ASUS PA279CRV Review: Professional 4K IPS Monitor

The ASUS PA279CRV is a 27" 4K IPS monitor with 99% Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, excellent factory calibration, USB-C and more!

Bottom Line

The ASUS PA279CRV is an excellent value 4K IPS monitor for color-critical work involving sRGB, Rec.709, DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB color spaces. On top of that, it features rich connectivity options, a robust design and plenty of additional features.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.4)
Price/Value:
(4.9)
4.8

The ASUS ProArt PA279CRV is a 27″ 4K IPS monitor with a wide color gamut coverage, professional-grade factory calibration, robust design and extensive connectivity options – what’s more, it’s available at an alluring price!

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel with 178° wide viewing angles, 10-bit color depth (8-bit + 2-bit FRC) and 99% Adobe RGB and 99% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, the PA279CRV delivers consistent, accurate and vibrant colors fit for professional color-critical work.

As you will be able to see below, it comes with outstanding factory calibration for all important color spaces, so it’s ready for work straight out of the box.

For our testing, calibration and profiling, we’re using the Datacolor SpyderX Pro paired with DisplayCAL and HCFR software. The testing was done after the monitor had warmed up and we disabled all eco/power-saving features and local dimming.

ASUS PA279CRV and Datacolor SpyderX Pro

Here’s a look at how the monitor performs in its sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3 and Rec709 picture presets when it comes to color accuracy, gamma and color temperature.

Note that the monitor’s default preset is Native, which doesn’t clamp the gamut at all, resulting in a high maximum Delta E of 4.49 when measured against DCI-P3 (maximum Delta E was higher against other color spaces).

So, while this mode is great for everyday use if you want to enjoy saturated colors, you will need to change to another preset depending on your work.

The monitor also has a Rec2020 mode (with a high maximum delta E of 5.57, which is understandable considering no display covers the entire Rec2020 color space yet), a DICOM mode (for medical imaging), HDR (only available when HDR signal is detected), and two User modes for customization, which give the same results as Native.

ASUS PA279CRV Color Gamut

In the image above, you can see the color gamut of the ASUS PA279CRV. The gamut volume is measured in the Rec.2020 picture preset, while each gamut coverage is measured in its respective picture mode.

sRGB Color Gamut Volume Chart

After calibration using the User mode, we managed to get a wider 98% Adobe RGB and 97% DCI-P3 gamut coverage, a bit shy of the specified 99%, but enough for professional color-critical work in either color space.

ASUS PA279CRV After Calibration
ASUS PA279CRV after calibration

We changed red gain to 47, green to 48 and blue to 45 to get a color temperature of 6469K. After calibration, we also got a lower average Delta E of 0.4 and a maximum of 1.5, while the gamma follows the sRGB tone curve accurately. We used a brightness setting of 31 to get 120-nits.

You can download our ICC profile here.

Here’s a summary of how the main picture modes perform.

 NativesRGBAdobe
RGB
DCI-P3Rec.709Rec.2020
Maximum Brightness38084382372382383
Minimum Brightness398440383940
Contrast Ratio (x:1)9779381043106010501050
Color Temperature6800K6765K6812K6050K6780K6802K
Gamma2.212.22.22.622.412.41
Delta E (average)1.420.80.580.580.571.52
Delta E (maximum)4.492.041.382.341.275.57
sRGB Coverage (%)99.6989999.797.999.7
sRGB Volume (%)166.1103.1142.2136.9103.3172
DCI-P3 Coverage (%)96.572.985.295.27397.1
DCI-P3 Volume (%)117.773.1100.79773.2121.9
Adobe RGB Coverage (%)97.869.595.581.869.597.8
Adobe RGB Volume (%)114.571.19894.371.2118.5

Overall, the out-of-the-box performance is impressive across the board. The results aren’t perfect, but when taking panel variance and margin of error into account, they are still outstanding. The 6800K color temperature, for instance, is a bit bluish/colder than the 6500K whitepoint, but not really noticeable to the naked eye (Delta E of 3.3).

Color Accuracy Chart

As every professional colorist should also have a colorimeter at hand (given that occasional re-calibration is necessary as the backlight ages), these small errors can easily be fixed.

The best part is that you can adjust the RGB gain for each picture preset (except sRGB) – the settings aren’t locked, which is what we usually find on most monitors. For some reason, you also cannot change the gamma in Adobe RGB, User 1 and User 2 modes.

While the brightness is locked to ~80-nits in the sRGB mode (which is the proper brightness level for sRGB grading), if you wish to have a higher or lower brightness with an sRGB color space clamp, you can simply switch to the Rec.709 mode and change the gamma from 2.4 to 2.2.

We also tried using AMD’s Color Temperature setting to software-clamp the gamut. While it did reduce the gamut down to 123.8% sRGB volume, it wasn’t enough as colors will still over-saturation. Results may vary on your unit, but you always have the Rec.709 color mode with 2.2 gamma method.

Image uniformity is decent with the right part of the screen being slightly dimmer (up to ~10-nits difference), but we didn’t notice this in real-world use.

ASUS PA279CRV Picture Uniformity
ASUS PA279CRV brightness and contrast uniformity

Further, the 4K UHD resolution provides you with a high pixel density of 163 PPI (pixels per inch) on the 27″ viewable screen of the PA279CRV. As a result, you get plenty of screen space with very crisp details and text. Most users prefer to use 150% scaling at this pixel density, which will reduce the amount of screen real estate to the equivalent of 2560×1440, but with noticeably sharper text.

1080p monitor vs 4K (Scaling)

Next, we didn’t detect any frame skipping or excessive backlight bleeding and IPS glow. However, there are two stuck red pixels: one in the bottom left part of the screen and the other in the top right area, but they’re very hard to spot due to the high pixel density and weren’t noticeable during regular use at a normal viewing distance.

There was some noticeable flickering (pixel-walk or pixel inversion) when observing the pattern 3 test over at lagon.nl, but we didn’t run into this issue during everyday use. We also ran into a minor temporary image retention issue, which we believe is related to this LCD inversion behavior.

When doing Blur Buster’s UFO ghosting test for a few minutes, the flickering sequence would remain visible on dark backgrounds for some time, but it would disappear after playing regular content. We didn’t run into this issue during everyday use either.

ASUS PA279CRV Quality Control Issues

The backlight is otherwise flicker-free (unless local dimming is enabled) and there’s a low-blue light hardware solution and a dedicated filter setting.

Below you can see how brightness, contrast ratio and color temperature change across different brightness OSD (On-Screen Display) settings.

Overall, the ASUS PA279CRV offers excellent factory calibration and color gamut out of the box. The minimum and maximum brightness of 39-nits and 383-nits allows the monitor to get either dim or bright enough for any SDR color-critical work.

Brightness Chart

The static contrast ratio amounts to around 1,000:1 (948:1 measured), as expected from an IPS panel and there’s minimum IPS glow. Finally, the 10-bit color depth support provides smooth gradients without banding, while the high pixel density ensures incredibly sharp details and text.

Contrast Ratio Chart

We were pleasantly surprised that you can change almost all image settings in most picture presets (most importantly, the RGB gain for color temperature fine-tuning) since for some reason, most monitors have these options locked!

HDR

The ASUS PA279CRV also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and has VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification.

However, it has only 8 dimming zones and we measured a peak brightness of 448-nits regardless of the window size, so don’t expect a true HDR viewing experience since in most scenes, all zones will be lit up, while scenes with bright and dark objects far apart will have noticeable vertical banding.

Maximum HDR Brightness Chart

There are four local dimming (Dynamic Dimming option in the OSD menu) options: Fast, Medium, Gradual and Off. The Fast option can sometimes cause flickering-like visual artifacts, while the Gradual mode has too slow transitions as vertical banding from the zones remains briefly visible after changing scenes.

So, if you opt to use local dimming, we recommend the default Medium option.

You can use and disable local dimming in both SDR and HDR. Further, local dimming, HDR and VRR can be used at the same time.

There are three HDR modes: PQ Optimized, PQ Clip and PQ Basic, but we haven’t noticed any differences between them.

Overall, thanks to the monitor’s wide DCI-P3 color gamut and increased HDR brightness, some users might prefer HDR image quality over SDR, but this will come down to your personal preference and the content’s HDR implementation.

While you might prefer the look of HDR on this monitor in some scenes, keep in mind that HDR will be far from the creator’s intent as details in shadows and highlights of the image will be lost due to the small number of dimming zones and low brightness.

Performance

ASUS ProArt PA279CRV and OSRTT

The ASUS PA279CRV has six response time overdrive modes under Image settings called TraceFree, ranging from 0 to 100 in increments of 20.

The default 60 mode offers the best performance since 40 and lower are a bit slower, whereas 80 and 100 add noticeable overshoot.

For pixel response time speed and input lag testing, we’re using OSRTT.

Overall, there is no visible ghosting behind fast-moving objects thanks to the 10.84ms average GtG pixel response time speed with 100% of pixel transitions making it within the 16.67ms refresh window.

Response Time Speed Chart
VRR Response Time Chart

However, the motion will be blurry and stuttery due to the low 60Hz refresh rate. We also used Blur Busters’ UFO ghosting test, which confirms our pixel response time testing as you can already see overshoot at TraceFree 80, while TraceFree 60 has slightly less ghosting than TraceFree 20.

ASUS PA279CRV UFO Ghosting Test

Finally, we used OSRTT to measure the display latency of only 8.4ms at 60Hz, which means that there’s no perceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen.

ASUS PA279CRV Input Lag
Display Lag Chart
60Hz Display Lag Chart

The ASUS PA279CRV also supports variable refresh rate (VRR) with a 48-60Hz dynamic range and has VESA’s MediaSync certification.

Related:What Is VESA AdaptiveSync and MediaSync?

While it doesn’t have official AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible certifications, VRR works with compatible Radeon and GeForce GPUs without any issues.

To enable VRR, you must first enable MediaSync in the OSD menu (under the Settings sub-menu). Keep in mind that once you enable MediaSync, TraceFree will be locked to whatever setting it was set to before, so make sure that’s set to 60 for optimal performance.

ASUS PA279CRV FreeSync Range

While the 48-60Hz range isn’t particularly useful for gaming, it allows for judder-free playback of 24FPS content.

All in all, most gamers will be repulsed by the low 60Hz refresh rate, but if you’re not playing fast-paced games, you can still get an enjoyable gaming performance without any ghosting, perceptible lag or screen tearing between 48 and 60FPS.

Features

On the bottom bezel of the ASUS PA279CRV monitor, you’ll find a dedicated power button, five hotkeys and a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD menu.

Two of those hotkeys can be assigned to the following functions: blue light filter, brightness, contrast, HDR, PiP/PbP, color temperature, volume, energy saving and User 1 or User 2 preset. The other three hotkeys are used for QuickFit Plus, input source selection and the cancel/exit button.

Pressing the joystick or any of the hotkeys will open up a small menu, from which you can use the hotkeys as shortcuts for certain actions or enter the main menu.

In the menu, you’ll find various picture presets mentioned earlier and the usual image adjustment tools, such as brightness, contrast, input source selection (including auto switch) and color temperature (9300K, 6500K, 5500K, 5000K and P3-Theater – only available in the DCI-P3 preset and is meant to have 6300K).

You’ll also find some advanced image adjustment tools, including hue, saturation, sharpness, gamma (1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.4 and 2.6), RGB gain and offset, Black Level (increases the visibility of objects in the dark by altering the gamma curvature), aspect control (full, dot to dot and 1:1 ratio), input range (auto, full, 16-235 limited and 16-254 limited) and Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture.

You can also assign different color modes to the Main and Sub windows when using PiP/PbP.

ASUS PA279CRV Picture by Picture
Picture by Picture – Left: DisplayPort, Rec2020 Mode. Right: HDMI, sRGB Mode

The ASUS PA279CRV also supports QuickFit Plus, which allows you to place various grids on the screen, including three different center markers and four different “safe area” modes.

You can also place a custom highlighted square/rectangle shape in the center of the screen, place an on-screen ruler and use Mirror Mode.

Other settings include key lock, power indicator on/off, power saving, sound (volume, mute and source), and OSD (timeout, transparency, DDC/CI and OSD auto-rotation).

Design & Connectivity

The stand other monitor is very robust and versatile. It’s made of high-quality materials and doesn’t take up a lot of desk space. The monitor has an integrated power supply and a power switch.

You get full ergonomic support, including up to 130mm height adjustment, -5°/23° tilt, +/- 90° pivot, +/- 30° swivel and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Further, the screen has a very light matte anti-glare coating that’s good at handling reflections without making the image too grainy. The bezels are ultra-thin at the top and at the sides (with a ~5mm black border), while the bottom bezel is a bit thicker at around 15mm.

Connectivity options are abundant and include DisplayPort 1.4 input, DisplayPort 1.4 output for daisy-chaining, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, two 2W built-in speakers, a USB-C port with DP 1.4 Alt Mode and 96W Power Delivery, three downstream USB 3.0 type A ports and an additional USB-C port with 15W PD.

ASUS PA279CRV Connectivity Options

You can daisy chain up to four monitors via DisplayPort or USB-C (DP Alt Mode) with the maximum resolution being 4K 60Hz 8-bit color depth if no USB-C devices are connected. In the image below, we daisy-chained the BenQ XL2566K from our previous review, which was limited to 1080p 144Hz or 1080p 240Hz with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling.

ASUS PA279CRV Daisy Chain

In the box, along with the monitor and the stand, you’ll get all the required cables, including DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C and a power cord. You’ll also get the warranty and welcome cards, a factory calibration report and a quick start guide.

Price & Similar Monitors

The ASUS ProArt PA279CRV price ranges from $420 to $470, which makes for excellent value for the money.

If you need a 27″ 4K IPS monitor for sRGB, Rec.709, DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB color-critical work, the ASUS PA279CRV is our top recommendation due to its wide color gamut with excellent factory calibration and customization for each color mode – the extensive connectivity options and the robust design are just icing on the cake!

Note that there’s also a 32″ sized variant, the ASUS PA329CRV, which goes for $560 – $630, but it doesn’t have quite as wide color gamut (98% DCI-P3, Adobe RGB coverage not specified).

For more options and information, visit our best photo/video editing monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

ASUS ProArt PA279CRV DisplayNinja Review

Overall, the ASUS ProArt PA279CRV is an excellent 4K photo/video editing monitor for the price.

It features a wide color gamut with dedicated color modes for each color space – and each color mode is factory calibrated and has customizable picture settings, such as brightness and RGB gain for color temperature fine-tuning.

Further, the monitor has extensive connectivity options, including a USB hub, DP-out for daisy-chaining, integrated speakers and a USB-C port with DP Alt Mode and up to 96W Power Delivery.

Lastly, you also get a robust and versatile design with plenty of additional features, including PiP/PbP, variable refresh rate, QuickFit Plus and more.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time5ms (GtG)
Speakers2x2W
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-60Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, DisplayPort 1.4 Output,
2x HDMI 2.0, USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 96W PD)
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 3x USB-A 3.0, 1x USB-C
Brightness350 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
99% DCI-P3, 99% Adobe RGB
HDRVESA DisplayHDR 400
Local Dimming8-zone edge-lit
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High pixel density
  • Wide color gamut – dedicated picture presets for every color space with plenty of customization available
  • Excellent factory calibration
  • Robust and versatile design
  • Extensive connectivity options, including DP-Output and USB-C with 96W PD

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and low contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Minor LCD inversion artifacts and image retention when testing certain flickering patterns, but not present in real use

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.