28'' Asus 4K monitor has single tile, $649 price tag

Remember the PB287Q monitor Asus introduced in January? The 28" 4K display was supposed to arrive in the second quarter and sell for $799. Units are expected to be on shelves the week of May 12, and it turns out the price will be much lower than expected. We're told the PB287Q will sell for just $649 stateside.

Apart from its affordable price tag, the PB287Q has several other appealing attributes. Perhaps the most crucial among them is support for 4K resolutions at 60Hz via DisplayPort's Single-Stream Transport (SST) mode. Most 4K monitors are dual-tile designs that combine two video signals using DisplayPort's Multi-Stream Transport capability. The PB287Q serves up its 3840x2160 resolution as a single tile, so it should avoid the compatibility quirks associated with dual-tile setups.

According to the official product page, the PB287Q is capable of displaying 1.07 billion colors. It's based on an 8-bit TN panel, Asus says, and dithering pushes the bit depth into 10-bit territory. Some may be tempted to write off the PB287Q due to its TN roots, but that would be unwise, because the picture quality is excellent. To my eyes, the colors look nearly as good as those produced by Asus' 31.5" PQ321Q, which is based on IGZO tech and sells for $2,999. The viewing angles are surprisingly good, as well. Check out this picture I snapped at a recent Asus press event:

The colors look a little washed out, but the angle is also pretty extreme. This is an entirely different class of TN technology than we're used to seeing in cheap notebooks and monitors.

Unlike some other budget 4K monitors, the PB287Q doesn't skimp on extras. The stand offers height, swivel, and tilt adjustment. The screen can also pivot to a portrait orientation, and there's a VESA-compatible mounting bracket on the back. Video inputs include one DisplayPort 1.2, one HDMI 1.4, and one HDMI port infused with MHL goodness. 4K input over HDMI is limited to 30Hz, which is a drag, but there's a neat picture-in-picture capability with floating and side-by-side options.

We've seen several affordable 4K monitors announced so far this year, and the PB287Q appears to be among the best. It's not the only new 4K display Asus is cooking up, either. Higher-end models are due later this year, according to the company, and they won't be based on TN tech.

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