We Review the ASUS VZ239H Frameless Budget IPS Monitor

Eons ago, we tested the ASUS VX239H. A popular budget IPS monitor back in the days. The VX239H is not exactly the best, but being a borderless IPS display with a price to match is something else for its era. Now enter 2018 with the ASUS VZ239H. The latest incarnation of the popular budget display with a more luxurious frameless design on top of an IPS panel. 

The ASUS VZ239H remains true to the VX239H bloodline as opposed to the VC239H’s utilitarian approach. We’ll learn more about its unique features, differences and similarities with older models on this in-depth review.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

There are Four VZ239H models to choose from, with the VZ239HR acting as the top-end model out of the bunch. Models vary in color, display ports, bundle and the inclusion of internal speakers.

Display‎

LCD Size (inch)‎23
Aspect Ratio‎16:9‎
Resolution ‎1920 x 1080
Refresh Rate60Hz
Display Area(mm)‎509.2 x 286.4 mm
Pixel Pitch (mm)‎0.265
Brightness (cd/㎡)‎250
Contrast ‎1000:1‎‎
DCR80000000:1
Panel Type‎IPS
Response Time‎5ms‎‎

Connectivity

Input/Output Connector‎HDMI, D-Sub
USB/Audio‎3.5mm Mini-Jack
Ergonomics
VESA Wall Mount‎NA
PivotNA
Swivel (left/right)‎NA
Tilt (°)‎-5°/+22°
Hight Adjustment (mm)‎NA

Special Features‎

Anti-Screen TearingNA
Anti-Motion BlurNA
ProfilesYES
Contrast ControlYES
Blue Light Filter‎YES‎
Black Equalizer‎YES
OverdriveNA‎
Speaker1.5W x 2 Stereo RMS

All ASUS VZ239H models features a Full HD IPS panel with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The contrast ratio is rated at 1000:1, with a typical brightness rated at 250 cd/㎡. Response time on the other hand is rated at 5ms and refresh rate is at 60Hz.

DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:

The ASUS VZ239H is a 23″ IPS monitor with a 7mm thin metal frame which is dead gorgeous. It is actually thicker at 33mm to the bottom but regardless, it is still a beautiful display.

The ASUS VZ239H is also a more appealing choice compared to the VC239H. Though we miss the inclusion of the VESA mount at the back. As for the OSD, ASUS went with physical buttons which is akin to the VC239H. That’s good, considering that the VX239H is hindered by its chaotic touch approach.

Screen coating used is a blend between a gloss and a matte finish. This is to accentuate the color reproduction of the IPS panel while maintaining the functionality to diffuse ambient lighting. Bezel on the other hand is around 9mm thin on the sides and 21mm thick at the base. Great for multi-monitor setups.

Ergonomics is where the VZ239H kinda let us down. It tilts from -5° to 22° and that’s about it. There’s no height adjustment, nor a swivel action. Had it featured a VESA mount as an option, ergonomics could be a little better.

As for display options, we got a single HDMI 2.0 connector and a D-Sub. Nothing else – except for the 3.5mm audio jack for the output. Power is unfortunately still external but it had to be done to shave thickness.

What we liked however are the proper speaker holes for the dual 1.5W stereo speakers. The design is much larger and much better than the previous models. It helps to aid ventilation too.

ON-SCREEN DISPLAY MENU:

The ASUS VZ239H features a not so simple OSD menu. Totally incomparable to the previous ASUS gaming monitors we’ve tested. The button layout is not helping either, with the menu button acting as a 3-in-1 input. It’s a shortcut, menu button and a navigation button in one. Glad that we have a number of presets though via the ASUS Splendid menu.

The Blue Light Filter menu is self explanatory, while Color is where the magic’s at if you plan to play with the monitor. Everything we need to calibrate the display are located here with the exception of the gamma settings.

Other ASUS features are located on the Image and System Setup menu. Again, this is not an easy OSD to play with but it is still better than the 75Hz AOC monitor we tested.

TEST SETUP, CALIBRATION AND METHODOLOGY:

Our test setup relies on the Blur Busters TestUFO Motion Tests and Data Color’s Spyder5ELITE Display Calibration System. Target for calibration is a 2.2 Gamma value, with a White Point at 6500K and a Brightness value set at 120 cd/㎡. Calibrated values are then analyzed with the Spyder5ELITE Display Analysis tool. Do note that Dynamic Contrast Ratio and other extra features built within the OSD are disabled during the tests.

TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
PROCESSORIntel Core i5 6600K
MOTHERBOARDASUS Z170-A
CPU COOLERCryorig C1 Top Flow
MEMORY KITCrucial Ballistix Tactical @ 2666MHz 4x4GB Kit
GRAPHICS CARDASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB
INTERNAL STORAGE Crucial MX200 250GB
POWER SUPPLYCORSAIR RM850X 850W
DISPLAY27″ DELL U2715H
OPERATING SYSTEMMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro

The cameras used throughout the review for the motion artifact and high speed assessments are the Fujifilm XE-1 and the Nikon 1 J1.

The following OSD values are selected for the display calibration. If you wish to use the calibrated ICC profile taken from our Spyder5ELITE result, just send us a message. You may also read our guide on how to use ICC profiles.

ON SCREEN DISPLAY SETTINGS
Brightness57
Contrast80
Saturation50
TemperatureUser (R100, G100, B100)
GammaNA
PresetGame Mode

GAMUT:

The Gamut test evaluates the color spaces the display exactly covers. That includes industry standard spaces such as sRGB and AdobeRGB. Higher percentage values are better.

The VZ239H has a good enough color space coverage. We got a 97% sRGB coverage while AdobeRGB results are at 75%.

TONE RESPONSE:

Tone response is where we check the display’s Gamma values and or presets if there are any. We then compare the results with industry standards of 1.8, 2.2 and 2.4. Closer to these values are better.

Since the VZ239H doesn’t feature any gamma settings, it stays put at one standard during the testing period. It sits at 2.2 which is fair enough.

BRIGHTNESS AND CONTRAST:

The result of the tests shows us an overview on how the display actually performs in terms of Brightness and Contrast ratio on varying brightness levels. Higher is better.

Brightness at 100% using our calibrated profile is rated at 209.2 cd/㎡. Contrast ratio on the other hand is at 210:1. The brightness value from our calibrated result is good enough, white the contrast ratio could be better. It’s one of the things that you need to consider of you’re shopping for this display. The contrast is just not good enough to enjoy a movie under a dim room.

SCREEN UNIFORMITY:

This test shows us an overview of the screen’s uniformity at the calibrated brightness level. The closer this value to 0, the better the performance of the panel.

Screen uniformity is generally good with decent DeltaE differences.

COLOR ACCURACY:

This test shows how well different basic color hues are being reproduced by the display. These color tones correspond with the Datacolor SpyderCheckr. Lower Delta-E values are better.

The color accuracy of the display could be better, at least when handling bluish tones. An average of 3.05 is below decent based on other displays that we tested.

POWER CONSUMPTION:

The power consumption is checked with a power meter. Measurements are taken at maximum brightness level.

Power consumption is excellent for the 23 inch VZ239H. That’s a full 16.7W load at 100% brightness level on our calibrated setting.

BACKLIGHT BLEED AND VIEWING ANGLES:

Backlight Bleed is the phenomenon where backlighting from a display leaks. This is prevalent with LED backlight enabled displays where the LEDs used to light the panel are situated at the edges of the display. Testing the Backlight of the display is conducted on a dim room, simulating the recognizable amount of bleed for such scenario.

Viewing angles are also tested to check out how the display panel performs on various positions. This should be helpful if you are looking for a panel that could be used on multi-monitor setups.

Backlight bleed at 120 cd/㎡ is slightly noticeable at the top of the VZ239H. Viewing angles on the other hand is excellent. Typical output from an IPS panel.

BUTTON TO PIXEL INPUT LAG:

The Button to Pixel Input Lag is a combination of system latency from the point of input, processing and display output. That is the basic of it and to quantify the approximate Button to Pixel Input Lag, we utilized Quake 3 Arena as our main shooter. The game is set at the native resolution of the panel with the FPS locked at 250. We check how much delay in milliseconds it took the display to actually output the signal via a 1200 FPS high-speed camera with ~0.83ms of accuracy.

Our button to pixel input lag tests shows that the VZ239H has an average of 15.7ms of lag. The highest so far on all the monitors tested.

FRAME SKIPPING:

Frame Skipping is the phenomenon where dropped frames and missing refreshes occur due to ineffective refresh rate overclocking. If your display exhibits such issues, it should be perceptually similar to in-game frame skipping. We are are utilizing the Blur Busters Frame Skipping Checker to test if there is any.

Not a chance of any skipping frames at default refresh rate.

MOTION CLARITY – DISPLAY PERSISTENCE:

Motion Picture Response Time (MPRT) is the numbered approach to demonstrate the level of perceived motion blur on a display. Basically, a lower persistence value indicates less motion blur. Refresh rate and the sampling method plays a major part here whereas a higher refresh rate nominally features better display persistence values.

Assessing the typical display persistence is easy enough with sample and hold displays, while CRT and Strobe Lighting enabled displays are quite difficult to test with the current tools available. That said, these are still good references to check out. Especially true if we’re looking for differences based on refresh rates alone.

MOTION CLARITY – PURSUIT CAMERA:

Setting up a pursuit camera courtesy of Blur Busters allows us to a great extent, perceive the actual motion blur of the display. Using such method also allows us to check out for other motion artifacts including ghosting, inverse ghosting and other artifacts. This pursuit camera test is a peer-reviewed invention.

At 60Hz, we expected the VZ239H to output an MPRT equivalent to 16.7ms. It is the epitome of 60Hz panels which is definitely subpar with strobe enabled displays and higher refresh rate monitors. Artifacts are also prevalent and you can’t do anything about it since the VZ239H doesn’t feature any semblance of overdrive technology.

THE VERDICT:

The ASUS VZ239H is a practical display that goes beyond its calling – at least not on the gaming part. It is an IPS display featuring a stunning design, build quality and basic commodities. Gaming oriented features are nil, but it should be enough for MOBA games, RTS and even racing genres or where motion clarity is not the most important thing to consider. The dual 1.5W speakers outputs decently though, which is enough for us to use it on its own – nice for ASUS to consider.

Value wise, we are looking at a sub 175 USD (8930 Pesos) IPS monitor here and with a frameless design at that. It is truly frameless, but the panel itself is not. Technically, ASUS is not in the wrong here and we actually have yet to see a true borderless display. That’s especially true if we consider the market segment.

In closing, the ASUS VZ239H is a budget monitor that offers a design and build quality that usually fits the 300 USD market range. A stunning monitor with a head turning market value.

  • COLOR COVERAGE
  • SCREEN UNIFORMITY
  • AESTHETICS
  • BUILD QUALITY
  • STEREO SPEAKERS
  • POWER CONSUMPTION
  • PRICE
  • COLOR ACCURACY
  • CONTRAST RATIO
  • ERGONOMICS
  • INPUT LAG