ASUS MG278Q 2560x1440 144Hz FreeSync Monitor Review
Calibration and Viewing Angles
Most monitor vendors today will advertise the color accuracy of their displays to some degree on marketing material, and the MG278Q is no different. On the landing page, on the ASUS website, the company calls out "75% color saturation" along with viewing angles and contrast ratios. But more often than not we find that the out of box experience with monitors can be quite poor, favoring heavy blues and oversaturated colors rather than actual color accuracy.
This screenshot above shows the output report from dispcalGUI on an uncalibrated MG278Q. The only change we made to the monitor before running the calibration was changing the color preset from the default and instead set it to sRGB. This should get the monitor pretty close to what ASUS believes is the calibrated state of the panel, in theory. But you can look at the uncalibrated report and see that this monitor was FAR from producing accurate color! The grays were off significantly as were the greens and blues.
After running through our hours-long calibration process, the monitor was able to move into a very accurate color space. Only a couple of hues remained outside of the acceptable range (light purple and dark purple, for example), but you would be hard pressed to find another TN panel running at 120Hz+ that exhibit these impressive calibration results.
This diagram shows the result in the typical XxY fashion - the color triangle represents the before-calibration result while the dashed line represents (close to) the final result.
Calibration Profile Download
The Windows color profile management interface is a bit of a mess, with the need to select and enable a profile in multiple layers of the interface. The best guide for loading and enabling a profile can be found over at TFTCentral. We used the following tools to generate our own calibration profile:
- Datacolor Spyder 4
- ArgyllCMS (calibration software suite)
- dispcalGUI (Graphical interface for Argyll CMS)
- HCFR (for additional verification and output graphs)
Our calibration profile was created using the lowest calibration speed in a dimly lit room. Here are the required settings if you wish to use our profile:
- FPS mode
- Brightness: 25
- Red: 89
- Green: 97
- Blue: 100
- Profile download: (HERE)
The above profile was created specifically for a color temperature target of 6500K at a luminance of 120 cd/m2 (nit). Gamma 2.2. Remember that the only way to get a correct calibration on your specific panel is by using a colorimeter on that very panel. The above settings and profile will only get *your* display to a perfect calibration if it has the exact same properties as our test sample. A perfect match is unlikely, but this should get you far closer to calibrated than just running with defaults.
The ASUS MG278Q is a TN panel, a good quality one, but it still exhibits the properties we see with nearly all TN panels when it comes to viewing angles. Straight on, the screen looks great but as we rotated or move around the screen, we see some pretty dramatic color shifting. Notice from the bottom view (looking up at the display), we have nearly 100% inversion.
You can see that even from the middle of the screen you are getting some moderate color shift with the MG278Q as you look at the top or bottom of the 27-in panel. Gamers will likely not notice a big change in the game though designers and anyone doing color-based work (Photoshop, etc.) will have issues getting their eyes in the correct place to see the image as it was intended.