Asus PM17TU review

Price when reviewed

The PM17TU is one of the smartest displays we’ve seen. The screen has a beautiful glossy lustre that matches the black gloss finish on the rest of the unit, and the 2.5W stereo speakers beneath the panel curve elegantly down towards the aluminium-alloy base. Our first five minutes using the PM17TU spoiled the first impression, though, as the default settings for the panel result in a blindingly bright and over-saturated image. The 600:1 contrast makes that a good look for films, but Windows was almost painful to use.

Asus PM17TU review

Thankfully, the OSD is intuitive, and as soon as we’d changed the panel settings to Standard, turned down the contrast a little, and raised the colour temperature to ‘warm’, we had a usable picture. Unfortunately, other drawbacks to the panel began to show up. Although horizontal viewing angles are superb, vertical viewing angles are so poor that we could see a difference in contrast between folder icons at the top and bottom of the screen, even when seated directly in front of it. This is difficult to avoid, as the stand offers vertical tilt but nothing else.

Our tests produced results ranging from the very good to the very bad. On the plus side, contrast is excellent, helped by the glossy finish. This makes the PM17TU a good choice for movies and gaming, as you’ll see plenty of detail in both bright and dark scenes. The 3ms grey-to-grey response time is another plus, eliminating motion lag. The stereo speakers aren’t up to much, though, lacking both clarity and bass.

Our colour-ramp tests are designed to show a variety of perfectly smooth gradients ranging from black to red, green, blue and white. The PM17TU produced a conspicuous amount of banding, and the colour consistency in the greyscale ramp was very poor. The failure of the PM17TU in this test means that photographers and graphics professionals should steer clear.

As a monitor that will be used primarily for watching films, playing games and looking at pictures without necessarily requiring a high degree of colour accuracy, the PM17TU is a qualified success. For sheer quality and adjustability, though, it can’t touch the ViewSonic VP730.

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