ASUS is known to be the leader on many fronts when it comes to PC hardware. They provide basic hardware such as the ASUS Prime range which is aimed for more basic use. The TUF range is their less-flamboyant, but just as capable gaming range which boasts everything from cases, laptops to GPUs, and extremely enjoyable gaming monitors. And finally, the range that has made ASUS a household name amongst gamers, and arguably the most desirable brand, making you part of the Republic of Gamers if you own some of it, is the ROG Strix range. All-out gaming and nothing spared.
Once again, ASUS has seen the need to help and support another group of users, and that is the content creators. Who doesn’t need the blistering fast refresh rates or the over-the-top RGB and countless USB ports? No, they need products that can handle high data volumes while not whimpering. While also giving the best possible image quality on a display that provides nothing but the best.
Enter the ProArt range!
Design and Ergonomics
I have yet to see an ASUS monitor that is not nice-looking. But there is something about the ASUS ProArt PA329CV that just screams presence. Yes, it is a very large 32″ monitor, and thanks to the near-borderless design it works great as a stand-alone monitor or in a multi-monitor setup. The large, and unexpectedly heavy, rectangular foot piece is well shaped, unlike many gaming monitors it ops for the more square foot piece over the more popular scissor-like stand. This is great to save space on your desk as well as make it easier to get other monitors up close to the ASUS ProArt PA329CV or drag it closer to you without making your keyboard land in your lap. If you do not have any space for the foot piece, ASUS is kind enough to supply you with an extremely robust desk mount that is capable of fitting to any normal thickness desk, even to bigger than normal desks. This clamp allows for full space optimization.
The tubular arm follows the foot piece in being conventional while classy. it is thick and strong and has great cable routing solutions that run through the center of the arm. The arm very easily clips in and out of the rear of the monitor. The monitor on the other hand is very heavy for a monitor of its size. Generally, gaming monitors of the same size are significantly lighter, but the ASUS ProArt PA329CV is not a general gaming monitor, and with the added weight comes significant improvements on the visual quality front.
The rear of the monitor is extremely minimal, where the ROG monitors will incorporate RGB or aggressive designs, the ASUS ProArt PA329CV opts to go with the plain black, metal-like finish with simple matte PRO ART on the back. Simple and classy. To the rear and sides, you are met with a multitude of inputs. 2x HDMI ports, a Display Port, a highly anticipated and great addition, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, and 2x USB 3.1 port as well as 2x USB 3.1 ports fitted to the side.
The features of the ASUS ProArt PA329CV is as follows:
- 4K HDR with 4 times the resolution of Full HD 1080p with HDR for stunning details and image quality;
- The IPS technology is optimized for the finest image quality with 178° wide-viewing-angle;
- International colour standard 100% sRGB / 100% Rec. 709 colour space for digital images and video production;
- Factory pre-calibrated with ASUS advanced grey-scale tracking technology to guarantee the ?E color difference value is less than 2;
- ProArt Palette to adjust color parameters delivers all consistency and quickly adjust to seeing the different color performance;
- USB-C connection for DisplayPort, USB data transmission and supports 65W power delivery;
- Frameless panel design for an ideal multi-display setup;
- Embedded four USB 3.0 ports for connecting mouse, keyboard, or other USB devices;
- Ergonomically-designed stand with tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments.
With the ASUS ProArt PA329CV, testing how it works was a bit more of a challenge seeing as it is not meant for gaming. Usually, we would put it through its pacing in a variety of games ranging from the more dark and moody looking titles such as Metro Exodus, and then back to the opposite end of the scale with the bright colors of something like Fortnite. But being as the ASUS ProArt PA329CV is only a 60Hz monitor it is not so easy. And some research had to be done on how exactly you would go about testing this monitor.
The ASUS ProArt PA329CV is designed for video and photo editors that need a 4K IPS monitor. IPS means in-plane switching. The panel is calibrated when it arrives and has a Calman verification in the box. It is certified for a color accuracy average of? E <2. This large 32-inch panel supports a whopping 1.07 billion colors covering 100% of the sRGB and Rec.709 spectrums. And if that was not enough of a mouthful, the ASUS ProArt PA329CV also supports VESA HDR400 which provides realistic and bright images while giving deep shadows.
VESA HDR400 is an industry-standard that ensures the panel will display a minimum peak brightness of 400cd/m2 (Candella per meter squared). This is in conjunction with specific color gamuts and bit depth which have an influence on color accuracy and contrast. Thanks to the easy and fast color gamut adjustments that are present on the ASUS ProArt PA329CV, which include, sRGB, Rec.709, DCI-P3, reading, Darkroom, and Rapid Rendering, you are sure to be able to match any color gamut you are given. Fortunately, if you are struggling to match, the ASUS ProArt PA329CV allows you to customize your color hue, temperature, and gamma through the OSD.
The ASUS ProArt PA329CV might not be capable of fast frame rates but thanks to Adaptive-Sync it can perfectly match your GPU frame rate to reduce tearing and stuttering or any artifacts. Another great point of the ASUS ProArt PA329CV for content creators and photo editors, in particular, is the 1000:1 static contrast ratio.
We used a light meter and some software that we normally use on medical monitors used for reporting x-rays and did some basic tests to see what we found, for science! Although we are not legally allowed to show you these results as the testing procedure is owned by a specific company the results were rather interesting. The greyscale test, where 19 images of gradually changing scales of grey are placed on the screen and a light meter is used to calculate the luminance is read in 5 areas of the panel to compare between each other, for reproducibility as well as against a medically certified scale.
The results were rather interesting but yet as expected from a color monitor. On the greyscale side of the test the accuracy to the required greyscale needed for medical image diagnostics was below the needed level, but only marginally. The general curve was only barely under the required level and unfortunately only badly dropped off on the really dark and really bright ends of the scale, but it did put up a tremendous effort against monitor that outprice the ASUS ProArt PA329CV by between 5-6 times.
The other observation that we found during this test was the bleeding effect observed between areas on the panel. the average bleed, which is the difference in luminance between different areas of the panel which is displaying a constant image, varies. The center was taken as the baseline and moving closer to the sides and corners we were met with a maximum variance of 11% from the center. This wouldn’t even be noticed to the untrained eye or if you sit in a well-lit room but when in a totally dark room, the slightly duller sides of the images can be noticed.
Who is the ASUS ProArt PA329CV for?
The ASUS ProArt PA329CV is not meant for the average user nor for gaming. It is solely aimed at video or photo fanatics who have content that needs a true 4K monitor like the ASUS ProArt PA329CV. The ASUS ProArt PA329CV color gamut might not quite reach the full range that is recorded by raw files it is more than adequate for nearly all photo and video editing. Although it cannot match the real high-end displays used by the best in the field, it is very suitable for first-time users who will appreciate the adjustability of the ASUS ProArt PA329CV for color management. More experienced users will appreciate the easy-to-access pre-set color setups that will help match color renditions between different programs. After some research, we found that the ASUS ProArt PA329CV provides the functions needed to be compatible with popular colorimeters.
Due to the 60Hz refresh rate, it is clear that ASUS ProArt PA329CV is not meant for gaming, and with a response time that is anything higher than 1ms, using this monitor for gaming will see you having a bad time. But it is more than capable to be an everyday monitor for general use as well and the ability to swivel on its stand and be used as a vertical monitor gives it a great dual-use for content creators who like to game. With an easy 90 degrees swing, the ASUS ProArt PA329CV becomes a great secondary monitor, and thanks to the VESA mounting it can even be used as a third streaming monitor. More commendable features are the compliance with Flicker-free and Low Blue Light standards, these are two of the aspects where cheaper monitors usually falter.
Although the ASUS ProArt PA329CV is the first monitor we have reviewed that is solely made and aimed at content creators it is tough to give it a verdict compared to anything we have reviewed before. The ASUS ProArt PA329CV does deliver a wonderful image and makes watching anything in 4K just so much better. I had a 4K video on nature running while I was writing this review and it is simply mesmerizing what quality it provides. We think any content creator, be it video or photos, would not make a mistake going with the ASUS ProArt PA329CV. And at its price tag, I can’t see why you shouldn’t be using one already.
special thanks to our friends at ASUS South Africa for this review item