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Although most content-creation software has long been based on the idea of ‘what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG), the same can’t always be said of the content itself. The problem lies with accurate colour reproduction, or the lack of it, and it’s a particular concern when working with images.

The importance of accurate colour

Simply put, a monitor with inaccurate colour reproduction won’t display colours properly, which means what looks like a clear blue sky in an image displayed on one, for example, might look decidedly overcast on another — and something else altogether when printed. The problem can be caused by a poor quality display, but it’s more usually the result of improper display settings, either in the operating system or on the monitor itself.

The solution lies with something called ‘colour calibration’, which involves measuring the colour output of a monitor and fine-tuning it so that its colours are accurate. Unfortunately, just pressing the ‘Auto’ button on a monitor’s control panel won’t achieve this, and nor will using a computer operating system’s built-in calibration software. The human eye is a notoriously inaccurate tool for assessing colour accuracy, which is why so many monitors are inaccurately calibrated in the first place.

The only guaranteed way of making sure that a monitor displays completely accurate colours is to use a hardware calibration tool. This attaches to the screen to measure its output, and then adjusts the operating systems ‘colour profile’ accordingly. Or at least that used to be the only way of doing it…

Recognising that colour calibration is too important a task to be left to chance, ASUS decided to create monitor that did away with the need for it altogether — the PA248Q ProArt Professional LCD Display.

Perfect image reproduction, fresh from the box

Ideal for image editing professionals of all descriptions, the PA248Q is precision calibrated at the factory, which means it’s ready for use with no further tweaks fresh from the box. The 24.1” display has a full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution and is LED-backlit for a wide 178° viewing angle and even backlighting, with no dark patches.

Factory calibration means each PA248Q monitor has industry-leading colour accuracy, with a ΔE* colour difference of less than 5. Hue and saturation values can still be controlled though, with six-axis colour adjustment for red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, and yellow (both RGB and CMY). This is particularly important for images intended for print, since it means the on-screen RGB colour representation can be accurately matched to the CMYK print process used by colour printing technologies.

Full of professional features

ASUS has also equipped the PA248Q with a ‘QuickFit’ function that displays a grid on-screen that corresponds to the actual size of several different document sizes, from a 6” x 4” photo to an A4 page. Both centimetre and inch grids can also be displayed, which makes it extremely easy to see a true actual size on-screen representation of an image without the need to print it.

Access to the PA248Q’s various functions is via an intuitive OSD (on-screen display), activated by an easy to use five-way joystick and two user-definable shortcut keys.

A high-quality professional display it may be, but the PA248Q is still a solid all-round performer with a 6ms response time that gives a lag-free experience for gaming and movies. HDMI 1.3, DisplayPort, DVI-D and D-Sub inputs, plus four USB 3.0 ports, provide comprehensive connectivity options, too.

Mounted on an ergonomically designed stand with flexible tilt, swivel and height adjustment, getting the best view on the PA248Q is simplicity itself. The screen can also be rotated through 90° for portrait use and the narrow bezel on all for sides makes it possible to use two PA248Qs side-by-side with minimal visual interruption to the combined display area.

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