The PM17TU is part of Asus’s first foray into displays down under, and on first impressions it’s a very good one.
It’s specified very well with a 4ms response rate, and it looks the part with its gun-barrel black bezel.
Build-wise, it’s excellent, with Asus showing their many strengths in industrial design with its tasteful lines and understated functionality. There’s only one button on the fascia, for power, with the other buttons hidden on the lower right side. And cleverly integrated into the bottom part of the bezel are the speakers. While we’re not huge fans of multimedia monitors at Smarthouse, at least they sound better than laptop speakers. And as they’re not obtrusive, you can choose to ignore them completely if you like.
It’s a well connected monitor too, boasting both DVI and D-SUB inputs, as well as a 3.5mm audio input.
But the screen is what we’re here for, and on first glance it’s a very nice one. It’s certainly bright, with good colour reproduction. Games and DVDs alike showed no ghosting and were pleasurable to watch. It has got a high gloss screen, so in well lit areas looking at your own ugly mug can get distracting.
If there is one problem with this monitor, its one it has in common with many other LCDs – viewing angles. Unless you’re looking at the monitor dead-on – and this means tilting it slightly backwards – a blue tinge begins creeping in at the bottom. This can make vertical off-axis viewing difficult, and also, horizontal off-axis gets that familiar yellow tinge creeping in. This means this isn’t the monitor to choose if movie watching or TV replacement is your aim.
One other issue is price, at $699 it’s one of the most expensive 17″ monitors on the market. Competitors such as Viewsonic offer a 19″, also with a 4ms response time, for the same cash.
This is an excellent looking monitor with a great specification. It will suit well-heeled gamers, and perhaps some office workers, perfectly, but movie watchers and graphics professionals may want to skip over this one.
Asus PM17TU $699
For: big, bright display; excellent design; clear, readable text
Against: some discolouration off-axis; costly
Verdict: An excellent introduction to Asus’ new range of monitors which would most suit gamers.