ASUS ProArt Display PA148CTV Professional Monitor
The ASUS ProArt Display PA148CTV Professional Monitor’s main advantages are its versatility and portability, which make it easy to set up in different situations.
It can be used as a second monitor with a laptop or connected to a camera with a micro-HDMI video output and used as a video monitor while recording or to provide a larger viewing screen when playing recordings back.
The PA148CTV can be calibrated and has presets for the two most commonly-used colour spaces for photo and video blogging.
Overall good features, performance, and an affordable price tag.
Announced at CES in January 2021, the Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV Professional Monitor is the world’s first Calman Verified portable display that claims 100% coverage of both the sRGB and Rec. 709 colour spaces. Physically, its specifications are modest; weighing only 740 grams, the screen is only a 14-inch FHD (1920×1080) IPS panel. The small size and light weight of this little portable screen make it easy to include in a gear bag and convenient to set up almost anywhere. There’s even a tripod socket for mounting the screen as well as an adjustable kickstand that allows it to be set up on a desktop beside a laptop or tablet device.
Angled view of the Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV Professional Monitor. (Source: ASUS.)
Like other ASUS monitors, each PA148CTV screen leaves the factory with a unit-specific calibration report. It can also be calibrated by the user with any of the popular spectrophotometers, although it doesn’t come with calibration-specific software.
It is supplied with a USB C cable, HDMI to micro HDMI cable, USB C to USB A cable, USB C to USB A adaptor and a power adapter for connecting the screen to mains power. A printed Welcome certificate is also provided, along with a multi-lingual booklet containing warranty details and local contact addresses and phone numbers.
But you’ll have to go online to download the user manual in PDF format to explore all the settings and controls. The screen comes with a leatherette sleeve to protect it when it is transported or stored.
Who’s it for?
The PA148CTV screen is designed primarily for ‘content creators’, a generic term that has become popular for workers involved in photography, video, design or visual effects, usually on a professional basis. It’s larger than the SmallHD 702 Touch on-camera monitor but similar in weight, slightly more versatile in use and roughly a quarter the price.
Because of its compact size, the PA148CTV gets a high score for versatility. It can be used as a second monitor with a laptop or connected to a camera with a micro-HDMI video output and used as a video monitor while recording or to provide a larger viewing screen when playing recordings back.
The PA148CTV in use with a laptop.
When mounted on a tripod, it can also provide an extra, larger screen close to the camera for tethered shooting. (We didn’t have a studio setup to test it in but you can see an example here.) Because it can be calibrated and also has presets for the two most commonly-used colour spaces for photo and video blogging, photographers and videographers can be sure the colours and tonality displayed on the PA148CTV will be a close match to the recorded colours.
The screen includes TÜV Rheinland-certified flicker-free and Low Blue Light technologies to provide a more comfortable viewing experience and minimise eye strain, a valuable feature for users who might need to spend long hours in front of the display. Four easily accessed blue-light filter settings are provided to let users reduce potentially harmful blue light emissions.
The PA148CTV will fit into a travel bag or backpack, making it easy to take on location. The integrated adjustable metal kickstand adjusts to provide comfortable viewing angles and working positions, wherever it is set up. The main downside is its need for an external power source that can supply at least 10 Watts of continuous power.
Design and Ergonomics
The PA148CTV comes packed flat in a soft plastic sleeve, which is contained in a two-piece moulded fibre protective holder. It appears to be made from a mixture of metal, plastic and glass and feels quite solidly built. Built into the rear panel is the adjustable kickstand, which pulls outwards from the base, as shown in the illustration below.
Angled rear view of the PA148CTV, showing the pull-out kickstand. (Source: ASUS.)
The main interface connectors are lined up down the left hand side panel. The illustration below shows their positions.
The tripod socket in the base panel has a standard fitting that fits most tripods. It also enables the screen to be attached to a quick-release plate on an adjustable tripod head.
How the PA148CTV screen is set up depends upon the device(s) it is connected to and how it will be used. The micro HDMI port provides the main connection to desktop computers and cameras. The top USB-C port can deliver audio and video signals and touch controls when the screen is used with a laptop, while the bottom USB-C port is used to connect to mains power via the supplied adapter.
When used with a computer, the PA148CTV can become an extended desktop on which you can ‘park’ editing tools while working at larger scale on the main screen. Windows users should find the extra screen is detected automatically and the desktop is easy to extend. We were even able to add it to an existing two-screen setup.
If you want to use the touch controls, they can be accessed by activating the tablet PC mode settings in the System menu in the Settings panel, as shown below.
Switching to Tablet mode lets Windows users access the PA148CTV’s touch controls.
Because it’s so portable, it can also be used as a close-up reference when setting up a tethered studio system. This portability also makes it a good companion to a laptop, although unless your laptop has a enough battery capacity to power the screen via a USB-C cable, you’ll need access to mains power, which limits its value for location work.
The PA148CTV’s controls are centred on the left hand side, with a power on/off button and, below it the ASUS Dial, a rotating dial semi-embedded in the side of the bezel. Pressing in this dial opens the control panel shown below, which opens access to hotkeys for opening and closing the on-screen display (OSD) menu as well as selecting the volume and brightness adjustments and input select (HDMI or USB-C 1 or 2).
The initial control panel in the top left corner of the screen.
Pressing the button at the centre of the dial opens the OSD menu, which accesses ASUS ProArt Preset, the software that controls the main adjustments. A panel along the left hand side of the ProArt Preset provides buttons for opening the Blue Light Filter, ProArt Palette, image, sound, input select (which duplicates the control panel settings), system setup and shortcut functions.
Four adjustment levels are provided for the Blue Light Filter, with an additional zero setting that applies no change. When Blue Light Filter is activated, the default settings of Standard Mode are automatically applied. Brightness is adjustable in levels 1 to 3, while level 4 is optimised to comply with TUV Low Blue Light Certification.
The ProArt Preset sub-menu.
The ProArt Preset sub-menu (shown above) provides the following mode settings for matching the screen to different applications:
Standard – the best choice for document editing;
sRGB – ideal for images and videos that will be viewed online and also usable for document editing;
Rec. 709 – for videos recorded and/or edited in the Rec. 709 colour space;
DCI-P3 – for videos recorded and/or edited in the DCI-P3 colour space;
Scenery – for photographs of scenery’
Reading – for reading e-books and documents;
Darkroom – for use in a weak ambient light environment.
Some features are locked in when the presets are selected. Very few adjustments can be made in the sRGB mode, while ASCR (ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio) can’t be adjusted in the Rec. 709 and DCI-P3 modes and gamma can’t be adjusted in the DCI-P3 and Scenery modes. These modes can be quickly and easily selected using the ASUS Dial, shown below.
Using the ASUS Dial controls. (Source: ASUS.)
The ASUS Dial control has also been designed to work seamlessly with applications like Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro and After Effects. It can also be used to customise shortcuts for tasks like zooming in and out of images and adjusting brush size or brightness settings. You can even tailor the default interface to suit your own work style.
The ProArt Palette lets users fine-tune various colour settings and includes brightness, contrast, saturation, hue (which shifts hue between green and purple), colour temperature (with presets for 9300K, 6500K, 5500K, 5000K and P3-Theatre). There are also five levels of gamma adjustment from 1.8 through to 2.6 plus a black level adjustment for initialising the lowest signal level of darkest grey.
Colour adjustments include six-axis hue and saturation adjustments and gain and separate offset adjustments for the red, green and blue colour channels. There is also a reset button for restoring the factory default colour values.
The separate Image adjustment function includes settings for sharpness, trace free, aspect control, input range and ASCR. Audio levels are also adjustable from the Sound button, with controls for output volume levels and muting.
System Setup (shown above) includes controls for adjusting auto rotation, the touch screen and OSD setups as well as the QuickFit and Key Lock functions. Also present are Power Indicator and Information settings and, on the second page language selection and an All Reset control.
The touchscreen panel can respond to single- or multi-finger touch signals and will recognise up to 10 points of contact simultaneously when used with a recent version of Windows 10. The QuickFit function lets users preview an image or document layout directly on the screen. A ruler can be displayed along the top and left sides of the screen, and users can switch between metric and imperial measurements by holding down the return button for more than three seconds.
The Key Lock function is a security device that disables all key functions, while the Power Indicator switches the power indicator LED on and off. Twenty-one languages are provided in the language selection, while the All Reset function returns the screen to the factory defaults.
The review screen looked good straight out of the box, which is in line with the performance you would expect from the supplied factory calibration sheet. Consequently, we used the default settings when making our analysis with the SpyderX Elite colorimeter and Datacolor software.
The overall result (shown in the bottom line of the graph above) represent the sum of individual parameter tests. With a score of 4 out of 5, this represents very good performance for a screen of this type and, along with its affordable price tag, justifies our Editor’s choice rating
Individual data graphs and tables are presented below.
- Colour Gamut
This graphic shows the colour gamut results obtained in the default mode. The green triangle shows the boundaries of the sRGB colour space, while the purple triangle delineates the Adobe RGB colour space and the purple triangle the DCI-P3 colour space. The red triangle shows the measured colour space for the monitor at the designated screen mode.
While not perfect, this is a good result for a screen of this type and size as shown in the 4.5 score in the overall ratings.
- Tonal Response
This test measures two parameters: the Tone Response, which shows the Gamma (the relationship between the brightness of a pixel and its numerical value) for the display and the Grey Ramp, which shows how the display performs across the different gradations between black and white. Together, they are a good indicator of how mid-tones will be reproduced. If gamma is set too high, mid-tones appear too dark; if too low, they will be too light. Ideally, the grey ramp should show a smooth transition from left to right.
The measured gamma (above) was marginally higher than the 2.2 gamma recommended for image editing with Windows PCs. This difference is too small to be problematic. However, the grey ramp graph shows some non-linearity in the tonal response, which is reflected in the 4.5 score in the overall ratings.
- Colour Accuracy
Another strong result for the review unit, this graph shows the only problem exists in the cyan band. All other measured hues fall very close to the ideal values. This excellent performance is reflected in the 4.5 score in the overall ratings.
- Screen Uniformity
The two Screen Uniformity tests check the brightness and colour consistencies of the display in nine sections of the screen (a 3×3 matrix), at various luminance levels. The results we obtained were similar for all three screen modes so we’ve published only the upper and lower graphs for each category with the default settings.
4a. Luminance Uniformity.
The luminance uniformity plots reveal the main weakness of this screen. They reveal a distinct hot spot in the centre of the screen with a darker band across the upper third of the screen at all measured brightness levels. The difference in luminance between the upper and lower thirds of the screen is greatest at lower brightness settings. Altogether, these readings account for the relatively low score for this parameter.
4b. Colour Uniformity
The colour uniformity plots show a hot spot in the top right corner of the screen indicating this is the area in which colours are the most uniform. At the maximum brightness, the dark area in the centre third of the screen vertically and across the bottom third of the screen indicate areas in which the colours deviate most from uniformity. These deviations are relatively minor at 50% brightness, indicating the screen delivers the best results when brightness is not cranked up. The overall result of 4 out of 5 is not ideal but should present few problems when the screen is used at modest brightness levels for image and video editing.
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Panel size: 14-inch (35.56 cm), capacitative 10-point multi-touch screen
Aspect ratio: Widescreen (16:9)
Active display size (h × v): 309.37 x 174.02 mm
Panel type: IPS (flicker free) with LED backlight
Viewing angles: 178 degrees horizontal and vertical
Brightness: 300 cd/m2 (typical)
Contrast ratio (typical): 700:1, ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR): 100,000,000:1
Response time (typical): 5 mx (GTG)
Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
Pixel pitch: 0.160 mm
Display colours: 16.7 million
Wide gamut coverage: 100% sRGB, 100% Rec.709
Built-in Calibration Sensor: No
Look-up table: Not specified
Internal processing: ProArt Palette
Gamma adjustment: Yes (Support Gamma 2.6, 2.4, 2.2, 2.0, and 1.8)
Colour adjustment: 6 axis (R, G, B, C, M, Y), 5 modes for colour temperature selection
Preset modes: ProArt Preset : 9 modes (Standard, sRGB, Rec. 709, DCI P3, Scenery, Reading, Darkroom, User mode 1, User mode 2)
Video input terminals: 1 x micro HDMI (v1.4)
Adaptive Sync support: Yes (40~60 Hz)
Certification: Calman Verified, TÜV Flicker Free, TÜV Low Blue Light
USB ports / standard: 2x USB C
Audio: 2 x 1 W (stereo), RMS
Power consumption: Power On (Typical): <10 W, Power Saving Mode: <0.5 W, 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz
Tilt / Swivel / Pivot: Tilt: 15~75 degrees, Pivot: 90 degrees (clockwise)
In the box: Power Adaptor, USB C cable, HDMI to micro HDMI cable, USB C to USB A cable, USB C to USB A adaptor, Calibration Report, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, Welcome Card
Dimensions (w x h x d): With Stand: Phys. Dimension with Stand (W x H x D): 326.1 x 204.4 x 12.0 mm
Net weight: 740 grams net
Distributor: ASUS Australia Pty Ltd, 1300 278 788
- Build: 8.9
- Ease of use: 8.5
- Viewing quality: 8.5
- Versatility: 9.0