Monitor Asus PA278CV Review

The Asus PA278CV is the ideal choice of a professional editing monitor, suitable for those who don’t have a lavish budget. In fact, this ProArt monitor is an upgrade to the older and slightly outdated PA278QV. One of the major improvements in the USB-C connector. While the Asus PA278CV is one of the most affordable monitors in its class, the question is whether it can live up to the expectations of designers and photo editors.

Asus PA278CV Specs:

Screen:

  • IPS technology
  • 27 inch size
  • 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 5ms response time
  • 1000:1 static contrast ratio
  • 75Hz refresh rate
  • 350 cd/m2 luminosity

Stand:

  • VESA compatible (100 x 100)
  • Adjustable height
  • Motion range – pivot, swivel and tilt
  • Speakers included (2 x 2W)

Dimensions (with the stand): 24.21″ x 20.63″ x 8.98″
Weight 18.5 lbs

Connectivity: HDMI 1.4, USB-C 3.1, USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2

Audio: 3.5mm jack

Features And Look

The design of the Asus PA278CV is very similar to the one of the previous model. Nevertheless, there are a few minor improvements that make this new model better and more appealing. Like all other monitors in the ProArt line, it features a sleek mix of metallic textures and matte black finishes. This makes it look stylish, despite the fact that it is a budget monitor. The IPS display has a bezel only on one side, thus providing a very nice view.

Even though it looks bigger than the previous model, the Asus PA278CV is only a few millimetres thicker. The neck of the stand is, indeed, thicker, but the overall depth of the monitor is still less than 9″. Weighing about 19 pounds, the Asus PA278CV is rather heavy, taking into account its display size of only 27″. However, it isn’t too bad, even judging by today’s standards.

The build quality doesn’t disappoint at all. There are no visible flaws, all joints are perfect, and there are no gaps between its panels. Even though this device is mainly made from plastic, it looks sturdy as if it were a premium product. We were happy to see that the stand doesn’t show any wobbling. It is solid and stiff enough to hold up the 19-pound monitor just fine.

We were slightly disappointed to see that the Asus PA278CV lacks the already popular joysticks. The layout of the OSD buttons is visible from the front. They also feature labels on the screen, but we still feel the setting up takes quite a lot of time. This is not a deal-breaker, though, taking into consideration the relatively low price tag.

This stand is not only solid and good looking, but it also offers swivel, tilt and pivot, as well adjustable height. Whatever your preferences and your office settings, you’ll find the ideal position for your display. Getting the perfect view angle is easy, thanks to this excellent flexibility. If needed, you can use VESA mounds, but we don’t think that’s useful unless you have very limited space.

The main feature that makes the Asus PA278CV better than its predecessor is its I/O layout featuring one DisplayPort 1.2 and an HDMI 1.4 connector. There’s also a DP Out, should you prefer to use this device with daisy-chaining. Thanks to the 65W USB-C port, you can easily connect this monitor to any modern portable computer, including the MacBook Pro. The four USB 3.1 slots and the 3.5mm audio jack enable you to connect a wide array of accessories.

We are pleased to see the Asus PA278CV also features built-in speakers. On a negative note, these speakers are the same 2W ones Asus uses on most of its monitors. At low volume they are fine, but once you turn the volume up they are unable to deliver good sound quality.

Display Panel

The 27″ IPS panel featuring a 75Hz refresh rate and a 5ms response time makes the Asus PA278CV a great option for those who want a responsive and colour-accurate monitor. The 2560 x 1440 resolution is good enough to provide a crisp, high-quality image. The 1000:1 contrast ratio is the current standard across the IPS panels category. If you think it could have been better, remember that this device belongs to the ProArt line, which targets professional editing rather than gaming or HDR capabilities.

The combination between the resolution and the display size makes this monitor ideal for all purposes. It suits some applications even better than some 4K displays that are way too sharp to provide a good user experience. Game graphics will look impressive, but you’d need a powerful GPU to provide you with consistent frame rates. On the contrary, legibility is above average, thus making this monitor excellent in terms of productivity.

The Asus PA278CV boasts a rendering of 100% of sRGB and 80% of Adobe RGB, which is awesome for its price. The delta E average of 1.24 isn’t the best accuracy possible, but it can still support editing work with flying colours. Unless you want a high-end monitor for your editing work, you’ll be very happy with this one.

If you make the effort to calibrate it, the Asus PA278CV can reach an impressive 0.34 dE, which is as close to perfection as you can get. The colours have a photo-realistic look, so there’s no need for you to spend a small fortune on a high-end model unless you want more gamut coverage. If you already have a colourimeter, you can use it. However, you’d be fine without it, too.

The maximum brightness of 390 cd/m2 provides you with a good adjustment range. The maximum contrast is 1069:1 and you can reach it at a brightness of 50%. However, if you expect deep blacks as you can see in other IPS panels, you’ll be disappointed. This is normal for a display in this category, even though there are some brands that managed to bring this limitation to a minimum.

The Asus PA278CV lacks uniformity, particularly when displaying black or dark images. There aren’t any severe backlight leaks. However, in low-light images, you may notice some clouding problems. This issue is variable from one unit to another, so you should return yours and ask for a replacement, in case you get a problematic one.

In terms of response rate, the Asus PA278CV is better than many of the editing monitors we’ve reviewed over the past year. To get rid of the minor smudges and blurs, you can use the Trace-Free setting or a little overdrive. We recommend that you keep this at the 40 levels to prevent overshoot.

This is a FreeSync model that also supports G-Sync, despite the fact that it doesn’t have Nvidia certification. VRR is good to have, especially when you want to play games without having to put up with stuttering and tearing. The input lag of 8ms at 75Hz allows you to play games without delays or de-synced frames.

Our Considerations On The Asus PA278CV

The Asus PA278CV is an excellent choice for those who need a reliable editing screen with the occasional gaming sessions. The IPS panel boasts a good accuracy right from the beginning, but it is also responsive to further calibration. We are pleased to see the USB-C slot, great for connecting modern laptops. We also like the responsiveness and the versatility of this monitor.

The weakest point is the panel uniformity, but if you’re lucky, you’ll get a good unit. It is one of our top recommendations in the below €380 price range.

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