For the last few weeks, I’ve been using a 4K monitor. For most people, there’s absolutely no reason right now to want to run anything at that resolution. Beyond the fact that 4K screens are ludicrously expensive, there’s a dearth of genuinely worthwhile 4K content. Yes, you could play games at that resolution, but there’s no single remotely affordable GPU to make 4K gaming a reality. In short, I don’t quite see the point in having a 4K display beyond design work. And yet, when Asus inevitably comes to cart away the PB287Q monitor atop my desk right now, I will shed quite a number of tears.


Firstly, let’s take a look at the monitor aesthetically. It’s pretty minimalist stuff, with a standard almost industrial black bezel. It comes with one of the most functional monitor stands on this planet, allowing you to tilt and swivel and adjust the height of the thing to your heart’s content. Along the bottom there are the two HDMI ports, both of which are MHL-compatible (which means you can plug your phone in there and view its contents in full screen or windowed in a picture-in-picture screen), the DisplayPort and 3.5mm audio in and out.  6 rear-facing buttons join the power one to allow for control of the on-screen display for tweaking the monitors myriad menus. I personally found the menus fiddly: with 6 uniform dots representing each button’s functionality it made hitting the right one as you fiddle with the back of the monitor a frustrating task – a little like a teenager trying to unclasp a bra with one hand.


The PB287Q is being hailed as a budget 4K monitor, if there was ever such a thing. Where 4K monitors can easily cost upwards of $2500, or a billion or so South African Rands, Asus’ PB287Q comes in at just $650. Locally – because we’re situated at the tip of Africa – the price is nearly double that, with the screen retailing at closer to R12 000. That somewhat mitigates its general appeal.  It’s cheaper than most other ultra HD displays – but it’s not lacking in features. It’s got that sweet 3840 by 2160 pixel resolution, LED backlighting, two HDMI 1.4 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2, a bright 330 cd/m2 luminance rating, and 1 millisecond gray-to-gray response time. It’ll do picture-in-picture as well as picture-by-picture support, has one of the most incredibly flexible stands – with height adjustment, pivot, swivel, and tilt capabilities – has MHL support and even includes little top-firing 2W speakers that I couldn’t get working because I am an idiot. How did Asus make such a cost effective 4K monitor – especially one boasting such an impressive list of features?

Critically, the panel is one of the dreaded TN – or twisted nematic – panels. Historically, they’ve been a little underwhelming when it comes to 4K displays. While they typically have a lightning fast response time, they’re unable to produce the full colour spectrum, sticking to an 8-bit colour depth. This one is a little different, achieving 10-bit colour by using 8-bits with Frame Rate Control for better colour quality. With a pixel density of 157ppi, it is sufficiently sharp. While that’s all technical mumbo jumbo, what it means is that the colour reproduction here isn’t up to par with more premium – and significantly more expensive –  IPS screens. It’s not a monitor I’d recommend for work where colour reproduction is key. No, with its faster TN panel it’s definitely more suited to gamers. Importantly, unlike many early 4K TN screens, it’s capable of running at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 at a full 60hz. To do that, you will need to have a GPU with a DisplayPort output, and enable DisplayPort 1.2 on the monitor itself. Out of the box, the thing – for whatever reason – is set to DisplayPort 1.1 by default.


TN Panels, unlike their IPS counterparts, don’t have the best viewing angles. This one’s not too bad at all; horizontal viewing angles are decent and you’ll be able to see most of the screen when looking at it from the side. Vertical viewing angles aren’t nearly as good – so it’s possibly worth avoiding if you plan to look up, or down at the screen. Thankfully, the height-adjustable stand mostly mitigates its viewing angle issues.


I seem to have nothing but technical complaints, but the monitor does exactly what it says it does on the box. It’s a relatively cheap 4K monitor that’s better suited to gaming than design work. And because you can swivel the thing in to portrait mode at will, I’ve been using it to play all of those emulated vertically scrolling shoot’em ups like Raiden that I loved in the arcades as a kid. Yes, with their terrible resolutions it almost seems like a waste of the monitor, but I really don’t care – I get to play Raiden and 1942 the way they should be. Of course, the 4K stuff is what really matters, and if you’re looking for a decent screen to couple with your brand new Geforce GTX 980 without breaking the bank again this is perfect for the job. Importantly, content upscaled from 1080p doesn’t look at all awful – in fact, I’ve been using it with the PlayStation 4 and beyond the slightly washed-out colours, everything is crisp and clear.



Last Updated: December 11, 2014

Asus PB287Q 4K monitor
4K gaming has always been prohibitively expensive. If you have a gaming rig that’s equipped for these sort of resolutions, but don’t want to mortgage your house just to take advantage, you could do far worse than the Asus PB287Q. While the TN panel isn’t the best for colour reproduction, there’s a reason gamers prefer those sorts of panels; lightning fast response time, and minimal input lag. It’s a feature-rich display that does what it says on the tin, and more – for a lot less money than most.


  1. Captain JJ glitterati fantasti

    December 11, 2014 at 15:36

    I like the tilt function tbh.
    12k for a monitor though. Eish.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    December 11, 2014 at 15:37

    4K is just… too expensive. 1080p is good enough for me.


    • Captain JJ glitterati fantasti

      December 11, 2014 at 15:42

      I like 2k.
      They make Borderlands. ;P


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        December 11, 2014 at 15:54

        Oh you 😛


    • Hammersteyn

      December 11, 2014 at 16:01

      Same here……….one day


  3. Rags

    December 11, 2014 at 15:38

    The Dell 4k costs R8200 locally. Asus just likes to charge double.


    • Captain JJ glitterati fantasti

      December 11, 2014 at 15:42

      I must say though. I recently bought my gf a gaming laptop and the ASUS turned out the be the cheapest in the range we were looking.
      You win some you lose some I suppose.


      • Rags

        December 11, 2014 at 15:55

        Yeah, its weird. It seems to mostly apply to monitors. Their laptops are in line with the competition mostly.


      • Her Highness the Hipster

        December 11, 2014 at 16:12

        apparently ASUS actually has a policy of being more expensive as a sign that their goods will be of higher quality. not too sure how well that’s working for them…


        • Skyblue

          December 11, 2014 at 19:11

          You can always ask Sony how it’s worked out for them and their bleeding consumer electronics dept (PS baling the out the kak all the time)


    • matt61350137

      December 11, 2014 at 16:04

      Che­c­­­k ou­t h­­­­o­­­­­­­­w t­h­i­­­s h­­ou­­sew­ife ­­­h­­av­­­e ea­­­rn­­­ed 6 t­ho­us­a­n­d do­lla­­­rs/mo­­­nt­hly f­­­­­o­­­­r d­­­o­i­­­n­­g a j­­­o­b fr­­­o­m h­­om­e fo­­­r se­­ver­al h ev­­­e­r­y d­a­y a­­nd ho­­­­­­w t­o achie­v­­­e t­h­­at fo­­­­r yo­­­urs­­­elf>>>

      ————> w.a?ch.??/BP85dO


      • Rags

        December 11, 2014 at 16:10

        Not linking to Brazzers? I’m disappoint.


  4. Matthew Holliday

    December 11, 2014 at 16:02

    theres no remotely affordable GPU that runs current games maxxed at 1080p.
    nevermind 4k.
    maxxing at 1080 now still takes a R3500 card


    • RustedFaith

      December 11, 2014 at 17:52

      yup top of the range crossfire and sli cards cant even hit 60fps at 4k.


      • HairyEwok

        December 12, 2014 at 08:48

        It all depends on what game you play. You can 4k Dark Souls 2 without problems on the fps side.


  5. Ottokie

    December 11, 2014 at 18:23

    Just recently got the BenQ XL2720Z 144Hz, great screen, love the colours and that smooth as silk feeling when gaming at 144 fps (powered by 2x GTX680’s of course).
    Was worried about not waiting for the 4K screens…But after that price in the artical…BEST DECISION EVER!

    And with the new “super-sampling” we get from NVIDIA drivers its even more worth it.


  6. Skyblue

    December 11, 2014 at 19:16

    Reason left the building the moment I saw this (refresh)

    Gonna install the first picture into the second one… just for 1942


  7. Mark Treloar

    December 12, 2014 at 05:17

  8. Charl van der Merwe

    December 12, 2014 at 08:19

    no man you barely touched on the subject of 4k gaming!. How playable is 4k gaming on that 980 ? DId you test crossfire configs ? What other options do we have in South africa with regards to 4k monitors and how much are they ?


    • HairyEwok

      December 12, 2014 at 09:01

      4k gaming on a 980 is do-able (talking 30fps here) depending on the game you play. SLI and crossfire on 4k give you about 60-85% more oemph so lets say your playing Far Cry 4 on a 4k mornitor with SLI 980’s, youll get frames of about between 40-55, (single GTX980 on ultra 1080p gets 80fps)

      4k monitors in SA…. ehhhh not happening unless you have a deep pocket starting at R9000. Regards to 4k in SA, your better off getting a 1080p monitor and using DSR for nvidia or for ATI guys the VSR option.


  9. HairyEwok

    December 12, 2014 at 08:46

    And I merely take my 1080p 55inch TV and DSR my games on it…. 4K the real South African budget style.


  10. B4d R0b0t

    December 12, 2014 at 09:11

    The biggest issue with monitors is the import duty set on them 34% on anything above 20″ , madness I tell you!


  11. Mike

    December 12, 2014 at 10:07

    Will never buy another Asus monitor again, biggest PoS Ive ever spent 4k on.


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