Performance - Part I
A monitor review based on descriptive visual analysis will always have the underlying problem of subjectivity; assessments of panel quality will vary from user to user depending on their normative expectations. To get around this we’re deploying Datacolor’s Spyder 4 Elite professional monitor analyser to return a quantitative assessment of display quality.
These numerical results, we feel, add extra utility to our reviews allowing us to more accurately benchmark the following display characteristics:
- Colour Gamut relative to sRGB and AdobeRGB industry-standards
- Brightness levels and contrast ratios
- Colour uniformity
- Brightness uniformity
- Colour accuracy
The tests are run under two different scenarios: uncalibrated and calibrated. Uncalibrated performance equates to the ‘out-of-the-box’ settings a monitor ships with; this is the typical end-user experience as very few consumers engage in calibration of their displays before use. Calibrated performance is what results after the monitor has been put through the Spyder4Elite hardware-calibration process with the following parameters: 2.2 Gamma, 6500k colour temperature and 120 nits of brightness. These calibrated results demonstrate what the monitor is capable of when tuned correctly but the results have limited relevance to most consumers who will not calibrate their monitors.
ASUS made a bold claim of 100% sRGB coverage in the specification of the UHD PB279Q and our testing revealed that to be true, along with 81% of Adobe RGB coverage. The advantages of the high quality IPS panel used are evident.
Colour accuracy was equally as impressive; a 1.13 Delta-E average in the 'out-of-the-box' configuration. With calibration accuracy improved a small amount to 0.97 Delta-E, but that's not enough of an increase to justify calibration.
An average Delta-E value close to one means exceptional colour accuracy; most consumer-grade panels tend to sit between two and three.
Colour uniformity was not as impressive as accuracy, although, excluding the hotspot in the bottom right hand corner of the screen the results are broadly good. Calibration helped to smooth out the uniformity to a large degree suggesting the uncalibrated results might be impacted by the high 90 per cent brightness ASUS ships the monitor with, after calibration we were using a mere 33 per cent brightness.