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Asus PB328Q 32-inch AMVA QHD Monitor Review

Today we're evaluating one of the most accurate and best-performing monitors we've tested: the 32-inch AMVA QHD Asus PB328Q. Let's see how it compares to the tough competition.

OSD Setup And Calibration

If you've used a late-model Asus monitor, the PB328Q's OSD will look quite familiar. Functions are broken down into nine sub-menus. The joystick makes navigation very quick and easy and setup is a breeze.

OSD Tour

Asus calls its image modes "Splendid" and there are seven of them. All are adjustable except for the sRGB mode, which locks out everything including brightness. Color is pretty accurate but output is fixed at 230cd/m2. The two User modes are fully adjustable and use the sRGB preset as a starting point.

The Blue Light Filter is a staple feature of many Asus monitors and similar options are available on other brands. It reduces blue to warm the white point in an effort to mitigate eye fatigue. It works as advertised but we think a proper calibration is the better way to go.

The Color menu has a large array of image adjustments including general saturation and hue sliders, gamma presets, two-point white balance and a color management system.

There are four color temp presets organized by degrees Kelvin. 9300K is the coolest (most blue) followed by 6500, 5500 and 5000, which get progressively warmer (redder).

Four gamma presets ranging from 1.8 to 2.4 are available. Our measurements closely matched the listed values and tracking is very precise throughout the brightness range.

Here are the color management and two-point white balance controls. Hue and saturation can be adjusted for each primary and secondary color. In practice, the saturation control also changes luminance so use it sparingly. We used the hue sliders to tweak the magenta and yellow secondaries though they were pretty close to target in the first place.

Gain and Offset options mean you can dial in the grayscale tracking for both lighter and darker steps. We use 30 and 80 percent patterns to make our changes. The result is a very precise calibration with almost perfect values at every step. You'll see just how good the PB328Q is on pages five and six.

Remaining image options are in, appropriately, the Image menu. The Sharpness control is set to 40 by default and should be left there. Higher values produce visible edge enhancement and unsightly outlines around dark objects.

Trace Free is Asus' term for overdrive. We set it to 100 for our tests and left it there during gameplay. There was little motion blur and no ghosting to speak of.

Aspect Control allows you to accommodate lower-res signals without stretching the image. Options are 4:3, Full, 1:1 and OverScan; 1:1 means anything less than 2560x1440 will be windowed.

VividPixel can subtly improve detail without introducing edge enhancement. Level 25 worked for us but anything higher will create minor artifacts that reduce effective resolution.

ASCR is the dynamic contrast function. The PB328Q already has tremendous contrast without this feature so we recommend leaving it off to preserve maximum detail.

The last three options pertain to analog signals. You can adjust the image's position and focus for the VGA input.

Volume and mute controls affect both the speakers and the headphone output. When you plug in, the speakers are disabled. The audio source can be HDMI, DisplayPort or analog.

PIP and PBP is a natural use for such a large screen. The PB328Q can display two sources simultaneously. There aren't many monitors that will show digital and analog signals together. You can view them in either a window or side-by-side format.

Here is the input selector; it's also mapped to one of the control keys so you don't have to use the OSD to change sources.

System Setup has options for Eco mode (limits brightness to reduce power consumption) OSD (timeout, transparency and rotation), language (21 choices), DisplayPort version and Key Lock, which disables the function keys.

Information tells you the input resolution and refresh rate along with the active source and PIP status. At the top right of every menu you can see the same thing along with the currently-selected picture mode.

Two of the bezel control keys can be programmed to any one of eight functions. This saves you a trip into the OSD when you want to change brightness or inputs for example.

Calibration

Selecting either the Standard, sRGB or User mode nearly eliminates the need for further adjustment. All three are very accurate but the sRGB preset locks out all settings including brightness. You'll have to be happy with 230cd/m2 in that mode. We calibrated User 1 with the two-point white balance and CMS sliders. After small tweaks, we recorded error levels worthy of a professional monitor. Even though the PB328Q is not part of Asus' ProArt line, it performs at an extremely high level. Please try our settings below to optimize your display.

Asus PB328Q Calibration Settings
ModeUser
Brightness 200cd/m239
Brightness 120cd/m217
Brightness 100cd/m212
Brightness 80cd/m26
Contrast78
6-Axis MagentaHue 53, Saturation 54
GainsRed 49, Green 52, Blue 52
OffsetsAll 50
Gamma2.2
TraceFree100
VividPixel25
Sharpness40
Blue Light Filter0