The ASUS PA246Q comes designed to compete at the higher end of LCDs, with a 16:10 aspect ratio, AdobeRGB color gamut, 10-bit panel (using ARFC to extend a native 8-bit panel), and a fully adjustable stand. It also promises better performance out of the box than other displays, so you don’t need to own calibration equipment to get a more accurate image, and has a full CMS that you don’t see on PC monitors very often.

In a few places it delivers but in others it falls short. The out of the box performance might have met their dE target, but there are so many different ways to determine the average dE and no method is given here, so I can’t determine for sure if ASUS is achieving their goal. What I can determine is how it rates using our standard measurements; unfortunately, it came in at the same level as other displays when looking at real world, Gretag Macbeth colors on the color checker chart. Once calibrated the performance is good for colors, but the grayscale is off by quite a bit delivers overall inaccurate color reproduction compared to other high-end displays.

From a strictly personal view, the screen itself looks very nice and clean, and the anti-glare coating shouldn’t distract anyone I don’t think. Much as high-end projectors are said to give a “film-like” image, the PA246Q image looks very nice and natural in daily use. Even with my personal preferences towards the image it produces, the higher black levels and lower contrast ratios also leave a bit to be desired and leads me to wonder when we can finally get a backlit, RGB LED array display to address this.

The one area that really isn’t there yet is the CMS system. While very promising for the future with displays, I would like to see a full 3D system and not 2D, so that you can get all the primary and secondary points dialed in correctly. The main issue is that the math for determining the intermediate points doesn’t seem to be correct, which leads to an image with banding in gradients and image posterization. This is another reason that typical measurements of display performance often fall short as if you only measure the six target points the CMS would look fantastic, but the other billion points look much worse in real life.

Overall the ASUS PA246Q does a lot of things well and is even acceptable for gaming, but it doesn’t do anything amazingly well. I would say it is a great general-purpose display, but the price tag puts it well beyond that category for most people as it clearly aims for a higher level of use. One main competitor would be the Dell U2410, but I haven’t reviewed that so I can’t say how it would stack up in comparison. If the ASUS came in closer to $350-400 it would be easy to recommend, but at nearly $500 with calibrated results that leave a bit to be desired in the grayscale I find that harder to do.

Since I haven’t used the main competitors, the ASUS PA246Q could easily be the best choice in its price range if you need IPS, AdobeRGB, a 16:10 ratio, an ergonomic stand, and decent calibrated results. It just isn’t exceptional enough at what it does for me to be able to unconditionally recommend it for everyone.

ASUS PA246Q - Input Lag and Power Use
POST A COMMENT

52 Comments

View All Comments

  • Conficio - Monday, July 2, 2012 - link

    just saying! Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - link

    Heh, yeah I agree. One of the reasons I still have a 5 year old NEC is because everything else 24" <$300 is 1920x1080.

    I need that extra screen real-estate, 120 pixels is an entire row of icons.
    Reply
  • kkwst2 - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - link

    You can find the Dell U2412M for less than $300. It is e-IPS, which has compromises but is pretty decent. Reply
  • synaesthetic - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - link

    I use the U2412M and I love it, despite the compromises one must take for eIPS--mind you, I'm not a photographer and I actually play a lot of games, but the input lag is low and it doesn't ever feel "slow." The viewing angles are fantastic, great for when folks cluster around the PC to watch videos. :) Reply
  • Kel Ghu - Saturday, July 7, 2012 - link

    Agreed. I'm also mainly a hardcore gamer, but I do a little photo editing too. And you just can't beat the U2412M for the price. With a little calibration, it's really that good. It's not as good as a "real" IPS nor a TN panel. But it retains like 80% of the qualities of both systems! Reply
  • aranyagag - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - link

    +1 for 16:10 --voted with my wallet Reply
  • TheCrackLing - Monday, July 2, 2012 - link

    You have the min/max backwards for some of the monitors in the graphs.

    BenQ VW2420
    Asus PA246Q
    NEC PA271W
    NEC PA301W
    DoubleSight DS-277W

    Are all backwards, and because of this it's causing the sorting on the graph to be a bit off.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 2, 2012 - link

    Fixed. Probably just an error in the data in Chris' spreadsheet. Reply
  • rahvin - Friday, July 6, 2012 - link

    Jared, can you weigh thing without the stand attached. Might seem a strange request but I use a 2 monitor arm that uses VESA mounts but the system has a weight and size limit. I purchased 22 inch originally to stay under the weight limit (and I'm looking for a better monitor for the main monitor) but ASUS doesn't seem to care to tell anyone what the monitor weighs without the stand as I've looked everywhere. Reply
  • goinginstyle - Monday, July 2, 2012 - link

    You guys know this has been replaced by the PA248Q at a much lower price of $339. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now