So I have a confession to make. The past few months I've been incredibly preoccupied with smartphones, so much so that the ASUS MS238H has been sitting on my desk for a very long time. The data's been largely taken, the display calibrated, but for whatever reason the review has endlessly been on my back burner - I'm sorry ASUS. The upside of this situation, however, is that I've spent a long time using the ASUS MS238 and feel like I know it inside and out, and it's a slim value performer. 

Let's start with the specifications. The MS238H is a 23-inch LED-backlit, TN-panel packing display with an extremely slim profile, and even slimmer budget price tag. We're used to primarily covering the high-end side of the market with IPS displays, which the MS238H definitely isn't, but that isn't to say this segment isn't worth taking a look at. The MS238H is also of the 1080P, (and thus 16:9 aspect ratio) variety, a rather disturbing trend that's all but eliminated the 1920x1200, 16:10 market. The specs are what they are, and you can find them in the table below:

ASUS MS238H - Specifications
Property Quoted Specification
Video Inputs HDMI, D-Sub (DVI-D through HDMI connector)
Audio Output 3.5mm Mini-jack for HDMI Audio
Panel Type TN with LED Backlight
Pixel Pitch 0.265 mm
Colors 16.7 Million (24 BPP)
Brightness 250 nits
Contrast Ratio 1,000:1, or 100,000:1 (dynamic)
Response Time 2ms (g2g)
Viewable Size 23" (54.8 cm) diagonal
Resolution 1920x1080 (1080P)
Viewing Angle 170 degrees horizontal, 160 degrees vertical
Power Consumption (operation) <33 watts typical
Power Consumption (standby) <1 watt typical
Screen Treatment Matte
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes: 10 degrees - 20 degrees 
Pivot No
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting No
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 21.9" (556 mm) x 15.9" (403.8 mm) x 5.9" (150.9 mm)
Weight w/o Stand 8.4 lbs (3.8 kg)
Additional Features 16.5mm thickness, kensington lock
Limited Warranty 3 years - repair or replacement
Accessories DVI-D to HDMI cable, VGA D-Sub cable, External Power Supply
Price MS238H MSRP: $229.99, Amazon: $169.99

It should be pretty obvious that this display is really oriented at budget-conscious shoppers, or gamers looking for a display small and light enough to augment a notebook or portable LAN party rig. In fact, after carrying the thing to and from rooms to photograph many a time (as inevitably happens with all other displays up for review), that's really what I'm left thinking the MS238H is most suited for. It's light, it's thin, and has a headphone jack for HDMI audio, which makes it suited for periodically connecting up to a console or two. 

Inputs are the only real concern on the MS238H - the two options are HDMI or D-SUB for VGA. It'd be nice to see two HDMI ports, or even HDMI and DVI-D, instead of D-SUB. What the MS238H does have going for it is that WLED backlighting, being a power-sipper, and again thin profile. 

First Impressions and Hardware
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  • Solidstate89 - Sunday, December 26, 2010 - link

    I categorically disagree. I feel 16:10 is a great compromise between the vertical resolution of a 4:3 monitor and the widescreen of a 16:9.

    16:9 aspect ratios should be reserved for TV's. For computers, 16:10 should be standard.
  • MrCoyote - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    All content is not 16:9. Movies are mostly not 16:9, and you will definitely see black bars on a 16:9 display. Movies come in all different aspect ratios.

    Read this and learn...
  • Hrel - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    I'd like to see this display paired with some cheap smartphone innards and an "n" wifi card for use in the kitchen or garage or other places like that. I've always wanted something roughly this size, 23-25" with just enough power to surf the web and play back online video smoothly; and music obviously. Oh, it'd have to be touch screen. The only problem is every device like that that exists today costs about a thousand dollars. Such a limited use device isn't worth as much as my high end gaming/video editing machine; included touch screen and wifi or not.
  • Hrel - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    About input lag. Me and some friends recently tried to play guitar hero for wii on my 37" Vizio 1080p set. Now the controller was wireless which even on CRT creates too much lag for that game in my opinion. But there was still lag that running the games calibration tool did nothing to help. Then when playing brawl one friend said he noticed input lag on the TV; using wired controllers.

    It made me wonder when lag on HDTV's is going to be at the level of CRT or better? I'd really like an answer to this.
  • sprockkets - Saturday, December 25, 2010 - link

    Well, if history is any indicator, analog will always have just about "zero" lag compared with any digital system.
  • ProDigit - Sunday, December 26, 2010 - link

    ANAND, is there a way to test the input/output lag between dvi, vga and hdmi?
    like your computer sends a screen image, which is displayed on the screen, and captured by a camera. then a latency is calculated, and the test is continued with all input ports.

    I'd be interested to know if there is any latency issues when connecting through a different interface...?
  • moin - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    I had been using Samsung for a long time with pleasure until I bought Asus MS238H. Thought that Led backlit would be crispier and soothing for eyes. Unfortunately I cry after one hour of constant use, color bursts out. Also pixel around font, explorer window and menu icon I see pink/purple fringe and broken. I tried different color tone, resolution, changed alignment manually and tried auto alignment, works a bit better with dark background. It seems a cheap but big display. Color is not accurate especially when I look at the old LCD Samsung monitor or color print it's just far far away. The bottom line is monitor looks good, configuration looks good except COLOR!!!
  • analogworm - Monday, December 27, 2010 - link

    Dear editors of anandtech. for the sake of comparison to high end monitors, i would very much like to see you guys test an Eizo monitor.. preferably a coloredge series one.
    how about it?
    Kind regards,

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