The PG27AQDM has three HDR picture modes that appear whenever an HDR10 signal is present. You can also adjust the brightness if you wish though I didn’t find a need for this.
HDR Brightness and Contrast
A lot is made of peak brightness when it comes to HDR, and while that is a factor, black levels are a much more important metric. That’s where OLED has the advantage. The PG27AQDM has plenty of peak output, over 870 nits, when measuring a 25% window. Asus claims 1,000 nits which I don’t doubt, but I didn’t have a small enough window pattern to achieve that number. However, the zero black level means HDR dynamic range is infinite. Can you tell the difference between an OLED and the PD32M? Having just reviewed it, the answer is yes. In a side-by-side comparison, the PG27AQDM has a deeper and more three-dimensional image for HDR and SDR. If you want the ultimate in picture realism, OLED has no equal.
Grayscale, EOTF and Color
The PG27AQDM’s HDR grayscale tracking is a tad cool in the brighter parts of the image, but the error is visually small. I would be happy to have access to the RGB sliders to correct this, but that is a minor point. The luminance curve tracks a little dark until the mid-tones where it crosses the reference line to a slight overshoot. The transition point is at 70%, meaning all values over that are tone-mapped by the display rather than the content metadata. This is typical performance for a bright monitor, so what you’re seeing here is a good thing.
The PG27AQDM covers the DCI-P3 gamut with some over-saturation but nothing that will reduce detail. The HDR image has rich and vibrant colors enhanced by deep contrast. The Rec.2020 chart shows much the same behavior. Color runs out around 80%, which is typical of most OLEDs. The Asus’ HDR image quality is stunning, but other OLEDs are on par with it. However, it is on another level above Mini LED.
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