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Measurement And Calibration Methodology: How We Test

Asus ProArt PQ279Q Monitor Review: 27-Inch, Wide-Gamut, QHD
By

To measure and calibrate monitors, we use an i1Pro spectrophotometer and version 5.1.2 of SpectraCal’s CalMAN software.

For patterns, we employ an AccuPel DVG-5000 video signal generator. This approach removes video cards and drivers from the signal chain, allowing the display to receive true reference patterns. Connections are made via HDMI.

The AccuPel DVG-5000 is capable of generating all types of video signals at any resolution and refresh rate up to 1920x1080 at 60 Hz. It can also display motion patterns to evaluate a monitor's video processing capabilities, with 3D patterns available in every format. This allows us to measure color and grayscale performance, crosstalk, and ghosting in 3D content via the 3D glasses.

The i1Pro is placed at the center of the screen (unless we’re measuring uniformity) and sealed against it to block out any ambient light. The Accupel pattern generator (bottom left) is controlled via USB by CalMAN, which is running on the Dell XPS laptop on the right.

Our version of CalMAN Ultimate allows me to design all of the screens and workflows to best suit the purpose at hand. To that end, we’ve created a display review workflow from scratch. This way, we can be sure and collect all the necessary data with a concise and efficient set of measurements.

The charts show us the RGB levels, gamma response, and Delta E error for every brightness point from zero to 100 percent. The table shows us the raw data for each measurement. And the area in the upper-left tells us luminance, average gamma, Delta E, and contrast ratio. The individual charts can be copied to the Windows clipboard to easily create graphics for our reviews.

Every primary and secondary color is measured at 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 percent saturation. The color saturation level is simply the distance from the white point on the CIE chart. You can see the targets moving out from white in a straight line. The further a point is from center, the greater the saturation until you hit 100 percent at the edge of the gamut triangle. This shows us the display’s response at a cross-section of color points. Many monitors score well when only the 100 percent saturations are measured. Hitting the targets at the lower saturations is more difficult, and factors into our average Delta E value (which explains why our Delta E values are sometimes higher than those reported by other publications).

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  • 1 Hide
    Sid Jeong , November 14, 2013 10:58 PM
    I think it's gonna be a hit with small studios and many freelance designers. I'd consider it when I upgrade my monitor in the future.
  • 1 Hide
    zentrope , November 14, 2013 11:19 PM
    People who cannot buy Eizo,Nec,Lacie...
    And are not happy with Dell and HP...
    You should be smiling now!
    Also at some places you can even get this around $800..
  • 1 Hide
    slomo4sho , November 14, 2013 11:38 PM
    It appears that my three Asus VS238H-P which cost me $360 total are going have a fairly long life span since 1440P still demands a hefty premium over quality 1080P displays. Hopefully we get some quality 4k displays for around 1k soon, the ASUS PQ321Q needs some competition :) 
  • 0 Hide
    amgsoft , November 15, 2013 12:01 AM
    What is the actual reason for calibrating at 200 cd/m2. The usual standard calibration is 120 cd/m2 at 6500K, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_calibration.
  • 1 Hide
    JeanLuc , November 15, 2013 5:04 AM
    The same panel can be found in Korean import models such as the Achieva Shimian QH2700-IPSMS which is roughly half the price. I would love to see Toms benchmark these premium panels against the cheap imports.
  • 1 Hide
    JackNaylorPE , November 15, 2013 8:54 AM
    Almost perfect ....When it comes in 144hz or greater, call me .

    Liking the new Eizo model w/ 240 Hz mode too.
  • 0 Hide
    Stevemeister , November 15, 2013 9:49 AM
    Can someone lend me a tissue I need to wipe up the drool.
  • 0 Hide
    lhughey , November 15, 2013 10:16 AM
    I want a QHD monitor, but I can't afford a gaming card that will work well with that resolution just yet. Maybe in a six months when Nvidia drops its Maxwell cards.
  • 1 Hide
    Nintendo Maniac 64 , November 15, 2013 11:16 AM
    Am I the only one that wants to know about upscaling quality? Last time I checked most monitors upscale pretty badly, and considering that this has an HDMI input I don't think it'd be unthinkable to have a 720p or a 1080p external video source.
  • 1 Hide
    Bondfc11 , November 15, 2013 11:40 AM
    Why doesn't Tom's do the Overlord Tempest 2560x1440 IPS that will overclock refresh rates up to 120Hz? they are sellign for like $500 now and are killer!
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , November 15, 2013 11:49 AM
    This is a gorgeous monitor that is very tempting. I can't wait for the review of the monster one with 4k...

    Not this year but sometime next year I'd love to upgrade my system. I built my current workstation when the phenom 1 chip came out and other than a CPU upgrade after the phenom 2 came out and graphics card revision (old one died) I've not needed to do anything else to it. Starting to get a bit long in the tooth though.
  • 0 Hide
    ceberle , November 15, 2013 3:44 PM
    Quote:
    What is the actual reason for calibrating at 200 cd/m2. The usual standard calibration is 120 cd/m2 at 6500K, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_calibration.


    120 cd/m2 would be ideal for a darkened room but we calibrate to 200 to better replicate an average viewing environment. Most graphics pros would opt for a darker space but the average user will have more ambient light to compete with. Since we're reviewing all types of displays, we need to place them on equal footing.

    -Christian-
  • 0 Hide
    lalutte , November 16, 2013 5:15 AM
    I would have loved to see a direct comparison to the Dell U2713H. That's the monitor I've had my eye on. It gets down to $800 when on sale and has Dell's great warranty. Rec709 is pretty compelling though...
  • 1 Hide
    catswold , November 16, 2013 5:18 AM
    The Achieva version of this is less than half the price . . . IF you can live with: "Up 5 dead pixels are normal. These are not the reason of return or compensate. Dark (gray color) dot may be on the panel, it is not the standard of Defect."

    If you want "pixel perfect" from Achieva, it'll cost you the same. Quite a gamble, big savings vs. a few dead pixels.
  • -1 Hide
    10tacle , November 16, 2013 10:44 AM
    Quote:
    The same panel can be found in Korean import models such as the Achieva Shimian QH2700-IPSMS which is roughly half the price. I would love to see Toms benchmark these premium panels against the cheap imports.


    It's technically the same panel, but it's a rejected panel by Apple and sold to 3rd parties like Achieva. That means dead pixels and irregular lighting and color are normal. That also means fewer input options (to save money), hardly any screen controls and settings (to save money), no height or tilt adjustment (to save money), cheaper components internally (to save money), and of course, a very weak warranty.

    Tie all this in with poor build quality (some of those displays have been reported as having dirt behind the panel!), and IMO it's just not worth the savings/risk. And considering manufacturers of these "affordable" QHD monitors use cheaper internal components, I'd be most concerned about how long the thing will last even if I got a perfect panel. That would always be in the back of my mind every time I touched the power button.

    So while you may be saving 50%, you are paying elsewhere by short changing yourself. I know what 5 dead pixels are like on a QHD monitor, because I had them on my ASUS PB278Q 27". They were concentrated within a 4-inch square in the middle of the screen and impossible to not notice. That monitor is known to have a pretty high dead pixel rate. I promptly returned it to Fry's and stepped up to the more professional factory Adobe RGB calibrated LG 27EA83.

  • 0 Hide
    Shneiky , November 16, 2013 1:19 PM
    The model is not PQ279Q (as stated on the page names) it is PA279Q (as it is stated in the review and the Asus website). Please correct it, it got me confused for a second, and I guess a lot of other people, specially the not tech-savvy ones.
  • 0 Hide
    cobra5000 , November 16, 2013 4:33 PM
    Looks nice but I prefer 16:10 screens.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , November 18, 2013 11:53 AM
    Quote:
    The same panel can be found in Korean import models such as the Achieva Shimian QH2700-IPSMS which is roughly half the price. I would love to see Toms benchmark these premium panels against the cheap imports.

    In addition to 10tacle's reason, you also lose the USB ports on that model.


    Quote:
    Am I the only one that wants to know about upscaling quality? Last time I checked most monitors upscale pretty badly, and considering that this has an HDMI input I don't think it'd be unthinkable to have a 720p or a 1080p external video source.

    Guess that kinda depends. I don't know why many people would spend $800+ on a 27" display only to hook it up to a cable box or PS3. That much money will get you a very nice, rather large, TV.


    Quote:
    Looks nice but I prefer 16:10 screens.

    As do I. Sadly, the price premium for 16:10 over 16:9 is pretty ridiculous. A quick search on Newegg shows the only 2560x1600 monitor with USB 3.0 is a $1500 30" Lenovo.


    I only wish this thing was 120Hz
  • -1 Hide
    Solandri , November 20, 2013 11:23 AM
    Quote:
    Almost perfect ....When it comes in 144hz or greater, call me .

    Liking the new Eizo model w/ 240 Hz mode too.

    60 Hz is really about all that's needed to fool the human eye.

    TVs went to 120 Hz because of a problem peculiar to displaying movies. Most movies were shot at 24 fps. 60/24 = 2.5 which isn't an even integer. If you try to display them on a 60 Hz screen, you end up having to show one movie frame for 2/60 sec, the next frame for 3/60 sec, then repeat. The result of this uneven timing is something called judder, where smooth motion (especially panning shots) appear to stutter.

    With a 120 Hz refresh, you can show each movie frame for 5/120 sec, and a smooth panning shots remain smooth. 240 Hz is just the same thing except for 3D video - 120 Hz for the left eye, 120 Hz for the right eye.

    So unless you're planning to watch a lot of 24 fps movies, 60 Hz is just fine. And unless you're planning to watch 3D movies shot at 24 fps, 240 Hz is overkill. If you're watching video shot at 30 or 60 fps, it'll look the same at 60 Hz, 120 Hz, or 240 Hz.
  • 0 Hide
    pdesmidt , November 21, 2013 10:07 AM
    Can an external profiling device load a profile into the monitor's internal LUT?
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