ASUS ProArt Display PA169CDV

      Photo Review 8.8

      In summary

      The ASUS ProArt Display PA169CDV brings a larger screen with 4K resolution to its portable professional monitor line-up, this time offering wide gamut coverage, HDR support, a 10-point touch-screen interface and factory pre-calibration.

      Resolution and certification are the features that set the PA169CDV apart from the handful of other 4K screens and justify its significantly higher price tag. None of the competitors can boast PANTONE Validation and Calman Verification and they generally don’t support calibration or match the PA169CDV when it comes to colour gamut and accuracy.

      Photographers who travel a lot could find the PA169CDV handy for extending the view of their laptop screen to make it easier to review the day’s recordings. Its role as a secondary monitor can make it easier to tag and edit work by providing a more colour accurate (and calibrated) viewing screen as well as extra screen space for ‘parking’ tools.


      Full review

      Unveiled at CES 2022, the ASUS ProArt Display PA169CDV is a 15.6-inch 4K UHD IPS portable monitor that comes with a Wacom EMR stylus pen that is battery-free and compatible with ASUS Dial. This gives users shortcuts when working with supported Adobe software to improve creative workflows.  The screen itself is PANTONE Validated and Calman Verified and it comes from the factory pre-calibrated to Delta E 2 colour difference and is able to display 10-bit colour with 100% coverage of the sRGB and Rec.709 colour gamuts.

      Angled view of the Asus ProArt Display PA169CTV monitor. (Source: ASUS.)

      A web search will reveal a plentiful supply of portable USB monitors with different price tags and different levels of specifications. The 15.6-inch screen size appears to be the most popular, although ASUS (a strong player in this market) also offers screen sizes from as large as 17.3 inches down to 14-inch screens like the Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV, which we reviewed in July 2021 but was restricted to FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution.

      That monitor was much cheaper, with an RRP of AU$599, which appears to still hold today, although the ‘street price’ is a little lower. Pricing and specs-wise it is competitive with most portable displays currently available.

      The PA169CDV is a more sophisticated product and stands out from most others on the basis of its capabilities. It has a functional screen size of 345.6 x 194.4 mm and can display images with up to 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution at a refresh rate of 50Hz with mains power in Australia.

      Resolution and certification are the features that set the PA169CDV apart from the handful of other 4K screens and justify its significantly higher price tag. None of the competitors can boast PANTONE Validation and Calman Verification and they generally don’t support calibration or match the PA169CDV when it comes to colour gamut and accuracy.

      Who’s it for?
      In the past few years, portable monitors have become increasingly popular among photographers and other digital content creators who make routine use of laptops and tablets. Despite both screens being Calman Verified, flicker-free and low blue light certified, the higher resolution and PANTONE Validation make the PA169CDV a better choice for photographers, content creators and digital designers.

      Digital artists and content creators will appreciate the bundled, Wacom-enabled, battery-free pen, which is highly customisable and supports 4096 different pressure levels. It also provides adjustable working angles of up to 40 degrees in any direction.

      The tilt of the screen can also be selected by choosing one of the two pull-up stands on the back of the panel. Pulling out the top stand tilts the screen at 17 degrees, while the two-position bottom stand can be set to tilt angles of 54 degrees or 75 degrees.

      Photographers who travel a lot could find the PA169CDV handy for extending the view of their laptop screen to make it easier to review the day’s recordings. Its role as a secondary monitor can make it easier to tag and edit work by providing a more colour accurate (and calibrated) viewing screen as well as extra screen space for ‘parking’ tools.

      However, it’s important to note this monitor requires a power source with at least 15W PD power output to support full functionality.  If you only use the USB-C cable to connect the PA169CDV, the screen brightness will be reduced to 180 nits. In addition, if you only connect the adapter and HDMI cable between the monitor and your notebook, the Touch Screen and Pen functions are disabled.

      Design and Ergonomics
      The panel itself is solidly built with a narrow bezel and two protruding ‘feet’ near either end of the lower edge. There are two pull-out kick stands on the rear panel, the upper one tilting the screen up to an angle of 17 degrees and the lower one allowing the angle to be set from 54 degrees to 75 degrees.

      The interface ports – two USB Type C and an HDMI Type A – are located low down on the left side panel, with a Menu button, toggle switch, dial wheel (‘key’) and power on/off button rising above them. The dial wheel is customisable and provides access to settings such as brightness, contrast, saturation, brush size, opacity and other functions with linear adjustments. There are no programmable buttons or hotkeys but the on-screen control panel can provide access to various functions in the software being used.

      The base of the screen includes a standard tripod socket, enabling it to be used as an accessory screen placed close to a camera during tethered shooting. Because it can be calibrated and supports 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 screen will match the recorded colours.

      It also enables the screen to be attached to a quick-release plate, making it convenient to use in situations like location shoots where a power supply is available. Being able to change set-ups quickly reduces the stress associated with constantly varying situations.

      The PA169CDV is supplied with a mains adapter and power cable plus additional HDMI and USB-C cables. The ProArt Pen and spare nibs and tweezer are also included along with a Calibration report, warranty cars and quick start guide.  A soft carry bag is also provided.

      Setting Up
      Like the PA148CTV, the PA169CDV should normally be connected to a computer via the HDMI port, although the lower USB-C port can be used for direct power delivery from a laptop. This port is also used to provide the main power connection via the supplied adapter.

      This diagram shows the cable connections for the PA169CDV screen.

      The PA169CDV’s controls are lined up on the left hand side panel, starting with a power on/off button, followed by the rotating dial key, which is semi-embedded in the side of the bezel. Users rotate this dial to scroll up and down through menu items and press it in to enter sub-menus or confirm a selection.

      Below the dial is a toggle switch that is used to set the dial’s operating mode. Slide it up for a stepless spin and down to lock in click-stops. The menu button for accessing the on-screen displays sits below this switch.

      Although the PA169CDV provides a wider range of adjustments than the PA148CTV, the basic on-screen displays are similar in both monitors. The PA169CDV differs in being able to detect HDR content and alerting the user with a pop-up ‘HDR-ON’ message.

      The ProArt Preset sub-menu provides six of the same mode settings for matching the screen to different applications as the PA148CTV but omits the Darkroom mode and adds an HDR mode with three options and two User Mode customisable memory banks. The table below shows the default configurations for each ProArt Preset mode:

      As with the PA148CTV, users can also fine-tune various colour settings, along with 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.

      The on-screen display showing the brightness adjustments.

      The PA169CDV also has a separate Image adjustment function with settings for sharpness, trace free, aspect control and input range. Audio levels are also adjustable from the Sound button, with controls for output volume levels and muting. The screen also supports Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture (PIP/PBP) displays, although not in HDR mode.

      It also features 10 point touch panel technology, which works with the latest operating systems and is set up using the diagram below. (The display must be connected to a computer with the USB-C cable to support touch functionality.)

      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 decent performance for a screen of this type but the results of the individual tests highlight the main weaknesses of the screen:  Luminance Uniformity and Tonal Response

      Individual data graphs and tables are presented below.

      1. Colour Gamut

      This graphic shows the colour gamut results obtained in the default mode. The red triangle shows the measured colour space for the monitor at the designated screen mode. The green triangle shows the boundaries of the sRGB colour space, which fits entirely within the screen’s colour gamut.

      The purple triangle delineates the Adobe RGB colour space and, while it encompasses 93% of its colour gamut, it misses out on displaying some shades of green. Similarly, the blue triangle shows the DCI-P3 colour space, indicating the monitor is unable to display 10% of its green and brownish  hues.  Nonetheless, the software gave the screen a 5/5 score in its rating for this category.

      2. 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.


      While the measured gamma (above) was marginally higher than the 2.2 gamma recommended for image editing with Windows PCs, the grey ramp graph shows considerable non-linearity in the tonal response, which is reflected in the 3/5 score in the rating for this category.

      3. Contrast

      This table shows how the screen performs with respect to brightness, contrast and white point at different levels of screen brightness. The review unit achieved a perfect 5/5 score for this category.

      4. Luminance Uniformity.

      The luminance uniformity plots at 50% and 100% brightness, shown above, reveal the main weakness of this screen. They reveal a distinct hot spot in the lower right corner 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.

      5. Colour Uniformity

      The colour uniformity plots at 50% and 100% brightness, shown above, highlight the area midway down the left side of the screen that indicates where colours are the most uniform, at the same time reinforcing the findings of the luminance uniformity tests. At the maximum brightness, the dark area in the centre third of the right side of the screen indicates where the colours deviate most from uniformity.  These deviations are least at 50% brightness but increase when the brightness is cranked up to 100%. The overall result of 4 out of 5 suggests few problems will arise when the screen is used at modest brightness levels for image and video editing.

      6. Colour Accuracy

      A relatively strong result for the review unit, this graph shows fairly small deviations from the ideal values. This excellent performance is reflected in the 4.5 score in the overall ratings.

      There wasn’t much difference in colour reproduction between the uncalibrated appearance of the screen (top screen grab) and the calibrated view (lower screen grab), which suggests the factory pre-calibration was effective. Potential buyers who lack the ability to calibrate their monitors can take comfort from these findings.


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      Panel type: IPS (flicker free) with LED backlight and Anti-Glare, Anti-FingerPrint surface
      Panel size: 15.6-inch with Projective Capacitive 10-point Touch control & support for Wacom EMR Technology ProArt Pen (Feel by Wacom)
      Aspect ratio: 16:9
      Active display size (h x v): 345.60 ×194.40 mm
      Native resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels
      Pixel pitch: 0.09 mm
      Viewing angles: 178 degrees horizontal and vertical
      Brightness: 500 cd/m2 (typical)
      Contrast ratio (typical): 1200:1; 15,000:1 Max. for HDR
      Response time (typical): 10 ms (GTG)
      Display colours: 1073.7 million (10-bit)
      Wide gamut coverage: 100% sRGB, HDR10 support
      Gamma adjustment: Yes (Support Gamma 1.8/2.0/2.2/2.4/2.6 )
      Colour adjustment: 6-axis adjustment (R, G, B, C, M, Y); colour accuracy ΔE<2
      Preset modes: ProArt Presets: Standard, sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, Rec. 709, Scenery, Reading, HDR + 2 User modes; 5 colour temperature presets
      Other video features: ProArt Palette, QuickFit Plus, PIP / PBP Technology, HDCP 2.2, Low Blue Light
      Input ports: USB-C x 1 (DP Alt Mode), HDMI (v2.0) x 1; USB-C Power Delivery : 15W
      Power consumption: <15W Power On (Typical): <0.5W Power Saving Mode: <0.3W Power Off Mode
      Tilt / Swivel / Pivot: Tilt – Upper Stand: 17°, Lower Stand: 54° ~ 75°; Pivot – 0° ~ 90° Clockwise
      Auto rotation: Gyro-sensor
      Certification: Energy Star, TÜV Flicker-free, TÜV Low Blue Light, VESA DisplayHDR 400, Calman Verified, Pantone Validated
      Accessories: Carry bag, Calibration report, Quick start guide, Warranty card, Power cable,  Adapter (model: ADP65SD, input: AC100-240V ~ 50-60Hz 1.5A, output: 20V 3.25A 65W or 15V/9V/5V 3A 15W), HDMI cable, USB Type-C cable, ProArt pen, Pen nibs and tweezer
      Dimensions (w x h x d): 370.2 x 237.2 x 12.1 mm
      Net weight: 1,070 grams
      Distributor: ASUS Australia Pty Ltd, 1300 278 788



      RRP: AU$1999

      • Build: 9.0
      • Ease of use: 8.5
      • Viewing quality: 8.9
      • Versatility: 8.8