ASUS: two new HDR monitors

With HDR being the technology to look for in 2017, the new top of the line monitors from different brands are… HDR. Asus has two HDR monitors on display at CES 2017.

The first monitor models using HDR will not be cheap, but if you’ve the money, a monitor like the Asus ProArt PA32U or ROG Swift PG27UQ is something that will be on your desktop for quite a bit of time.

Although Asus had other models on show at CES 2017, the 32-inch ProArt PA32U attracted most attentions. It is the world’s first professional direct-lit LED 4K UHD HDR monitor, delivering breathtaking levels of detail, says Asus. It has a full-array LED backlight with the all-new ASUS LED-driving technology, featuring 384 LED zones and capable of a peak brightness of 1,000cd/m2, which offers a wide range of dynamic luminance for a much richer, nuanced image. The use of quantum dot technology provides a wide color gamut, enabling ProArt PA32U to deliver 99.5% Adobe RGB, 85% Rec. 2020, 100% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3 color-space performance for high-end video editing and production.

ProArt PA32U has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that speed up to 40Gbps, supporting USB3.1 Gen 2 and DisplayPort 1.2. This unique port also turns ProArt PA32U into a docking display, enabling daisy-chaining up to multiple Thunderbolt 3 device, or allows users to connect two 4K UHD displays for increased productivity and more versatile viewing.

Also available in the professional and stylish ProArt Series is the 27-inch ASUS ProArt PA27AQ. Designed for creative professionals, it has a WQHD (2560 x 1440) panel with a 100% sRGB gamut. ProArt PA27AQ also incorporates Thunderbolt 3 for unbelievably fast 40Gbps data transfers. But, no, it isn’t HDR.

Both ProArt monitors feature the exclusive Asus ProArt Calibration Technology, which includes color-accuracy tuning and uniformity compensation for easy monitor calibration. It offers overall data-mapping, correlation and calibration, and saves all the color parameter profiles on the display’s internal scaler IC chip instead of the PC, so users do not have to recalibrate settings whenever the display is hooked up to different devices.

The second HDR monitor on show and attracting attention is the ROG Swift PG27UQ. According to information published by Asus, “4K monitors have typically been limited to a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, forcing a choice between razor sharp visuals and silky smooth gameplay. But not anymore—our new ROG Swift PG27UQ gaming monitor brings the best of both worlds by pushing its Ultra HD resolution up to a blistering 144Hz. On top of that, it taps quantum dots and HDR to produce brighter colors and deeper blacks that make games and other content look more vibrant and lifelike.”

The PG27UQ uses, reveals Asus, a new version of Nvidia’s G-Sync tuned for HDR. High dynamic range refers to the screen’s ability to produce a broader range of brightness, color, and contrast than typical displays. More specifically, the monitor supports the HDR 10 standard currently used by gaming consoles. The screen pumps out up to 1000 cd/m2 of luminance—around 3X the brightness of typical gaming monitors. That would be a bit overpowering spread over the entire screen, but the backlight is divided into 384 distinct zones. Selectively dimming zones maximizes contrast, allowing the monitor to mix piercing whites with bottomless blacks.

Quantum dots also deserve some of the credit for the ROG Swift PG27UQ’s high dynamic range. These luminescent nanoparticles help the screen produce a much wider range of colors than typical PC monitors, resulting in richer shades with smoother gradients. Thanks to their influence, the PG27UQ supports the DCI-P3 color space commonly used by cinema projectors. The wider gamut is literally more cinematic than the sRGB standard for PCs, and more importantly, its palette has 25% more colors.

The PG27UQ is more than a games monitor, though. With a high resolution, high refresh rate, and phenomenal picture, the ROG Swift PG27UQ is versatile enough for gaming, entertainment, and content creation. It’s scheduled to arrive in North America in Q3. Expect to pay around $1200 for this monitor, while the ProArt ProArt PA32U will cost somewhere around $1900.


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Jose Antunes

I am a writer and photographer living on the West Coast of Portugal, a place I tend to call the Atlantic Realm. An area of rugged cliffs and sandy beaches overlooking the sea, a coastal area sitting between the Atlantic Ocean waves and hills and forests with some of the most magical palaces, castles and prehistorical sites for you to visit and photograph. Little hamlets, vast fields, inviting you to a contemplative state of mind. That’s where I live, and the landscape surely makes you what you are.

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