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ASUS PB328Q 2560x1440 32-in VA-panel Monitor Review

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Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: ASUS

A unique combo of size and 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 2560x1440 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.

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The ASUS PB328Q combines all of that into a package that stands out from other professional, low cost monitor options. The largest 2560x1440 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
Screen Mode WQHD
Response Time 4ms
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Backlight Technology LED
Panel Technology VA (vertical alignment)
Tilt Angle -5 to +20 degrees
Adjustable Height Yes
Video
Maximum Resolution 2560x1440
Standard Refresh Rate 75 Hz
Color Supported 1073.1M (10-bit) with 12-bit Look-up Table
Contrast Ratio 100,000,000:1 (ASCR)
Brightness 300 nits
Tearing Prevention Technology None
Audio
Speakers 3W x 2 Stereo RMS
Interfaces/Ports
DisplayPort Yes
HDMI Yes
DVI Yes
3.5mm Audio Output Yes
Physical Characteristics
Color Black
Miscellaneous
Package Contents Dual-link DVI cable
VGA cable
Audio cable
Power cord
DisplayPort cable
USB 3.0 cable
HDMI 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.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS PB328Q Monitor!!

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. 

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The 2560x1440 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.


February 11, 2016 | 05:01 PM - Posted by Blackermagic (not verified)

Thanks for the timely review. I was actually considering this monitor to replace an Asus VK246H.

I currently have PC and XBox One connected to this older 24" panel, and would be the same that I would connect to the new monitor.

Do you have more information on the OverDrive Testing? What were the refresh rates you were running at? Which input were you using while connecting the test? Did you test all the inputs? Did you try other sources like PS4 or XBox One?

Thanks!
Steve

February 11, 2016 | 05:47 PM - Posted by Dr_Orgo

The panels overdrive characteristics are independent of the input and source. The refresh rate and monitor settings are the only things that change ghosting properties of a given panel. Testing of overdrive is very figured out at this point, so the results PC Perspective or TFT Central get are robust, even if it's not what you want to hear.

February 11, 2016 | 06:00 PM - Posted by ThE_MarD

Heyyo, well this is a 2560x1440 monitor so using an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 would not be ideal since they output 1920x1080... The resolution difference is 1.333333~ times the resolution scale, so it would not look as sharp as it should eh? Same issue on a 4K UHD screen with 3840x2160 resolution and trying QHD 2560x1440, it's not a proper resolution scale so it wouldn't be as sharp as it should be. I've always wondered why they picked that resolution instead of one to scale with previous standards... Something like 2400x1350 (1.25 the scale of FHD) or 2880x1800 (1.5 times the scale of FHD).

With all that said? Id stick with either a FHD 1920x1080 monitor or get a 4K UHD monitor which will render 1920x1080 to a proper scale and still look sharp.

February 11, 2016 | 07:36 PM - Posted by Blackermagic (not verified)

Ah...good points. I figured it would give black bars like some movies do.

February 11, 2016 | 05:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I still think for a 1440 panel the Shimian is the way to go. an IPS panel with not a lot of options but you cant beat that price. I got mine for 250 about 3 years ago and its still that price.

February 19, 2016 | 02:33 AM - Posted by wcg

Monoprice has a 27" 1440p monitor for $249. Seems a better choice for warranties and shipping versus ordering overseas.

February 11, 2016 | 05:54 PM - Posted by Dr_Orgo

It seems that VA panels will be unsuitable for high refresh rate gaming for the foreseeable future. Both this monitor and the Acer Z35 both performed significantly worse than the top 2560x1440 IPS panels. This makes monitors like the PG279Q a safer buy than they were at release as the better contrast of VA panels was the only upgrade likely to occur before OLED monitors are widely available.

February 11, 2016 | 10:21 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not sure, Lenovo has just announced an upcoming VA panel monitor (Lenovo Y27G) aimed at gaming. It is 1080p, has a 144Hz refresh, and features G-Sync. The 144Hz and G-Sync will make it the first VA panel to have these features.

February 11, 2016 | 08:37 PM - Posted by mrvco (not verified)

I had the BenQ 32" for a few weeks before returning it. Nice monitor, but the QHD resolution never felt right to me on a panel that large.

February 12, 2016 | 05:07 AM - Posted by SleepModezZ (not verified)

I like my 32" BenQ, but sit a bit further away from my monitor than most people sit from theirs. If I would sit closer, like at a distance 4 feet or less, I would also prefer a monitor with denser resolution.

February 11, 2016 | 08:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If adaptive sync doesn't increase the cost of a monitor at all, then what reason would Asus have for not including that here?

The lack of award seems a bit harsh here, considering that even the ludicrously expensive Predator X34 got a silver, and that offers a considerably worse balance between cost and various performance metrics than this Asus.

February 13, 2016 | 12:43 PM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

Is it VA that sucks in general for overdrive or is it asus' overdrive implementation for this monitor that sucks?

February 14, 2016 | 03:41 AM - Posted by BadSquishy (not verified)

Found an HP Envy 32 that is the same size, resolution, VA panel, has Freesync support, and is on Amazon right now for $458. Wish I knew if it had any overdrive capabilites.

April 4, 2016 | 12:55 AM - Posted by Kylo_Renifer (not verified)

I just bought this panel (Asus PB3228Q) based on this review, and I want to drive it at 75hz to play strategy/role play games and videos.

My current graphics adapter is the MSI GeForce 720 with 2GB of video ram. It has HDMI but not a Displayport.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127805

The specs for the card say that dual-link DVI is available, and this monitor comes with a cable and presumably a port to do that.
Is dual-DVI the best option?

Can I get 75Hz with HDMI and have 10bit color? I want both 75Hz and 10bit color.

Do I need to upgrade my video card, or will this card suffice to drive this display?
If so, what card would you suggest to drive this monitor?

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