This ultra-wide screen will add a cinematic punch to your movies and games
Most monitors with 2,560 horizontal pixels have 1,440 vertical pixels, and so a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. However, we’ve also seen a number of 2,560×1,080 screens with 21:9 aspect ratios – closer to that of a cinema screen.
These screens were often cheaper than 2,560×1,440 models, while retaining the advantage of having far more desktop space than a standard 1080p display. The price gap has recently narrowed, to the extent that for normal desktop use you’re better off with a 16:9 model. However, a 21:9 display can still give you a more cinematic experience in games and movies, with less letterboxing in films.
The Asus PB298Q does offer a little more out of the box than many of its similarly-priced rivals. The screen comes with a height-adjustable mount, which lets you get the right viewing height for your screen without having to pile up some books. There’s also swivel and a decent amount of screen tilt, so most users should be able to find a good position for the screen. This immediately puts it above similar products from Philips, LG and AOC in terms of versatility.
The monitor also looks fairly stylish, with a thin plastic bezel around the top and sides as well as a sturdy black base and stand. There is sadly no USB hub, which is a feature we like to see on monitors costing close to £400.
The PB298Q has an interesting feature which allows you to view documents at their actual size. The monitor displays an onscreen overlay which shows the real size of various paper size formats, so you can see exactly what your document will look like once it’s printed. For UK users, however, it’s not especially useful because all the paper formats are localised to the US, so instead of A4, you get the slightly different Letter size. We couldn’t find any form of localisation in the monitor’s on-screen menus either, and the screen isn’t physically big enough to show A4 paper at its actual size.
Asus also suggests you download its useful Multi-Frame software, which allows you to easily snap windows to various parts of the screen in various sizes with a single click; it’s definitely a bonus for those who like evenly laid-out windows.
In terms of image quality, the latest generation AH IPS (Advanced High Performance IPS) panel does an excellent job. Out of the box it was able to display 98.7 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, although after calibration this figure didn’t improve. In our subjective tests blacks were deep, meaning the darker areas of our test images appeared properly black without a hint of grey. We measured contrast levels as a fairly high 974:1, which allowed us to pick out a decent amount of detail in the dark and light areas of our test photographs.
It’s important for a screen this wide that it has viewing angles to match, and as we expected for an IPS panel, they live up to the 178 degrees vertical and horizontal spec-sheet figure. Brightness and colour were even across the display, and there was no shift in either when we moved our head around in front of the screen.
The Asus PB298Q is an excellent ultra-wide display with impressive image and build quality, if a disappointing lack of extras such as a USB3 port. It’s a great screen, but unless you really want a 21:9 display we’d go for the AOC Q2770Pqu with its larger screen area.
|Viewable size||29 in|
|Horizontal viewing angle||178°|
|Vertical viewing angle||178°|
|Response time type||grey-to-grey|
|Wall mount option||yes|
|Internal speakers||yes (3W stereo)|
|Integrated power supply||yes|
|Kensington lock lug||yes|
|Audio inputs||3.5mm line in|
|Power consumption standby||0W|
|Power consumption on||37W|
|Warranty||three years RTB|