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Asus unveils first PC LCD monitor with miniLED backlight

17 Jan 2019 | Rasmus Larsen |

The 32-inch ProArt PA32UCX is the first PC LCD monitor with a miniLED backlight, according to Asus. It was announced at CES and is said to be capable of reproducing HDR with up to 1200 nits peak brightness.

A PC monitor with proper HDR?

HDR in the PC ecosystem is in a sad state, partly due to VESA’s DisplayHDR logo program and partly due to technological reasons. This new monitor from Asus could help push PC monitors into HDR territory.

Most PC monitors today are based on either IPS or VA LCD panels with edge LED. The former panel type has a low contrast ratio of typically 1000:1 while VA LCD goes slightly higher to typically 3000:1 – give or take. With miniLED implemented as a direct backlight and dimming zones, luminance can be controlled more granularly. Asus says that this particular monitor has “1000+ zones of local dimming” and that it can reach upwards of 1200 nits peak brightness.

- “For designers who demand exceptional display performance and color accuracy for their visual workflows, ASUS created ProArt PA32UCX, the world’s first 32-inch 4K monitor with Mini LED backlighting and 1000+ zones of local dimming to support multiple HDR formats (HLG and HDR-10).”

 Asus PA32UCX

MiniLED – and microLED backlight as the next step is – does still not offer pixel-level control as in OLED but it has the potential to be an important step for PC monitors in general as these are lagging far behind TVs in terms of picture quality. The downside is that the monitor gets quite thick.

- “This is no small achievement, and we had to work closely with the panel and scaler manufacturers on a custom design for controlling all those lighting zones. This technology didn’t exist before, and it took months of testing different proposed solutions before it could be perfected,” the company said.

The 32-inch ProArt PA32UCX is for designers and content creators. Asus added that the 3840x2160 LCD panel is true 10-bit and that it can reproduce 97% of the DCI-P3 color space. It is equipped with Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, and three HDMI 2.0 ports. It has been factory calibrated to deliver dE of less than 2.

Asus is planning to release the monitor in spring 2019 but has yet to confirm pricing. We expect it to be quite costly.

Asus PA32UCX - highlighted features

- 32-inch Mini LED Backlight with 4K HDR, 1000+ zones local dimming
- Outstanding W/R/G/B uniformity and DCI-P3 and AdobeRGB wide color gamut, true 10 bit color
- Support multiple HDR formats (HDR-10, HLG) presents lifelike experience and flexibility, pre-calibrated for excellent color accuracy (ΔE < 2)
- ASUS ProArt Calibration technology features a 14-bit look-up table (LUT), uniformity compensation and the ability to save color profiles on the monitor
- Thunderbolt 3 USB-C supports data transfers at up to 40 Gbps, and Power Delivery provides up to 60W of power to external devicess

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