Asus MX279H 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit LCD Monitor Review
I’ll go ahead and just get this out of the way and say that the Asus MX279H is not a 4K monitor, but a 1920 x 1080. This particular monitor appeared before 4K was the next big thing, but there is no reason why the second-best can’t still be good.
The MX279H is one of two monitors that Asus calls the “Designo” series, and it comes in 23 and 27 inch models. The one we are looking at today is the 27-inch model, which the company prides itself as being both “backlit” and “frameless”.
I have to admit that the Asus MX279H looks like it was plucked from the future. By that, I mean that time when we looked optimistically into the future and saw a world of The Jetsons, where technology fit very comfortably in our modern lives. It is no wonder it won some Good Design Awards, especially with its circular ring base.
Of course, there is more to a display than just style, so let’s see what it has as far as substance is concerned.
Let’s go with a basic description, mostly taken from the official product site on Asus: it has a 16:9 aspect ratio LED-backlit AH-IPS A+ panel with a 178 degree wide-view angle that can “minimize color shift on both horizontal and vertical planes to ensure quality visuals from almost any direction”, according to the official Asus product page. For some reason, big viewing angles are important in this display age, and 178 is usually the standard if you want something really good.
No need to invest in speakers as the audio of the MX279H is also impressive as it uses Asus SonicMaster Technology, which was co-developed with Bang & Olufsen ICEpower “for premium immersive audio”. Bang & Olufsen produces some terrific audio products for crystal clear and true-to-life surround sound, with “richer and more distinct vocals at a wider frequency range and louder volumes”. The MX279H has 32 mm diameter speakers for better bass performance, as well as a resonance chamber of up to 100cc. It uses large rare earth magnets in order to generate more powerful and striking sound, and it is powered by an internal amplifier.
Asus has also eliminating “ghosting and tracers during video playback” with Tracer Free Technology that controls voltage levels for very fluidic and clear video and gameplay at a 5ms response time. Side by side comparisons on the Asus site make the comparison look as if the competition is blurry, but the MX279H allows the viewer to see clearly now.
The contrast ratio is pretty high at 80,000,000 to 1 with a brightness of 250 cd/m2, and the MX279H can adjust backlighting luminance in order to have deep blacks and bright whites.
We’ll explain later in the connectivity section how the connectivity is rather limited, but I’ll give you a hint by saying that there are no USB ports. If you are planning on using this 4k monitor on your desktop, that might be a dealbreaker.
The 27-inch screen is quite large, but with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, its not 4k resolution so it might be slightly fuzzy. Perhaps it would be better if it was 2560 x 1440.
Then there is also a complaint about the colors being strong and well-produced, but too strong. If you have pre-set mode for games and theaters, primary colors can bleed slightly.
The software and features are fittingly steamlined and simple. It has a feature known as “Tracer Free Technology” which helps it to achieve its 5 ms, but it causes strange red, green, and blue artifacts to occur at strange vector points during certain video games. This Source recommends just turning off the Tracer Free feature in order to avoid this problem.
The Asus Smart Contrast Ratio, or ASCR, does have darker black areas and brighter white areas, but it can also negatively affect some video games as far as the graphics are concerned. It might also affect web browsing, but if you are planning on watching a lot of movies, this could be what you need.
We’ll discuss in the Highlights section about the buttons for controls, but some have criticized that they are a little too touch-sensitive, and it is easy to close and scroll through menus that you might not want to.
So it isn’t 4K, but doesn’t it look just beautiful in its edgeless frame? Not only that, the specs for a 1080p is pretty good too. Also, for the sound it gives with Bang & Olufsen, that might be worth your money for that alone. The price is pretty good, and I believe is a worthy investment if you want something that is good, but not too good.
Weight: 5.2 kg net, 8.0 kg gross
Screen size: 27 inches, measured diagonally
Response Time: 5 ms gray to gray
Colors: 16.7 million
Brightness: 250 cd/m2
Refresh Rate: unknown
Screen Lighting: LED
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
OS Compatibility: Unkown
Connectivity Ports: HDMI x 2, D-Sub, DVI-D (via HDMI-to-DVI cable)
The MX279H is pretty thin at just 17.5 mm at its thinnest point. It also has an interesting aesthetic of edge to edge frameless screen with a bezel thickness of just 0.8 millimeters. Then there is the “sundial inspired stand which can provide a sturdy base for the monitor”. You can see the “one ring to rule them all” design here, and it has received many accolades at the 2012 Good Design Awards.
The controls for the MX279H are located on the lower-right hand edge, and they have some plastic dimples on them as well so your fingers will know where they are.
The panel has the ability to tilt with a range of -5 to 20 degrees, but it does not adjust in height or rotate to portrait orientation. Swiveling or rotating the whole product is simple, thanks to the circular base.
One of the features is a QuickFit Virtual Scale, allowing the user to get an exact preview of what photos and on-screen documents will actually look like before the printing process, in case you intend to use this MX279H display for computing. This supports A4 and letter documents as well as photos that measure 8 x 10, 5 x 7, 4 x 6, 3 x 5, and 2 x 2 inches.
So it isn’t 4K, but it is 1920 x 1080, so it is the next best thing if not the next big thing. You’re looking at a backlit brightness of 250 cd/m2, with response time of 5ms and a 60 Hz refresh rate. Capable of 16.7 million colors and the Asus Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR) of 80,000,000: 1, then you’ve got the best of 1080p here.
However, this would not be an honest review if I did not address some of the downsides that we put in “The Bad” section. That is that sometimes the colors can be too bright, which means that they can bleed slightly. This is especially true when playing video games at 4k resolution, as certain colors make their way in places where they do not belong. This goes for some of the black and white effects as well.
The back of the Designo MX279H has two HDMI ports, as well as a VGA (D-sub) port which makes it good for Blu-rays, console games, and digital cameras. There are also ports for both a microphone and headphones. These are all located on the back and ports facing horizontally in orientation.
As I have said before in “The Bad” section, connectivity could be quite limited. For example, if you have a laptop with Wi-Di, a smartphone with Miracast, then you might have to get some adapter. This also lacks any USB slots, which means that many accessories might not work with it, and this goes for an Ethernet port.
The MX279H comes with an HDMI to DVI cable in the box, but it doesn’t have a DVI socket into the monitor. Also included in the box is a quick-start guide, warranty card, and an adapter and power cable.
I’ve seen a price of $329, and I believe that this was the price quoted after it came out. If you go on Amazon, the price is about $269.99, marked down from $299.00
At only 1080p and a dwindling price, it is possible that the MX279H display is heading the way of the CRT. It is possible that this is the biggest strike against it, and the color bleeding could make it bad for gaming.
Very high viewing angle at 178 degrees
Bang & Olufsen 32 diameter speakers
Tracer Free Technology
Extremely High Contrast rate at 80 million to 1
Excellent aesthetic design
QuickFit Virtual Scale
1080p might seem too low-res in today's 4K market
Colors bleed slightly, especially in gaming
Control buttons are too touch-sensitive