Designer Review: ASUS PA147CDV touchscreen display


Review unit on loan from ASUS Singapore

If you find the ASUS ProArt Display PA147CDV familiar, that’s because it’s a spin-off from the secondary display (aka ScreenPad Plus) found on the ASUS Zenbook Duo laptops. Check out my reviews for the Zenbook Pro Duo 14 (2022) and Zenbook Pro Duo 15 (2021) if you have time.

Retail price of the ASUS ProArt Display PA147CDV is SGD 829. Here in Singapore, it will be available in mid October from the ASUS Official Stores on Lazada SG and Shopee SG.


The main selling point of this display is to use it as a control panel interface for selected Adobe apps, namely Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Lightroom Classic. ASUS has created the ASUS ProArt Creator Hub to provide productivity features for those Adobe apps. The software is only available for Windows OS.

Below are the main specs for the display. You can find the full specs here.

  • Size: 14-inch diagonal
  • Resolution: 1920 x 550 px (143PPI)
  • Aspect ratio: 32:9
  • Display Viewing Area (H x V) : 344.22 x 98.60 mm
  • Panel type: IPS LCD
  • Surface: Matte
  • Colour space: 100% sRGB
  • Brightness: 400 nits
  • Contrast ratio: 1200:1
  • Refresh rate: 60 Hz
  • Response time: 5ms (GtG)
  • Touch: 10-point touch

Things included


These are the items included:

  • Display
  • Display sleeve
  • 1x USB-C to USB-C video cable
  • 1x USB-C to USB-A cable (for power)
  • 1x full-sized HDMI cable
  • 1x USB-C to A adapter
  • Power adapter and plugs
  • Colour calibration report
  • Quick start guide and warranty

Design


The ASUS ProArt Display PA147CDV is an ultra-wide LCD with 10-point touch and pen support. The resolution is 1920 x 550 and the aspect ratio is 32:9.

Colour support is 100% sRGB, contrast ratio is 1200:1 and maximum brightness is 400 nits. Colours look great out of the box.


The physical size is quite similar to a full-size keyboard.


The hinge can deploy the display at any angle. There’s no way to lock the hinge so if you press down too hard while writing or drawing, the display may move down.

Overall build quality is solid. Weight is 0.95kg.


Display can be deployed vertically too.


The ports are full-sized HDMI, two interchangeable USB-C ports for power and video.


OSD menu button and a dial are located on the left.

The dial can be used to adjust OSD settings or the ASUS Dial controls.


The ASUS PA147CDV works just like any other display except its half the height. It does not make sense to buy this just to display content because as mentioned earlier, the selling point is to use it as a control panel interface.

Installing of driver

Before you can use the Adobe control panels, you have to install the ASUS ProArt Creator Hub (from Microsoft App Store) and the ASUS Control Panel Toolkit from this download link. The download link to the ASUS Control Panel Toolkit is hidden behind a show all link.

The software is only available for Windows.

My tests were done with the ASUS ProArt Creator Hub v1.2.24, Control Panel Toolkit v1.0.12 and Dial Toolkit v1.2.9.0.


The ASUS ProArt Creator Hub allows you to customise the ASUS Dial and Adobe control panels.

Show below are the screenshots for the default Adobe control panels:


Photoshop


Lightroom Classic


Illustrator


Premiere Pro


After Effects

Customisation of Adobe control panels and dials

The Adobe control panels and ASUS Dial are customisable to a certain extent.

The user interfaces on the Adobe control panels are dials, vertical and horizontal sliders, vertical scroll wheels and buttons.

The main downside of customisation is you can only choose from the list of pre-programmed shortcuts (listed below). You cannot set your own keyboard shortcuts.

Not all shortcuts are useful. For example. assigning a tool shortcut is not useful because you can already use your keyboard for that. You can use one button to undo, but you can do that with Ctrl+Z too so there’s no productivity gain here. The button shortcuts are good for accessing functionality hidden deep within menus.

Case study: If I want to colour my comics line art and the Paint Bucket can’t do a good job, I will make a Magic Wand (shortcut available) selection, Expand the Selection (shortcut not available), then Fill (shortcut not available).

It will be great if ASUS can add the ability to input your own keyboard shortcuts, program macros and create control panels for more apps other than the 5 Adobe apps.

Control Panel Glitches or issues
To see the Photoshop brush cursor update its size, you have to drag and lift the finger off the dial. If you adjust the dial continously without lifting your finger, you can’t see the Photoshop brush size update.

With Illustrator, scroll wheel for font size changes, text kerning and tracking don’t work well. There’s also no way to use the dial or slider to change font sizes because that shortcut is not available as a pre-programmed option.


Controls for Photoshop
Wheel & dial

  • Brush size
  • Brush hardness
  • Layer opacity
  • History
  • Layer browsing
  • Font size
  • Cycle through documents
  • System – Volume

Slider (horizontal and vertical)

Button

  • Copy
  • Paste
  • New layer via Copy
  • New layer via Cut
  • Close others
  • Undo
  • Flip horizontal
  • Flip vertical
  • Rectangle tool
  • Ellipse tool
  • Polygon tool
  • Custom shape tool
  • Marquee tool
  • Hand tool
  • Lasso tool
  • Polygon lasso tool
  • Magnetic lasso tool
  • Type tool
  • Eyedropper tool
  • Quick selection tool
  • Paint bucket
  • Crop tool
  • Clone stamp tool
  • Eraser tool
  • Spot healing brush tool
  • Magic wand tool
  • Healing brush tool
  • Patch tool
  • Red eye tool
  • Brush tool
  • Pencil tool
  • Pen tool
  • Blur tool
  • Redo
  • Group layers
  • Ungroup layers
  • Save for web
  • Save
  • Free transform
  • Blending mode
  • New layer
  • Merge layer
  • Select all layers
  • Merge visible layers
  • System – Hide desktop
  • Mute
  • Snapshot
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Task manager

Controls for Lightroom
Wheel and dial

  • Contrast
  • Exposure
  • Shadows
  • Highlight
  • Vibrance
  • Zoom
  • Brush size
  • Brush feather
  • Next/Prev selected photo
  • Hue (orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple magneta)
  • Saturation (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, magenta)
  • Luminance (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, magenta)
  • B&W (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, magenta)
  • System – Volume

Slider

  • Hue (orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple magneta)
  • Saturation (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, magenta)
  • Luminance (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, magenta)
  • B&W (red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, magenta)

Button

  • Compare view
  • Survey view
  • New collection
  • Add to new collection
  • Add to quick collection
  • New snapshot
  • New preset
  • View option
  • Group into stack
  • Toggle stack
  • Move top of stack
  • Move up in stack
  • Move down in stack
  • Auto white balance
  • Flagged
  • Rejected
  • Unflagged
  • Star (0 to 5)
  • Enter normal view
  • Enter compare view
  • System – Hide desktop
  • Mute
  • Snapshot
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Task manager

Controls with Illustrator
Wheel and dial

  • Zoom
  • Object rotation
  • Cycle through documents
  • Stroke weight
  • Color picker (C, M, Y, K, R, G, B)
  • Select between object
  • System – volume

Button

  • Paragraph align left
  • Paragraph justify left, right, centre
  • System – Hide desktop
  • Mute
  • Snapshot
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Task manager

No sliders


Controls for Premiere Pro
Wheel and dial

  • Time axis adjustment
  • Timeline zoom
  • Zoom
  • Audio tracks height
  • System – volume

Buttons

  • Make subclip
  • Speed/duration
  • Insert
  • Enable
  • Group
  • Ungroup
  • Mark clip
  • Mark selection
  • Add edit
  • Add edit to all tracks
  • Trim edit
  • Match frame
  • Save as
  • Show rulers
  • Undo
  • New project
  • Open project
  • Play
  • Rotation tool
  • Media browser
  • Redo
  • Save
  • System – Hide desktop
  • Mute
  • Snapshot
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Task manager

No Slider


Controls for After Effects
Wheel and dial

  • Zoom
  • Move timeline
  • Layer browsing
  • System – volume

Slider

  • Move timeline
  • Layer browsing
  • Font size
  • System – volume

Button

  • Effects and presets panel
  • New text layer
  • Show or hide layout controls
  • Go to specific timeline
  • Move camera at selected 3D
  • New solid layer
  • New null layer
  • New adjustment layer
  • Lock selected layers
  • Unlock all layers
  • Easy ease selected keyframes
  • Easy ease keyframes in
  • Set velocity for selected keyframes
  • Composition setting
  • Purge all memory
  • Save as
  • Undo
  • Select all
  • Open project
  • Open most recent project
  • Show/hide guides
  • Preview
  • Select all keyframes
  • Open render queue panel
  • Open preview panel
  • Open audio panel
  • Import one file or image sequence
  • Add to Adobe Media Encoder
  • Insert keyframe for position, opacity, scale, anchor, rotation
  • Redo
  • System – Hide desktop
  • Mute
  • Snapshot
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Task manager

ASUS Dial


ASUS Dial is the other software for productivity. This also only works with the 5 Adobe apps.

When you press the physical dial, the digital dial will appear on screen and you can use the physical dial to move through your shortcut options.

You can create 8 shortcuts which can include groups of shortcuts (e.g. various brush controls).

To see the full documentation for ASUS Dial, see this page.

Unlike the Control Panel, you can create shortcuts for non-Adobe apps and create keyboard shortcuts. This is the software feature ASUS needs to add to the Control Panel.

ASUS Dial Glitches or Issues

Downside is the physical dial does not work well when turning quickly. Turning the dial slowly will change the settings slowly but turning it fast the settings aren’t registered.

There’s annoying glitch/issue with ASUS Dial. When ASUS dial is active, the Control Panel become inactive and can’t be used. To re-activate the Control Panel, one way is to minimise the Adobe app and maximise it again to make it active.

Writing and drawing

The display can be used for writing and drawing. The supported pen is ASUS Pen 2 (SA203H) which is not included. The pen supports MPP 2, 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt and palm rejection.


Drawing may be awkward due to the ultra wide aspect ratio. Diagonal lines have slight wobble so that affects line quality. Note taking works fine because writing only involves short strokes.

Conclusion

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Good looking design
+ Solid build quality
+ 100% sRGB colour support
+ 400 nits brightness
+ Adobe control panels and ASUS Dial can improve productivity
– Limited to just 5 Adobe apps
– Cannot create shortcuts for your other apps
– Physical dial does not work well when turning fast
– Using ASUS Dial disables to Control Panel
– Digital dial can be too sensitive, especially for changing brush size
– Cannot create keyboard shortcuts
– Text changes with the Adobe control panels don’t work well

As you can see in the pros and cons list above, most of the downsides relate to software and those can be improved hopefully with future software updates.

The physical aspect and specifications for the ASUS ProArt PA147CDV are good.

Control panel integration with the 5 Adobe apps works fine but there’s room for improvement. It would be great if ASUS can add more customisation options such as the ability to input keyboard shortcuts, create macros, create control panels for your preferred apps.

One missing feature that’s available on the Zenbook Duo is the ability to snap/place windows on the secondary display precisely and quickly. But this is just a side feature because bigger displays are going to be better for displaying content. ASUS could make a normal sized (3:2 display) and have the top half for Adobe control panel, and bottom half to display other content.

Availability

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