Asus PA238Q review
Has great colour accuracy, a fully adjustable stand and a wide variety of inputs, but you pay for them
Review Date: 25 Apr 2012
Price when reviewed: £219
Reviewed By: Barry de la Rosa
With its fully adjustable stand, a wide choice of inputs, a 4-port USB hub and an IPS panel, the Asus PA238Q is one serious piece of kit. Asus claims a 100% sRGB colour palette, and in our calibration tests the PA238Q came very close - with a little tweaking. Gamers are seriously starting to consider IPS panels because their response times are getting better, and the PA238Q's aggressive styling won't be lost on them.
Our first test was to see how well the PA238Q coped with games. The increased colour palette made the jungles and beaches of Crysis come to life, and we noticed very little ghosting, and no input lag. It's nowhere near as smooth as you'll get on a 120Hz monitor, but the boost to colour makes up for this.
In our tests, the PA238Q needed very little tweaking to get accurate colours. The calibration process dimmed the display slightly, but it reported 98% sRGB compliance from the factory settings, which is quite remarkable in itself. It also has a comprehensive menu system that lets you tweak colours in more ways than we thought possible. The Advanced Colour menu lets you change hue and saturation for the three primary colours, plus cyan, magenta and yellow, as well as RGB gain and offset.
Its image quality is superb, but if we have one complaint it's that there's a bit of backlight bleed, which presents itself as a faint blue glow in black areas. It really is amazing how images come to life when the monitor has more colours to use. In Casino Royale, the Caribbean scenes were suffused with a warm glow, while no detail was lost in the darker casino scenes, with every fold on Le Chiffre's black dinner jacket being visible.
A red line runs along the bottom edge of the monitor, and the inside edge of the bezel is marked with regular notches, just like a ruler, which gives the PA238Q a technical look. The stand has a triangular cross-section that allows for 10cm of vertical movement and the ability to pivot to portrait mode.
It's a surprisingly thin case considering the number of inputs, and it’s a case well suited to wall-mounting because all its I/O ports face either downwards or sideways. It doesn’t have speakers, which isn't a huge loss, but you can connect headphones to monitor the HDMI or DisplayPort audio. Having one of each major input available is a real bonus, and DisplayPort’s useful if you want to create a multi-monitor AMD Eyefinity setup.
A year ago, the PA238Q would have been great value, but if you don't need the adjustable stand, USB hub or DisplayPort input, the Viewsonic VX2336S-LED gives you an accurate IPS panel for only £120.
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