The panel does not make the monitor. As I saw in my last 21:9 monitor review, even if you have the exact same panel in two displays, a whole lot more makes the display good or bad. One might assume that all the 21:9 displays now hitting the market are likely to be similar, or even the same, since they all use the same panel, but they would be greatly mistaken as that is but a small part of the overall display. Because of this I was looking forward to seeing what ASUS could manage to do with a high quality panel at its disposal for their MX299Q monitor.

While 21:9 aspect ratios were initially designed around movies in the scope format (2.39:1 and other similar aspect ratios), they also offer a unique experience for gaming. The wider aspect enables a wider field-of-view in many games and can offer an advantage. Personally, however, for general productivity work like Word and Excel I find a 2560x1440 display to be more useful as those benefit from the vertical space.

Out of the box the MX299Q has a stylish look to it. Vendors are trying to make a splash with their 21:9 panels and the styling on them has been nice so far. ASUS puts a thin silver bezel at the bottom of the display while the rest of the screen is effectively bezel-free. I’d like to see this bezel-free look come to more displays in the future. The inputs, DisplayPort, DVI, and HDMI/MHL, are located on the rear along with a headphone jack and audio line-in. Power is handled by an external power brick to accomplish the thin look.

One quirk that I have with the MX299Q is the OSD. Even after I tell it to be in the lower-left corner, it always defaults back to the upper-left. If I adjust it again it moves back, but then it resets. ASUS tested this for me and it appears the early firmware on mine is the culprit as it has been fixed. The OSD has a normal amount of control available with multiple color settings, a user white point, and a pair of gamma presets. Controls are small buttons on the bottom of the panel that I find easy to confuse for each other. The small size and tight spacing make adjustments harder than they need to be, but they do get the job done.

Another feature ASUS has integrated is their Smart Grid overlay. If you are working on a document and want to see how it fits into a pre-defined area, such as 4x6, you can do that. An overlay will appear on the screen and you can position it over what you are working on. Perhaps a graphics designer might find it more useful than I do as a writer and reviewer. Finally there are a pair of speakers that utilize B&Os ICEpower Class D modules.

ASUS MX299Q
Video Inputs DVI-DL, DisplayPort, HDMI/MHL
Panel Type AH-IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.2628 mm
Colors 16.7 Million
Brightness 300 md/m^2
Contrast Ratio 80,000,000:1 Dynamic
Response Time 5ms GTG
Viewable Size 29"
Resolution 2560x1080
Viewing Angle (H/V) 178/178
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) < 31.7W
Power Consumption (standby) < 0.5W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes, -5 - +20
Pivot No
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting No
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 27.6" x 15.4" x 8.5"
Weight 12.1 lbs.
Additional Features 2 x 3W speakers
Limited Warranty 1 Year
Accessories DVI-DL Cable, AC Power Cable, Power Adapter, 3.5mm Audio Cable, HDMI Cable, MHL Cable
Price $550

I utilized the DVI input for all of my testing other than lag.

Brightness and Contrast
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  • Icehawk - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    Hmm, would love to see a few images from FPS to see what they look like on a 21:9 - do I get useful additional info or is everything so fishbowled or out of my direct sight that it isn't a positive? Reply
  • cheinonen - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    There is a gallery in my prior 21:9 display review with some gaming images comparing 16:9 to 21:9 screen area. Those can be found here: http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2630 Reply
  • mdrejhon - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    >>"The lowest black level any meter can reasonably measure is 0.0001, which would mean a peak white level of 8,000 cd/m^2."

    Actually, that's not quite fully accurate. Some expensive million-dollar meters can measure light at the SINGLE photon levels (Hint: They're used to detect neutrinos). There are some lab-quality meters at the thousand-dollar level that can measure less than 0.0001cd/m2. It is only a simple matter of how much you're willing to pay for a light meter.

    A more scientifically accurate way to say this is "The lowest black level any _consumer_ meter can reasonably measure is 0.0001"
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    I'm only referring to meters that would be used for measuring displays, like this. At the high end there is the Konica Minolta CS-2000 for $26,000 that can measure down to 0.003 cd/m2 and the Klein K10-A for $5,500 that measures down to 0.00006 cd/m2. Regardless, any contrast number out there that is past 100,000:1 and it's an OLED is playing games most likely. Reply
  • Wwhat - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    In your spec listing you mention 1 Year warranty, However in the EU the minimum warranty for all electronic devices is 2 years.

    And incidentally, because most people are not aware of that, many shops and manufacturers pretend they are doing you a special favor by giving you 2 years warranty., but hey that's commercialism.
    And some are quite incredibly rude and don't mention that fact when they try to sell you additional extended warranties, including big companies like apple I hear.
    Reply
  • Wwhat - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    Quite outrageous to not have VESA mounting holes on a monitor in my view, but I guess they sell anyway so it's not going to end any time soon that manufacturers do that. Reply
  • cbrownx88 - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    I'd have already purchased one if this panel had VESA mounts or 120hz/lightstrobe. Reply
  • Larzy - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - link

    On the input lag, it isn't split up like the other screens are shown, the first segment showing input lag and the second segement showing pixel response times, but on this display is it 10ms pixel response and no input lag at all ? Reply
  • Larzy - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - link

    If that's true, then 9ms (rather) it's certainly one of the best 21:9 for gaming. Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - link

    No, this has been discussed as using SMTT allowed for breaking it up into two separate measurements. Since SMTT is no longer available and the license has expired, I can't use it to test anymore. Now I just have a single lag number that encompasses both of them. It's unfortunate but the way it is. Reply

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