Curved ultra-wide monitors remain on the expensive side, however the sense of immersion they increase games, especially first-person shooters, is hard to get somewhere else. Given that there are more models with adaptive refresh just like the PG348Q, players have several solid choices in displays to complete off their high-end rigs. We think the most recent ROG Swift deserves serious consideration.
Unique styling with LED effect
Incorrect default contrast setting
We now believe plenty of time has passed, and enough products have already been introduced, that people can say curved ultra-wide monitors aren’t a passing fad. Although almost all of these monitors command high prices, gamers have embraced the increased sense of immersion and solid image quality.
There are two main types of curved ultra-wide monitors. If you wish optimum contrast and refresh rate, and so are ready to accept 2560×1080 resolution, there are always a handful of AMVA displays to consider. AOC’s C3583FQ and Acer’s Predator Z35 both run at super high speeds and easily exceed 2000:1 contrast. Plus they give adaptive refresh and a tighter 2000R curvature.
At the top quality of the resolution equation, we’ve several products with 3440×1440 pixels offering either G-Sync or FreeSync and also refresh rates from 75-100Hz. The monitor inside our lab today fits into that second category. It’s the Asus ROG Swift PG348Q.
The PG348Q offers up some high-end hardware with an AH-IPS panel created by LG Display. In addition, it gets the latest generation Nvidia G-Sync module which includes a convenient HDMI input. You’ll still have to hook up to the DisplayPort for adaptive refresh and that 100Hz overclock however. HDMI supports 3440×1440 signals up to 50Hz.
Absent in this ROG monitor is any kind of backlight strobe/blur reduction feature. Other products in the line include ULMB with adjustable pulse width so that you can strike a balance between motion resolution and brightness. It works as advertised, nevertheless, you have to quit G-Sync along the way. Inside our view, that’s only feasible when you’re able to keep framerates solidly over 100fps. Because the PG348Q maxes at that level, ULMB doesn’t make much sense. Frankly, we’ve never used it on some of our previously-reviewed G-Sync screens, so no loss there.
The big feature is, of course, the curve and the ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio. We’re long past asking why these monitors exist when gamers are obviously in to the concept. After playing on a number of them, we are too. There’s nothing quite as immersive as an ultra-wide and although it can’t replacement for three screens, the unbroken image is always compelling.
The PG348Q is a premium-priced product for certain, but does it deliver premium performance? Let’s have a look.
Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories
The PG348Q’s carton is oversized and a lot more than up to the duty of protecting a sizable display. All of the metal and polished bits are well-protected by either plastic wrap or foam sheets. The upright has already been attached for you personally so all that requires doing is to bolt on the bottom. That’s accomplished with two wingnuts which are inserted in the sides where in fact the legs attach. It’s somewhat tricky but no tools are needed.
The energy supply is a sizable external brick with some styling cues of its in the sort of polished Asus logos. Additionally you get HDMI, DisplayPort and USB 3.0 cables. The manual and supporting software are bundled on a CD.
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There is absolutely no attempt at subtle style here. The chassis appears like something you will probably find privately of an Imperial Star Destroyer. The only straight lines are the ones that frame the screen. Almost every other surface has some kind of curve or taper. The panel is a dark gray as the base sports copper-colored accents. It reminds me a small amount of the windings observed in toroidal transformers.
From the front, the look appears bezel-free, however when the image exists, a thin border appears around it. The anti-glare layer is flush-mounted and intensely hard. Even though we pressed onto it, the picture didn’t distort. Clarity is top-notch, and there is absolutely no sign of grain.
The controls are located by reaching around the trunk of the low right corner, and contain four buttons and a joystick. They operate with a solid click, and OSD navigation is fast and simple.
The bottom can emit a pattern of light which has three brightness settings in the OSD. It’ll move as you swivel the panel which also offers tilt and height adjustments. It’s a neat effect but we’re surprised it only will come in red. The long legs are cast aluminum with a good textured finish; very high-end.
The panel is practically 3″ thick because of the heavily-styled back piece. The spaceship theme is totally clear here with molded in shapes and textures that advise the hull of something traveling at warp speed. A little vent at the very top and two speaker grills in the bottom are the only obvious openings. The speakers sound decent, although they aren’t very loud. Frequency response is firmly in the mid-range and reasonably well-balanced. Because of the external power, heat isn’t a problem. The upright could be removed to reveal a 100mm VESA mount.
The input panel is difficult to attain and cables should be plugged in by feel. It’s recessed a lot, but after some fiddling we could actually make our HDMI and DisplayPort connections. There is among each input along with USB 3.0 upstream (one) and downstream (four) ports. Additionally you get yourself a headphone output. To greatly help tidy up your cable bundle, Asus offers a snap-on panel cover.