ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Mar 22, 2021 at 09:25 am
ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
8.4
Office
8.3
Gaming
7.6
Multimedia
7.8
Media Creation
5.8
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate
75 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
Adaptive Sync

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is a great overall monitor. This is the 2021 update to the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, and while it performs largely the same, it comes with a few extra features that its predecessor lacks, like a USB-C port. Like other monitors in the ProArt series, it's designed for content creators and media professionals, so it has perfect coverage of the sRGB color space and good Adobe RGB coverage. It's also versatile, with a large screen and 1440p resolution that's well-suited to productivity, gaming, or multimedia. It gets bright enough to combat glare, with good reflection handling, and it has superb ergonomics. If you game on the side, it has a 75Hz refresh rate, impressive response time, and low input lag. It also supports Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate (VRR) to reduce screen tearing.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The ASUS PA278CV is a great monitor for mixed usage. Its 27 inch screen and 1440p resolution are great for all uses, with plenty of space for multitasking or immersing yourself in a movie or game. It gets bright enough to fight glare in most lighting conditions, and it has wide viewing angles that are ideal for sharing content. Unfortunately, the contrast is mediocre, producing blacks that look more like gray, so it doesn't perform as well in dark rooms.

Pros
  • Bright enough to overcome glare.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Large screen size and high resolution.
Cons
  • Mediocre contrast ratio.
  • Lacks HDR support.
8.4 Office

The ASUS PA278CV is an impressive office monitor. It gets bright enough to combat glare in most lighting conditions and has good reflection handling. It also has a ton of ergonomic adjustment options, so you can set it to your ideal viewing position. The IPS panel has wide viewing angles as well, which is great for sharing content. Finally, the size and resolution are suitable for opening windows side-by-side. Unfortunately, we couldn't get daisy-chaining to work on our unit.

Pros
  • Bright enough to overcome glare.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Superb ergonomics.
  • Large screen size and high resolution.
Cons
  • Mediocre contrast ratio.
  • Lacks HDR support.
  • Daisy-chaining doesn't work.
8.3 Gaming

The ASUS PA278CV is great for gaming. While it's not a gaming monitor, it has a 75Hz refresh rate, higher than the standard office monitor. It also has an impressive response time for clear motion and a low input lag that makes gaming feel responsive. It's not great for gaming in the dark due to its low contrast ratio, but on the upside, it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing in games.

Pros
  • Supports Adaptive Sync VRR.
  • Low input lag.
  • Large screen size and high resolution.
Cons
  • Mediocre contrast ratio.
  • Lacks HDR support.
7.6 Multimedia

The ASUS PA278CV is a good monitor for multimedia. It's a good size for watching movies or videos, and its 1440p resolution delivers a sharp image. It also has wide viewing angles if you want to watch with someone else. Unfortunately, its contrast ratio is mediocre, so blacks look more like gray, especially in the dark. It also lacks HDR support.

Pros
  • Excellent color gamut.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Large screen size and high resolution.
Cons
  • Mediocre contrast ratio.
  • Lacks HDR support.
7.8 Media Creation

The ASUS PA278CV is good for media creation. The 1440p resolution delivers a sharp image, and the 27 inch size offers plenty of space to open multiple windows side-by-side. It has an excellent color gamut with good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, though it may not be enough for professional photo editing. On the upside, it has wide viewing angles, so the image stays accurate from almost any angle. It also has extra features like a built-in ruler and screen overlays to help measure and align content.

Pros
  • Excellent color gamut.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Large screen size and high resolution.
  • Built-in ruler and screen overlays to aid measurement/alignment.
Cons
  • Mediocre contrast ratio.
  • Lacks HDR support.
5.8 HDR Gaming
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 8.4 Office
  • 8.3 Gaming
  • 7.6 Multimedia
  • 7.8 Media Creation
  • 5.8 HDR Gaming

Check Price

27" ProArt Display PA278CV
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
12.1 lbs (5.5 kg)
Weight (with stand)
18.7 lbs (8.5 kg)

The ASUS ProArt PA278CV has a similar design to its predecessor. It's simple and boxy with thin bezels on three sides. The bottom bezel has a built-in ruler along the edge of the screen to aid in photo editing and content creation.

Design
Stand
Width
11.4" (29.0 cm)
Depth
8.9" (22.6 cm)

The stand is plastic with a brushed metallic finish, and it supports the monitor well.

9.3
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.9" (15.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape Yes, Both Ways
Swivel Range -45° to 45°
Tilt Range -35° to 5°

The ASUS PA278CV has fantastic ergonomics, allowing for all kinds of adjustments. It can rotate into portrait mode in either direction. The swivel range isn't as wide as on the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, but it's still wide enough to find a suitable viewing position.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor looks sleek and simple, with a textured finish. There's a clip attached to the back of the stand for cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.8 cm)
Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
6.8" (17.2 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
2.0" (5.2 cm)

The screen on its own is quite thin, which is great if you want to VESA-mount it.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The monitor feels well-built and is made out of decent quality plastic. There's a bit of flex to the back panel, but overall it feels quite stable and solid. However, if you're not careful when rotating the monitor into portrait mode, the edge of the screen can hit the stand and leave a black mark there.

Picture Quality
6.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,078 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The ASUS ProArt PA278CV has a mediocre contrast ratio, but that's expected from an IPS panel. Blacks look grayish, especially in the dark. Keep in mind that contrast may vary between units.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

This monitor doesn't have local dimming. The video above is for reference only.

8.1
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
364 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
384 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
385 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
386 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
387 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
387 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
383 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
385 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
386 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
386 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
387 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The monitor has great peak brightness in SDR. It's higher than the advertised brightness and enough to overcome glare in most lighting conditions. It also stays very consistent across different content.

We measured the peak brightness after calibration in the 'Standard' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
N/A
HDR ABL
N/A
8.0
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
42°
Color Washout From Right
43°
Color Shift From Left
59°
Color Shift From Right
60°
Brightness Loss From Left
50°
Brightness Loss From Right
52°
Black Level Raise From Left
44°
Black Level Raise From Right
70°
Gamma Shift From Left
41°
Gamma Shift From Right
44°

The horizontal viewing angles are great. The image stays accurate even when viewed at a reasonably wide angle.

9.2
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
52°
Color Washout From Above
57°
Color Shift From Below
64°
Color Shift From Above
66°
Brightness Loss From Below
54°
Brightness Loss From Above
57°
Black Level Raise From Below
70°
Black Level Raise From Above
70°
Gamma Shift From Below
67°
Gamma Shift From Above
68°

The vertical viewing angles are exceptional, among the widest on any monitor we've tested. The image stays very accurate even if you mount the monitor above or set it below eye level.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.221%
50% DSE
0.095%
5% Std. Dev.
0.273%
5% DSE
0.032%

The ASUS ProArt PA278CV has excellent gray uniformity, although this can vary between units. The edges of the screen look a little bit darker, but there's very little dirty screen effect. The uniformity is even better in darker scenes.

6.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.745%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Black uniformity is mediocre. There's some clouding throughout and visible backlight bleed near the corner and edges of the screen.

8.5
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
sRGB
Luminance
118 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
N/A
Contrast Setting
80
RGB Controls
Default
Gamma Setting
Default
Color Temperature
6,308 K
White Balance dE
2.47
Color dE
1.45
Gamma
2.12

The ASUS ProArt PA278CV has excellent color accuracy out-of-the-box. While this can vary between units, the monitor is advertised as being factory calibrated and Calman certified to have accuracy below 2 Delta E. Our unit was well below that. Most of the inaccuracies are very slight and hard to spot. The white balance is a little off due to the color temperature, which is a bit warmer than our target, giving the image a yellow/reddish tint. Gamma follows the curve fairly well, but brighter scenes and very dark scenes appear overly bright.

9.8
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Standard
Luminance
99 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
11
Contrast Setting
80
RGB Controls
45-50-49
Gamma Setting
2.2
Color Temperature
6,541 K
White Balance dE
0.41
Color dE
0.28
Gamma
2.18

After calibration, the accuracy is incredible. Whatever inaccuracies remain shouldn't be noticeable without a colorimeter. The color temperature is much closer to our 6500K target and gamma is almost perfect except for very dark and very bright scenes.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is for reference only and shouldn't be used, since calibration values vary per individual unit, even for the same model, due to manufacturing tolerances.

8.9
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
99.8%
Adobe RGB xy
79.2%
sRGB Picture Mode
Standard
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Standard

The ASUS ProArt PA278CV has an amazing SDR color gamut. It has virtually perfect coverage of the commonly used sRGB color space and good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.

9.1
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.4%
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
83.6%
sRGB Picture Mode
Standard
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Standard

The color volume is superb. It has a bit of trouble with really dark, saturated colors because of its low contrast ratio, and it can't display really bright blues, but that's normal for an LCD screen.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
N/A
DCI P3 xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

The ASUS PA278CV doesn't support HDR. It's advertised as supporting a DCI P3 color gamut and includes a 'DCI P3' Picture Mode, but it doesn't actually cover the DCI P3 color space, and it's not significantly wider than the 'sRGB' mode.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR
10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00%
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00%

There are no signs of temporary image retention, but this can vary between units.

8.4
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

Gradient handling is impressive. There's a bit of banding that's most apparent in the grays and greens, but overall banding shouldn't be noticeable.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.001%
Pixel Column Error
0.002%

There are no signs of color bleed on the ASUS PA278CV.

7.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.3%
Indirect Reflections
3.1%
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.3%

The ASUS PA278CV has good reflection handling. It has a matte anti-reflective coating that diffuses direct reflections well. It's suitable for most lighting conditions, but it's best not to place it directly in front of a window or light.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

Text clarity is decent. Enabling ClearType (top photo) improves the look of diagonal and curved lines, as you can see in the R, N, G, and S.

Motion
8.4
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
40
Rise / Fall Time
7.4 ms
Total Response Time
12.0 ms
Overshoot Error
0.0%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
7.9 ms
Dark Total Response Time
13.5 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.0%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
Trace-Free-0ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-20ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-40ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-60ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-80ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-100ChartTablePhoto

The ASUS PA278CV has an impressive response time at its max refresh rate, with only minimal blur trail behind fast-moving objects. The best overdrive setting is '40' because it's the fastest setting with no overshoot.

8.4
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
40
Rise / Fall Time
7.0 ms
Total Response Time
12.4 ms
Overshoot Error
1.3%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
7.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
13.2 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
2.9%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
Trace-Free-0ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-20ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-40ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-60ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-80ChartTablePhoto
Trace-Free-100ChartTablePhoto

The response time is still impressive at 60Hz. The recommended overdrive setting is '40,' even though there's a touch more overshoot than at the max refresh rate.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
>1000 Hz

The ASUS PA278CV has a flicker-free backlight at its max brightness, but even below the maximum, the flicker frequency is so high that it shouldn't be noticeable to most people.

7.8
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
75 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
75 Hz

The ASUS PA278CV has an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature to reduce motion blur. This is also known as backlight strobing. It can only be enabled at 75Hz and doesn't work with VRR. On this monitor, the BFI is called 'Rapid Rendering' mode, and it has two settings, 'Normal' and 'Advanced', but both severely hamper the screen's brightness. Note that the BFI score is based on the range at which the BFI works and not its actual performance.

7.8
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
75 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
75 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Compatible (Tested)
G-SYNC
Compatible (Tested)
VRR Maximum
75 Hz
VRR Minimum
48 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The ASUS ProArt PA278CV has a maximum native refresh rate of 75Hz. It supports Adaptive Sync VRR, meaning it's compatible with both FreeSync and G-SYNC, although the latter only works over DisplayPort.

Inputs
9.2
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
7.1 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
8.7 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
7.4 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.3 ms
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
9.3 ms

The ASUS PA278CV has a low input lag. There's a bit more lag with BFI enabled or when running 60Hz with VRR, but it's still excellent overall, and the difference likely won't be noticeable.

8.3
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 2560 x 1440
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 3.7 MP
Pixel Density
109 PPI
Screen Diagonal 27.0"
Screen Area 310 in²

The ASUS PA278CV has a 27 inch screen with a 1440p resolution that offers plenty of space to open windows side-by-side. The pixel density is good, resulting in a sharp image.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 1 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out 1 (DP 1.2)
USB 4 (USB 3.0)
USB C 1 (USB, USB PD, DP Alt Mode)
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal

Unlike the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, the PA278CV has a USB-C port, which is advertised to support data transfers, DisplayPort Alt mode, and power delivery. It delivers up to 65W of power, which should be enough to charge most thin and light laptops, but not power-hungry ones with dedicated GPUs.

Features
Features
Additional Features
RGB Illumination
No
Speakers
Yes
HDR10 No
Multiple Input Display
No

The ASUS PA278CV has built-in speakers, as well as a number of on-screen overlays, including an on-screen ruler, a grid alignment overlay, and a tool that lets you preview documents in actual size.

The USB hub feature lets you connect a device to the USB-C port and use the four USB 3.0 ports for your peripherals. This means you can connect a device, charge it, have a second display, and access additional USB ports with only one cable between the device and the monitor, which is very convenient.

While it has both a DisplayPort in port and a DP out port, meant to support daisy-chaining multiple monitors, we weren't able to get this feature to work.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

The controls are located on the front of the monitor, on the right side of the bottom bezel.

Features
In The Box

  • User guide
  • Calibration report
  • DisplayPort cable
  • HDMI cable
  • USB-C cable
  • Power cord

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 27 inch ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV, which replaces the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV and is the only size available for this particular model. That said, there are a number of closely related models in the ProArt series, including a 24 inch 1080p and a 27 inch 4k model, as well as more professionally-oriented models. You can see the differences between some of them below.

Model   Size Resolution   Panel  Refresh Rate Adaptive Sync  Notes
 PA148CTV  14"  1080p  IPS  60Hz  No  Portable
 PA278CV  27"  1440p  IPS  75Hz  Yes  
 PA247CV  24"  1080p  IPS  75Hz  Yes  
 PA279CV  27"  4k  IPS  60Hz  Yes HDR
 PA27UCX-K  27"  4k  IPS/Mini LED  60Hz  Yes HDR, Quantum Dot Technology
 PA32UCX-PK  32"  4k  IPS/Mini LED  60Hz  Yes HDR, Thunderbolt 3

If you come across an ASUS ProArt PA278CV with a different panel or that doesn't correspond to our review, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update the review. Note that some tests such as gray uniformity may vary between units.

Our unit was manufactured in December 2020. You can see the label here.

Compared To Other Monitors

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is a great all-around monitor that offers versatile performance and exceptional ergonomics. While the previous version is a highly recommended budget model, this one falls somewhat outside of the 'budget' category. While it does have some extra features, including a USB-C port, it delivers almost the same performance as its predecessor.

For other options, check out our recommendations for the best office monitors, the best monitors for photo editing, and the best monitors for the MacBook Pro.

ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is the successor to the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. They look and perform very similarly overall. The PA278CV has a smaller swivel range but still has superb ergonomics. It also has an added USB-C port that's compatible with its USB hub feature, allowing you to connect a device over USB-C and gain access to additional USB 3.0 ports, have a second display, and charge your device. It also has a DisplayPort 'out' port on top of a DisplayPort 'in' port for daisy-chaining, but we weren't able to get ours to work. Otherwise, the two monitors are extremely similar, although the PA278CV has a slightly wider color gamut if that's important to you. 

Gigabyte M27Q

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and the Gigabyte M27Q are meant for different purposes. While the Gigabyte is a gaming monitor, the ASUS is meant for content creation and multimedia. That said, the Gigabyte has an exceptionally wide color gamut, and it supports HDR, making it well-suited to photo and video editing. It also outperforms the ASUS when it comes to gaming, with a much higher refresh rate and faster response time. If gaming is less important to you, the ASUS may be a little more suited to an office setting, as it has more ergonomics adjustment options and wider viewing angles. 

Dell UltraSharp U2720Q

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q are both great general-purpose monitors that are well-suited to office work or content creation but offer different advantages. The Dell is a 4k monitor with HDR support, so it's good for displaying extra crisp images and HDR content. However, it's a little less versatile if you want to do some gaming on the side, whereas the ASUS has a higher refresh rate, a significantly faster response time, and VRR support. 

ASUS TUF VG27AQ

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and the ASUS TUF VG27AQ are from different series in ASUS's lineup. The ProArt is meant for productivity and content creation, whereas the TUF is part of ASUS's budget gaming series. That said, they're both versatile and perform well overall. The TUF is better for gaming thanks to its high refresh rate and fast response time, although the ProArt actually has a faster response time at 60Hz. The ProArt also has a slightly wider color gamut and more accurate colors out of the box, though this can vary between units. On the other hand, the TUF supports HDR. 

ViewSonic VG1655

The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV and the ViewSonic VG1655 are different office monitors. While the ASUS is a desktop monitor with an ergonomic stand, the ViewSonic is a portable monitor that's lighter to carry around. The ASUS is a better choice for well-lit rooms thanks to its higher peak brightness and good reflection handling, and content creators should appreciate its superior color gamut. The ViewSonic has a smaller screen and lower resolution, but it still has higher pixel density that results in better text clarity.

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