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ASUS PB278Q review: ASUS goes WQHD

27-inch monitor has a PLS panel with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels

The ASUS PB278Q is a very stylish WQHD monitor. The colour fidelity is great even with factory settings, and the monitor has a very high contrast and brightness. When you enable overdrive, the response times are good enough for gaming. The energy consumption is low and the features are fairly complete, even if we would have liked to have a USB 3.0 hub. The features that ASUS did add are useful particularly for graphic designers. See also: what's the best display?

ASUS has a number of monitors specifically geared towards photo and video editing, but none with a resolution in excess of Full HD.  The PB278Q has exactly that, with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels on a 27-inch display. Since it is part of the P series this monitor is primarily aimed at the demanding user, such as video editors and graphic designers. Hardware.Info recently reviewed Dell's new WQHD model and many readers wanted to know how it compares to the competing model from ASUS. This is exactly what you can read in this review, where the PB278Q is compared with a number of other screens of the same size and resolution.

WQHD stands for Wide Quad HD and Quad HD, which reflects the fact that 2560x1440 is exactly four times as many pixels as 1280x720, or standard HD resolution. Like Hardware.Info explained in their review of the Dell UltraSharp U2713HM, it's not so much that the picture will look much sharper, but you end up with much more desktop and working space.

The ASUS PB278Q has an average price of £499, which is in the area of other WQHD monitors. In the coming months Philips and LG will introduce 27-inch 2560x1440 monitors of their own, so hopefully the increased competition will cause the prices to drop. On the other hand, the more mature among our readers will remember the days when a good monitor cost £650 to £850, and when you put it in that perspective the ASUS screen is pretty reasonable. You pay a lot, but you also get a lot.

The ASUS PB278Q is a 27-inch display with a 2560x1440 resolution. The screen has a PLS panel from Samsung. PLS is Samsung's alternative for LG's IPS. It's reportedly the same panel as the Samsung SyncMaster S27A850D from about a year ago. This is the first monitor to feature this panel that does not have the Samsung logo. At IFA there already was a PLS model from Philips, but that won't appear until the end of this year at the earliest.  

The connectors on the PB278Q consist of HDMI 1.4, DVI, VGA (Dsub15) and DisplayPort. Because it's HDMI version 1.4, it supports WQHD. The graphics card to which the monitor is connected of course also needs to be HDMI 1.4 compatible, otherwise the resolution will remain at 1920x1080. The monitor has two 3-watt speakers and a memory card reader.

The PB278Q makes it easy to create an ergonomic work space. You can tilt, swivel, pivot and adjust the height of the monitor. There is 12 cm between the highest and the lowest points, which is more than usual. ASUS integrated some nifty features into the PB278Q.

The 'QuickFit Virtual Scale Function' is an on-screen display that tells you the dimensions of various document sizes. It puts the document in a grid on the screen so you can see the actual size of the print-out. You can also crop documents here. The 'Splendid Video Intelligence Technology' are presets for the colour rendering, including a custom setting, sRGB, Theater, Scenery and Standard.

To find out how the ASUS PB278Q performs, read the full review on Hardware.Info.

ASUS PB278Q

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