The Asus PA278CV is a value-oriented ProArt monitor designed for forays into professional editing without spending a fortune. It’s an upgraded version of the PA278QV since it now includes USB-C among other things. The Asus PA278CV sits at an amazing price point, but can its performance make it the go-to monitor for content creators and designers?
Asus PA278CV Specifications
- Screen Size: 27 Inches
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 75Hz
- Response Time: 5ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 350 cd/m²
- Speakers: Yes (2 x 2 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes 100 x 100
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, DP 1.2 Out x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1, USB-C 3.1 65W x 1, USB 3.1 x 4, 3.5mm Jack x 1
- Dimensions with Stand (WxHxD): 24.21” 20.63” x 8.98”
- Weight 18.5 lbs
Design and Features
The Asus PA278CV looks identical to its predecessor, but it does carry a few minor changes which make it a bit better in functionality and your eyes. It still has that familiar ProArt scheme composed of matte black and metallic textures, so it looks elegant despite being a budget model. The display is bezel-free on three sides, so you get a nice and clean view of the IPS display.
The Asus PA278CV seems like it’s a bigger monitor than its predecessor, but it only grew a few millimeters in depth. The stand’s upright is thicker this time around, but the overall depth of the device is still under nine inches. However, it’s quite heavy for a 27-inch monitor at almost nineteen pounds, but it’s still reasonably for today’s standards.
Build quality for the Asus PA278CV is as expected, excellent since there are no cosmetic defects and every panel meets without any gaps. The device feels sturdy even if it’s mostly made out of plastic just like the brand’s other premium products. We also didn’t notice any wobbling from the stand since it’s capable of holding the monitor up properly.
One disappointment we had with the Asus PA278CV is it still uses OSD buttons at a time when most of Asus’ specialized variants already use joysticks. The layout is visible at the front so you can see them directly and they are labeled on the screen. However, it still takes more time to get to a setting using this implementation, although we’re willing to forgive it because of the price.
The good-looking stand included with the Asus PA278CV offers tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments to suit your needs. It’s easy to get a comfortable view angle with this model so it’s ideal for all kinds of setups. You can use VESA mounts instead, but that just adds cost and is only necessary if space is very limited.
The Asus PA278CV’s main upgrade over the older model is its I/O layout which includes DisplayPort 1.2 and DP Out for daisy chaining, along with an HDMI 1.4 slot. You also get a 65-watt USB-C port this time around for seamless connection with modern laptops like the MacBook Pro. You also get four USB 3.1 slots for accessories and a standard analog jack for headphones.
We like that the Asus PA278CV still includes built-in speakers despite the bevy of features it already offers. The bad news is it’s the same old 2-watt pair the brand uses on most of its monitors. They aren’t capable of good sound quality, especially when the volume is turned up.
Display and Performance
The Asus PA278CV sports a 27-inch IPS panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, a 75Hz refresh rate, and a 5ms response time. The backlight is rated at 350 cd/m2 while the contrast ratio is still at 1000:1 like most IPS panels. This model is a ProArt monitor, so it focuses on image quality rather than HDR or gamer-centric capabilities.
1440p in a 27-inch screen is perfect for all-around use since it offers more space and crispness, but it’s not too sharp like some 4K displays. Games will look considerably better, but you will need a strong GPU for consistent framerates. Productivity on the other hand will not suffer since legibility is still excellent and you get around 60% more space to work with.
The Asus PA278CV renders 100% of the sRGB and around 80% Adobe RGB which are excellent for a prosumer display in this price range. Default accuracy has a deltaE average of only 1.24 which isn’t perfect but is still great for editing work. It’s far from comparable to high-end editing monitors, but the screen is decently tuned and great for budding artists.
Calibrating the Asus PA278CV resulted in a superb dE average of only 0.34 which is quite close to a perfect score. The screen’s colors look photo-realistic so there is no need to spend on a higher-tiered model unless you need wider gamut coverage. Most users won’t need to buy a colorimeter, but it will work great if you already have one.
The Asus PA278CV’s backlight can punch up to 390 cd/m2 so it gives you plenty of adjustment range. Its contrast maxes out at 1069:1 at 50% brightness, but it still cannot produce deeper blacks like most IPS panels. That’s expected from a monitor like this, although there are some models with special treatments that has minimized this limitation.
Panel uniformity for the Asus PA278CV could better especially when it’s showing dark or black images. The screen doesn’t have major backlight leaks, but it does have some clouding issues which are noticeable in low-light pictures. However, this aspect varies between every unit so there are better ones out there.
The Asus PA278CV’s response time is great compared to other editing monitors we’ve seen in recent months. Blurs and smudges are minimal so using a bit of overdrive or its Trace-Free setting can help make them unnoticeable. We only recommend the 40 level since anything higher will induce overshoot.
The Asus PA278CV is a FreeSync monitor and it also supports G-Sync even if it’s not certified by Nvidia. It’s nice to have VRR for times when you want to play games at ultra settings without worrying about tearing and stuttering. Input lag sits at 8ms at 75Hz, so there is no need to worry about de-synced instances or delays while gaming.
Thoughts on the Asus PA278CV
The Asus PA278CV is a fantastic buy at its current price point for users who want a capable editing screen with some gaming chops. The IPS panel is accurate out of the box, but it also responds to calibration quite well. We like that it has USB-C for modern laptops, plus it’s responsive and smooth enough for gaming on PC and consoles.
It’s tough to list faults from the Asus PA278CV since it’s a great monitor overall with a very reasonable price. its weakest performance is its panel uniformity, but that varies between every unit so you can get one with fewer symptoms. However, it’s a great buy for mixed and daily use, and we highly recommend it in the sub-$400 category.
- Excellent Color Accuracy (Default and Calibrated)
- Attractive Design
- Includes 65-Watt USB-C
- Reasonable Price
- FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible
- OSD Buttons
- Limited Contrast
About the Author: Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since junior high. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.