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Asus ProArt PA348CGV review: A high-end ultrawide monitor for professionals

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
799
inc VAT (not available)

Although it’s meant for creative types, the Asus ProArt PA348CGV is a remarkably good all-rounder

Pros 
Accurate in sRGB and DCI-P3
120Hz and Freesync for gamers
Good selection of ports
Cons 
Extremely heavy
HDR is pointless
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The Asus ProArt PA348CGV is an ultrawide monitor primarily aimed at creative professionals. There aren’t very many monitors of this sort on the market. It’s largely accepted that 4K is the optimal resolution for photo or video editing and for the most part, the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio rules supreme.

This means the PA348CGV needs to be extremely persuasive. There are reasons to opt for an ultrawide over 4K as a creative professional – screen real-estate being the main one – but unless the ultrawide in question nails the essentials it’s a tougher sell.

However, the PA348CGV has a fail-safe. Intentionally or not, this monitor also has the makings of an accomplished multipurpose display for home working and even a bit of after-hours gaming. In the event that it can’t reel in the creatives, these added benefits might be enough to save the Asus PA348CGV from irrelevance.

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Asus ProArt PA348CGV review: What do you get for the money?

The Asus ProArt PA348CGV isn’t widely available yet, but it will cost £799 at launch. That gets you a 34in IPS panel with a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440, a refresh rate of 120Hz, a quoted response time of 2ms G2G and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support. For those who are interested, this is a proper 10-bit panel, rather than an 8-bit + FRC (frame rate control) model. It has a DisplayHDR 400 certification plus HDR10 decoding support.

On the rear of the monitor there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 port and one 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s also a total of four USB-A 3.0 ports – two next door to the video ports and two mounted on the bottom edge for easy access – and a USB-C 3.0 port capable of both carrying a video signal and supplying 90W of power to a connected device.

This ultrawide panel is mounted on a stand with 115mm of height adjustment, 30 degrees of swivel left/right and 23 degrees of backwards tilt. The box contains HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C cables alongside the power cable and documentation. It also contains a desk clamp that attaches to the stand and provides a tidy, small-footprint alternative to the regular base.

Asus ProArt PA348CGV review: What does it do well?

More so than most, the Asus ProArt PA348CGV lives or dies by its performance. Out of the box this monitor generated 136.7% of the sRGB colour gamut, which equates to 96.8% DCI-P3 and 94.2% Adobe RGB. Measuring colour accuracy against DCI-P3 in this default mode returned an impressive average Delta E of 1.01.

In its dedicated sRGB mode, meanwhile, the PA348CGV reproduced 93.1% of the sRGB colour gamut with an average Delta E of 1.14. We’d recommend sticking to these two settings (default and sRGB) – the monitor’s dedicated DCI-P3 mode, for example, produced an inexplicably less colour-accurate result than the default mode (an average Delta E of 3.73).

The PA348CGV is bright enough for any conceivable office scenario, producing a peak luminance of 375cd/m² in our tests. I measured a contrast of 1,106:1, which is pretty good by the standards of most IPS monitors. The only caveat here is that sRGB mode locks the brightness to 84cd/m². That’s quite common but worth pointing out as this monitor lacks a hood of any sort – though fortunately, it has a very effective anti-glare matte coating.

For creative professionals, these results are more than sufficient. The panel’s wide colour gamut and accurate colour reproduction in both the sRGB and DCI-P3 colour spaces tick a slew of important boxes for photo and video editing and they’re supported by a few advanced features specifically for creators.

Within the OSD you’ll find Asus’ ProArt Palette, which is a fancy name for a set of more nuanced colour correction and gamma controls that utilise the less-common six-axis colour adjustment, so you can fine-tune RGBCMY (red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow) hue and saturation alongside white and black balance – if you’re into that sort of thing.

There are also reasons to opt for an ultrawide professional monitor compared with a regular 16:9 screen. While low resolutions will force you to zoom in further on higher-res images to make finer tweaks, you can comfortably have a blown-up image on this panel and still have room for Photoshop’s UI elements and possibly even a second reference image. You could achieve a similar effect with a dual-monitor setup but an ultrawide is more likely to provide uniformity in accuracy and brightness (and eliminates the physical gap between screens). In other words, if resolution isn’t such a concern, an ultrawide monitor is a valid choice.

Having laboured over this monitor’s creative credentials for a few paragraphs now, I should stop and point out that the PA348CGV is pretty good for everyone else, too. Gamers, for example, should note the 120Hz refresh rate, low 2ms G2G response time and AMD Freesync Premium Pro support. Driving 120Hz at an ultrawide 1440p resolution is no mean feat but, regardless, your games are going to look great on this monitor thanks to vibrant colours and decent motion handling (courtesy of that IPS panel).

Similarly, the PA348CGV is practical enough to be used as an office monitor as the stand is more than sufficient to maintain good posture. I’ve seen ultrawide monitors with a bit more upwards/downwards movement but 115mm, plus a good amount of tilt and swivel is absolutely fine. Moreover, the desk clamp is an excellent way to reduce clutter if you don’t mind anchoring the monitor in one place.

It’s a similar story with the ports: a proper office ultrawide such as the Philips Brilliance 346P1CRH might up the ante with an RJ-45 Ethernet port and a built-in webcam but four USB-A ports and a 90W DisplayPort USB-C port is pretty good.

READ NEXT: Best 4K monitor

Asus ProArt PA348CGV review: What could be better?

The PA348CGV is nondescript, which isn’t in itself a bad thing, but the sturdy, industrial design has one significant drawback. This monitor weighs 12.2kg, which is only a few kilos less than Philips’ enormous 498P9Z super-ultrawide (15kg) and, as a result, lugging it around and assembling it is a real chore.

I’m also not certain why this monitor has an HDR certification. It can’t quite reach the required 400 nits of brightness and with no local dimming and comparatively low contrast, the difference between SDR and HDR is nonexistent. To be honest, if you’re working with HDR content and need a reference monitor, a basic DisplayHDR 400 certification isn’t going to cut it anyway.

As always with Asus monitors, I’m not fond of the OSD or its controls. I was pleased to see that the button/joystick combo is at least easily accessible on the front of the monitor but with no obvious indication as to what each button does – aside from the power button, which is thankfully clearly marked – you’re still going to end up fumbling around a bit to begin with.

Finally, I should touch on a couple of other issues. Despite the size, you’ve got around half as many pixels to work with as a 4K panel here, so if you spend time editing 4K video content, you’ll have to do a fair bit of zooming in and out. It’s not a deal breaker if you’re working with 4K images but editing 4K videos will get tricky, and as such I’d recommend a 32in 4K monitor such as the Asus ProArt PA329CV instead.

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Asus ProArt PA348CGV review: Should you buy it?

That being said, the Asus PA348CGV is colour-accurate and highly customisable, which will go a long way to persuading the target audience to part with their cash. I’m fairly sure most photo/video editors are going to prefer a 4K monitor over an ultrawide one. However, if you don’t mind sacrificing half of your pixels in favour of space on-screen, the PA348CGV is certainly worth considering.

Moreover, outside the realm of digital content creation the PA348CGV is a far easier sell. The stand, ports and surprisingly good gaming credentials make it an accomplished all-rounder. It’s a touch on the expensive side but that’s due to the colour accurate panel, and considering just how multifaceted this monitor is, it's clear that it is well worth the cost.

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