For those of you interested, Tiger Direct has the bundle for sale at $699: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4909088&CatId=5469
. It doesn't look like they have free shipping, however. You might want to see if J&R will price match it for you over the phone, and they're usually very easy to deal with.
I've used the following monitors extensively:
iMac S-IPS (sold after building a hackintosh, but I missed the screen a lot)
2 Catleaps (first one was great but had dead pixels, and the 2nd one blew up on me; both were returned for full refunds, and I'd never go that route again)
U2410 (work monitor)
The AG coating on this thing is ideal. I've always preferred glossy screens, but I am completely converted to the newer IPS/PLS panels with light AG coating. I didn't think I could find a monitor that could top the Apple displays, but the PB278Q's colors are almost just as vibrant, yet it benefits greatly from having no glare/reflection. I hate the AG coating that is on the U2410 (also on U2711 and 3011), so I was worried that the PB278Q's AG wouldn't be light enough, but I am relieved to say that it does not suffer from the "sparkle" that is prevalent on the older Dells. Bottom line: Light AG >>> Glossy >>>>>>>>> Heavy AG. Colors are vibrant, text is crisp, and the monitor doesn't act like a mirror.
I have almost no BLB on mine, and I have not noticed any flickering on my monitor at all due to PWM. PWM flickering might be a real phenomenon, but I've never noticed it on any monitor I've used.
The only real competition that I see for this is the U2713HM, which I'm sure is what a lot of people are debating right now (and we'll probably see it for the next couple of years). I haven't used the new Dell, so I can't really recommend one over the other, but right now it comes down to the following points:
1. PB278Q is currently cheaper, especially if you get it with the headset and sell it. Dell Australia currently has the U2713HM for $559, so it's possible that'll be the sale price for the U.S. sometime. That's a huge 30% discount from $799, however, so it might also never happen here. The Dell was on sale for $705 on the U.S. Amazon site just a little over a week ago, but it's now $799 and temporarily out of stock. It's a waiting game to see if Amazon will lower it back down once again and to see when Dell U.S will offer a discount (and how much it'll actually be).
2. PWM. I can't detect any flickering at all on the PB278Q. Hopefully it stays that way. U2713HM has no PWM to worry about.
3. There are some user reports on various forums of image retention and some kind of crosshatching issue on some of the U2713HMs at the moment (it's also mentioned on the Australian CNET review).
4. BLB seems to really just vary from individual panel to panel at the moment for any monitor model, so we'll have to wait and see if there's really a consistent trend between manufacturers.
5. I play some games but am not really hardcore enough to really care about a frame or two difference between the two models (if it even exists). TFTCentral's review seems to indicate that it might be faster, though?
It would have been great if the Asus didn't use PWM, because I'm sure a lot of people are on the fence about it (as they should be). I sound a little bit biased towards the PB278Q, but I think what I've said accurately summarizes what I've read from forums, professional reviews, and my personal experience. I'd love to actually use a U2713HM to see if image retention and this crosshatching is really an issue, however. If it's not an issue, and if the two monitors were roughly the same price, I'd go with the Dell simply because it doesn't use PWM, even though I can't detect flickering right now on the Asus. With all of that said, I think the Asus is a great monitor, and if you're like me and don't have any issues with PWM, I think it's the one to go with at the moment.Edited by steveotron - 10/28/12 at 11:36pm