Introduction and First Impressions

An IPS display with virtually no bezel and the promise of accurate color.

The ASUS PB258Q is a "frameless" monitor with a full 2560×1440 resolution from a fairly compact 25-inch size, and at first glance it might appear to be a bare LCD panel affixed to a stand. This attractive design also features 100% sRGB coverage and full height/tilt/swivel and rotation adjustment. The price? Less than $400. We'll put it to the test to see just what kind of value to expect here.

A beautiful looking monitor even with nothing on the display

The ASUS PB258Q came out of nowhere one day when I was looking to replace a smaller 1080p display on my desk. Given some pretty serious size constraints I was hesitant to move up to the 27 – 30 inch range for 2560×1440 monitors, but I didn't want to settle for 1920×1080 again. The ASUS PB258Q intrigued me immediately not only due to its interesting size/resolution of 25-inch/1440p, but also for the claimed 100% sRGB coverage and fully adjustable stand. And then I looked over at the price. $376.99 shipped from Amazon with Prime shipping? Done.

The pricing (and compact 25-inch size) made it a more compelling choice to me than the PB278Q, ASUS's "professional graphics monitor" which uses a PLS panel, though this larger display has recently dropped in price to the $400 range. When the PB258Q arrived a couple of days later I was first struck by how compact it is, and how nice the monitor looked without even being powered up.

We'll begin by going over the specs from ASUS:

Panel Size: Wide Screen 25"(63.5cm) 16:9
Color Saturation : 100%(sRGB) 
Panel Backlight / Type : AH-IPS
True Resolution : 2560×1440
Pixel Pitch : 0.216mm
Brightness(Max) : 350 cd/㎡
ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR) : 100000000:1 
Viewing Angle (CR≧10) : 178°(H)/178°(V)
Response Time : 5ms (Gray to Gray)
Display Colors : 16.7M
Flicker free

Video Feature
Trace Free Technology : Yes
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 (Letter/A4/Alignment Grid/Photo Modes)
Low Blue Light : Yes
HDCP support : Yes

Audio Features
Stereo Speakers : 2.5W x 2 Stereo RMS

Convenient Hotkey
SPLENDID Video Preset Mode Selection
Auto. Adjustment
Brightness Adjustment
Volume Adjustment
Input Selection

I/O Ports
Signal Input : HDMI/MHL, D-Sub, DisplayPort 1.2, Dual-link DVI-D
PC Audio Input : 3.5mm Mini-Jack 
Earphone jack : 3.5mm Mini-Jack

Mechanical Design
Chassis Colors : Black
Tilt : +20°~-5°
Swivel : Yes
Pivot : Yes
Height Adjustment : Yes
VESA Wall Mounting : 100x100mm
Frameless Design : Yes
Quick Release Stand Design : Yes

Phys. Dimension with Stand(WxHxD): 570.8 x 411.4 x 220mm
Phys. Dimension without Stand(WxHxD) :570.8 x 340.9 x 59.6mm (For VESA Wall Mount)

The PB258Q arrived in an ordinary-looking box far smaller than you might expect thanks to the monitor's compact design, and inside it was sandwiched between two thick layers of styrofoam and very well protected.

Accessories are plentiful, and include a displayPort cable, dual-link DVI cable, HDMI cable, VGA cable, 3.5mm audio cable, power cord, a bracket for organizing cables on the back of the stand, and paperwork.

Right out of the box this display looks very different from most, and its "frameless" design is striking. There is only a thin strip of plastic trim surround the the sides and top of the display, with a much thicker bezel still present along the bottom edge.

Around back things look a lot more functional, and the display is easily adjusted for height and rotates smoothly.

The swivel functionality is different than that of my previous monitors (Dell) in that the entire base swivels on a rotating rubber foot.

The monitor was extremely easy to assemble thanks to a simple locking mechanism between base and display, and with a standard VESA mount the PB258Q allows for any number of custom installations without the base.

A look at the input options

OSD Menu

There is a plethora of veiwing modes and picture control adjustments available in the OSD menu. From a number of preset color modes, to blue light reduction, to separate color/saturation/tone controls, it's easy to get overwhelmed (just me?). For the purposes of this review I left it at sRGB since my concern was with color accuracy as I purchased the display for photo editing (and maybe a little gaming).

There is also an adjustable overdrive control provided under the "Trace Free" heading, with individual controls from 0 – 100.

So how does the display look? Read on for a look at color performance.

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