We missed this one during CES, but back in January, Asus announced the ProArt PA32UCX display. That's a 32" monitor with some seriously high-end specs, which we'll go into in a moment. However, a 32" 16:9 display is a lot of desk space, and some individuals may not desire a display that big. Those folks might prefer the just-announced PA27UCX, which is nearly the same display in a smaller size. Let's check 'em out.
Both of these displays are LED-backlit LCD monitors in 3840x2160 resolution. They top out at a 60-Hz refresh rate, but that's not a big deal for a display aimed at graphic designers and photo editors. No, those folks will likely not care about that at all, and instead be totally stoked at these true 10-bit displays' ability to reproduce 97% of the DCI-P3 color space and a full 89% of the ridiculously-wide Rec.2020 color space. They support both HDR10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma HDR profiles, and include color profiles for Adobe RGB, Rec. 709, DCI-P3, and Rec. 2020.
There are reasons for gamers and movie nerds to be into these displays too, though. Their peak brightness tops out at a staggering 1200 cd/m². For context, your typical desktop display peters out around 300. Asus isn't giving hard numbers on contrast ratios yet, but does say that these monitors meet VESA's DisplayHDR 1000 requirements. That specification mandates at least 1000 cd/m² peak brightness and just 0.05 cd/m² corner brightness. Savvy gerbils will realize that such specs require local dimming, and indeed, the 32" PA32UCX has a full one-thousand local dimming zones. The smaller PA27UCX has 576 zones.
To have so many local dimming zones in relatively small screens, these displays use "Mini LED" backlights. That's not to be confused with the forthcoming Micro LED technology that purports to compete with OLED for contrast and brightness. Instead, Mini LEDs are sort of a half-measure toward that technology. While Micro LEDs will use a single LED for each pixel, Mini LEDs cover 8x8 or 4x4 grids—still quite small, but much cheaper to manufacture than Micro LEDs. Trendforce's LED Inside claims that Mini LED production is around 20% more expensive than typical LCD monitors, while Micro LED models will be "more than 3 times" as expensive.
The screens themselves aren't the only interesting qualities of these displays, if you can believe that. They also accept video input USB Type-C using DisplayPort Alternate Mode. The larger of the two, the PA32UCX, supports Thunderbolt 3, and even has a pass-through port. It'll also accept HDMI 2.0 or regular old DisplayPort connections. Meanwhile, the PA27UCX can run entirely off a single USB Type-C connection, as long as your PC supports USB-PD up to 60W. It'll also include DisplayPort and HDMI connectors too, though, as well as a USB 3.0 hub.
If you're after some of that Mini LED 4K UHD HDR USB acronym salad, you won't have long to wait. Asus said back at CES that the PA32UCX should hit "this Spring," while the PA27UCX should arrive any day now. The company hasn't announced pricing, but with specs like these, we might go ahead and take out that second mortgage.