ASUS PA246Q - Brightness and Contrast Ratios

As important as color accuracy is, everything starts with the dynamic range a display offers, which is based on its contrast ratio and brightness. If you have perfect colors but very little dynamic range, you won’t be able to distinguish light from dark, or have shadows or highlights that have any depth to them. Cranked up to the maximum with a calibrated screen, I obtained 284 nits of light from the PA246Q, and at the minimum setting I managed 104 nits. Since this is from a calibrated setting, the maximum output is reduced. You can push all of your settings to the maximum and get a brighter image from the PA246Q but it will be excessively green tinted as green has the highest light output of the primary colors.

White Level -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Even with it only producing 284 nits, this is more than enough for any work environment it will see in the real world. The minimum output is a little higher than I would prefer, as some people work as low as 80 or 100 nits for print work, but it isn’t awful. IPS traditionally doesn't excel in black levels compared to VA panels, and the PA246Q doesn’t have a dynamic LED lighting system or any other technology to try to improve this. Because of this we have a really high black level on the PA246Q, with the lowest value I could obtain being 0.16 nits. I don’t use a 100% black screen for these measurements as that allows some panels to totally turn off the backlight and it’s not applicable to any real-world use, but I have a small amount of light at the edges of the screen for testing. Because of this you can potentially coax better numbers out of some displays than whay I report, but I don’t feel they have any real world application.

Black Level - XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

With this higher black level, we manage to get a contrast ratio that is pretty ordinary at best. Coming in at around 650:1 this comes in close to some of the inexpensive TN displays we've reviewed, along with the cheaper IPS panels that have been in the lab. Other models are able to pull out 1000:1 or better, which is what I would like to see out of a high-end panel now. Most of these panels aren’t using a wide spectrum backlight that can support the AdobeRGB colorspace, and that support might be what is causing the higher black levels and lower contrast ratio, so it is something users would have to consider when evaluating the PA246Q for their use.

Contrast Ratio -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Overall the brightness numbers for the PA246Q are good, but the black level and therefore contrast ratio numbers leave a little more to be desired from a display at this price point.

Design, OSD, and Viewing Angles ASUS PA246Q - Color Quality
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  • cheinonen - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Anand did a quick look at one last month and some numbers on it. As mentioned, they're import units that are going to be lacking much of a warranty or dead pixel replacement or anything else. They also all seem to lack DisplayPort inputs (DVI only), any sort of adjustable stand, much of an OSD or control beyond brightness, and use panels that aren't quite as high grade as the main manufacturers, which is how they get the costs down to this.

    Unfortunately it's beyond my means to go buy everything for review, even if it is a $350 unit, and I do have serious reservations myself when thinking about recommending a unit that will lack a warranty or much ability to exchange it for a new one in case it is defective.
    Reply
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    It's A- instead of A+. And there's no point in a "pixel perfect" screen; extra money is being paid for nothing. They are rated A- for a reason.

    The boards convert DVI to eDP internally, so DP support might be possible with a little hacking.

    Credit card warranty should cover these monitors, and risk of defective units can be mitigated through the same.
    Reply
  • madmilk - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/Show/Index/5885?cPage=2&a...

    It's not really a full review, but it has the important stuff.
    Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    ...just a shame it looks like it came from 2003. Reply
  • Sunny129 - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Chris,

    Is the Dell U2410 on your list of displays to test? I would love to see a review of a display that directly competes w/ the ASUS PA246Q, namely the Dell U2410. You're already reviewed the Dell U 2412M, so if you choose to review the ASUS PA248Q in the future, there's already a Dell U2412M review to compare it to. the ASUS PA246Q on the other hand is the only display of its kind to be reviewed here yet (to my knowledge), and so we need another review of a display that's as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as possible (something w/ at least a true 8-bit panel, 1920 x 1200 res, ~$500 price range, etc).

    Thanks,
    Eric
    Reply
  • Makaveli - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    If they are going to review a U2410 which is a few years old now, they would also need to review the HP ZR24w both are IPS and real 8 bit panels compared to the 6 bit e-ips panel in the U2412m. i'm not sure what panel the replacement for the ZR24w is using only that its an LED panel, so people have complained about poorer blacks. Reply
  • cheinonen - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Dell doesn't have a U2410 available for me to review, which leads me to think we might see a replacement for it in the near future. I asked but couldn't get one. Reply
  • xKeGSx - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Any word on the 27" variants of this monitor. Being the ProArt PA278Q and the non-calibrated and missing USB 3.0 ports VA278Q? Thanks Been reading for over 10 years now. Keep it up! Reply
  • DeathBooger - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    I have two of these monitors. When I got them, one had a blue tint and the other had a red tint. Both cleaned up fine once I properly calibrated them with my Datacolor Spyder. They match up just fine once calibrated. Reply
  • Leyawiin - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    Other than a few minor changes they're practically the same monitor...only the PA248Q is much cheaper and has slightly better contrast.

    http://www.digitalversus.com/lcd-monitor/asus-pa24...
    Reply

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