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ASUS PQ321Q 31.5-Inch 4K Monitor Review: Optimum Quality and Size

by on June 20, 2014
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Manufacture
Overview

The Asus PQ321Q is a top of the line 4K display monitor that, although not cheap, will absolutely deliver the results when it comes to your UHD computer rendering needs. This minimalist, elegant screen gives you an enormous (for a PC screen) 32 inch display size, crystal clear visual quality and the rendering technology to back it up down to the tiniest detail.

This was one of the first 4K monitors to offer 3840x2160 resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate when first unveiled. This number is extremely important in the context of fast rendering, which is what you absolutely want if you’re going to bother getting a 4K monitor.

The Good

The 321Q offers superb display monitor quality for its price tag and most of the overall specs back this up. Like we already mentioned, it renders at a rate of 60Hz (as opposed to the 30Hz of many lower end 4K screens) gives you UHD resolution that’s also amplified by highly advanced energy saving IGZO semiconductor technology, a 32 inch screen and excellent connectivity options.

Furthermore, the 321Q is currently one of the thinnest if not the thinnest monitor available on the market and comes with the flexibility of tilt, swivel and height adjustment options. These come in addition to its glare resistant LED backlit screen and ultra wide viewing angles. Finally, built-in 2W stereo speakers perfect the completeness of this high end 4K display monitor.

Overall, you’re looking at an excellent piece of hardware for any conceivable gaming, professional rendering and entertainment needs.

The Bad

We can’t point to much that’s bad about the Asus PQ321Q. However a few minor irritations stand out a bit. For one thing, its price is a bit steep considering that the competing Samsung U28D590D offers many of the same features (minus speakers) for $2000 dollars less! Also, the brightness and contrast ratio of the 321Q could be a little higher than the 350cd/m2 and 800:1 specs that they have respectively.

Finally, for a display monitor, the 321Q is a bit heavy at 28.6 pounds, as opposed to its closest competitors, the Sharp PN-K321 at 16.5 pounds and the above-mentioned Samsung monitor at 12.5 pounds.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an excellent, completely equipped professional 4K monitor that really delivers in terms of energy efficiency, rendering and display clarity, then go for the 321Q. If however you want to save a lot of money, pick Samsung’s 4K screen model.

Check the Price of Asus PQ321Q on Amazon:

Specs

Sharp PN-K321 Specs
• Weight: 28.6 pounds
• Dimensions: 19.2” x 29.5” x 10” inches (stand width)
• Screen size: 32 inches, measured diagonally
• Response Time: 8 milliseconds
• Colors: 1.07 billion
• Brightness: 350cd/m2
• Refresh Rate: 60Hz
• Screen Lighting: LED edge-lit Backlighting
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixeles UHD
• OS Compatibility: Windows
• Connectivity Ports: 2 HDM1 ports, 1 DisplayPort, 1 mini stereo jack, 1 PC audio input, 1 AV audio input
• Speakers: 2 2W stereo speakers
• Contrast Ratio: 700:1

Highlights

Some cool highlights of the 321Q include its ultra slim screen design that’s narrow even for a flat screen at 1.3 inches. Another notable feature of the 321Q is its highly adjustable construction, which lets you modify tilt by 30 degrees, height by 6 inches and swivel by 90 degrees on the display stand.

Additionally, the PQ321Q is fully equipped in terms of both connectivity and display technology thanks to its multiple ports for 4K capable HDMI, DisplayPort and audio inputs/outputs.

Some other highlights of the 321Q include video features such as trace free technology, 18 levels of color temperature selection and a picture-by picture configuration that lets you use your display screen for showing content from two different computers at the same time.

Visual Specs

The visual specs on the PQ321Q are for the most part excellent. As we’ve already mentioned, it offers full 3,840 x 2,160 pixel Ultra High Definition resolution that amounts to over 8.2 million pixels filling its 32 inch screen.

This extremely powerful level of detail is further augmented by the 321Q’s use of IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc) screen material technology, which allows for much smaller transistors to be used inside the screen and thus create much smaller, more detail oriented pixels that also respond faster to light inputs. The overall result of this is a screen resolution that is extra fine, uses less current and renders images much more clearly. Most other LCD screens still rely on the more traditional amorphous silicon for their display design.

Other visual specs on the 321Q include a 10 bit color configuration that creates a much smoother gradient transition between the variety of colors presented on your screen and an edge lit LED backlighting system that fine tunes the brightness of your visuals with precision control.

In terms of its other major screen specs, the PQ321Q offers a 700:1 contrast ratio, 8 millisecond grey to grey response time and a brightness of 350 candelas per m2. With these specs, it offers a great viewing and rendering experience but at the same time, those same numbers could be slightly better, as they are in the Samsung and Sharp 4K monitors.

Connectivity

The connectivity package that comes with the 321Q is perfectly good for any normal way you might want to use it as a professional, a gamer or as someone who just wants to use the hardware for entertainment and web browsing. It gives you two 4k compatible HDMI 2.0 ports 1 DisplayPort 1.2 entry and the usual RS-232C, PC audio, AV audio and microphone jack inputs.

The HDMI and audio connectivity ports also allow the interesting feature of picture-by-picture mode to be set up on the 321Q. This means you can split your screen down the middle and display the content and audio of two different computers simultaneously.

Pricing

One of the few sticking points of the PQ321Q is its rather steep price tag. At $2,400 dollars, it’s more expensive than some other models but still decently priced in comparison to a couple of $3000+ dollar 4K screens such as the Sharp PN-K321.

Check the Price of Asus PQ321Q on Amazon:


Not so Great

Some of the visual specs on the Asus 321Q such as its response time, contrast ratio and brightness level are certainly not bad but could be better given this devices high end status and price. The contrast ratio in particular is subpar at 700:1. Most brands give you at least 800:1 and some even 1000:1.

Fundamentally, you could probably find another very good screen at a lower price and with almost identical or even better visual specs.

Positives

• Superb 4K/UHD picture quality
• Excellent rendering of regular HD content
• Complete HDMI and Display connectivity
• IGZO screen display technology improves power usage
• Good screen size
• Picture-by Picture split screen mode
• Excellent color rendering
• Pretty decent built-in speakers
• Great 60Hz refresh rate

Negatives

• It ways may too much
• Some of the visual specs are only average
• The price is a bit high

Editor Rating
 
Features
A

 
Quality
B

 
User Friendliness
A

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
C

Total Score
B-

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User Rating
 
Features
C+

 
Quality
B

 
User Friendliness
C+

 
Connectivity
B-

 
Price
D+

User Score
16 ratings
C+

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Bottom Line
 

The Asus Q321Q is on the whole an excellent 4K display monitor for gamers and professionals who really need to use some heavy duty image rendering power and picture clarity. However, if you want to save some money, there are other 4K screen alternatives that will cost you quite a bit less and give you almost the same kind of value.

Check the Price of Asus PQ321Q on Amazon:

 
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