ASUS PB278Q 27-inch WQHD PLS LED Monitor Review

ASUS PB278Q - Final Thoughts

Overall, ASUS' PB278Q comes in a simple package that allows alot of collaborative and productive flexibility with 60 degree side-to-side swivel, 90 degree rotation, +5/-20 degree tilt, and height adjustments.  The viewing angles, vibrant (and quite accurate) colors, and great contrast ratio seems to make a pretty strong case for the first PLS panel we here at Tech Kings have gotten our hands on.  We didn't feel like the day-to-day usage was noticeably better or worse than an IPS display, that is, until we got into literally playing with the PB278Q.  Gaming is a pleasure, and the low response times mean gaming is possible without the frustration-inducing input lag or ghosting.  Movies are great, and its 27-inch size lends very well to watching movies and other multimedia.


The default sRGB color accuracy was quite good with an average Delta E value of 2.14, and after calibration we were able to achieve an average Delta E of 1.15, measured with an X-rite i1Display Pro at the center of the panel.  The brightness range of the backlight went from a low of about 60 Nits to a high of the rated 300 Nits maximum brightness, which should meet the brightness needs of almost any environment.  The PWM used to control the backlight brightness runs at 225 Hz, so we didn't notice any flicker, even at low brightnesses. 




The overall uniformity was pretty good, but the corners had a bit of light bleed and the left edge suffered a bit more than the rest of the panel.  Any bleeding that our i1Display Pro was able to measure, however, waasn't noticeable with the naked eye or in our attempts to capture the "bright spots" with a DSLR at various exposure settings at full aperture.  The color uniformity was consistent and affected by the brighter corners and left edge, and they followed a similar pattern.  Contrast ratios and color accuracy were best in the center and middle-bottom of the panel, with both become slightly worse as you went towards the top and right edge.  The left edge was distinctly worse than the right, but the overall difference wasn't enough for us to be too concerned with.


The Samsung S27A850D is a very similarly-spec'd PLS monitor which lacks any height adjustment and doesn't have anything to claim over the PB278Q in aesthetics, and it's $100 more than ASUS' offering.  The closest IPS monitor with a nearly identical feature set and, only recently, at the same price is the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM.  So if you're sold on IPS over PLS, or vice versa, those are the two that will probably stand together at the $700 price point.  Relatively-speaking, the $700 mark is a bit of a sweet spot, about $100 below most other comparable IPS and PLS displays while offering a very solid overall package. 


I've really enjoyed our first exposure to PLS displays, not so much because the panel itself is remarkably better than IPS, it's really difficult if not impossible to tell them apart when you're looking at them side-by-side, but rather its versatility advantage.  I love that a monitor I can use for graphics and video editing can just a few minutes later be used to play Battlefield 3 or watch a  movie with car chases and explosions without feeling like your being lagged or ghosted into frustration.  Games take on a much more immersive feel with the depth of colors and the large 27-inch size, and it's really a case of it being difficult to go back to much else when you know what you are missing.


The Good


The Bad

  • Flexible orientation (tilt, swivel, height, and rotation)
  • Admirable color accuracy and quality
  • Overall uniformity is pretty good
  • No noticeable flicker
  • Very little ghosting
  • Good viewing angles
  • Color accuracy falls off on the edges
  • Slight backlight bleeding in the corners
  • No USB Hub

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# tuta 2013-02-18 19:07
$649?? humm, I prefer 29" 21:9...