4K for $649

ASUS is following in Samsung’s footsteps with a low cost, single stream (SST) 4K monitor. Is it better than the competition?

The growth and adoption of 4K resolution panels (most commonly 3840×2160) has really been the biggest story of the past year or so in the world of PC gaming. After a couple of TVs that ran at 3840×2160 over HDMI at 30 Hz found there way into our offices, the first real 60 Hz 4K monitor that I got some hands on time with was the ASUS PQ321Q. This monitor was definitely targeted at the profressional market with its IGZO display (near IPS quality) and somewhat high price tag of $3500. It has since dropped to $2400 or so but it remains somewhat complicated by the use of MST technology (multi-stream transport) that was required to hit 60 Hz.

Earlier this month I took a look at the Samsung U28D590D 28-in 4K panel that was capable of 60 Hz refresh rates for just $699. This display used a single-stream transport DisplayPort connection to keep setup simple but used a TN panel rather than IPS/IGZO. This meant viewing angles were not as strong (though better than most TN screens you have seen before) but…that price! 

Today we have our second low cost, SST 4K monitor to evaluate, the ASUS PB287Q. We saw it at CES back in January and with a launch date of June 10th and an MSRP $649, ASUS is setting itself up for an impressive release. 

So what can you expect if you purchase the ASUS PB287Q 4K monitor? In short you get an adequate screen that won't live up to IPS standards but is just good enough for the PC gamer and productivity user in all of us. You'll also get a form factor that well exceeds that of the Samsung U28D590D with fully moveable stand and VESA mounting. And a price of $649 for a 3840×2160 screen doesn't hurt either.

Read on the next pages for more details on the user experience in Windows 8.1 as well as while gaming to see if this is the right monitor for you to buy this summer!

Specifications (from ASUS.com)

Panel Size Wide Screen 28" (71.12cm) 16
True Resolution 3840×2160 at 60Hz (DisplayPort) ,3840×2160 at 30Hz (HDMI)
Pixel Pitch 0.16mm
Brightness(Max) 300 cd/㎡
ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR) 100000000
Viewing Angle (CR≧10) 170°(H)/160°(V)
Response Time 1ms (Gray to Gray)
Display Colors 1073.7M (10bit)
LCD ZBD Warranty Yes
Video Feature  
  Trace Free Technology
  SPLENDID Video Intelligence Technology
SPLENDID Video Preset Modes 8 Modes (sRGB Mode/Scenery Mode/Theater Mode/Standard Mode/Night View Mode/Game Mode/Reading Mode/Darkroom Mode)
Skin-Tone Selection 3 Modes
Color Temperature Selection 4 Modes
QuickFit (modes) Yes ( Modes)
GamePlus(modes) Yes (Aimpoint/Timer)
  HDCP support
Audio Features  
Stereo Speakers 2W x 2 Stereo RMS
  Convenient Hotkey
SPLENDID Video Preset Mode Selection  
  Auto. Adjustment
  Brightness Adjustment
  Contrast Adjustment
  Volume Adjustment
  Input Selection
I/O Ports  
Signal Input HDMI , HDMI/MHL, DisplayPort
PC Audio Input 3.5mm Mini-Jack
Earphone jack 3.5mm Mini-Jack (for HDMI & DisplayPort Only)
Signal Frequency  
Digital Signal Frequency 24~99KHz(H) / 30~75Hz(V)
Power Consumption  
Power ON (Typical) < 60W*
Power Saving Mode < 0.5W
Power Off Mode < 0.5W
Voltage 100–240V, 50 / 60 Hz
Mechanical Design  
Chassis Colors Black
Tilt +20°~-5°
Swivel Yes
Pivot Yes
Height Adjustment Yes
VESA Wall Mounting 100x100mm
Security Kensington lock
Phys. Dimension with Stand(WxHxD) 660×414(lowest)x220.06 mm
Phys. Dimension without Stand(WxHxD) 660.26×380.67×63.55 mm
Box Dimension (WxHxD) 764x465x224 mm
Net Weight (Esti.) 7.9kg
Gross Weight (Esti.) 10.6kg
  Cable Clamp
  Audio cable
  Power cord
  DisplayPort cable (Optional)
  Quick start guide
  HDMI cable (Optional)
  Warranty Card
  MHL cable (Optional)

Though not specifically stated, the PB287Q is definitely a TN panel, though as I mentioned above, probably looks better than any other TN monitor you have seen before. The screen itself is basically identical to that of the Samsung 4K U28D590D so the viewing quality of these two competing monitors are going to be the same. It's the rest of the package around the ASUS PB287Q that helps it stand out. You have the improved stand, you have a better on-screen display, more features integrated. 

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