The Asus PA32UC offers a combination of a 4K resolution with HDR imaging capabilities wrapped in a sophisticated, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3-equipped package. Like the upcoming Asus PA27AC, this new model is aimed at professionals who want a monitor for color-critical work, or those who wish for full-HDR capabilities for entertainment. The Asus PA32UC offers dramatically improved performances over the PA328Q, making it the best designer monitor we have seen to date.
Asus PA32UC Specifications
- Screen Size: 32 Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K UHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 5ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 1000 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 3 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes (4.72 Inches)
- Stand: Tilt – Yes (-5°/+23°)
- Stand: Swivel – Yes (-60°/+60°)
- Stand: Pivot – Yes (0°/90°)
- VESA Compatibility: Yes 100 x 100
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 2.0a x 1, USB-C Thunderbolt 3 x 2 (In/Out), USB 3.0 x 2, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 28.62” x 23.62” x 9.02″
- Weight: 25.13lbs
Design and Features
The Asus PA32UC sports the latest ProArt Series aesthetic which is composed of sleek proportions and beautifully crafted materials and accents. The face isn’t as borderless as some would like, but engineers probably chose this route to help accommodate the backlight solution. However, the monitor looks bezel-free upfront due to the extremely thin strips at the top and the sides.
The cabinet comes in a matte black plastic finish which adds flair to the gadget while helping to avoid dust and smudge retention on the surface. Like the PA27UC and most of the brand’s gaming models, the Asus PA32UC also utilizes a functional layout which we think is one of the most convenient, save for those with included remotes.
Asus’ signature layout of hotkeys and a multi-directional joystick can be found on the lower corner which is accessible from the right when facing the Asus PA32UC. Like all of the firm’s high-end and midrange products, the metallic stand with a gold accent can be removed via a QD button which will, in turn, reveal VESA 100 x 100 mounts. Even the base is well-crafted, with subtle hints of luxury despite its flattened square form.
The I/O layout on the Asus PA32UC is deserving of the professional and premium category the product belongs to for including excellent flagship-level features. The panel comprises DisplayPort 1.2, four HDMI 2.0b for primary display inputs, but there are also two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports which can support docking and daisy-chaining. A USB-C downstream slot, USB 3.0 receptacles, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a pair of 3-Watt speakers are also present to complete the package.
Display and Performance
The Asus PA32UC sports a 32-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and 5ms response time, which to most, isn’t anything special. However, the model’s 400cd/m2 typical backlight has a 348-zone direct LED matrix that can pulse up to 1000cd/m2 for HDR media. The monitor’s 10-bit color also allows it to produce comprehensive gamut coverages for drastically improved vibrancy.
When scrutinized by a colorimeter, the Asus PA32UC proudly posts valiant scores such as 100% sRGB and Adobe RGB coverage. The monitor is advertised to have 95% DCI-P3 and 85% Rec.2020, but these color modes are actually just calculated implementations that make use of the maximum color output that the monitor has in its arsenal. The modes cut away some shades from the available color volume, but you can use them as a basis to calibrate and create a custom profile for each respective standard.
The Asus PA32UC is factory-calibrated like the rest of the Pro Art line, but this has got to be the best variant yet. Out of the box, color accuracy already sits at a score of only DeltaE .5 which is spectacular when compared to other designer displays. Calibrating made that score worse with DeltaE almost reaching 1.0 which is still an excellent score nonetheless.
It seems the brand cherry-picked the IPS panels for the Asus PA32UC since we’ve yet to see other products that have almost perfectly even screens. Brightness uniformity is fantastic since each quadrant of the massive screen stays at approximate average deviance of 5%. Color is more or less the same, so users won’t have to worry about shifting tones or poor contrast in one section of the display.
The Asus PA32UC comes with a 384-zone FALD backlight that can pulse individually as needed when HDR content is on screen. The monitor carries a mode called Dynamic Dimming along with a dedicated HDR filter to maximize the specialized equipment inside the product. The panel’s contrast is already excellent at 1200:1 by default but Dynamic Dimming can improve this exponentially, reaching as much as 20000:1 in some patches on the screen.
Gaming on both PC and HDR consoles like the Xbox One X benefits substantially from the Asus PA32UC’s HDR-oriented capabilities. Compatible games like Hitman and Destiny appear much more detailed in color and objects with added depth. Environmental lighting feels much more natural, especially since Asus’ FALD implementation is much faster than the Dell UP2718Q.
The Asus PA32UC is equipped with FreeSync functionality with a range of only 40Hz to 60Hz. AMD GPU users will benefit a lot from this valuable add-on. However, there aren’t a lot of compatible GPUS that can power through a game played in 4K. We wish the lower limit were floored even further so the monitor can respond better.
The Asus PA32UC is your current best option for HDR gaming outside of the latest TVs, but it does have one flaw. The monitor clocked in at 24ms for input lag, meaning it is unsuitable for competitive titles. The monitor isn’t exactly a slowpoke. However, the delays are noticeable especially if you are used to a sub-10ms variant.
Thoughts on the Asus PA32UQ
The Asus PA32UC is the best professional monitor we have reviewed to date thanks to its exquisite screen and factory calibration. The monitor is also fantastic for 4K HDR gaming, whether if it’s for PC or consoles like the Xbox One X or the PS4 Pro. The IPS panel quality makes us think Asus specifically picked the best panels for this excellent product.
But the biggest downside to the Asus PA32UC is its whopping price which more or less amounts to $2500 in the USA. The monitor exceeded our expectations for premium displays; however, it is out of reach for most of us in the middle class. But if you’ve been saving up or have an impressive for a professional display, this is the monitor you should get.