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A Review of the Asus PB279Q Professional 27” 4K UHD monitor

by on August 21, 2015
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Manufacture
Overview

The prices of 4K monitors are dropping while their overall quality keeps increasing. New specs are slowly being added and existing specs are being enhanced all the time as these new types of monitors become hotter seller.

With this in mind, we’re taking a look at the Asus PB279Q Professional 27” 4K UHD monitor today to see how it stacks up against the competition and how much value it delivers for the dollars you’re going to spend on it.

At first glance, things look absolutely great for the Asus PB279Q. This monitor lacks a couple of minor details found in some of the newest 4K UHD monitors but to compensate, it offers a truly stunning array of connectivity options, some superb color spectrum coverage and a wonderfully adjustable stand. These are all topped off with an excellent ergonomic design that’s at home in any setting, be it a professional office space or a gamers den. Finally, while the PB279Q offers a screen that’s only 27 inches across diagonally, the extremely narrow bezel design gives an impression of larger size, which definitely ups the visual appeal of the PB279Q.

Now, let’s take a look at the details.

The Good

A number of excellent features stand out in the Asus PB279Q and it’s obvious that the manufacturer really put their effort into making this a competitive piece of display hardware in the growing 4K display industry.

For starters, there are the connectivity specs in the PB279Q. It doesn’t have HDMI 2.0 as an option but it does deliver an almost unrivaled number of HDMI 1.4 ports, with four to choose from, some of them with MHL built into them. On top of these four ports, there is also DisplayPort 1.2 for your 60Hz 4K gaming needs and an additional Mini DisplayPort slot for whatever else you have in mind.

The 27 inch screen of the PB279Q also has plenty to offer, with an absolutely excellent true 10-bit color delivery and 178 degree viewing angles thanks to its IPS display technology. Furthermore, the 4K Ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels on such a moderately-sized screen delivers an awesome pixels density of 163 ppi. This is just dense enough so that you’d really have to squint hard (and have some very fine natural eyesight) to see those pixels inside the on-screen imagery. In other words, realistic clarity is a given with the PB279Q.

Finally, among the good features that most immediately come to mind, the physical design of the monitor is robust without being overly flashy. The PB279Q is modest looking enough to look at home in an office while offering enough elegance to please almost anyone. Full adjustability options in the stand and a nicely minimalist black body work together to create a wonderful looking and highly functional piece of PC display hardware. Of course, the monitor is also VESA capable for easy wall-mounting.

Check the Price of the ASUS PB279Q 27" Screen LED-Lit 4k Monitor on Amazon:

5.0 - 1 Reviews

The Bad

For its price and class, the IPS paneled Asus PB279Q Professional 27” 4K UHD monitor is almost unbeatable in terms of overall quality. This is definitely a piece of hardware with very, very few obvious defects or deficiencies. There are only a couple of minor things we can really call less than ideal about the Asus PB279Q.

For starters, although it’s labeled as a “professional” monitor in its formal name by Asus, the PB279Q doesn’t quite fit the bill for that sort of classification. Yes, you get excellent IPS panel technology, rich, deep colors and a wonderful 10-bit color coverage but the level of AdobeRGB gamut coverage and the absence of coverage ratings for even more demanding, advanced color ranges isn’t there in this machine. Most truly professional visual design monitors offer even greater spectrum coverage than the PB279Q.

Furthermore, though you get the benefit of four different HDMI ports, there are no USB ports of any kind on the PB279Q. This might not bother many users but for some specific tasks, it might be something of a hassle since certain device types can’t connect to a monitor without a USB port.

Next, gamers might love this particular monitor for its color range and price but they also might be better off with a slightly less vibrant TN display with a better response time. Furthermore, the Asus PB279Q does not include either Nvida G Sync or AMD FreeSync technologies, as do some cheaper 4K monitors that are better suited specifically for 4K gaming.

Finally, while the PB279Q does come with its own built in 2W x 2 Stereo RMS speakers, they produce some rather feeble sound and if you want any serious, beefy audio, an external speaker setup is going to be a must. However, in all fairness to Acer, this last complaint is minor. Many 4K monitors don’t offer speakers of any kind and a pair of monitor speakers aren’t something anyone who wants powerful sound should depend on anyhow.

Final Thoughts

In the overall analysis, the Asus PB279Q delivers some truly extraordinary value for gamers, office professionals, graphic designers and causal users. Its overall roster of specs and features is excellent and all the more attractive for the relatively reasonable price at which this monitor is selling at.

Specs

Weight: 22.04 lbs with stand, 16.97 lbs without stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 24.6" x 16.05" x 8.66" inches with stand
Screen size: 27 inches, measured diagonally
Screen type: IPS
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Colors: 1.07 billion (10-bit)
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Screen Lighting: LED
Response time: 5 ms grey-to-grey
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
OS Compatibility: Windows
Connectivity Ports: 4 x HDMI/MHL 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.2, 3.5mm PC audio input Mini-Jack, 3.5mm earphone Mini-Jack (for HDMI & DisplayPort Only)

Highlights

Unlike a lot of 4K monitors, the Asus PB279Q doesn’t have all of its highlights packed into its display technology. It also offers a few extras in other aspects of its physical design. We’ll start with these first.

Right off the bat, the quantity of HDMI 1.4 ports with MHL on this monitor is well above normal. Most 4K PC monitors offer only 1 or maybe 2 HDMI ports and here is the Asus PB279Q with a total of four different ports built into it, and with MHL technology built into them as well. There are on the other hand no USB ports in the PB279Q so this is something of an annoyance but the quantity of HDMI ports somewhat compensate for the absence.

Next up there is the very flexible physical design of the PB279Q. Its stand supports full adjustment options for pivot, tilt, height, rotation and angle and is also detachable so that the monitor can be fixed to a wall or other object if necessary. A lot of other 4K UHD monitors offer the same flexibility but it can also be surprising how many don’t despite having a similar price tag.

Now, moving on to some visual highlights, we’ll cover most of these under visual specs but one technology which is particularly worth mentioning consists of the Asus proprietary SplendidPlus Video Intelligence Technology that the manufacturer included in this monitor. With SplendidPlus, you not only get the benefit of all the manual adjustments you might want to give to the PB279Q’s screen but also access to several easy to set up pre-set modes for a wide range of specific viewing needs.

These presets now consist of: Reading, Darkroom, Scenery, Standard, Theater, sRGB, and Night View. Each comes with its own specific sRGB, contrast, brightness and other visual settings and the pre-sets can be honestly useful when you’re not sure what specific adjustments to make on your own for different viewing needs. Playing around with them to see which works often produces some very well matched results.

Finally, the PB279Q also offers very practical built-in Picture-by-Picture and Picture-in-Picture functionalities for letting you view content from as many as four different 4K UHD video and media sources at the same time. The four different HMDI ports nicely facilitate this feature for maximal functionality. PiP is useful for viewing a single main video source while a second one is kept to a small screen in the corner and PbP can be used to split the whole monitor screen into four separate Full HD display spaces, each receiving a different 4K or HD feed from a different physical source or from different content sources right inside a single PC.

Visual Specs

In terms of visual specs, the PB279Q is definitely one of the best 4K monitors on the market for the price it’s selling at. This applies to its color capacity, brightness, contrast and color gamut coverage. All of these areas work superbly in this model and the resulting quality of 4K video is better than what you’d normally see in a UHD PC monitor that’s selling for less than $1000.

While out of the box brightness in the PB279Q is a bit high, even this is a great sign considering how many 4K monitors offer less than ideal levels of luminance. In the case of the PB279Q, the opposite is the case and at 100% brightness under the monitor’s built-in settings, the PB279Q delivers just a bit more than its specified 300 cd/m2 luminance. Measurements taken indicated an actual level of 305 cd/m2 at 100% brightness, with black luminance at just 0.27. This results in an excellent overall contrast level as well. Even if brightness is set to 80% a very respectable and for many much more pleasing 254 cd/m2 level of white luminance can be seen.

As for gamma in the PB279Q. The average measured gamma across all of the different display presets (Reading, Darkroom, Scenery, Standard, Theater, sRGB, and Night View) never went below 2.2 but also never rose above 2.5, with a majority of presets showing a gamma of 2.2. This is also excellent and results in a superb level of accuracy with no defects visible to the naked eye.

Likewise is the case for luminance and black uniformity in the Asus PB279Q. In terms of black uniformity, no light bleed that’s visible to the naked eye can be noticed and for luminance uniformity, the overall brightness across the screen deviates only slightly alone the middle of the two vertical sides in landscape mode.

Finally, in terms of color, the PB279Q again delivers the goods superbly. 10-bit color and 100% sRGB spectrum coverage looks fantastic with a very high level of accuracy and a high level of vibrancy as well. Color temperature is also excellent with an average Delta E of about 1.5 and a maximal Delta E of 3 in one section of the screen.

Finally, since the PB279Q is an IPS monitor, the display technology nicely augments existing brightness, contrast and color richness while also providing an excellent 178 degree of viewing angle clarity with only small amounts of contrast and color loss from off-center within this 178 degree range.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the Asus PB279Q definitely excels and takes its connectivity level beyond the average for a 4K monitor in its price range. Even in many much more expensive professional monitors, you won’t see the sort of connectivity found in this model.

There are four MHL compatible HDMI 1.4 ports on the PB279Q and while these are only capable of showing 4K ultra HD video at 30 frames per second, this is compensated for by the presence of a DisplayPort 1.2 port that can do 4K video at 60Hz and a Mini DisplayPort 1.2 version of the same.

The PB279Q does not include USB ports, which is a shame and a hassle for certain users. In an otherwise excellent connectivity setup, this is the only major defect of the Asus PB279Q.

Pricing

The Asus PB279Q Professional 27” 4K UHD monitor with 3840 x 2160 resolution is priced at a very attractive $ $698.99 on Amazon.com. Considering the overall specs of this model, the price is excellent.

Check the Price of the ASUS PB279Q 27" Screen LED-Lit 4k Monitor on Amazon:

5.0 - 1 Reviews

Not so Great

Very little in the way of bad aspects of the PB279Q. However, the lack of USB ports, HDMI 1.4 and weak speakers are potential minor deficiencies for some users.

Positives

• Superb color range
• Excellent brightness
• 10-bit color
• 4 HDMI ports
• Great design
• Range of display enhancing software features

Negatives

• No USB ports
• No HDMI 2.0
• Weak speakers
• Not a truly professional monitor

Editor Rating
 
Features
A

 
Quality
A

 
User Friendliness
A-

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B+

Total Score
A-

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User Rating
 
Features
B+

 
Quality
B+

 
User Friendliness
B+

 
Connectivity
B+

 
Price
B-

User Score
67 ratings
B+

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Bottom Line
 

Our final word on the Asus PB279Q is that for its price, it’s priced to absolutely sell. This is a superb IPS monitor with excellent display specs and great connectivity options. Useful for gamers, casual users or professionals of most types.

Check the Price of the ASUS PB279Q 27" Screen LED-Lit 4k Monitor on Amazon:

5.0 - 1 Reviews

 
7 comments
 
Leave a reply »

 
  • Chris
    August 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Hello,

    Would you say that the Asus PB279Q 27″ or the Dell P2715Q 27″ has better color accuracy specifically for graphic design and animation work in programs like Adobe InDesign and Illustrator?

    I have read a number of reviews and they seem to be head to head in most all areas but I am curious which one shows colors more accurately.

    Thanks!

    Chris

    Reply

  • Reza
    December 29, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Under negatives it says: No HDMI 1.4
    Dont you mean No HDMI 2.0 ?

    You do mention under connectivity that it has: There are four MHL compatible HDMI 1.4
    http://www.asus.com/SE/Monitors/PB279Q/
    It says it has HDMI 1.4 as well.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Hello Reza. You are correct and thanks for pointing out the minor error in the “positives”/”negatives” section. I had meant to say no HDMI 2.0. Under “Connectivity” we had actually mentioned the several HDMI 1.4 ports.

      Reply

  • Paul
    June 24, 2016 at 12:36 am

    Hi Stephen. Do they include DisplayPort cable with the monitor? According to ASUS they are “optional extras”, so I don’t know if that means I have to buy one separately.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 24, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Hello Paul, unfortunately, this Asus model did not come with a DisplayPort cable, so yes, you’ll probably have to buy one for the unit you decide to buy. They are not however very expensive, costing about $25 USD for 7 to 10 feet of cable, depending on where you buy it.

      Reply

  • Pablo
    January 15, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I have question if this Asus PB279Q Professional 27” 4K UHD monitor Have speakers and if they work well???

    Reply

  • Jeremy
    March 2, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Is this a true 10-bit or is it 8-bit + FRC? I have seen other reviews stating 8-bit + FRC…

    Reply

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