The Good The Asus PB278Q offers a sharp extreme-definition screen, rich color, accurate presets, and useful ergonomic options at a good price.
The Bad The monitor does not have USB inputs, and its rotary mechanism is poorly implemented.
The Bottom Line For the price and power, the Asus PB278Q is the best entry point for anyone looking for an extreme clarity monitor at a not-too-extreme price.
In the world of extreme clarity monitors, the Asus PB278Q almost perfectly captures the happy environment between features and cost. I looked HP ZR2740w at the beginning of 2012, and although this monitor offered excellent performance at a reasonable price, apart from the brightness, customization features were nowhere to be found.
The PB278Q is like getting the ZR2740w with better performance and a large range of customization options for about the same price. Asus may not fully match $ 100 more expensive than the Dell U2713HM and lack Dell’s USB ports and many assortments of presets, but $ 100 less is a great lower-cost alternative for those who want to save a few dollars on an extreme definition monitor.
The Asus PB278Q swivels from the bottom (pictures)
Design and features
The 27-inch Asus PB278Q is one of the first non-Samsung monitors to house the Line-to-Line Switcher (PLS). Prior to this, the Samsung SyncMasters S27A850D and S27B970 stood out in value as the only two other monitors that have so far been equipped with the company’s relatively new panel technology. Like most monitors available today, the PA248Q features a white LED backlight that results in a fairly thin, 2.6-inch deep chassis. In addition, at 19.4 pounds, this is surprisingly light for a 27-inch monitor.
On the left and right sides, the 0.8-inch panel has a full width of just under 25.25 inches. The 11-inch-wide stand is the most attractive visual feature of the monitor, measuring 11.6 by 8.6 inches. When it knocks on the sides, the monitor oscillates more than I would like. This is not too surprising considering the swivel mechanism located at the bottom of the footrest as it keeps the seat flat and flat. Unfortunately, due to inconvenient implementation, the entire chassis rotates, not just the screen.
Speaking of which, the monitor can rotate left and right, tilt back 20 degrees and rotate 90 degrees, and its screen height can be adjusted by about 4.5 inches.
Connections include DVI, DisplayPort, VGA, HDMI, headphone jack and audio input. The connections are facing down and it will be difficult to access, except for the one that is always useful for turning.
The On-Screen Display (OSD) array consists of six buttons located at the bottom right of the panel at the bottom of the panel and contains a pre-installed shortcut, menu button, and source button. The buttons are separated from each other by approximately half the distance of the button and give pleasure when pressed.
Navigating the onscreen screen feels a bit awkward, as the menu button and preset shortcuts act as input and output buttons, respectively; I wish Asus could find a less confusing way to implement its screen controls. The screen contains pre-installed standard, sRGB, decorative mode and theatrical mode, as well as one additional custom mode. Also included are brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, gamma, and advanced color settings, including six-color tint and saturation adjustment and direct RGB color control by boost and offset. More useful options are rounding, aspect ratio adjustment, picture-in-picture (PIP) adjustments, and system setup options such as on-screen window placement and on-screen duration.
Today, the most unusual feature in the already extensive PA248Q OSD menu is QuickFit. QuickFit places an overlay of your choice either with grid patterns (different units) or with paper and photo sizes. With grid templates, you can more accurately and consistently organize content on a page, say, by designing graphics for the web.
Paper sizes and photos would show what the papers and photos would look like when printed. This seems less useful since any self-respecting graphic artist may have already used Photoshop or some other program for this purpose. Still, this is a unique option that makes some more useful than others.
|Design and feature highlights|
|Connectivity||DVI, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort|
|Ergonomic options||20-degree back tilt, 5-degree front tilt, swivel, 90-degree pivot, height adjustment|
|VESA wall-mount support||Yes|
|Included video cables||DVI, VGA|
|Screen film||Matte w/AG coating|
|Number of presets||5|
|Picture options||Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Hue, Sharpness|
|Color controls||Red, Green, Blue; 5000K, 5500K, 6500K, 9300K|
|Additional features||Grid overlay, photo-and paper-size overlays|
I tested the Asus PB278Q through its DisplayPort input connected to a Windows 7 PC using a DVI cable. The display shows a composite score of 96 on CNET lab performance tests.
DisplayMate:PB278Q displayed light gray to 254; 255 is considered white, and every level between it and 1 is a variation of gray, so 254 is as high as you can get. The implementation of the PB278Q here indicates that the display will retain contrast and probably not be susceptible to light colors. As for the dark gray, the U2713HM barely shows up to level 6, maintaining a dark black color, indicating that the display is not capable of storing dark details during dark scenes in movies.
The PB278Q excelled in most of our color tests but did not display colors as accurately or as smoothly as the U2713HM, demonstrating more obvious jumps in the progression of the color scale.
In our dark screen test, I look at a screen devoid of color, trying to identify the spots where light from the backlight (known as “clouding”) seeps. Despite some noticeable light coming through the top right corner, the PB278Q did a pretty good job of holding down the unwanted light and overall, the PB278Q showed less backlight than the Dell U2713HM.
Text:The black text on the white looked clear, with no obvious color-tone issues. The fonts were also clearly visible up to 6.8 points.
Movies:I tested the Asus PB278Q using the Avatar version of Blu-ray. The theater pre-installed a decent picture. The colors were bright, but the color temperature was too cool and there were virtually no dark details. The standard mode came out a little better for the dark details, but not so bright.
Games:When evaluating the appearance of games on your monitor, the two most important features to consider are brightness and color. If games with bright and clear clarity can be displayed on the monitor, it contributes to the benefits. If colors can also appear with fullness and depth, games can usually look great. Impressions raise a variety of concerns, which, quite frankly, are not very common for most modern monitors, but if you are concerned, be sure to read the last paragraph in this section.
Different is the lag of the input, which is, simply put, the time that elapses from the moment of typing the action with the keyboard, mouse or game board until you see that the action is represented on the screen. Each monitor has a degree of input lag, but only a very small percentage of people even notice it. That being said, I don’t think it’s something I value enough to test. PSA, above.
The games looked best in Scenery mode. Rich colors have made games such as Crysis 2 and Syndicate from the screen with brightness.
To check the refresh rate, I used DisplayMate graphics motion tests and looked at a number of colored blocks as they moved across the screen at different speeds. The pb278Q showed large shots of the blocks as they moved around the screen, but I did not notice this level of ghosts when actually playing games.
Photos:Looking at faces and blond hair in a standard preset, the PB278Q presented faces with the exact color, especially when using the sRGB preset.
Recommended settings:Each preset is well suited to its task. However, for general use, I preferred the pre-installed SRGB standard where the colors remain accurate and appropriately saturated.
Viewing angle:The optimum viewing angle for the monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen down from the top. At this angle, you view the colors as intended by the manufacturer. Most monitors are not designed to be viewed from any other angle. The image quality at sub-optimal angle depends on the type of panel. Most monitors use TN panels that are too bright or too dark on parts of the screen, if you do not look at optimal angles.
Anti-glare (AG) coating also plays a role. Some viewers prefer to avoid covering at all, while others prefer only a limited number. Still others are completely indifferent; however, AG coating does not adversely affect quality, and its merits, or lack thereof, are strictly dependent on preference.
The PB278Q uses a PLS panel, which gives it a wider viewing range than TN, and also fits most high-end IPS displays.
Here, the AG coating works quite well, retaining most of the prints while maintaining a high contrast, bright appearance; however, the black screen, which looks from an angle, shows some blurred impressions of the environment. This is probably not a problem if you do not plan on constantly bathing it in natural light.
Energy consumption:Armed with LED backlighting, the Asus PB278Q achieved fair power consumption, with a default power / power of 41.5W, compared to the 38.4W Dell UltraSharp U2713HM in the same test.
In our sleep / standby test, the PB278Q costs 0.43 watts and the U2711 lowers 0.35 watts. Based on our formula, the PB278Q will bear less than half the cost of the U2713HM, with an annual draw of $ 12.68, compared to $ 11.70 a year on the U2713HM.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
352 Samsung S27B970
274 Asus PB278
250 Dell U2713
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
1,119:1 Asus PB278
1,040:1 Dell U2713
883:1 Samsung S27B970
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
98 Dell U2713
97 HP ZR2740w
96 Asus PB278
The PB278Q is a great monitor with useful ergonomic parameters and functions. While it works great, its image quality does not quite match the level of the Dell U2713HM; however, with a $ 100 cheaper price, this may not be the case.