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True 10-bit colour depth with 1,200 nits of peak brightness in the ASUS ProArt PA32UCX provides an entire spectrum of colours to work with for video editing and post-production.
ASUS announced recently the ProArt PA32UCX, the world’s first 32-inch 4K UHD HDR display with a peak brightness of 1,200 nits and mini-LED backlighting. This technology enables 1,152 zones of local dimming control and support for multiple HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, HLG and HDR-10 to produce the brightest whites and the deepest blacks with sharper, more detailed imagery.
ASUS says that “the first PC displays to support Dolby Vision have been developed in partnership with Dolby”, and they are made for content creators who demand exceptional display performance and colour accuracy for their visual workflows. It aimed “at discerning content creators including videographers, cinematographers, and colorists who are seeking the finest display for their workflow.”
ASUS Smart HDR Technology
The ASUS ProArt PA32UCX is the world’s first 32-inch 4K HDR monitor with peak brightness of 1,200 nits and mini-LED backlighting. With true 10-bit color and Quantum Dot technology, support for DCI-P3, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020, and Adobe RGB color spaces, together with a rich selection of connectivity, including dual Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort and three HDMI 2.0 ports, the PA32UCX is primed to take on any studio workflow, able to perfectly translate a story to the screen.
The monitor also features ASUS Smart HDR Technology, which supports multiple high-dynamic-range (HDR) formats and multiple PQ curves to suit the specific needs of content creators. Dolby Vision HDR transforms entertainment experiences with ultra-vivid quality, providing incredible brightness, contrast, colour and detail to make storytelling come alive. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver colours never seen on a screen before, including highlights that are up to 40 times brighter and blacks that are 10 times darker.
First announced at NAB 2019
HDR-10 support ensures compatibility with existing streaming video services and a growing list of HDR-enabled games, including hard-clipped, optimised and basic PQ curves. Hybrid log gamma (HLG) support addresses broadcast and satellite TV, including the BBC’s iPlayer and DirecTV.
ProArt PA32UCX monitors are pre-calibrated to guarantee industry-leading delta-E (E) <1 colour accuracy. Each monitor features advanced gray-scale technology to ensure images are accurately reproduced onscreen. The monitor also includes technology to ensure 95% uniformity compensation to guard against brightness and chroma (colour) fluctuations across different parts of the screen.
Created for everyday use, from the inside out, it 32-inch screen is virtually frameless on three sides, making it perfect for side-by-side, multi-display setups. An ergonomic stand offers extensive swivel, tilt and height adjustments to ensure an ideal viewing position.
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Finding the right monitor to use for your main edit app monitor can be a bit daunting. I want good color accuracy, the right inputs and something that’s easy to customize for my environment. I had the opportunity to run with a BenQ PD2720U display for a few weeks. I was able to see how it fit my needs as a monitor running various applications from edit to graphics to color.
First a few details about the monitor. BenQ—pronounced “ben-cue”—is a Taiwanese company that has been making monitors since the mid-90s and professional series displays since 2014. Their PD series of monitors are designed for precise color accuracy.
The BenQ PD2720U is a 27-inch 4K UHD IPS LCD panel. (IPS relates to how the LCD “pixels” are arranged.) IPS was developed to help with off-axis viewing and color fidelity. The display includes BenQ’s “Low Blue Light” and “ZeroFlicker” technology to help reduce eye fatigue. While not something I could test, I understand eye fatigue problems since I view displays all day long.
For video inputs, it has two Thunderbolt 3 connections so that you can connect a second 4K display, a DisplayPort (1.4) connection and two HDMI (2.0) connections. Beyond the video connections, there’s a built-in USB 3.1 hub.
The monitor comes with a well-designed stand that allows for tilt, swivel and 90-degree rotation. The stand includes a nice cable management loop that keeps cables in order even when height and rotation are adjusted.
There’s also a remote control (BenQ calls it a Hotkey Puck G2) that’s attached to a special USB port. This allows you to control the monitor without having to reach behind the unit to feel for various buttons.
Now, on to my experience using the BenQ PD2720U. Setting up the display was easy, and the stand felt sturdy. The cable management loop seems like a small thing, but when you have clients facing the back of your monitor all the time, organized cables are great.
The overall design of the display—very thin top and side bezels—kept my focus on the image display. I also appreciated the ease of switching to portrait display (yeah, I know, portrait!) when working with content destined for “the socials.”
I mentioned before that color accuracy is on my checklist for monitors. Out of the box, the BenQ PD2720U comes calibrated and has the documentation to prove it.
BenQ has teamed up with Portrait Displays to implement “Verified by CalMAN” to assure that the display meets published specs. As far as color gamut, the display covers 100% sRGB, 100% of Rec. 709 and Adobe RGB and 96% of DCI-P3. You can even split-screen gamuts to compare.
While I don’t have access to the more advanced spectroradiometers, I did use CalMAN’s C6 colorimeter to confirm the Delta E (essentially, color accuracy), which was 1.21 in this case. The higher the number the less color accuracy there is. I look for a value of under 2.
The BenQ PD2720U can accept HDR10 content, but its brightness only reaches 350cd/m2 (nits). If you need to max out at 1000 nits for HDR10, you have to take that into account when setting the display for HDR mode.
Speaking of setting modes, I got to like the Hotkey Puck. It was easy to get to settings. No reaching around feeling for buttons and joysticks. This also made switching inputs quick.
Sometimes I work on projects where my workstation has to be completely disconnected from any network and I have to use a second computer for some prep work. I can connect both to the BenQ PD2720U and use the Hotkey Puck to quickly switch between the two.
So, after using the display for a few weeks, I came to respect the color accuracy, the flexibility of inputs and the mechanical design. Oh and the Hotkey Puck. The BenQ PD2720U fit right in on my desk.
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