Screen and color reproduction
The PA238Q uses a 10bit H-IPS panel which packs a good 1.07 billion colors and 50,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. The monitors from the series are also individually calibrated to provide accurate colors without the user needing to go out of his way to correct it.
Graphic designers will have a go at the settings anyway, but the average consumer will require very little tweaking to set it up. The display looked gorgeous off the bat, and I only had to settle the brightness in a bit for comfortable viewing.
In our FlatPanelDK tests, we noticed very slight banding on certain gradients, although we are yet to test a PC monitor that doesn’t. Smoother gradients ensures accurate colors and the PA238Q didn’t have much problem rendering anything we threw at it.
Bleeding was kept to a minimum as well. We ran it through a lot of HD video, and although the blacks weren’t truly deep, it did well to not appear washed out.
Sharp and clear for the most part, unless you take the background color to the extremes of gaudiness. We did notice some shadow and smudge effect then, but in terms of regular use, where the backgrounds will be of decent color (we hope), the text clarity held up pretty well.
The PA238Q features a response time of 6ms gray to gray, which is competent enough for most types of media. Unfortunately, we did find some trailing that affected games on certain backgrounds, but never in movies, or while working on Photoshop.
IPS panels generally provide a solid 178 degrees of viewing angle, although we found the PA238Q falling short. Only very slightly, though. The display does get darker as you move around it, so it’s not really ideal for you or a friend to huddle around. It’s competent enough for basic stuff, but not for watching movies or playing games.
The Asus PA238Q is an incredible, all-round package – something I have not seen in a long time. It manages to do almost everything right, down to its ergonomics options, input ports, and to color reproduction and no. of options to tinker around with. It’s slightly hefty on the wallet, so it is not for everyone, and maybe not for the average Joe. If you have uses for all of its nifty features, then the PA238Q is one of the best available.