The last notable leap in the development of gaming monitors occurred a little over two years ago, when models began to appear on the market in large quantities, combining a high-quality IPS matrix and a high image refresh rate of 144–165 Hz. The most popular class of such devices can rightfully be called monitors with a diagonal of 27 inches and a screen resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. At the same time, the price for most of these models in Ukrainian and foreign retail reaches $500, which cuts off some potential buyers. Realizing the essence of the problem and wanting to cover as many market segments as possible, manufacturers of gaming peripherals hastened to transfer «fast IPS» to a more affordable class of 24-inch monitors with Full HD resolution. As part of today’s review, we will get acquainted with a similar new product from MSI, namely, the Optix G241 monitor.
MSI Optix G241
Optix G241 is built on the basis of an 8-bit IPS-matrix with extended color gamut. Unfortunately, I was not able to access the service menu to determine the exact manufacturer and model of the panel. According to the passport specifications, the monitor can provide a maximum brightness level of 250 nits, with a static contrast ratio of 1000:1. The matrix supports Less Blue Light technology and works without the use of PWM modulation, which minimizes strain on the user’s eyes.
In terms of gaming capabilities, the hero of the review boasts a low response time of 1 ms (MPRT), an image refresh rate of 144 Hz and support for AMD FreeSync adaptive synchronization technology. The combination of a 23.8-inch screen diagonal and Full HD resolution can be considered optimal, since on the one hand it provides an acceptable PPI, and on the other hand, it puts forward noticeably more modest requirements for a graphics adapter (unlike WQHD resolution) to achieve stable 144 fps in gaming applications.
|Model||MSI Optix G241|
|Diagonal||23.8″ (60 cm)|
|Matrix type||IPS (8 bit)|
|Response time, ms||1c MPRT|
|Vertical refresh rate, Hz||144 (AMD FreeSync)|
|Maximum brightness, cd/m²||250|
|Number of displayed colors, million||16,7|
|Maximum viewing angles||178/178|
|Video inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.2а, HDMI 1.4b x2|
|Additional interfaces||Headphone-out jack|
|Screen adjustment option||Tilt Angle (-5° ~ 20°)|
|VESA mount, mm||100×100|
|Dimensions (including stand), mm||540 x 422,6 x 219,6|
As for the pricing policy, at the time of writing, you can buy the Optix G241 in local online stores for the equivalent of $235. The main competitors of the novelty are monitors AOC 24G2U, ASUS VG249Q and Acer VG240YPBIIP, which are in a similar price segment and are ready to offer a similar set of technical features.
Contents of delivery
The Optix G241 comes with everything you need to quickly connect your monitor. In addition to the device inside the package, the owner will find:
- power cable;
- external power supply;
- HDMI cable;
- instruction manual and a number of other printed materials.
The size of the power supply is small. It can easily be placed behind a monitor or under a table, and the very fact of using an external PSU should have a positive effect on the life of the device.
Appearance and ergonomics
The design of the Optix G241 is implemented with an eye to the maximum frameless and largely inherits the appearance of other MSI gaming monitors. A gray tint was chosen as the main color of the product. The stand is wedge-shaped. The manufacturer’s logo has taken its place in the central part of the case.
Three of the four screen bezels are hidden under a protective polymer covering the matrix. Their thickness is only about 5 mm.
The bottom bezel is thicker, made of plastic and protrudes above the screen surface.
On the back side, the novelty received several angular decorative elements. Rough matte plastic borders on smooth side inserts, which are patterned with imitation of brushed metal.
The connection interfaces are hidden behind the leg and are welded with the outlets down, which makes connecting cables blindly somewhat difficult.
Just above the leg is a series of perforations that can initially be mistaken for a system of ventilation holes. In practice, this element is another decorated part of the design, aimed at pulling the appearance of the Optix G241 closer to its older brothers.
The external dimensions of the device are 540×422.6×219.6 mm. Weight excluding power supply is 3.3 kg. The quality of materials and assembly can be described as acceptable. After installation, the monitor confidently takes its position on the table and does not stagger during operation. The gaps between the matrix and the body panels are minimal.
At the same time, during the development of the Optix G241, the manufacturer still had to make a number of simplifications in order to keep the retail price at an affordable level. So the monitor does not have a quick-fix leg system. To fix it, the buyer will need to use a screwdriver and four screws from the package.
Similarly, there is no hidden cable management system.
The stand itself is made from a combination of metal and plastic. Three rubberized inserts are placed along the perimeter of its base, which contribute to a better fixation of the monitor on the work surface.
Another victim of optimization was the ergonomics of the device. Of the options for setting the monitor for yourself, only the screen tilt angle adjustment is available in the range from -5 ° to + 20 °. Turning to the right or left is only possible with the stand, and height adjustment or turning into pivot mode is not provided.
Of the pluses — the VESA mount of the 100×100 standard remained in place. If desired, the future owner will be able to place the monitor on a compatible bracket.
The Optix G241 set of interfaces is standard by today’s standards and consists of two HDMI 1.4b ports, a DisplayPort 1.2a port and an audio output.
Menu and controls
For the activation of the settings menu and further navigation, the only control element is responsible — a five-way joystick. As we have repeatedly noted earlier, this is one of the simplest and most convenient control systems currently implemented on the market. A similar approach can be found in models of older monitor lines from the same MSI, as well as from LG.
The monitor is powered on by pressing a single button on the right side of the case. Next to it is a switchable white LED, which is responsible for indicating the operation of the device.
The settings menu is divided into six logical sections. The first one was called Gaming. In it, the user can select one of the preset game display modes, set the degree of matrix overdrive (overdrive), enable black frame substitution and AMD FreeSync adaptive synchronization technologies, use one of the game assistants, in the form of a technology for brightening dark areas of an image or an additional permanent sight on screen.
The second block of settings contains several more profiles prepared by the manufacturer and proprietary technologies. I strongly do not recommend turning on the Image Enhancement option under any circumstances, which artificially increases the sharpness of all objects on the screen. Even at the minimum level of this value, the picture becomes unnecessarily grainy and unnatural.
The Image section controls the backlight intensity, contrast level and color temperature.
The remaining submenus allow you to select the input source, reassign the navigation buttons of the joystick, change the menu display language or customize its appearance, as well as return the monitor to its factory state.
Keeping up with the times, MSI also gives the user the opportunity not to access the monitor’s built-in menu as a whole, but to carry out full device configuration through the proprietary MSI Display Kit application. The functionality of the application completely duplicates all the above settings, and also contains a number of additional features: controlling the image refresh rate, selecting screen resolution, activating the virtual keyboard or adjusting the speed of the mouse cursor in the operating system environment.