Brightness & Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
Today’s comparison group is all Ultra HD models with screens using VA, TN, IGZO and IPS technologies. From NEC we have the EA275UHD and PA322UHD. BenQ is represented by the BL3201PT. Acer’s G-Sync gaming screen is here as well, the XB280HK. And representing Philips is the 40-inch BDM4065UC.
Ultra HD monitors are not known for their high brightness unless you’re looking at one of the 27-inch IPS models. Of the 32-inch screens we’ve tested the PA328Q comes out on top when the backlight is maxed.
Unfortunately the PA328Q’s black levels are not as impressive. The VA-based Philips BDM4065UC is not likely to be bested anytime soon but if you’re looking at IPS panels, the NEC PA322UHD is the current leader.
We’d call this a fair contrast result. 1000:1 is our benchmark and both NEC screens top that figure. The rest of the pack lags a bit at around 800:1. We do like the PA328Q’s clarity but it doesn’t quite have the image depth of the other displays here.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
Turning down the brightness control to zero yields a perfect (in our opinion) 50-nit result. If you prefer a different max output level please refer to our settings on the previous page.
The PA328Q’s retains its fifth-place finish in the minimum black level test. This at least bodes well for its contrast consistency at all backlight settings.
The difference in contrast between maximum and minimum backlight settings is pretty much non-existent. Asus is using a good-quality panel in the PA328Q.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
After calibration we took measurements with the Uniformity Compensation on and off. Unlike the system we’re used to from NEC, Asus locks brightness when it’s engaged.
We have yet to see a uniformity compensation option that doesn’t raise the black level but that’s inherent to the technology. To fix hotspots in a black field the only option is to raise the brightness of the darker areas. The only possible result is an increase in black level.
Even though you get a tad more brightness with uni-comp on, the rise in black level reduces on/off contrast by 32 percent. The question then becomes, is it worth it? On our particular sample the answer is no and you’ll find out why in our uniformity tests on page seven.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
ANSI contrast stays pretty close to the sequential value which demonstrates good panel quality. Uniformity Compensation reduces that figure by 27 percent. It would seem that among 32-inch UHD monitors that IGZO technology provides a little more contrast but at a higher price.