The ASUS ProArt PA32U represents the top range monitors of the Taiwanese manufacturer. Those destined not so much to the most demanding customers, as to the real professionals of the sector, the only ones able not only to appreciate them but also to exploit their qualities. We then approached with curiosity one of the last models in this series, curious to see if it would bring significant improvements even in our daily workflow.
The monitor packaging is special. Not just because of its content, but because it literally rises like a box, allowing you to access its contents in a convenient and simple way. It seems trivial, but the unboxing of a monitor, especially a large one, is always problematic. ASUS has made it simple thanks to plastic “clips” that hold the package together when you want to move it. Once removed, you can instead raise the top and take your monitor comfortably.
Inside you will also find a Type-C / Type-C cable, a DisplayPort, and a USB-A / USB-B. Also (unusual equipment) there is also an X-rite i1Display Pro colorimeter. Considering the type of clientele to which it is addressed, the colorimeter (among other things, a fairly common model) is perhaps redundant, but it is also a symptom of the safety that ASUS places on the display quality of its PA32U.
The assembly of the monitor and the base is almost immediate. Just insert the second into the slots on the back of the panel, and a Snap-On mechanism will firmly join them. In a few moments, the PA32U is ready to sit on your desk.
A good work monitor must first of all be comfortable, that is, adapt to the user. ASUS ProArt PA32U can run on its base 60° in both directions. It can rotate 90° in both directions. It can lean between -5° and + 23°. Finally, it is adjustable in height with an interval of 12 centimeters. In short, there are all the conditions to be able to place it comfortably on your desk.
The base is very wide, but this does not guarantee all the stability we would have hoped for. Probably all the movements we have just described, the monitor is not the most stable , and if you have a heavy hand you will easily see it swing while tapping your keyboard.
The monitor structure is made of knurled plastic, and the thickness is not the most contained. On the right side, we find the 7 buttons immediately on the back. We find a button dedicated to switching on / off, 5 keys / shortcut and a small joystick with which to move within the menus. It must be said that reaching them is not always convenient, because you will have to stretch your hand on the back, and there are many times when we have accidentally pressed the wrong button, relying only on the touch.
Still on the back, at the bottom, we have a wide range of doors. 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C (one input, one output), 4 HDMI (v2.0b), one DisplayPort 1.2, one 3.5 mm audio jack, 2 USB-A 3.0 and one 2.0, a USB-C 3.0 , and a USB-B 3.0 to take advantage of the monitor’s hub functionality. Also from a connectivity point of view, the package is quite complete, and the presence of all these inputs anticipates functions such as PiP and PbB that we will see shortly.
Experience of use
The business card of this ASUS ProArt PA32U is very respectable, so much so that we’re going to summarize it by points, to synthesize it more quickly.
- 100% sRGB
- 5% Adobe RGB
- 95 DCI-P3
- 85% REC. 2020
- ΔE <2
- 1,000 nits of maximum brightness (in HDR)
- Contrast: 100000000:1 (via ASUS Smart Contrast)
- 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels), HDR, with 384 zone local dimming
Our measurements agree more or less with the values above, which is quite impressive. There is only one exception: the REC cover. 2020, that our colorimeter (among other things an X-rite i1) marks 78.5%, therefore lower than expected.
It should also be noted that PA32UC allows you to save color profiles on an internal monitor memory, so that they are independent of the connected device. Moreover, thanks to the free software ASUS ProArt Calibration, it is very easy (re) to calibrate the monitor.
Among the technologies present we report the flicker-free, and a generic adaptive-sync. There is also a blue light filter adjustable on 4 levels, which is already perceptible at level 1, but becomes almost annoying at level 4, as it alters the color of the screen.
ASUS has also introduced the QuickFit Virtual Scale software. It is a grid of various sizes (A4, B5 or customized) that appears in overlay on the screen, in order to align and preview the documents in their actual dimensions; useful before starting a print, to better visualize the result. Also, again via QuickFit, you can add a side ruler or a grid (third party rule) to the screen.
As already mentioned, the Picture in Picture is supported, through a window always in the foreground, which you can place in one of the four corners of the display and change its dimensions. Similarly, you can combine two different sources with the Picture by Picture. In this case the color spectrum settings of each source are independent. That is, you can display one in sRGB and the other in DCI-P3, or any combination can be useful to you.
Beyond everything, it is still a monitor that we would advise against the common user, even without considering the price. Yes, because it is so detailed and precise that it makes all those images that you liked so much when you looked at them on your smartphone’s display ugly. And it is clear that it is a merit.
Too bad that the integrated speakers, even on a monitor of this range, are not worthy of praise. We still have to find the monitor to say the opposite, unfortunately.