A Review of the Asus PA328Q Professional-grade 32-inch 4K/UHD display
There are 4K monitors that play with professional specs without really going the whole nine yards and then there are monitors that offer the real, full-blown deal. The Asus PA328Q definitely fits into the latter category. This is a monitor with 4K ultra HD resolution that’s also very serious about being good enough for truly professional graphics-oriented users.
Featuring a whole host of remarkably good color and clarity features, the PA328Q also offers a massive 32 inch screen and the full power of 4K resolution to fill its space. Additionally, this high end 4K screen comes with an IPS display and a solid 10-bit color coverage that’s the real deal, not an 8-bit screen with an extra 2 pseudo bits of frame rate manipulation built into it. Furthermore, delivery of assorted color gamuts is superb and the PA328Q ships from the factory with high-precision calibration already pre-set into it.
To top things off, some highly advanced connectivity features and specialized visual comfort technologies make working with the rather expensive Asus PA328Q a real pleasure.
Where do we start with a description of the good features in this 4K monitor? There are plenty to choose from and they cover all of the key areas of interest, including connectivity, visuals, color and software additions.
First of all, the Asus PA328Q offers a robustly massive (for a PC monitor) 32 inch display screen that also happens to include IPS panel technology for maximum viewing angles. This alone adds a massive boost of vibrancy and flexible viewing clarity to the already robust internal specs of the monitor screen. On top of the IPS display, the PA328Q comes with a factory pre-calibrated perfect color accuracy of 100% on the sRGB scale and pretties this up even further with full Rec. 709 color support.
To make all of these visual specs even more easy to enjoy and work with in a professional setting of hours in front of the screen, the PA328Q includes developments like ASUS Eye Care technology for minimal ocular harm and couples this with their own installation of TUV Rheinland-certified Flicker-free display capacity, for the virtually complete elimination of on-screen flicker and maximal comfort during long-term screen viewing.
Also crucial among a wide list of other good features, the connectivity options built into this high-end monitor are truly cutting edge, with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 support along with MHL 3.0 for a wide range of content playback options in 4K resolution at maximal frame rates.
Finally, to top everything else off, the physical design of the PA328Q is wonderfully professional looking and fits comfortably in virtually any home or business office setting. This design also includes a full range of ergonomic adjustment options that include varied tilt, swivel, pivot and height controls.
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No 4K monitor is perfect and the Asus PA328Q is of course no exception. While this 4K display has very few deficiencies, there are a couple of rather minor weaknesses we can point out.
For starters a large amount of other reviewers have pointed out that their models came with significant LED light bleeding, particularly under darkened conditions. While we haven’t noticed this in any models we’ve seen and it doesn’t seem to be an across the board defect, the light bleed issue is definitely cause for concern on any newly opened unit that’s about to be tested.
Furthermore, the physical menu and control button placement on the monitor itself is a bit awkward. Instead of being located along the bottom front or rear of the display, these buttons are placed right along the rear of the bottom right side of the monitor. Whhy is this problematic? Because anyone wanting to quickly adjust the height, tilt or rotation of the monitor runs the risk of pushing some of them accidentally. Again, not a major issue but sometimes irritating nonetheless.
Finally, as an IPS monitor, the PA328Q offers a response time that some gamers might find to be on the slow side. This isn’t exactly something we can call a design flaw since Asus certainly didn’t build this model with gaming as its main objective but if anyone is thinking of forking over well above a $1,000 for a 4K gaming display, it might be a good idea to first consider a high-end TN monitor instead. Colors will suffer a bit as a result, but if you want razor sharp response times, IPS is not your best choice.
The Asus PA328Q 4K IPS monitor can hardly not be recommended. While it definitely isn’t cheap, this display truly is built with a wide range of professional uses in mind, and it has been built very, very well. Flicker control and color rendition are particularly fantastic, because as far as we can tell, both work spectacularly.
Weight: 25.74 lbs with stand, 34.7 lbs without stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 734.4x615x240mm with stand/ 734.4x431x66.85mm without stand
Screen size: 32 inches, measured diagonally
Screen type: IPS
Contrast ratio: 2000:1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Colors: 1.07 billion (10-bit)
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Screen Lighting: LED
Response time: 6 ms grey-to-grey
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
OS Compatibility: Windows
Connectivity Ports: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x HDMI 1.4 with MHL 3.0 & HDCP 2.2, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x mini DisplayPort 1.2, Headphone out
The professional stature of the Asus PA328Q leaves plenty of room for some interesting highlights by the standards of a monitor. And in the case of this particular machine, the features are quite numerous.
First off the bat are the PA328Q’s impeccable 4K ultra HD visuals. All 4K monitors come with the same two possible quantities of pixels, depending on whether they’re 3840 x 2160 pixel monitors or “True 4K” 4096 x 2160 pixel machines but 4K visual quality can vary in our experience. Whether it’s due to screen technology or color rendering or simple internal processing power, one monitor can deliver 4K graphics of a decent nature while another leaves you almost breathless. In the case of the PA328Q, things edge closer to the latter of these descriptions with a 4K display that is beautifully crisp and clear to behold.
Vibrancy here is spectacular and the sheer level of color accuracy makes the 4K graphics look all the more impressive when complex, muli-colored content is being observed or manipulated. The brightness distribution in this model is also extremely even, which plays a large part in making the on-screen visuals look equally and beautifully bright across the entire 32 inch screen space.
Furthermore, because of its very wide color gamut coverage and extremely high brightness levels, the PA328Q manages to make the most of whatever you’re editing or watching while also keeping a superbly sharp level of contrast for maximal realism, particularly for a PC monitor. In fact, we’d say that the visuals on this model are on par with those of some higher-end 4K TVs.
As far as watching and working with these on-screen visuals for prolonged periods of time goes, we come to another highlight of the PA328Q. This is its assortment of eye care and ease-of-work technologies. First of these is the ASUS QuickFit Virtual Scale mechanism on the screen. This neat little piece of software tech provides a complete onscreen overlay grid that lets you align and previous photos or documents in actual size before printing them out. As a formatting feature, ASUS QuickFit is definitely on the useful side and allows for at least some time saving in certain situations.
Furthermore, an intuitive 5-way physical joystick has been added next to the button controls on the rear right side of the monitor, which further simplifies the onscreen photo and document manipulation process if you want to give it a whirl.
As for eye care, the PA328Q, comes with a truly impressive level of flicker-free technology that actually did its job of completely eliminating flicker for a change. A lot of 4K monitors offer claims of being flicker free without actually pulling it off completely. The PA328Q’s TUV Rheinland Certified Flicker-Free feature doesn’t fail at this. As far as we and many other reviewers have been able to tell, there simply is no flicker on this particular monitor, and that definitely comes as a relief for the eyes.
Finally, the ergonomics and design of the PA328Q are definitely above-average. This monitor’s visual appeal lies in the fact that it not only works smoothly and flexibly in a physical sense, it also looks damn good in any setting. The extremely thin bezel along the screen edge only accentuates the massive size of the PA328Q’s 32 inch display space and the minimalist, matte black stand and base simply look elegant without getting in the way. Furthermore, all of this visually appealing design is highly maneuverable: The PA328Q comes with 0 to 130 mm height adjustment, 60 degree plus or minus swivel, 20 to -5 degree tilt and 90 degree clockwise pivot adjustment options for nearly any possible arrangement you need. We should also mention that the PA328Q’s screen itself is matte, for minimal levels of glare. Despite this matte finish, it offers more than enough color vibrancy.
Visually speaking, the PA328Q from Asus is absolutely superb and in our opinion worthy of its professional classification. The 100% sRGB coverage that the monitor provides doesn’t alone do justice to the quality of its color. We’ve seen other displays that also made claims of 100% sRGB standards but which didn’t provide the kinds of crisp, vibrant and wonderfully realistic colors that the PA328Q delivers. In part at least, the fact that it also offers nearly full Rec. 709 color space for video production and a powerful IPS panel display technology has a lot to do with the beauty of its color palette. On the other hand, while ASUS makes no mention of calibration for high coverage of the more important AdobeRGB spectrum, the PA328Q delivers well in this regard too, with above average coverage.
We should also not that the PA328Q also offers support for the full 1.07 billion colors of true 10-bit color and furthermore uses a 12-bit internal lookup table while offering gamma values that range between a very fine 2.4 and 1.8 for some superbly natural looking imagery and smooth transition between hues.
Furthermore, the brightness of the LED backlighting is truly top-shelf. Many monitors either provide uneven brightness uniformity or don’t match the formal luminance levels their specs promise. The PA328Q doesn’t have this problem. Its 350 cd/m2 backlight fully delivers on its formal specs and you might even have to dial brightness down a bit when you take the monitor out of its box for the first time. Needless to say, with a brightness level like this, there might be worries about rich dark tones. Not a problem for the PA328Q. Its blacks look nicely inky and the contrast ratio on this model is definitely in the 2000:1 range.
The connectivity features of the ASUS PA328Q are also something that goes above and beyond the average. This monitor offers a total of three HDMI ports, with one of them being an HDMI 2.0 version that can deliver 4K video from external media devices and the latest PC gaming GPUs at a smooth 60 frames per second (60Hz). The other two HDMI ports are 1.4 variants with the capacity for 4K video at only 30Hz but one of them also comes with MHL 3.0 built into it for delivery of high definition media from external devices.
On top of this, the PA328Q also comes with a DisplayPort 1.2 connection, a mini DisplayPort 1.2 port and also includes a DVI input along with USB connectivity, for some very diverse connection options. In fact, for those who do want such a pricey monitor for their 4K gaming needs, the PA328Q is about as robust as it gets when it comes to connecting your 4K gaming PC GPU to it.
The Asus PA328Q Professional-grade 32-inch 4K/UHD display may be a superb piece of PC hardware but it’s also not exactly cheap. This model is currently retailing for around $1,500.00. All things considered, this isn’t actually too steep of a price tag either.
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As we’d said before, the PA328Q suffers from very few defects. It’s main problems, briefly summarized, are that some units have been known to suffer from a light bleed that’s common with IPS screens, the fact that its physical menu button controls are placed so that they might be accidentally manipulated when you’re physically adjusting the screen and the fact that this monitor is a bit on the heavy side, at 25 lbs with stand.
• Exquisite color vibrancy and realism
• Solid contrast ratio with inky blacks
• Great work-assist software features
• Excellent connectivity
• HDMI 2.0
• Lovely design
• Physically heavy
• Slow response time with IPS
• Complaints of IPS light bleed