ASUS PB278Q 2560x1440 Monitor Review
Let's start with the monitor itself.
It's huge. Make no mistake, the difference between even a 24" 1080P monitor, and the 27" ASUS offering is immense. The amount of screen real-estate available is glorious, and you really feel the benefit of the extra pixels on offer. For comparison purposes, a 1920x1080 monitor has just over 2 million pixels. The ASUS PB278Q has 3.6 million pixels. It's very nearly two 1080P monitors worth of screen in just a 3" bigger package. This makes a huge difference to your potential productivity.
In the OC3D offices we have a few different setups available to us. We normally use triple screens for our work, and have gamed on Eyefinity setups and 3D setups. We definitely prefer the 'one giant screen' approach. Games are designed for a single screen, especially in these days where the line between a console title and a PC title are blurred so much that few games are designed to utilise more than one display.
The quality of the screen is outstanding. The PLS (Plane Line Switching) panel is a big improvement upon a TN panel, and easily a match for any IPS panels. You get brilliant colour reproduction, good blacks, good viewing angles and the whole shebang is wrapped up in a nicely designed surround. Sure it wont win any design awards, but when it comes to monitors we'd much rather have something that just works, rather than something with fancy stands and strange lights just for the sake of it. The stand is excellent and you certainly wont need to purchase a separate VESA stand just to get some decent adjustability.
Of course you pay a premium for such a big monitor, and the PB278Q rocks in at a fairly hefty £460. However, that's only hefty compared to either the bottom end TN monitors that most of us start with, or the average 1080P television where you can get a much bigger size for the same kind of money. If you look at what you're actually getting, we think that the PB278Q is very good value. If you've never experienced a good quality monitor then you can't appreciate the difference it makes. But if you think of how much you are willing to spend on good graphics or a fast processor, why scrimp on the part of the computer you actually look at?
Finally we have to point out the performance difference in average FPS. This, as we said above, is nearly twice the size of a 1080P monitor in pure pixel terms, so that requires a ton of extra horsepower and the frame-rate certainly suffers. If you've only got a mid-range card you'd be better off putting your money into a high-end GPU first, otherwise you'll be watching a slide-show.
However, if you want a big screen with awesome colours, good response, no ghosting, loads of connection options and a great stand we heartily recommend the excellent ASUS PB278Q. Our only complaint is that we only have one and everybody is fighting over the chance to use it. A worthy winner of our OC3D Gold Award, you owe it to yourself to have a screen that freshens up your whole experience.