A popular online website that reviews and compares computer hardware says the Asus has virtually no flaws of consequence, but we’ll get to that in just a moment.
Not sure whether I wouldn’t be better off getting the PA32UC instead, but I went ahead and preordered the PA32UCX-K anyhow. The PAUCX-K boasts 1,200 nits compared to 1,000 nits for the PA32UC and it’s got 1,152 local dimming zones compared to 384 in the PA32UC. Not having done a side-by-side comparison – or even seeing either machine for that matter – it’s impossible to know whether I’d even be able to tell the difference. The increase in brightness is probably negligible since it requires a doubling of brightness in well-lit scenes for the eye to detect any real difference. By way of comparison, my LG OLED barely reaches 700 nits peak brightness and a typical screen in a movie theater is a paltry 50 nits! Perhaps more important than sheer brightness are black levels, and the Asus achieves .0026 nits (my 5K iMac measures .5 nits, which is really just a dull gray). The PA32UC is able to handle HDR10 but not HLG or Dolby Vision, and while HDR10 is the single most commonly preferred flavor of HDR, I will undoubtedly be working with more HLG for YouTube delivery in the future (Asus might very well have updated the PA32UC to handle HLG by the time you read this). The PA32UCX-K also includes an i1 Display Pro calibration device, which comes in handy.
In order to use the monitor with a Mac, an external capture device is required. I’ll be using the recently released Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K Mini, connected as follows:
iMac -> ThunderBolt 3 -> UltraStudio Mini -> HDMI -> ProArt 32UCX
Given its bright screen (as high as 1,534 cd/m2), it should come as no surprise that the PA32UCX-K consumes record-breaking levels of power: as much as 221 watts, according to PRAD. The one saving grace is that it consumes 0 watts in standby mode, according to the same reviewer. In addition to outrageous energy consumption and loud fan noise, the review also contradicts Asus’ bold claim that there is no color shift after long duration: their unit had to warm up for a good hour before the color temperature could be regarded as relatively stable. The ports and control buttons are also difficult to access and cable management is an issue. Considering that I snagged a 30% discount on the monitor and that professional HDR reference monitors start at around $30,000, I can live with a few inconveniences. I’m told the monitor should arrive by the end of next month or the first week of January.
Now just waiting patiently for Sony to release a mirrorless camera that records 10-bit!