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ASUS PA246Q - Caters to a Different Audience
ASUS is known best for its PC components and peripherals, and have also ventured into other areas such as notebooks and tablets. Their share in the PC displays is small in comparison to Samsung and Viewsonic, but there are a few models that catch our eye. The new ASUS PA246Q is one of them. This new display belongs to the ProArt series that specifically caters to the professional graphics designer users.
Stand and monitor are bulky in design
Design and Build Quality
The ASUS PA246Q has used a 24.1-inch, 1920 x 1200 panel on this monitor as opposed to the trend in monitors seen nowadays with many models having the 1920 x 1080 resolution displays with the 16:9 aspect ratio. The PA246Q has a swivel feature which allows the screen to be rotated into a portrait layout. The monitor has a black finish with the ASUS branding in silver. To add a little style to it, ASUS have added a thin red stripe on the bezel below the screen. The controls for the display are all located at the bottom right of the monitor. There are grid markings on all sides of the screen for previewing print formats. The back of the monitor has a lot of square shaped vents for cooling.
Monitor can be swiveled to face in portrait mode
The display has a bunch of connectivity options which include HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, VGA, a proprietary USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting headphones. All these ports are located at the back. There are two USB ports as well as a memory card reader to the left of the monitor. The stand of this monitor like the display is quite bulky in design. The base of the stand has a swivel functionality. The stand can be raised vertically to allow the monitor to be used in portrait mode. Overall the design of the ASUS PA246Q is average, but it is very sturdy. ASUS could have worked a little more on the physical looks of this monitor to give it a classier feel.
The ASUS PA246Q uses a 24.1-inch panel on this monitor. The panel used for this monitor is the new P-IPS, which is the short form for professional in-plane switching panel. Using FRC, the monitor is able to simulate 10-bit colours. This display features built-in USB hub with two ports and a 7-in-one card reader. The larger aspect ratio means you get more workspace and resolution. Going from 1920x1080 to 1920x1200 is a fairly big leap. The screen can be adjusted to an aspect ratio of 16:9, but one will notice black bands at the top and bottom.
Quickfit and display controls available on the bottom right
The onscreen display on the PA246Q is simple to use after you get used to it. In the beginning, it’s overwhelming with the number of options and controls. For example, there are a ton of colour controls to handle everything from the saturation levels to the hues. There are ready profiles for sRGB and Adobe RGB modes, as well as the usual colour presets that users can switch to. Apart from the Standard mode, the User mode allows tweaking of all of the display’s parameters. This is useful while calibrating the monitor. There’s also the QuickFit feature which allows users to get a preview of how their work will appear on print, on an A4 sized paper for example.
The PA246Q was a more impressive monitor when it came to colours and clarity. We found the brightness levels to be very high. Despite our effort to reduce brightness, we weren’t able to bring it down to a really low level. During the test, we ran the screen at a brightness of 10 per cent and it was still way brighter than all of the other screens.
7 in one memory card reader and USB connectors on the left of the monitor
One of the anomalies we noticed in the grey gradient test was the slight green tinge. Another thing that we noticed was that some colours such as red and green were over-emphasised. They appeared more fluorescent than normal. The other colours looked more natural. The black levels on the screen weren’t excellent. For example, the other display we reviewed recently, the BenQ EW2430V had visibly better contrast levels. The backlighting, however was very even. Viewing angles were good, too.
Rear connectors for HDMI, DVI, VGA and others
The same characteristic behavior that we noticed on the BenQ display was visible on this display. In the 64 step intensity chart, we noticed blue transitioning into black sooner than the other colours. Still, this was way better than most TN panels we’ve tested in the past. Skin tones seem enhanced as with all colours on the display. The display looked a little sharper and clearer because of the extra bright levels. Darker scenes take advantage of this and look clearer, but colours are definitely not natural.
Vibrant Colours on this ProArt Series monitor
The ASUS PA246Q is aimed at a completely different audience. It’s made for the graphics designers fraternity. The PA246Q is in many ways impressive. It renders colours beautifully, but not necessarily, accurate. The PA246Q has a wide variety of controls that allow you to calibrate it perfectly. Anyone buying this monitor should buy a calibration unit as this isn’t a monitor you use straight out of the box. Priced at Rs. 31,000, it’s way more expensive than most other 24-inch displays, as well. For a slightly larger sum, you could buy a 27-inch display that supports a resolution of 2560x1440.