
Modes and Special Features
The VG245H features six GameVisual presets, each of which is optimized for a different genre. I got the most mileage out of Scenery mode, which offered rich colors but wasn't quite as hypersaturated as the RTS/RPG setting. Racing and FPS modes offer reduced input lag and higher visibility, respectively, while Cinema mode has higher contrast with very deep blacks. There's also a more neutral sRGB mode.
If none of those suit your needs, you can customize and save up to four of your own display presets. The monitor also features various Blue Light settings for reducing eyestrain, and makes it easy to toggle among audio sources if, for instance, you want to switch between game audio and whatever's in the line-in port.
Asus' display offers AMD FreeSync, which allows for less screen tearing and smoother overall performance for folks with AMD graphics cards. It's not easy to find a monitor that offers FreeSync at this price (especially over HDMI), making the VG245H an extra-compelling value for its price.
The monitor also packs various GamePlus features designed to enhance whatever game you're playing. You can overlay the screen with one of four crosshairs, all of which lined up perfectly with the in-game interfaces of games such as Battlefield 1 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, and made aiming a bit easier. You can also activate a frame-rate counter, a timer (useful for strategy games) and a display alignment tool that makes it easy to line up the VG245H's picture with that of your other monitors.
For sheer value, the Asus VG245H is at the top of its class. This $199 display offers the fast response times and solid picture quality of a great entry-level monitor, while offering the ergonomics and special features you'd expect from more expensive models.
If having a full 144-Hz refresh rate is a priority, though, you might want to spring for the $259 ViewSonic XG2401 or Asus' own $229 VG248QE. But if you mainly play on consoles or just need a solid, FreeSync-enabled PC monitor for less than $200, the VG245H is hard to top.