- Attractive, Minimalist Design
- Excellent Color Profiles and Pre-Calibration
- Infinite Contrast
- Great HDR Performance
- No FreeSync
- 22-inch Too Small
- Limited Availability
The Asus PQ22UC is a long-awaited professional monitor that offers a 4K OLED screen with dazzling colors and contrast for chart-topping image quality. The monitor incorporates excellent portability and suitability for professionals on the go who use USB-C mobile workstations like the MacBook Pro. However, the most striking characteristic of the PQ22UC is its price which asks the question if its worth every penny you will have to spend on this ultra-premium product.
Asus PQ22UC Specifications
- Screen Size: 22 Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: OLED
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: .1ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 140cd/m² (330 cd/m² Peak)
- Built-in Speakers: No
- Stand: Height -No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- VESA Compatibility: No
- Connectivity: USB-C x 2, Micro HDMI x 1
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 11” x 15.04” x 5.05”
- Weight: 4.63 lbs
Design and Features
The Asus PQ22UC belongs in the ProArt line which has a distinct and luxurious aesthetic concept over the other categories. The product has a neat gunmetal color all over, white the specific smart case for it comes in matte black. The display isn’t bezel-free unfortunately, but the borders are thinner on three sides and somehow flushed against the screen’s outer layer.
This model looks more like a tablet than a monitor just like the Asus MB16AC to give way for its portability aspect. You can easily slip the Asus PQ22UC in a larger laptop bag next to your USB-C laptop since its so thin and light. The product also comes with a downsized stand, but the smart flip covers should also keep it upright decently.
Build quality for the Asus PQ22UC since the brand spared no expense when it came to material selection and craftsmanship. There is a feeling of fragility since the device is so thin, plus its also a fact that you can crack the panel if dropped. Taking extra care and using the flip cover while carrying is necessary, especially since the monitor commands an investment-level cost of ownership.
The Asus PQ22UC doesn’t use a typical monitor stand as mentioned, so naturally, ergonomics is limited. The flip cover and the portable stand can only offer tilt, so some users might feel uncomfortable with the display’s limited height. There is also no VESA mounts, but you can use one if you opt for bracket adapter kits like this product.
The Asus PQ22UC also doesn’t have a joystick for OSD manipulation like many of the brand’s premium offerings. You can navigate the menus and select the settings you wish to tinker with via pressable buttons on the side of the bezel. This adds a degree of difficulty for some users, but it isn’t so bad if you consider the product’s form factor.
Connectivity on the Asus PQ22UC is special due to its emphasis on modern standards and portability. The monitor only accepts video signals via its two USB-C ports with DP 1.2 Alt Modes and a Micro HDMI 2.0 slot as a secondary. Take note that you will need the other USB-C connector for the power adapter, and you can’t use this model as a dock since there is no charging output from the ports.
The Asus PQ22UC is interesting because you can still pretty much use it as a regular monitor for your PC and secondary 4K device such as a gaming console. You are going to need micro HDMI to HDMI adapters for the latter, while most modern PCs, GPUs, and laptops are already USB-C compatible out of the box. Users will have to adapt at some point, and even if these converters or adapters cost more, setup will still be painless.
Display and Performance
The Asus PQ22UC boasts a 21.5-inch OLED panel with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and a very fast 0.1ms pixel response time. The backlight is limited to 140 cd/m2, but it can burst up to 340 cd/m2 for HDR content. The latter is dimmer than typical HDR monitors, but the product still supports HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision with aplomb.
The Asus PQ22UC has a pixel density of 204PPI making images extremely well-detailed and sharper than even Apple’s Retina displays. This capability is fantastic for viewing media and visual content, but typical usage scenarios such as typing text or browsing might be difficult for some users. You are definitely going to need to use scaling if you plan on writing or reading on this product, especially if your vision is anything less than 20/20.
The OLED panel in the Asus PQ22UC is capable of brilliant, and eye-popping color thanks to its extensive gamut coverages. The panel provides 99% DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB, while sRGB easily exceeds 100% according to tests. The screen’s default accuracy sits at 1.4 by default, further indicating that Asus’ claims regarding factory calibration are accurate.
You can weed out the color variances further with a colorimeter, but frankly, we expected scores to be improved to point of making calibration pointless. Color temperature also slightly exceeds the 6500K, but it’s great that way since it lessens the warm glow of the OLED panel.
Gamma sat perfectly at 2.2 for all profiles, so there is no need to worry about dim or extra bright and unbalanced scenes from the Asus PQ22UC. On the other hand, we couldn’t measure contrast correctly since OLEDs can usually produce an infinite ratio which is largely dependent on several factors. The screen pumps out a healthy maximum of 320 cd/m2, but we also couldn’t get a fix on the true peak brightness which we assume is higher when HDR is active.
Uniformity also wasn’t an issue with the Asus PQ22UC since leaks are impossible for OLEDs, and there were no clouding issues at all. The panel’s true blacks remained dark and inky, making the device perfect for HDR movies and games. However, do take note that manufacturing tolerances are still a reality even if this model is based on OLED tech, so make sure you can exchange yours if there are flaws.
Responsiveness also isn’t an issue with the Asus PQ22UC since its naturally faster than typical LCD panels when it comes to pixel transitions. Blurring wasn’t an issue while watching 4K HDR movies, but some minor persistence occurs when playing fast-paced games. The monitor isn’t meant for the latter, so we think its amazing image quality outweighs this minor limitation.
The Asus PQ22UC doesn’t have gaming features such as FreeSync, so you need to optimize graphics settings if you want to keep your frames steady. The 4K screen offers incredible detail, but it’s also very taxing on many GPUs. We couldn’t measure input lag accurately, but it’s safe to say that delays are minimal on the monitor, so suitable games will not act up or give a “de-synced” feeling while playing.
Thoughts on the Asus PQ22UC
The Asus PQ22UC offers a fantastic panel that isn’t comparable to many of the products we tested over the years. The color coverage and contrast are simply phenomenal, although we expected a better factory calibration result from such an expensive device. The product is also well-designed, taking into consideration the needs of its primary audience more than anything else.
The only issue the Asus PQ22UC faces is its jaw-dropping price which seems to be too much for a 22-inch monitor. There’s also the fact that it’s released in limited quantities, so you can’t expect it to stay available once it pops up on retailers. We can only recommend this monitor if you want the best at no expense and can live with the accompanying limitations of its design.
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 his junior high years. 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.