A unique combo of size and resolution
ASUS sent over a non-gaming display for us to take a look at the, the PB328Q, that combines a 32-in size and 2560×1440 resolution.
We see all kinds of monitors at PC Perspective; honestly it's probably too many. It's rare when a form factor or combination of features really feels unique, but today's review of the ASUS PB328Q is exactly that. Have we seen 2560×1440 displays? Countless. More than a few VA panels have graced our test benches. And 30-32 inch monitors were the biggest rage in screen technology as far back as 2007. A refresh rate of 75Hz is no longer as novel a feature as it used to be either.
The ASUS PB328Q combines all of that into a package that stands out from other professional, low cost monitor options. The largest 2560×1440 monitor that I have used previously is 27-inches, and the 5-in difference between that and what the PB328Q offers is an immediately obvious change. The question is though, does the size and resolution combination, along with the panel technology, combine to a form a product that is good for productivity, gaming, both, or neither? With a price of just $539 on Amazon, many users might be interested in the answer.
Here are the specifications for the ASUS PB328Q display.
|ASUS PB328Q Specifications|
|Screen Size||32 inch|
|Panel Technology||VA (vertical alignment)|
|Tilt Angle||-5 to +20 degrees|
|Standard Refresh Rate||75 Hz|
|Color Supported||1073.1M (10-bit) with 12-bit Look-up Table|
|Contrast Ratio||100,000,000:1 (ASCR)|
|Tearing Prevention Technology||None|
|Speakers||3W x 2 Stereo RMS|
|3.5mm Audio Output||Yes|
|Package Contents||Dual-link DVI cable
USB 3.0 cable
For those new to VA panel technology, is helps to have some background before we start testing the PB328Q. Vertical alignment panels are very good at blocking the backlight coming through the screen to the user's eyes, making them excellent at producing strong blacks and high contrast ratios when compared to other LCD technology. VA also results in vastly improved color reproduction and viewing angles, falling above TN and (usually) below IPS screens in that area.
However, this comes at the cost of pixel response time. In general, VA panels have slower pixels, so we may need take ASUS' claim of a 4ms response time in the specifications above to task once we see the ghosting and overdrive results on the monitor.
The 2560×1440 resolution with a 75Hz maximum refresh rate is going to be a significant screen space and draw rate jump for anyone coming from a 1080p 60Hz panel. Even with the 32-in screen size, pixel pitch is good and you'd be hard pressed to find fault in the size of pixels in a normal usage scenario.
The PB328Q is a 10-bit panel with a 12-bit look-up table, giving the screen the ability to offer "significantly smoother tonal transitions and improves hue divergence by improving the gamma curve of each RGB color in the output." (Source: Eizo.com) General consumers might not need that kind of added level of color accuracy but professionals looking for a low cost monitor to do content creation work definitely will appreciate it.