Asus ProArt PQ22UC with 4K OLED Panel Updates

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It was over a year ago back in January 2018 that we first brought you the news of this display, which was showcased at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. We have a bit more information now from an up to date press release from Asus so we thought we would provide that here.

The Asus ProArt PQ22UC is a new 21.6″ sized model which will be part of Asus’ professional range of screens, aimed at colour critical work, photo editing and professional applications. The most interesting thing about this new screen is that it uses an OLED panel instead of traditional LCD.

The OLED panel being used here is produced by JOLED, a joint venture between Japan Display, Sony and Panasonic. JOLED says that it is ”aiming for printing OLED panels to penetrate the market for medium-sized professional monitors”.

The focus of this screen is very much on its colour capabilities and support for HDR, the latter being a key benefit of using an OLED panel. Asus’ press release talks about the “advanced OLED panel with pure RGB self-illuminating pixels” which can deliver a 1 million:1 contrast ratio according to the spec. OLED is an excellent choice for HDR given its pixel-level local dimming capabilities and very low black levels, and Asus talk about their “Exclusive Asus Smart HDR technology” on this model, which can support multiple HDR formats including HDR10 and HLG. HDR-10 ensures compatibility with existing streaming video and a growing list of HDR-enabled games while hybrid log gamma (HLG) support addresses broadcast and satellite TV, including the BBC iPlayer and DIRECTV™.

Spec wise there is a 140cd/m2 typical brightness spec, but 330 cd/m2 peak for HDR. This is not as high of course as LCD monitors can reach, and not actually quite high enough to earn the VESA ‘DisplayHDR True Black 400’ certification recently introduced for OLED monitors.

From a colour perspective a 99% DCI-P3 colour gamut is offered, and the screen comes factory calibrated to offer a dE of <2. Hardware calibration of the monitors internal 14-bit LUT is supported through Asus’ “ProArt Calibration Technology” as well, a feature common on high end professional screens. The screen has a 10-bit colour depth as well for 1.07b colours. The monitor also ensures 95% uniformity compensation to guard against brightness and chroma (colour) fluctuations across the screen.

With a resolution of 3840 x 2160 on a relatively small 21.6″ sized screen, this model has a pixel density of 204 PPI. This should provide crisp and sharp images, but you will of course need to use Operating System and software scaling to make that resolution usable on a screen this small. The press and marketing material is a little misleading when it comes to resolution, as they talk about how this resolution will offer ” up to 300% more onscreen space than other Full HD monitors of a similar size, giving users more room to work while displaying onscreen content with incredible detail. ” This might be true if you were going to use the resolution without scaling, giving you a massive desktop real-estate to work with. But that’s totally impractical on a 21.6″ size (or even on larger screens like 27″ where this resolution is more common). You’d need to scale the resolution quite significantly and we suspect on a screen this size your resulting real-estate would probably end up being the same 1920 x 1080 Full HD as other models in this size range – albeit with improved sharpness thanks to the higher underlying resolution.

Although this is a professional range monitor aimed at creative professionals, Asus do still talk about the screens gaming capabilities in the marketing material. It’s bound to still attract some interest from gaming enthusiasts thanks to the OLED panel, promising fast response times, deep blacks and great HDR support. There is a 0.1ms response time spec which on paper makes it the fastest monitor in the market (as Asus like to state). While pixel response transitions may well be very fast here thanks to the OLED panel, the screen is limited to 60Hz only and doesn’t have any of the other gaming enhancements you might see from a normal gaming screen or support for variable refresh rates (VRR).

Just one third the weight of a conventional 21.6-inch monitor and offering an ultraslim profile, ProArt PQ22UC has a portable design that gives users an excellent way to showcase their work to clients on location. Its detachable stand folds completely flat for easy transport, and the monitor can be set up in seconds without any tools. In addition, an innovative foldable smart case protects ProArt PQ22UC from dust and scratches. The case can be folded into a stand to prop the monitor up in either portrait or landscape orientation. The stand has only a basic tilt adjustment it should be noted.

ProArt PQ22UC includes a Micro HDMI and 2x USB-C™ ports that support AC power input, data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps and 4K UHD output. The reversible USB-C connector design makes connecting external devices quick and effortless.

We are waiting on confirmation of price and availability so will update this news piece when we have that.

Update: We’ve had confirmation that the RRP is, wait for it….brace yourselves… £4,799 GBP and should be available in limited supply from April.

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