Page 1:Asus PB287Q 28-Inch 4K Monitor Review
Page 2:Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories
Page 3:OSD Setup And Calibration Of The Asus PB287Q
Page 4:Measurement And Calibration Methodology: How We Test
Page 5:Results: Brightness And Contrast
Page 6:Results: Greyscale Tracking And Gamma Response
Page 7:Results: Colour Gamut And Performance
Page 8:Results: Viewing Angles And Uniformity
Page 9:Results: Pixel Response And Input Lag
Page 10:Asus PB287Q: Ultra HD At An Ultra-Low Price
We've seen plenty of buzz about the beauty of gaming at 3840x2160. Up until now, though, that meant spending several grand on a 4K monitor. Asus drives the price down to £600 with its 28-inch PB287Q. But are there sacrifices made in the process?
We kicked off our 4K display coverage at the start of this year with Asus PQ321Q 4K Monitor Review: Top-Shelf Ultra HD For £2800. That was followed by Dell UltraSharp 32 Ultra HD Monitor Review: UP3214Q At £2000. See the pattern so far? At least in the first half of 2014, 4K was a very, very pricey proposition. And it gets worse if you're a gamer trying to push more than 8 million pixels at 60 frames per second. That's a lot of potent graphics hardware.
To be fair, both of the displays we reviewed offered stunning image quality. But they were also saddled with a handful of usability issues that you'd expect from a first-gen, cutting-edge product. In fact, it took AMD and Nvidia some time to optimize their drivers for a more pleasant user experience with Radeon and GeForce cards hooked up to tiled 4K screens. Of course, paying thousands of pounds didn't help make the idiosyncrasies any easier to swallow.
Those displays cost quite a bit less today, though they'll still run you more than £1500 or so. Fortunately, as the second generation of Ultra HD monitors slowly materializes, we expect significantly lower prices. Earlier this year we heard about a 28-inch panel that Samsung, Dell, and Asus were planning to sell at a surprisingly low price point around £600. We're already on the sample list for Samsung's UD590 and Dell's P2815Q. But Asus surprised us with a brand-new PB287Q, just in time for a pre-Computex review.
|Panel Type||TN Film|
|Backlight||W-LED, edge array|
|Max Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Native Colour Depth||10-bit|
|Response Time (GTG)||1 ms|
|Speakers||2 x 2 W|
|HDMI 1.4||2 w/MHL|
|Media Card Reader||-|
W x H x D w/base
|26 x 16.3 x 8.7 in|
660 x 414 x 220 mm
|Panel Thickness||2.5 in / 64 mm|
|Bezel Width||.75 in / 19 mm|
|Weight||17.4 lbs / 7.9 kg|
|Warranty||One year, Zero Bright Dot; Three years. monitor|
A couple of specifications leap out to tell you how Asus got its price so low. Principally, the PB287Q uses TN technology, rather than one of the many flavours of IPS. If you recall our reviews of the 32-inch Ultra HD screens, they are based on an exotic IGZO panel manufactured by Sharp.
The core component here is made by Chi Mei Optoelectronics, sporting a pixel density of 157 ppi. Even though the PB287Q's underlying technology is something of a throwback, Asus doesn't skimp on the remaining features. This is a true 10-bit panel; no frame rate conversion or interpolation is used to increase the bit depth. Even though the vast majority of users will probably use an 8-bit signal chain with this monitor, it accepts 10-bit formats too. And all incoming 8-bit content is upconverted by the PB287Q. The end result is a palette of 1.07 billion colours.
Will that make images any more colourful? Not exactly. What the extra bit depth will do is smooth the gradients in subtle colour transitions. The best examples are blue sky, clouds, or fire. Where an 8-bit panel might exhibit subtle banding or macro-blocking, a 10-bit display can reduce or eliminate those artifacts.
Another feature not mentioned in the spec table is the non-PWM backlight. We have a couple of upcoming reviews of BenQ displays that discuss this in more detail. Essentially, though, pulse-width modulation can result in flicker and eye fatigue for some users. By applying constant current to the backlight and varying brightness at the pixel level, overall intensity can be reduced without introducing flicker. Asus calls its version of the technology EyeCare.
Since the PB287Q is an sRGB display, it’s not specifically aimed at professionals. In fact, the feature set and low price make this more of an enthusiast-oriented monitor. Asus includes some tantalizing features like VividPixel, QuickFit, and GamePlus. Along with the fast response and low input lag endemic to TN panels, it ends up looking best-suited to gamers. Let's take a closer look.
- Asus PB287Q 28-Inch 4K Monitor Review
- Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories
- OSD Setup And Calibration Of The Asus PB287Q
- Measurement And Calibration Methodology: How We Test
- Results: Brightness And Contrast
- Results: Greyscale Tracking And Gamma Response
- Results: Colour Gamut And Performance
- Results: Viewing Angles And Uniformity
- Results: Pixel Response And Input Lag
- Asus PB287Q: Ultra HD At An Ultra-Low Price