Asus ProArt PA32UC mon­i­tor

A VER­SA­TILE MON­I­TOR THAT OF­FERS STRONG – IF IM­PER­FECT – COLOUR AC­CU­RACY ALL THE WAY ACROSS ITS 32IN PANEL

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - TIM DANTON

Asus may be best known for sleek lap­tops and en­thu­si­ast motherboards, but over the past few years its ProArt mon­i­tors have carved out a de­signer niche. The name says it all: these colour-ac­cu­rate dis­plays are aimed at peo­ple who need re­al­is­tic colours to make their liv­ing.

The PA32U is Asus’ largest such mon­i­tor yet – and it’s stun­ning. Not only is the twotone sil­ver and black fin­ish stylish, it’s the best-made mon­i­tor I’ve used. That dainty­look­ing pil­lar sup­ports the hefty frame with ease and is in­cred­i­bly flex­i­ble: you can pivot the screen in ei­ther di­rec­tion, and it ro­tates slickly from side to side by up to 60°.

The ProArt PA32U comes pre-tuned for sRGB and Adobe RGB pro­files, with two A4 print-outs in the box that show how your dis­play per­formed in the cal­i­bra­tion tests. Asus won’t re­lease a ProArt mon­i­tor un­less it has suit­ably strong colour ac­cu­racy and uni­for­mity: be­low 2 Delta E for ac­cu­racy, and be­low 4 for uni­for­mity. You can also calibrate it your­self, and Asus in­cludes an X-Rite i1 Dis­play Pro in the box, along with a CD to load its Asus ProArt Cal­i­bra­tion soft­ware. How­ever, Eizo’s 27in ColorEdge CG277 goes one bet­ter by hav­ing a col­orime­ter built into the bezel, which au­to­mat­i­cally cal­i­brates the screen.

It’s no sur­prise that the ProArt per­formed strongly when we put it through our range of colour ac­cu­racy tests. It av­er­aged 1.04 Delta E for colour ac­cu­racy in sRGB mode, al­though this rose to 1.87 in Adobe RGB. I also checked for variations in bright­ness and con­trast across the screen, and in the main its re­sults were en­cour­ag­ing: us­ing a 5x5 grid, it proved in­cred­i­bly con­sis­tent in the cen­tral 3x3 squares; the only cause for con­cern was a bright­ness vari­ance of around 8% in the cor­ners.

Its other vi­tal stats are equally im­pres­sive. Ac­cord­ing to our own X-Rite col­orime­ter, it cov­ers 99.7% of the sRGB colour gamut, 97.5% of Adobe RGB and 94.3% of DCI-P3. Its gamma track­ing proved strong too. Whether you’re match­ing to print or in­tend­ing to out­put video, you can have con­fi­dence.

In sRGB mode, it isn’t the bright­est screen around at 290cd/m2, but I found it most com­fort­able at around 150cd/m2 in an of­fice. Asus pro­vides a num­ber of pre­sets with the mon­i­tor, but you may de­cide to cre­ate your own. There are two user modes to choose from, or you can flick to sRGB, Adobe RGB, Rec.2020, DCI-P3 and HDR mode us­ing the OSD.

Note that you won’t want to fid­dle with these con­trols much. They’re all se­lected via a mini joy­stick on the rear of the screen, on the right-hand side. Us­ing this to scroll through the op­tions this is fine: the prob­lem is se­lect­ing which of the set­tings you want to con­trol, be­cause each are activated by a but­ton that’s also po­si­tioned on the rear of the screen.

This mi­nor ag­gra­va­tion aside, the four dif­fer­ent blue light set­tings will be a wel­come in­clu­sion for any­one who gazes at screens all day, while an align­ment grid (com­plete with pre­sets for A4 and B5, plus a ruler over­lay) could come in handy for print de­sign­ers.

Frankly, though, this screen is overkill for print due to its sheer size. With a 3,840 x 2,160 res­o­lu­tion across that 32in di­ag­o­nal, it de­liv­ers a level of de­tail that’s bet­ter suited to pho­tog­ra­phers and video ed­i­tors. With Ul­tra HD Pre­mium cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, it’s ideal for any­one who wants to cre­ate HDR im­ages and videos. That’s in part due to 384 LED zones, which al­low it to hit over 1,000cd/m2 bright­ness in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. Asus also cov­ers ev­ery ma­jor con­nec­tion, with two Thun­der­bolt 3 ports that can de­liver up to 60W of power to con­nected de­vices. Add a Dis­playPort, four HDMI in­puts and a USB hub, plus a re­spectable pair of 3W speak­ers, and this mon­i­tor wants for noth­ing. There’s even Pic­ture-in-Pic­ture sup­port, via Asus’ bun­dled soft­ware.

Against it? First, I can’t ig­nore the 27in Eizo ColorEdge CG277 with its built-in col­orime­ter for around $3,500. Sec­ond, its per­for­mance in colour-ac­cu­racy tests aren’t as strong as the best Eizo and NEC screens, with the CG277 once again tak­ing top hon­ours. But then again, if you want a 32in Eizo you’ll need to buy the su­perb 32in Eizo CG3184K – a snip at $6,800.

In that con­text, the Asus starts to look like a bar­gain. The three­year war­ranty helps too: if there’s a bright dot within that time, it will swap out the mon­i­tor. And thanks to its Ul­tra HD cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for edit­ing 4K, HDR ma­te­rial, the ProArt is the most af­ford­able op­tion go­ing.

KEY SPECS

32in 3,840 x 2,160 IPS panel • 120Hz • 5ms re­sponse time • Dis­playPort 1.2 • 4 x HDMI

2 • 2 x Thun­der­bolt 3 USB-C; USB hub (2 x USB 3, USB-C) • hard­ware cal­i­bra­tion • PiP/ PbP • 2 x 3W speak­ers • -5° to 23° tilt • pivot • 130mm height ad­just­ment • 727 x 229 x 470-600mm (WDH) • 11.4kg • 3yr swap-out war­ranty

$3,499 • www.asus.com/au

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