Asus's new 4K productivity panel delivers near pro-levels of performance and precision, though its HDR capability is inevitably limited.
Gorgeous 4K IPS panel
Very nicely calibrated
Excellent value for money
Limited HDR support
Slightly plasticky build
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Proper pro displays cost serious money. But how close can you get to a proper professional monitor with what you might call a mid-range prosumer panel? Enter the new Asus ProArt PA279CRV, a relatively affordable monitor that makes a decent impression of a premium pro panel.
Coming in at 27 inches, it's the real 4K deal and offers excellent color coverage from an IPS panel, factory calibration, including Calman verification, and a robust feature set. The latter includes USB-C connectivity with 96W of power delivery and display daisy chaining.
On top of that, you also get Asus's usual high levels of build quality, plus extras, including essential HDR support and a stand that includes rotation into portrait mode. On paper, it seems like many monitors are for your money.
Design and Features
Panel size: 27-inch
Panel type: IPS
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Pixel response: 2ms
Color coverage: 99% Adobe RGB, 99% DCI-P3
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Vesa: 100mm x 100mm
Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4 x2, HDMI 2.0 x2, USB-C with 96W power delivery
The Asus ProArt PA279CRV is nicely put together, predominantly from plastic rather than alloy materials. Slim bezels on three sides of its 27-inch 4K panel keep things mostly clean and contemporary, though a chubby chin bezel slightly undermines the otherwise minimalist vibe.
The stand has you covered in adjustability, height, tilt, swivel, and rotation into portrait mode. Another strong point is connectivity. Most importantly, there's USB-C with 96W power delivery for slick single-cable connectivity. That includes a dual-port USB-A hub. So, you can hook up your laptop, keep it charged, drive the display, and connect peripherals like a keyboard and external storage, all with a single cable.
On top of that, get a DisplayPort 1.4 input and a downstream DisplayPort socket, allowing for display daisy chaining. In other words, you can attach another display to this monitor rather than directly to your PC or MacBook. Nifty.
Moreover, the comprehensive OSD allows access to various factory-calibrated color spaces, including sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, Rec. 709, and Rec. 2020. As for HDR support, it's limited to Vesa DisplayHDR 400, which is entry-level stuff. There's no local dimming, so this isn't an HDR panel. But you can at least run an HDR signal and view colors if not brightness correctly.
The Asus ProArt PA279CRV has a comprehensive factory calibration report, so it's no surprise that it looks great out of the box. That applies to whatever the color mode you select, be that Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, and the rest.
Of course, as a 27-inch monitor with a 4K panel, that means 3,840 by 2,160 pixels and 163DPI. That's good pixel density and gives oodles of image detail and nice crisp fonts. Speaking of which, this monitor works very nicely with Windows, MacOS, and Apple's Mac computers.
Regarding 4K displays running with MacOS, your mileage can vary greatly from one monitor model to the next. But happily, the Asus ProArt PA279CRV gels well with Apple's operating system, offering you a full range of scaling options and lovely clean font rendering.
Anyway, whatever you're using to drive the Asus ProArt PA279CRV, you get lovely, accurate colours and plenty of pop thanks to 400 nits of brightness. This isn't a gaming display, but the pixel response is plenty good enough. As for refresh rate, it's limited to 60Hz, which is largely the norm for this class of productivity panel. Obviously, support for 120Hz or 144Hz would be nice, but it's hardly central to the remit here.
The viewing angles are great as you'd expect from an IPS panel. But as you'd also expect, the main weakness is contrast. Rated at 1,000:1, the Asus ProArt PA279CRV does have basic DisplayHDR 400 certification. But there's no local dimming, and black levels and HDR performance are relatively weak. Again, that's normal for this class of IPS panel, it's just that the emergence of mini-LED backlight and latterly OLED technology has begun to make conventional LCD monitors like this feel a tiny bit dated in those areas.
In an era where everything always seems to cost a bit more than you were expecting, it's great to find Asus bucking the trend with this lovely 27-inch 4K productivity panel. Sure, it lacks true HDR support. But in most other regards, from image quality and colour accuracy to features and connectivity, this is a pretty magnificent monitor for the money.
- Looking for an excellent desk to put your new monitor on? Check out our guide to the best standing desks.
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