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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  • dylan522p - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    Strongly considering getting one of these and putting it in portrait as that would be much better for web content alongside my 2 1080p monitors. Anyone think that would be viable? Reply
  • meacupla - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    I don't understand how 1080x2560 is better for web content, but I think your main problem would be getting this monitor in that orientation to begin with, since it doesn't look like it has any VESA mounting for an arm that can lift the screen off the table that high.

    Also, web content is now being made for 1280 width in mind, so wouldn't you be better off with a 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 monitor in portrait mode?
    Reply
  • peterfares - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    You would. These 2560x1080 monitors are basically ONLY good for movies and some games. Reply
  • OscarGoldman - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - link

    Except there's no delivery medium for 21:9 movies. Blu-Ray and streaming services put the image into a 16:9 frame anyway, so the only way you're going to fill a 21:9 frame is zoom into the 16:9 image. That's gonna look wonderful. Reply
  • michaelheath - Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - link

    I wonder if you missed the first paragraph of the conclusion:

    "They’re also fantastic for watching movies on that are shot in scope format."

    Which I would presume means Chris actually watched a film in Cinemascope. Blu Ray supports anamorphic widescreen and can map a pixel aspect ratio of 1:1, so the only worry is Netflix.
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link

    Blu-ray does NOT support anamorphic encoding. Believe me, I would be ecstatic if that were true! 16:9 is all we get whether the content is scope (2.35/39/40), 1.78, or 4:3, wrapped up in letterbox or pillarbox black bars.

    An upscale for a typical scope Blu-ray (actual content is ~1920x810) to one of these screens (2560x1080) isn't so terrible, really. That's only a 33% upscale. With a good scaler or scaler software, it should look fine... but does anyone really care about black bars so much that they would buy this screen?

    I would buy this for gaming and that's about it, but only if it did 120Hz. Seriously, WhenTF are we going to get more 120Hz native displays?
    Reply
  • RocketChild - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    Asus's other 29" model like this one has VESA mounts. Model PB298Q Reply
  • JlHADJOE - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    longcat. 'nuff said. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    I've rotated my 2560x1600 monitor a few times. It's too tall. Even with the stand at minimum the top of the screen was too high to look at without tilting my head. If you want a monitor for portrait use stick to a 20 or 22" model. Reply
  • spacecadet34 - Monday, September 23, 2013 - link

    You don't need this tall a monitor to do what you want; I'm currently running a triple monitor setup: two 1080P's and one (rotated) Dell @ 1200x1920. Thanks to the "keyhole problem" (http://www.aristeia.com/TKP/), virtually *every* website works better in a vertical orientation. Just make sure the rotated display is an IPS, S-PVA, or similar panel that gives decent viewing angles. A TN panel would look horrible as you move your head side-to-side. Once you get used to this setup you'll never go back, unless you're into gaming. Reply

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