There are a number of monitors out there on the market that have made me think, “wow that looks amazing”, but now that I’ve seen the supreme quality that the PA249Q from Asus can give, I am left standing beside myself in amazement. The major thing that stands out about this screen is not just the level of design thought that has been put in to it, but more the quality that it gives. I was a little weary that I was not going to see much of a difference in colour quality between this panel and the 24″ VS247 panels that I use on my desktop.
It has to be said though that there is a clear difference to be seen and like all things with monitors, this is not something that I would have been able to capture in a photo as it would never appear to look as good as it does – take the OSD images that I took with our SLR, on screen they are pin sharp with a good level of clarity, yet in a picture they don’t do the screen any justice.
Professional quality screens as we have seen through this review are built based on a differing set of criteria to say a pure gaming panel with colour and accuracy at a much higher premium here for those who are in that field of work. For professional photographers who want to get the best out of their images in post processing, or video editors who want to get the best colour and detail again that they can, having a panel that is pre-calibrated from the factory saves a lot and time and money as opposed to attempting to calibrate a panel that may in some case not deliver what they need.
There are a number of little features within the ProArt range that for me sets them miles ahead of the competition, DisplayPort compatibility is a big one as there are still a large number of displays that don’t support this interface, the QuickGrid display is another feature that works to assist the professional user and then most importantly the tight tolerances in colour variance that Asus manage via the calibration process and the Adobe RGB compatibility – ideal for Photoshop, Lightroom and After Effects users.
For gamers a panel like this is not going to be exactly what they need, but again the colour and clarity that, to be honest, has to be seen in the flesh to be believed is amazing and it really will make purchasing a top end graphics card even more worth it with the high level of detail that they can output.
Other things to consider with this panel are its other physical features such as the pre-constructed stand, creating a no-hassle setup, a wide range of display inputs, four USB3.0 ports on the side, a smooth rotation and tilt as well as a firm yet easy to adjust height. Everything about this monitor has been thought through so well that I think its going to be quite a while before I find something that in my eyes gives it a run for its money and considering I’m in the running for a new monitor for my home setup, Asus may have made my search quick and to the point as nothing I have seen to date can step in front of the PA249Q in the 24″ size range, short of stepping up to 27″ and a 2560 resolution. Should Asus create a 2560×1600 version of this monitor then with out a doubt I would have one (or two) but at this moment in time, for around £450, I know its a bit more to pay for a screen, but believe me, it is worth every single penny.
Sadly we don’t do a product of the year award, but if we did it would get it hands down, in the meantime though I’ll happily give this our Editor’s Choice award – its a panel that gives colour and detail so immense that you truly have to see to believe.