ASUS ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K: A Deep Dive into the Pinnacle of Professional 4K Monitors

ASUS-ProArt-OLED-PA27DCE-K.

ASUS not only produces ROG gaming monitors but also caters to the professional sector needing precise color representation. Their latest ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K features an OLED panel set in RGB arrangement. It boasts impressive color ranges: 99% Adobe RGB and 99% DCI-P3. Straight from the factory, its color accuracy is assured with ΔE less than 1. Every unit comes with an X-rite i1 Display Pro Color Calibrator, ensuring professionals can maintain color precision through regular recalibrations.

Specifications:

  • Display: 26.9-inch 16:9 widescreen OLED panel
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Color Ranges: 100% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 99% DCI-P3, and 90% Rec.2020
  • Color Precision: △E less than 1
  • Brightness: Typical 200 cd/m2
  • Contrast: Standard ratio of 100,000,000:1
  • HDR Support: HDR10, HLG, with 350 cd/m2 brightness
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Response Time: 0.1ms (GTG)
  • View: 178° horizontal and vertical when contrast ratio is above 10
  • Inputs: 3 HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 DisplayPort 1.4, and 1 USB-C with DP and 80W PD
  • USB Ports: 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A slots
  • Audio: Dual 3W speakers
  • Dimensions: 626.7 x (439.6 to 569.6) x 265 mm, including its stand
  • Weight: 9.4 kg with stand
  • VESA Mount: 100x100mm compatibility
  • Adjustability: Tilts forward/backward between +23° and -5°, rotates side-to-side between +30° and -30°, pivots from +90° to -90°, and has a height adjustment range of up to 130mm
  • Special Features: In-built color correction report, X-rite i1 Display Pro Calibrator, and an Ambient Light Sensor.

ASUS ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K professional screen unboxing/self-assembly required

The ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K is built with an OLED panel that follows an RGB arrangement. This OLED nature enables the display to achieve profound black levels, thanks to its self-illuminating features. Moreover, individual brightness control at each pixel facilitates an impressive contrast ratio of 1 million, combined with a swift GTG response time of 0.1ms.

Sporting a 26.9-inch 4K panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160, the OLED PA27DCE-K remains consistent with the sleek yet professional aesthetic of the ProArt series. Unlike gaming-centric screens, which often emphasize ultra-thin bezels, this monitor opts for a more robust frame and slightly wider edges. It also has an ergonomic stand for easy angle adjustments and is compatible with VESA 100x100mm wall mounts.

From a performance perspective, the OLED PA27DCE-K, as a professional-grade monitor, boasts remarkable color ranges, including 100% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 99% DCI-P3, and 90% Rec.2020. Its color precision is impeccable, with a △E of less than 1. Furthermore, it supports HDR10 and HLG formats and shines brightly at 350 cd/m2 when in HDR mode.

ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K in an extra large box.

Surprisingly, the packaging for the ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K is quite bulky, and the assembly is required. Within the primary packaging, the stand, base, and supplementary components are securely stored in a separate box, while the monitor screen is cushioned and held in place by foam. It’s noteworthy that assembly directions aren’t readily visible on the box’s exterior. To access the assembly guide, you must remove the screen and then access the inner carton.

Nevertheless, the PA27DCE-K’s OLED display comes with an expansive protective bezel, which offers some reassurance against potential damage to the screen. However, caution during unboxing and assembly is still essential.

Screen panel and two boxes of accessories.
When placing the panel face-down, be mindful of the OSD knob located on the front. Ensure you don’t exert pressure on it when laying the monitor on a surface.

For assembly, start by attaching the base to the stand. Next, remove the protective covering from the screen. After that, secure the stand to the back of the screen and use the stand’s support to raise the display into position.

There is a VESA 100x100mm wall mounting hole behind the screen.

Regarding accessories, the package includes ProArt appreciation cards, reports from factory color calibration, an X-rite i1 Display Pro Calibrator for color correction, and a variety of cables such as HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, and the power cord.

Screen accessories.

The factory color calibration report primarily addresses the evaluation of grayscale color temperature, Gamma, and the color accuracy Delta E for DCI-P3, Adobe RGB, and sRGB. The report includes a test on JND Performance.

Factory color calibration report.
JND Performance.
X-rite i1 Display Pro Calibrator.
Thank you card.
HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C cable.

The ergonomic stand supports VESA 100x100mm wall-mounted

The OLED PA27DCE-K features a substantial base measuring 30×26.5cm. It offers a left and right rotation range of +30° to -30°. The stand, cylindrical in shape, showcases a concentric circle pattern at its pinnacle. It allows for a height modification spanning 0 to 130mm. Additionally, the screen is adaptable with a vertical rotation ranging from +90° to -90° and a tilt capacity between +23° and -5°, catering to the diverse positioning preferences of professionals.

Adjustable range of ergonomic stand.

The display has multiple input interfaces: 3 HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 DisplayPort 1.4, and 1 USB-C (DP/PD 80W). The USB-C port not only supports DP signal input but also offers a PD 80W charging capability. Once connected via USB-C, users can use the screen’s HUB feature, which includes 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Additionally, the display comes with two integrated 3W speakers for fundamental audio output.

The back of the screen is plain black and has a simple and neat design.
Concentric circles on the stand.
Both the base and the stand have positioning points for easy adjustment of the screen angle.
Built-in transformer and power switch.
3.5mm headphones, HDMI, DisplayPort.
The USB-C port on the left offers DP/PD 80W connectivity options, while the USB-C on the right is solely for USB signal transmission.
There are also 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A on the left side of the screen.

27-inch 4K HDR ultra-high color gamut, ultra-accurate ΔE < 1 exquisite color

Upon powering up the ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K, its precise color accuracy becomes evident. It’s a unique instance where, even after color calibration, the display’s color fidelity remains as impeccable as it was when it departed the factory. Additionally, the PA27DCE-K offers an array of ProArt Presets such as standard, sRGB, Adobe RGB, Rec. 2020, DCI-P3, DICOM, and Rec. 709, among others.

The ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K features distance and ambient light sensors located on the bottom-left corner of the screen. Meanwhile, the OSD buttons can be found on the lower right-hand edge of the frame.
Light-up screen specifications: 3840 x 2160, 10-bit, RGB, 60Hz.

Each mode on the display offers unique settings for attributes like color temperature, brightness, Gamma, and uniform brightness. As a benchmark, the configuration of 6500K color temperature, 50 brightness, 80 contrast, medium chroma, and Gamma 2.2 best showcases the high-contrast and vivid color imagery that OLED panels can deliver, especially under dynamic backlighting.

Standard mode.
sRGB brightness is fixed at 80 and uniform brightness is on.
AdobeRGB mode brightness 160, uniform brightness on.
Rec. 2020 mode brightness 100, Gamma 2.4, uniform brightness on.
DCI-P3 mode color temperature P3-Theater, brightness 48, Gamma 2.2/2.6, uniform brightness on.
DICOM mode brightness 80, Gamma fixed, uniform brightness on.
Rec. 709 mode brightness 100, Gamma 2.4, uniform brightness on.

In standard mode, with uniform brightness deactivated, static images were displayed. The inherent high contrast and precise color capabilities of OLED, when paired with dynamic backlight adjustments, result in images that appear more relaxed and lifelike. This combination ensures that both bright and shadowed details are effectively showcased.

Reproduction of still image.
Reproduction of still image.
Reproduction of still image.
Reproduction of still image.
Reproduction of still image.

The display boasts a peak dynamic brightness of 350 cd/m2 when in HDR mode and is compatible with both HDR10 and HLG modes. Activating the HDR mode enhances its dynamic range capabilities. Additionally, the ProArt Preset includes predefined settings like HDR_PQ DCI, HDR_PQ Rec2020, HDR_HLG BT2100, HDR_HLG DCI, and more.

With HDR turned on, pay attention to the shadows of the clouds and the blue of the river.
HDR off.
HDR is turned on, the color of honey, and the dark details of the wooden stick.
HDR off.

ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K OSD functions: Preset, PIP/PBP, QuickFit Plus

The PA27DCE-K comes with an array of input options. Additionally, it offers the convenience of PIP/PBP and QuickFit Plus features. However, it lacks the inclusion of a KVM switch. The PIP/PBP represents the foundational picture-in-picture and screen splicing configurations. With its USB-C connectivity, the PA27DCE-K facilitates image display through DP, a USB HUB, and also provides an 80W charging capability for laptops through PD, making the connection of multiple devices more seamless.

PBP picture-in-picture screen.
In addition to basic PIP and PBP, you can also combine functions such as PBP x3 / x4.

QuickFit Plus allows for direct previews of files or photo layouts on the display. For instance, in the safe area, one can choose from options like 1:1, action area, title area, or a 3 x 3 grid. The center mark indicates the screen’s midpoint, offering choices such as Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3, among others. The customization feature enables users to define the frame dimensions by adjusting it up, down, left, or right. Additionally, the Ruler function displays tangible rulers at the top and left edges of the screen.

QuickFit Plus menu.
Safe area 3 x 3.
Center mark.
Customization.
Ruler.

Regarding the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, pressing the 5-way joystick triggers a quick-access menu. The associated physical buttons each have distinct functionalities, simplifying the process for users to toggle between options like Preset, HDR, QuickFit Plus, input selection, and more.

OSD quick menu.
ProArt Preset.
The ProArt color palette provides brightness, contrast, chroma, hue, color temperature, Gamma, RGB adjustment, and black level settings.
RGB adjustment.
Image adjustment includes image sharpness, screen control, input range, and blue light filter.
Enter selection.

In the system settings, the “Uniform Brightness” feature is set to ‘off’ as the default in standard mode. This setting lets the OLED panel exhibit optimal contrast, fully showcasing the nuances of both light and dark details via dynamic backlighting. However, during operations in Windows, if there’s a transition from an entirely dark screen to one that’s partially or wholly bright, the changes in dynamic backlight can feel a bit jarring to users due to the shifts in brightness. Activating the uniform brightness ensures the panel retains a consistent brightness level, but this comes at the cost of the OLED’s inherent advantage of high dynamic contrast.

Uniform brightness.

The PA27DCE-K is equipped with an ambient light sensor, which is why there’s an “Ambient Light Source Change” option in its settings. Activating this feature will adjust the screen’s brightness in response to the surrounding ambient light, while the adaptive color modifies the color temperature to align with the environment.

However, realistically speaking, the light sources in most office settings remain constant, possessing a specific brightness and color temperature. For professionals requiring color precision, it’s imperative that the brightness and color temperature of their workspace remain consistent. Moreover, placing the screen where it might receive direct sunlight is not ideal. Thus, it’s advisable to keep this feature turned off.

Ambient light source changes.

The PA27DCE-K comes with a “proximity sensor” feature. When activated, the screen autonomously detects if there’s an object within a distance of 30cm to 1.5m. If no object is identified, the screen dims its brightness automatically. This feature aids in prolonging the lifespan of the OLED panel. If the screen isn’t going to be used for extended periods, it’s also advisable to configure the system to turn off the display after 3-5 minutes of inactivity.

Proximity sensor.

The “screen saver” feature, which isn’t activated by default, is designed with the understanding that professional users might often fix their gaze on the screen for detailed observation. When enabled, this function dims the screen’s brightness to safeguard the panel. However, it could potentially interfere with the requirements of professionals. Users should adjust this function based on their individual usage patterns.

Screensaver.

The X-rite i1 Display Pro color corrector

The PA27DCE-K is pre-calibrated before it’s shipped from the factory. Included in its accessories is an X-rite i1 Display Pro color corrector. This tool can be paired with the i1Profiler software to calibrate the screen’s color and integrate the ICC color profile into the system. Users can also set regular reminders to undertake color correction procedures. This ensures that even as the panel undergoes gradual changes over time, it maintains an accurate color performance with a Delta E value of less than 1.

X-rite i1 Display Pro color corrector.
i1Profiler color correction software.

Following its color calibration, the PA27DCE-K exhibits a brightness of approximately 197cd/m2, with its black brightness nearing 0 cd/m2. The color accuracy test showed an impressive average Delta E of 0.5. Furthermore, the panel’s average brightness uniformity is commendable, consistently falling within a 3% range.

After the color calibration results are saved, they will be automatically applied from the system color profile.
Color accuracy Delta E average 0.5.
Panel brightness uniformity.

Summary

The ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K boasts a 26.9-inch, 4K OLED panel with a resolution of 3840 x 2160. With its RGB layout, this OLED panel delivers exceptionally intricate visuals. Right out of the box, having been pre-calibrated at the factory, it exhibits color gamut performances of 100% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 99% DCI-P3, and 90% Rec.2020, achieving an impressive average color accuracy of △E<1.

The inherent self-illuminating nature of the OLED panel, combined with dynamic backlighting, provides a remarkably high contrast ratio, rendering colors uniformly vibrant. Unlike IPS panels which necessitate high brightness for vivid color representation, OLEDs showcase superior color gradation even in darker areas, making them ideal for editing HDR high dynamic range imagery.

However, there’s room for improvement. This OLED panel’s native refresh rate caps at 60Hz. Even though OLEDs have a swift 0.1ms (GTG) response time, the portrayal of rapid dynamic visuals can appear slightly blurred. It’s clear that while one avenue of perfection was achieved with “Accurate Color”, certain dynamic capabilities were slightly compromised. Hence, the PA27DCE-K might best serve purposes that lean more towards static visuals, 2D imaging, and 3D production, especially tasks demanding pinpoint color accuracy.

Contrarily, I appreciate the PA27DCE-K’s use of an RGB arrangement on its OLED panel. With the display set to a resolution of 2160p and a 100% zoom in Windows, I find clarity even at half a meter’s distance from the screen – filenames and folder names are easily discernible and are of a comfortable size for operation.

Priced at NT$ 46,900 in Taiwan, the ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K is a solid investment. For those who prioritize color accuracy, this device is certain to impress.

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Title: ASUS ProArt Display OLED PA27DCE-K: A Deep Dive into the Pinnacle of Professional 4K Monitors

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