Is Asus PA278QV a good middle ground for photo editing and gaming?

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  • #60445
    Twiker222

    I wanna switch to a 27″ 1440p display for photo editing but i do game occasionally. Would be an ASUS PA278QV, a good option? I cant find any reviews about it.

    The only other options i see in this price range is LG 27GL850 which is better suited for gaming since 144Hz and its less color accurate and has super low contrast even for an IPS and blacks aren’t uniform. And Dell U2520D which has a good out of the box color accuracy, better contrast and decent input lag but is 60Hz. I know it is not 27″ but Dell U2719D is said to have bad uniformity issues.

    Are there any recommendations you could give or maybe you know something more about the new Asus PA278QV that you could share?

    #60448
    PCM2

    Hi Twiker222 and welcome,

    That’s an excellent question and the short answer is yes, I do think the ASUS PA278QV is a good middle ground for a mixture of photo editing and casual gaming. I’ve actually received some rather positive feedback about that model, including from somebody who uses it for mixed uses including gaming and photo editing. He was very impressed by the factory calibration, he owns a colorimeter but only ended up using it to assist with colour channel adjustment. Gamma tracking was just fine and the monitor is configured for strong sRGB colour accuracy. He enjoyed the gaming experience, too. He was using a Dell U2415 for photo editing and a BenQ XL2420T for gaming. He couldn’t bare to go back to 60Hz but really wanted to try out the 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution – he found the 75Hz refresh rate a nice compromise and the overall image quality of the ASUS really impressed him. He also claimed to be sensitive to input lag but didn’t have an issue with that on the PA278QV, so make of that what you will.

    In the recommendations section the Dell U2719D has been a key listing. But that’s largely due to the fact I have experience with that model and have a lot of (mainly positive) user feedback on it. ASUS are extremely selective about the review samples they supply here in the UK and don’t currently offer the PA278QV, unfortunately. But I do give it an honourable mention alongside the Dell and it isn’t impossible that it will become a key recommendation itself if enough solid (positive) data comes in. The ‘4-side borderless’ design of the Dell does indeed make it more prone to uniformity issues. All 3 users who have directly given me feedback on the ASUS have reported only minor uniformity issues. The addition of Adaptive-Sync is a nice little touch for gaming as well, plus the fact it will comfortably run at 75Hz without strong ‘interlace pattern artifacts’ as you get as a side-effect of doing that on the U2719D. At least, nobody has reported this so it seems like a non-issue on the ASUS.

    Edit Further into this thread a bit of a comparison is drawn with the Dell U2520D as well. And there’s also a comparison with the Gigabyte M27Q.

    I also confirm that the PA278CV uses the same panel (M270KCJ-L5B) and would be a very good shout if you like the sound of the ‘QV’ model but would find the addition of USB-C helpful.

    #60450
    Twiker222

    Thank you for a quick reply!

    I was debating for last 2 days what should I get looking at reviews because it’s a really tough choice to pick something that can do a lil bit of both.

    Yeah I saw the Dell U2719D in recommendations and looked at the reviews on shop sites. Even tho they were mostly positive, the biggest con listed was always uniformity. Also that additional 15Hz in Asus PA278QV will make gaming as well as reading documents more pleasurable. I just hope that input lag isnt very bad.

    I think im gonna give it a try and buy Asus PA278QV. I hope it turns out great without any defects. I know that ASUS probably cut cost on the external build quality to get it where it is but i hope it will be decent. If i don’t forget I can leave my opinion about it when I get it delivered. Unfortunately I don’t own a colorimeter so its just gonna be more like a hands-on experience.

    #60453
    PCM2

    Your thoughts would be appreciated, even if just general impressions. 🙂

    #60640
    PCM2

    Did you go for the PA278QV and if so do you have any impressions to share?

    #60648
    vlad

    Yeah, I’m interested in this model as well. At first I was set on getting one of those gaming monitors (LG 27GL850, BENQ EX2780Q, AORUS FI27Q-P), but what ticks me off is that they don’t seem to offer good calibrated srgb preset out of the box, and I can’t calibrate it myself. At least I know that with that Asus model I’ll be getting a perfect picture, at a cost of 70Hz. Of course, first I would need some verification that the response time isn’t above that advertised 5ms and that adaptive sync is working flawlessly.. but there aren’t any real reviews out there.

    Damn, choosing and buying a monitor is a pain. Hopefully, Dell would save me with their upcoming Dell S2721DGF, and offer good out of the box calibration. It would be great if you get a chance to review that model.

    #60656
    PCM2

    I’m afraid, having checked the manual of the S2721DGF, there doesn’t seem to be an sRGB setting or preset. And user feedback seems to corroborate that this is lacking. Do you use an AMD or Nvidia GPU?

    #60657
    vlad

    I plan on getting nvidia 3070 gpu when it comes out. I know that you can tweak some settings in amd control panel and improve srgb mode, but I have better experiences with the green team and I’m sticking with them. Shame about Dell, but I’m still interested in seeing some reviews. I’ll probably buy PA278QV or LG 27GL850, if I can find someone reliable to calibrate it for me.

    @ Twiker222

    I’m interested in your experiences with PA278QV as well. Can you please share some impressions?

    #60696
    CrumpetSandwhich

    Hi guys,

    I’m posting here because PCM politely asked me by email to give my impressions of the PA278QV, which I’ve been using for about a month now. Now I’m not a monitor expert and don’t have a lot of experience with other screens. But I can say that this monitor is a keeper and a solid upgrade from my old time monitor (27″ Samsung SA850). I have an X-Rite calibrator for non-professional purposes, just because I like things to look as they should. With my old monitor this was ESSENTIAL because the image was dim and lacking dark details without it. With the Asus that isn’t the case. The calibrator is just used mainly to help me make a few tweaks on the monitor, the image doesn’t change much afterwards. Not the dramatic changes I saw on the old screen!

    I’m no hardcore gamer, but I enjoy a bit of casual RPG gaming. The Samsung was laggy and the 60Hz refresh rate was a bit slow for me. I know 75Hz doesn’t seem like a big upgrade from 60Hz in numbers. But it really makes a nice difference. And I don’t have the problem with lag so I think this monitor has much lower input lag. I can’t measure this or prove this, it’s just my feeling. Aside from that the monitor is well built, maybe I got lucky but I don’t notice a lot of bleed or glow either. It’s hard not to recommend this monitor for the price, thanks again PCM for encouraging me to take the plunge!

    #60698
    PCM2

    Hi CrumpetSandwhich,

    You’re welcome and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the ASUS PA278QV with the forum. I’ve certainly received a decent amount of positive feedback on it so it’s nice to have some of that shared publicly as well. I hope you continue to enjoy the monitor and I’m glad it’s hitting the spot for you.

    #60720
    vlad

    Thanks for sharing @ CrumpetSandwich. It really looks like a great, safe and budget friendly option for everyone looking for a 1440p 27″ monitor for all-around usage.

    #60733
    vlad

    Some users are reporting that you can’t change the brightness in srgb mode 🙁

    #60735
    PCM2

    The PA278QV‘s colour gamut shouldn’t stray too far from sRGB anyway. Since this is really just a standard gamut monitor, it’s hardly a big issue for most users – note how CrumpetSandwhich specifically mentions they only used the colorimeter for OSD tweaking and didn’t feel the need beyond that? And if colour accuracy is so important that the slight extension beyond sRGB is problematic, you really should be looking into a colorimeter or spectrophotometer and calibrating and profiling the monitor properly yourself. I appreciate some users like a strict sRGB gamut for gaming etc. so a flexible sRGB emulation setting is desirable there. But it’s certainly much less of an issue here than on a model with much more extension beyond sRGB, like the LG 27GL850 mentioned earlier.

    For reference, the ‘sRGB Mode’ of the PA278QV is fixed at a target luminance of 100 cd/m² and 6500K for colour temperature (could be off and can shift over time anyway). Some ASUS models have an ‘sRGB Mode’ that simply locks off various controls without providing any sort of gamut emulation, especially if they’re standard gamut models.

    #60818
    PCM2

    Both PRAD and RTINGS have now reviewed the PA278QV, and they both hold it in quite high regard. It offers fairly low input lag, particularly at 75Hz, and offers competent pixel responsiveness for the refresh rate which is well-tuned at a ‘TraceFree’ setting of ’60’. It is well-calibrated overall, with good ‘2.2’ gamma tracking. Contrast is as expected (~1000:1, a bit either side depending on settings). The colour gamut extends a bit beyond sRGB natively, but nothing extreme – it is cut back with the ‘sRGB’ setting, but as noted earlier brightness is locked. The colour temperature was~500K off target for 6500K on both PRAD and RTINGS review samples, although in opposite directions. This sort of deviation is common and it can be expected that colour balance (including green channel) will drift over time, which is why I’d always recommend a colorimeter if strong adherence to a particular colour temperature is important. And you need to consider your lighting environment and how that affects your perception of shades rather than just targeting ‘6500K’ and automatically thinking that’s appropriate.

    I don’t feel RTINGS or PRAD gives a complete idea of screen surface, as it is definitely something which needs a bit of subjective description and comparison. As a 3D structure. But by connecting the dots on both reviews and broader user feedback on the PA278QV, including images of the screen whilst off, I’d classify the screen surface as ‘light matte anti-glare’. It shouldn’t have clear graininess to it – most users will be just fine with this, it’ll be fairly similar to the BenQ PD2705Q in that regard and significantly lighter (lower haze value) than the U2719D‘s screen surface. Another potential point of concern for some is that the monitor does not use DC dimming for the backlight but rather uses PWM at a very high frequency. It appears to have a cycling frequency of several kHz. So it’s not something I suggest most people should concern themselves with. Naturally it would’ve been nice and also reassuring for people if DC dimming was used instead, but it should still be considered ‘flicker-free’ for most users, as marketed. Indeed, it got a tick from the TÜV Rheinland certification body in the ‘flicker-free’ box.

    #60819
    vlad

    Factory calibrated sRGB mode is one of the main selling points of the monitor, so it’s disappointing imo that you can’t change the brightness setting. I don’t have the tools and knowledge to calibrate it myself. Regardless of that, it’s hard to beat this monitor at that price point. But I’ve decided to go for a higher refresh rate models (BenQ EX2780Q and LG 27GN850-B are my top two picks atm), mainly because I plan on getting nvidia 3070 gpu when it launches.. so it would be a shame to bottleneck it with 75Hz monitor.

    #60822
    PCM2

    Well, as I pointed out in my previous post it isn’t a huge issue in this case. Certainly not compared to what it might be if the colour gamut was natively more generous than it is (it sticks much closer to sRGB than any other standard and the extension beyond is far from extreme). And regardless of how strong factory calibration may or may not be, things shift over time so if excellent sRGB performance is very important then there’s simply no substitute for your own colorimeter or spectrophotometer. Either way, I agree that having a flexible sRGB setting (including accurate emulation and brightness control) is always preferred over not having one. 😉

    #61718
    MLSN

    Hey,

    I am new on the forum, and I had been looking to buy the Asus PA278QV for my home office/gaming setup, and I was wondering whether the positive feedback is still considered (I know the last posts are not from too long ago). I will try and write my own specs below, and I hope I am posting it a proper place, and that I can get some feedback on the relevance of this monitor for my multi-purpose stuff:

    1. Macbook Pro (2016, 13 inch, 2.9 GHz i5) – Watching movies, surfing the net, light Excel, PowerPoint, and photo editing
    2. Lenovo T470P (i7) – heavy Excel and PowerPoint stuff for work
    3. Dell G5 5587 (i5-8300H, 2.3 GHz, 8 GB Ram, 60 Hz refresh rate, Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti) – WC3 Reforged, WOW and CS GO

    First I was actually considering a 144 Hz gaming monitor, specifically one of the following: BenQ EX2780Q, ASUS VG27AQ, LG 27GL850-B. However, I could save about 100 – 150 EUR by choosing the Asus PA278QV, and my gaming needs are rather basic, as I do not plan on playing any other games besides the abovementioned. The key things for me are 1) it connects smoothly with my MacBook, 2) I can play CS GO without any lag issues, but I do not care (and I most likely won’t notice) small improvements due to coming from playing without an external monitor), 3) as long as gameplay/lag is decent, I care more about general video quality when watching movies and in gaming

    Will a 144 Hz screen even matter much as my Dell G5 only has 60 Hz?

    I look forward to hearing back!

    Thanks!

    #61720
    PCM2

    Hi MLSN,

    The ASUS PA278QV is still a model we recommend, yes. In fact we’re currently reviewing it and this will help add further colour to the experience. Nothing I’ve come across in my testing so far would make me rescind the recommendation, in fact I’m finding it just reinforces it. The review is still a few weeks away from being published and I certainly haven’t tested everything. But given what you’ve said in your post it strikes me as the most suitable choice for you. I don’t think you’ll gain enough extra enjoyment out of the 144Hz models to justify the extra cost. You might – but you’d only get a suitably high frame rate on CSGO and on the desktop rather than on the other games you play. Note that you’d be able to play at 2560 x 1440 at up to 144Hz on your Dell G5 – it doesn’t matter what the internal screen supports, that doesn’t limit the external display. But I feel you’d probably find find the bump up from 60Hz to 75Hz nice enough and the ASUS PA model should fit your overall preferences.

    Refresh rate aside, the only thing I would say is that something like the EX2780Q or LG 27GL850 would also provide more vibrant and saturated output due to the more generous colour gamut. The PA278QV on the other hand provides a ‘rich an natural’ image that’s more faithful to the original developer intentions. People tend to have their own preferences for one or the other. If you prefer the ‘rich and natural’ look or are quite ambivalent then it would just reinforce the PA as the most appropriate choice, really.

    #61733
    MLSN

    Hey PCM2,

    Thank you very much for the quick and detailed response to my question!

    I am glad to hear that the review (so far) has not brought any negative news to the review. Based on what you have written, and what I could already read from the rest of the conversation, I will go for the ASUS PA278QV. I think this screen will be most beneficial, and the combined effect from higher refresh rate, better graphics, and more should be more than enough of a boost in CS GO. I even think the screen brightness (cd/m2) is higher, which in itself also would bring some improvement. Looking at the customer reviews on Amazon, these also seem very positive.

    #61874
    PCM2

    Our review of the ASUS PA278QV is now live.

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