Asus' PA279Q May Very Well Have It All
Our overall experience with Asus' PA279Q was very positive. While its price is at the high-end of 27-inch QHD screens, great performance and copious features more than justify its status in the $800 bracket.
Just look at everything you get. A native 2560x1440 resolution, sRGB and Adobe RGB gamuts, six USB 3.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2 with MST, on-screen grids, two fully tweakable user modes, a complete set of cables, a light hood...the list stretches long indeed. And don’t forget the factory calibration. The numbers we generated from the two fixed modes are impressive enough, even without all the extras.
We've been asking for a wide-gamut monitor that has an sRGB/Rec. 709 option. The PA279Q delivers on that request. Even though Asus includes a color management system, it really isn’t necessary given the superb accuracy of the fixed sRGB and Adobe RGB picture modes.
Comparisons to the excellent Samsung S27B970D are inevitable. For $300 less, Asus gives you greater brightness, better contrast, and equivalent color, grayscale, and gamma accuracy. The big feature missing from Samsung's offering is the wider color gamut. That factor alone is enough to recommend the PA279Q ahead of it. We also prefer Asus’ anti-glare screen to Samsung’s reflective one.
We’re impressed with Asus’ build quality, too. While all the company's display products we've reviewed are well-made, this monitor is a cut above the norm. The full-range ergonomic adjustments have a very high-quality feel, and the vast OSD has a very intuitive design that is easy to navigate. We especially enjoyed using the navigational joystick. Once you get the hang of it, you’re spoiled for life.
Things we didn’t like were minor. The aforementioned CMS just doesn’t work properly. Not only is luminance control missing, but the saturation and hue sliders only change values for colors at 100 percent saturation. The rest of the gamut goes untouched. Fortunately, the sRGB and Adobe RGB modes offer near-perfect color, so you don’t have to use them. The only caveat is that you give up the grayscale controls. Again, though, this isn't a great loss. Perhaps in the next model update Asus will expand upon its otherwise fixed modes.
Of course, we’re thoroughly spoiled by QHD screens now that there's a constant stream of them coming through our labs. Once you adjust to the smaller text and icon sizes, you’ll wonder how you managed with just FHD. Native 2560x1440 monitors still command a price premium in the super-popular 27-inch size, but the benefits are great. It’s hard to imagine an image looking sharper and more detailed. Then again, we've seen Ultra HD, and we're in the process of reviewing our first 3840x2160 display, incidentally also from Asus.
For now, QHD is the standard, and Asus' PA279Q is one of the best screens we’ve tested. Its feature set puts it above the competition and its price really isn’t all that out of line. For its excellent out-of-box performance, top-notch color accuracy, selectable color gamuts, and huge feature set, we’re giving it the Tom’s Smart Buy Award.
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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.
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.Reply
People who cannot buy Eizo,Nec,Lacie...Reply
And are not happy with Dell and HP...
You should be smiling now!
Also at some places you can even get this around $800..
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 :)Reply
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.Reply
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.Reply
Almost perfect ....When it comes in 144hz or greater, call me .Reply
Liking the new Eizo model w/ 240 Hz mode too.
Can someone lend me a tissue I need to wipe up the drool.Reply
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.Reply
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.Reply
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!Reply