Output via your USB port
- Full operation through USB connection, good contrast, low price tag
- Unsuitable for games or videos via USB, some driver issues with certain PCs, no DVI port, flickering in some image quality tests
Offering the ability to connect to your PC directly via USB, ASUS' VW223b is a very cool product but its lack of DVI and unsuitability for entertainment tasks mean it won't be everyone's cup of tea.
Price$ 429.00 (AUD)
It's not every day we get a product through the offices that genuinely makes us go "Wow that's pretty cool!" In fact when you see as much tech as we do, even slightly interesting developments begin to become mundane. However ASUS' latest 22in display, the VW223b, which you can run via a USB connection, was certainly enough to elicit some excitement.
The idea of ditching standard graphics cables (DVI, D-Sub etc.) altogether may sound improbable to most PC users, but that's exactly what this device allows you to do. A simple driver installation followed by a reboot and you're up and running in just a few minutes.
Once the cool factor had worn off, we began to think about practical applications for this product. For many users, USB connectivity won't be particularly useful. If you only have a single display, there's no real reason not to just connect directly to your graphics card like always. Where this product really shines is when running multiple displays.
The technology that makes this work is called EzLink, which also offers the ability to daisy-chain multiple displays together using the USB ports on the monitor's side. While we didn't receive a second unit to confirm this, it is supposed to be a simple plug and play operation, allowing users to run multiple displays without upgrading their graphics cards or other components.
This simplicity and cost effectiveness does require some sacrifices. When running via USB, the VW223b cannot really be used for video playback or gaming. We ran several media tests, and whenever there was a lot of action on screen things would stutter and frames would be dropped, which made it basically unwatchable. While testing with the game F.E.A.R. the HUD flickered constantly as we moved around. While none of this surprised us — the bandwidth of USB 2.0 is only so big — it is important to note this unit isn't going to be suitable for entertainment tasks.
In our DisplayMate Video Edition tests the unit performed a little better, although there were some niggling issues. Contrast was excellent, with nice differentiation between blocks in the intensity ramps at both the dark and light ends.
The image was a little soft at times and this seemed worse when connected to a laptop that outputs a high resolution by default. We tested on our desktop PC as well as a 1920x1200 resolution notebook and we struggled to get a proper resolution when using the latter.
Colour balance was pretty good, tending towards a slightly pale look, although reds were strongly saturated. Black levels were pleasing if not particularly noteworthy, although they were somewhat marred by reflection from the glossy bezel of the screen, which sometimes creates a slightly pale ring at the screen's edges (mainly the bottom). There was also some very noticeable flickering in a couple of the moire test patterns.
All of these tests were conducted via a USB connection. One of our big disappointments about the unit is that although a D-Sub connection is included ASUS has strangely left off DVI. This seems odd given it is standard for any PC from the last few years. So if you do want an alternative to USB you're stuck with D-Sub, which is far from a perfect solution. We ran our tests again via the VGA port with similar results; if anything the flickering mentioned earlier was even worse.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Dell's luscious new 4K monitor is bold, bright, and HDR-infused
- Samsung's 49-inch mega-wide display may displace multi-monitor setups
- More high-end GPUs are now compatible with Dell's 8K monitor
- Dell's wild 8K monitor goes on sale with a just-as-stunning price tag
- LG's 4K HDR monitor gets a price and release date, heralding a new era for PC displays
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTICT TrainerOther
- CCDeveloper - ASP.Net - Sencha Ext JSVIC
- FTETL TesterACT
- TPTechnical Business AnalystQLD
- TP.Net DeveloperWA
- TPProduct OwnerVIC
- FTResource /Operations AnalystOther
- FTDigital Designer Jnr / MidOther
- FTUnix Engineer | 6mth ContractOther
- FTFinance and PeopleSoft Project ManagerOther
- FTRadio Communication TechnicianOther
- FTCRM DeveloperWA
- CCSAP Hana DeveloperVIC
- FTLevel 3- Production Support Team LeaderACT
- FTOffice & Operations AdministratorNSW
- FTIT ManagerNSW
- FTSupport AnalystOther
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst - Microsoft BI StackNSW
- FTBusiness Development ManagerOther
- CCSenior Automation Test AnalystQLD
- FTPMO Project ManagerOther
- FTSolution Architect - DatacentreVIC
- CCLevel 1 Service Desk SupportWA
- TP.Net Developer - Australian Government ICT ContractorACT
- FTDigital ProducerOther