ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV monitor review
The ProArt series in the ASUS product line consists of devices designed for professionals, mainly content creators. Interestingly, the new monitor ProArt Display PA278CGV has rather “hybrid” characteristics: in addition to purely working tools, it also has a typical gaming IPS panel with a diagonal of 27 inches, a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, and a refresh rate of 144 Hz.
ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV specifications
|Advanced, 95% DCI-P3
|tilt back and forth, left-right rotation, height change, portrait mode
|video: 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB-C (DP Alt Mode), USB Hub: 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1, headphone output
|Stereo speakers (2Wx2), USB-C Power Delivery (90W)
|Dimensions (including stand), WxHxD
|615 x (374~524) x 228 mm
|Price in Ukraine
|~17 thousand UAH
Externally, the monitor is noticeably different from the previous model in the ProArt series, PA248CRV, which we reviewed in the spring of this year, but the general features of the series are immediately apparent: dark gray matte plastic of the case and a silver functional stand with a rectangular “base” of medium size.
The screen is made in the traditional bezel-less design: when turned off, it is surrounded only by the body line on the sides and top and a thin panel on the bottom. If you look closely, you can see a measuring ruler on it, which is a traditional design element of the ProArt series.
The stand is fully functional, allowing you to rotate the screen left to right (+45°~-45°), tilt it back and forth (+35°~-5°), adjust the height (0-150 mm), and switch the monitor to portrait mode in both directions (+90°~-90°).
The leg does not have a through cutout for cable routing, but instead has a small bracket that the cables can be attached to, which is not very convenient, especially when adjusting the screen height.
All video connectors are located in a small niche next to the stand mount: one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and one USB Type-C. You can also find a USB hub with two USB 3.2 and a headphone output. Two more USB ports are located on the side, which is more convenient for regularly connecting USB devices.
The power supply of the ProArt Display PA278CGV is built-in.
The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV is controlled by five physical buttons on the right side of the bottom panel – unfortunately, this model does not have the usual joystick. Pressing any button brings up the “quick menu”, which contains several “hot” functions and launches the main menu.
The first item in the menu is the Preset video mode selection – here, in addition to the Basic mode, emulations of various color spaces are also presented. Next is Palette, where you can find traditional settings for brightness, contrast, saturation, color temperature, etc.
The Picture section contains the rest of the settings related to the image itself: sharpness, overdrive, screen proportions, blue light reduction, and selection of the range for HDMI connection.
The PIP/PBP item offers frame-by-frame mode settings, QuickFit Plus offers various on-screen markers and rulers, and Signal allows you to manually switch between video sources.
All system settings (menu and sound settings, activation of FreeSync Premium, factory reset) are concentrated in Settings, and the Command Keys item allows you to assign user functions to two key combinations.
ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV uses a 10-bit IPS panel with a diagonal of 27 inches, an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. The pixel density is 109 PPI (dot size is 0.2335 mm): the image is quite dense, it is difficult to see individual dots from a typical distance to the screen.
The maximum refresh rate is 144 Hz, which was a bit unusual to see in a work monitor. In addition, the ProArt Display PA278CGV supports FreeSync Premium adaptive frequency technology, so it has the makings of a very good gaming model.
The brightness of this monitor is adjustable by changing the current, and PWM is not used throughout the entire brightness range, so there is no screen flicker.
The USB-C connector can be used not only for video transmission, but also for charging connected devices (90W), so it’s very convenient to use it with a laptop. And the USB hub allows you to connect any peripheral to the monitor’s four full-size USB ports and use it with your laptop without taking up any of its ports.
ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV image quality
The screen’s coating is semi-matte, with almost no spurious reflections on a dark background when viewed from a typical PC user’s position. When you move to the side, the screen gradually becomes more “glossy”, but it does not interfere with the work on it.
The declared response time is standard for an IPS panel in a non-gaming monitor: 5 ms (GtG). Despite the fact that the monitor is designed for work, not gaming, it has a typical gaming function – matrix overdrive (the corresponding settings are located in the Picture section, Trace Free item).
The degree of overdrive is adjustable from 0 (overdrive is off) to 100 (maximum) in increments of 20. With an increase in this value, the blurring of the image in dynamics gradually becomes less and less, and at the maximum, dynamic scenes already look quite clear – there are no overdrive artifacts even at the maximum, so for games you can safely set the Trace Free parameter to “100”.
Trace Free “0 / 40 / 100”:
The black uniformity is generally good, but you can still notice a few light spots at the edges of the screen on a black background – at maximum brightness in a completely dark room; this does not interfere with normal work. At the same time, the monitor has a function of local backlight shading – the “dynamic dimming” parameter in the general settings. It has three degrees of shading, which differ in response speed, and the ability to completely disable this option. The uniformly black screen with this option becomes really black – for comparison, the first picture was taken without it and with a shutter speed of 2 seconds, the second – with it, the shutter speed was 30 seconds.
The glow effect is typical of IPS technology: when you look at the screen from the side and from above, a moderate gray glow with a warm or cold tint appears near the black background, depending on the angle of view. In this gallery, you can also compare how dynamic shading works in the case of an image with a lot of black on the screen.
The viewing angles are traditionally large for IPS: when viewed from the side, the screen loses some brightness, but the colors remain almost as saturated, and the overall image quality hardly deteriorates.
The Preset section of the monitor settings offers various video modes that emulate the main color spaces: sRGB, Adobe RGB, Rec. 2020, DCI-P3, Rec. 709, etc. The default mode is “Native” – judging by its name in English, it should offer the maximum color coverage capabilities of the panel, not limited to any color space. It should be noted that ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV doesn’t have any “multimedia” or gaming modes, only working ones.
In the “Basic” mode, the color gamut fully covers the sRGB space and is 96% DCI-P3 (89% Adobe RGB), which is even slightly higher than the official specifications. The brightness is adjustable in the range of 55-450 cd/m² – the lowest value allows you to work comfortably in low light conditions in the room, the highest value is quite enough even for a very brightly lit office space. We also note that the maximum brightness, even in non-HDR mode, is noticeably higher than the manufacturer’s claim (350 cd/m² in SDR and up to 400 cd/m² peak in HDR). The maximum static contrast in this mode is less than the official specification – 840:1; this is quite low even for an IPS panel.
The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV has a gamma adjustment: the user can choose one of five values, from 1.8 to 2.6 in increments of 0.2. In all cases, the actual gamma value perfectly matches the declared one.
There are four options for the color temperature, and the actual value of this parameter in all of them is slightly overestimated: for example, the default “6500K” setting actually has a temperature of 7000K, and the warmest “5000K” has a temperature of 5300K.
In the Picture menu, there is a blue filter in the backlight, which has 10 intensity levels and allows you to further reduce the color temperature: from 7000K when it is off to 4600K at the penultimate value. If you set it to the maximum, the temperature becomes 4400K, but it also significantly reduces the brightness (which remained almost unchanged before) – its maximum value at 100% blue filter is 165 cd/m².
The color temperature uniformity is frankly mediocre: the maximum deviation in different areas of the screen ΔE is 9.1. But the white field uniformity is very good: the brightest area is the center of the screen, the darkest is the lower left corner, the difference in brightness between them is 13%; the rest of the screen deviates by only 5-9%.
ASUS ProArt Display PA278CGV is factory calibrated in sRGB mode, as evidenced by the corresponding report that comes with the monitor. But even in the “Basic” mode, the color reproduction accuracy is very high – the maximum ΔE value (except for one color, which is out of the picture due to the peculiarities of the test colorimeter) is only 0.68, the average is about 0.3. As a reminder, it is believed that an average user is not able to notice the difference between the reference color and the one displayed by the monitor if ΔE does not exceed two.
Almost all manual image settings are blocked in sRGB mode, including brightness, which is set to 84 cd/m², so it’s best to work in this mode in moderate room lighting conditions. This video mode also limits the color coverage to 97% of this space (73% Adobe RGB, 73% DCI-P3), sets the gamma to 2.2, and the color temperature to 6900K. Color accuracy is also very good, although slightly worse than in “Basic” – the average ΔE value is slightly less than one.
In DCI-P3 mode, almost all settings are available, except for gamma – its value is the standard 2.2. The color coverage is slightly less than in Basic: over 100% sRGB, 89% Adobe RGB and 95% DCI-P3. The brightness is adjustable in a much wider range: from 12 to 430 cd/m², so in this mode you can work with the monitor even in complete darkness. The color temperature has only two values – 6500K (real 7400K) and P3-Theater (real 7000K). The color accuracy is better than sRGB, but not by much.
And finally, in Adobe RGB mode, the color temperature and gamma are locked to 7200K and 2.2, respectively. The color space is limited to 97% sRGB, 86% Adobe RGB, 85% DCI-P3, and the brightness is adjustable in the range of 13-445 cd/m². The color accuracy in this mode is the worst: the average value of ΔE = 1.56.
You can visually compare how the image changes in all modes in this gallery: