4K monitors have become much more affordable over the past year, largely thanks to the arrival of budget-oriented units with TN panels. Thankfully, prices are also falling on UHD displays with superior IPS panels. The latest in that camp is Asus' 27" PB279Q, which combines in-plane switching tech with a 3840x2160 display resolution for only $799.
Asus says the monitor offers 10-bit color and 100% sRGB coverage. That's a little better than the 99% sRGB coverage promised by the 4K IPS monitors Dell introduced last month. The PB279Q's 5-ms response time is also slightly faster than those of its Dell counterparts.
Variable refresh rates aren't part of the package, so users will have to make do with a steady 60Hz. The monitor can display 4K images at that rate, but only over its mini and full-sized DisplayPort 1.2 inputs. 4K input over HDMI is limited to 30Hz.
Four MHL-infused HDMI inputs line the back of the display. That seems a little excessive given the refresh limit, but the PB279Q can split those inputs in a picture-by-picture mode that should be ideal for showing quad 1080p feeds. The refresh rate for those lower-resolution feeds shouldn't be hindered by the 30Hz cap applied to 4K HDMI input.
As one might expect, the PB279Q has a fully adjustable stand and a VESA-compatible mounting bracket. The backlight boasts flicker-free circuitry, and Asus' EyeCare feature reduces blue-light output to combat fatigue. Tiny speakers are included, as well, but a USB hub is not.
The PB279Q is due to hit Europe, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia this month. The press release doesn't mention a launch window for North America, but we've pinged Asus for additional details. "Prices start from US$799 and may vary by region," the company warns.