Professional level color editing monitors can get pretty pricey these days, but more and more creatives are branching out and working for themselves, which makes it all the more critical to find equipment that will do what you need at a reasonable price point.
The ProArt PA279CV is going to hit that sweet spot for a lot of creatives offering 4K resolution, a color accurate sRGB workspace and contemporary USB 3.2 interfaces without making you worry about when you’ll land the next gig. These features will provide an effortless workflow for a wide range of professional applications allowing you to push your work to new places.
Display area: 27 inches
Panel type: IPS
Panel bit depth: 10-bit
Display colors: 1073.7M
Resolution: UHD (3840 x 2160)
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Response time: 5ms
Brightness: 350 cd/m2 (Typ.)
Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (static)
Color space coverage: 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709
Video inputs: 1 x USB 3.2 (Type-C) 65W power throughput, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 4 x USB 3.1 ports; 3.5mm headphone jack.
There are a few major upgrades to the PA279CV from its predecessor the PA278QV. The most obvious is the jump in resolution. To the untrained eye the jump from QHD to 3840 by 2160 pixel resolution won’t seem particularly large on a 27-inch display, but when you’re working with precise visuals the difference is going to have a meaningful impact.
This added resolution is complimented by improvements to the color accuracy and range. The PA279CV maintains 100% coverage of the sRGB and Rec. 709 color spaces and it updates the device to carry 10-bit HDR color which allows you to play high dynamic range media.
Then finally the inclusion of a USB 3.2 interface that can carry power to your laptop over USB Type-C will be an awesome convenience for anyone that likes to connect their main laptop to a bigger display when at the desk.
Other than these three headline features there’s a number of smaller improvements that combine to offer a better workspace. Asus includes its proprietary QuickFit presets that allow you to get a one-to-one scale view of on-screen visuals. Whether you need to see the exact layout and proportions of an A4 page, or you want to use the ruler at the bottom edge of the display to ensure everything is to scale, these bonus features are really handy when you need them.
The stand design also allows for a wide range of positions with 150mm of height adjustment and 180-degree rotation, a 35/5 degree down and up tilt, and up to 45-degrees of pivot left and right.
Finally Asus includes low blue-light and flicker-free screen technologies to make it less demanding on the eyes during extended sessions in front of the monitor.
Build & handling
The frame and base of the unit are sturdy and provide ample support for the various display positions offered. The topside bezels are compact, giving the screen a modern, sleek appearance.
We weren't overly thrilled with the menu interface which is controlled via five menu buttons and a power switch. Compared to joystick controls, proceeding through menus using only buttons seems like a particularly slow process.
Fortunately there are two customisable shortcuts in the quick menu settings that you can add display presets to to make it easy to toggle between the modes you need to work in.
All interface connections are where you would expect them to be at the rear of the display and while you might want slightly more cable management options, the rear stand cable clip will be enough for most.
The PA279CV has a Delta E of Less than 2, and the monitor has been independently verified by Calman, allowing professionals to confidently edit colors in sRGB or Rec. 709 color spaces.
While the 350nit typical brightness of the screen is fine under general conditions, it is dull when using the constrained color accurate modes. You’ll want a room without too much ambient light if you’re planning on regularly working on color. The screen is matte IPS, but with ambient daylight the reflected light is distracting.
For those times when you don’t need perfect colour, the screen does a reasonable job of reproducing HDR color and will allow you to play media using the wider colour format. It’s even got a DCI-P3 mode that will adjust the colors to align closer to this gamut for anyone wanting to get a close approximation of video coloring, but it’s a long way from offering professional precision in any color space above sRGB.
While you can get monitors with the same resolution and even wider colour gamuts for around half the price of the PA279CV, you won’t be able to find a certified colour accurate sRGB monitor for less than the PA279CV. We don’t love the menu interface, but it works well enough and the QuickFit tools are a genius bonus.
UHD resolution, Calman Verified sRGB color and a USB-C all-in-one charging and data connection makes this a convenient and useful display for creative pros that need to be able to trust their screen.
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