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Asus ROG Swift OLED monitor hands-on: bright, bold windows right into a possible PC gaming future

First impressions of the ROG Swift PG48UQ and PG42UQ

If youve drooled on the OLED panel in your phone or TV and decided youd just like the same tech for the PC games, you basically have the decision of an individual model each from Gigabyte and Alienware. Asus, then, are going to increase the amount of OLED gaming monitors out there by 100%, with the ROG Swift PG48UQ and ROG Swift PG42UQ. And Ive just had a short, but generally impressive, experiment using them.

OLED, if youre not familiar, differs from more widely-used LCD panel types (like the IPS type utilized by the majority of the best gaming monitors) for the reason that its self-emitting. An OLED panel is situated around a thin layer of electroluminescent organic compound that lights up whenever a current is put on it whereas LCD screens work with a bulky backlighting system to create images, this organic compound layer can directly light each sub-pixel itself. Or just turn them off by detatching the existing, for perfect blacks. Usually, this implies OLED displays have high response times, better contrast and finer lighting control than LCDs, and so are thinner (with smaller bezels) on top of that.

I didnt have my colour calibrator at hand, so havent taken very scientific measurements of the ROG Swift PG48UQ and PG42UQ. But just about all the qualities youd keep company with OLED were on, and apologies for the term choice, display. Both are incredibly vibrant monitors, with out a hint of haloing or backlight bleed. Because, needless to say, there isnt one. On the trunk theyre bulked out somewhat by the port housing, dual 10w speakers and 15w woofer, not forgetting a dual heatsink system (one downside of OLEDs is their toastiness), but theyre much slimmer round the edges than any gaming monitor Ive used.

Both models are 4K, with a maximum refresh rate of 138Hz over DisplayPort 1.4. Which looks odd to my 144Hz-accustomed brain, but comes close enough. Benefiting from these specs will naturally demand among the best graphics cards, though playing famous brands Halo Infinite and MotoGP 22 suggested these monitors will keep through to speed too. Motion is slick and ghosting-free, a specific relief given how my OLED TV in the home will scramble the pixels on fast-moving objects. None of this here, thankfully.

Three Asus ROG Swift PG48UQ gaming monitors arranged in front of a racing sim rig.
This is actually the ROG Swift PG48UQ (three of these, actually). That is the ROG Swift PG42UQ, filled with stand, in the header image.

Nvidia G-Sync works pretty too (AMD FreeSync can be compatible), even though I couldnt gauge the screen brightness, both ROG Swift PG48UQ and PG42UQ can supposedly hit around 900cd/m2. Thats promising for HDR-supporting games, and together with OLEDs natural capability to create perfect, inky blacks, contrast looks good too. The contrast ratio, also in accordance with Asus, is 1000000:1, or around 2500 times greater than a good IPS monitor.

And the very best part is theyre so affordabahhhh just kidding. Theres no confirmed release date beyond soon nevertheless, you can expect to cover 1500 for the 48in PG48UQ or 1400 for the PG42UQ, which in today’s financial state is everything you might call I dont actually want lights or food money. At the very least theyre pricier than your present OLED options, the 849 Gigabyte Aorus FO48U and the 1099 Alienware AW3423DW, though in writing are usually better-specced aswell.

A close up on the ultra-thin bezel of an Asus ROG Swift PG42UQ gaming monitor.
OLED panels aren’t made up of as much different component layers as LCD, so these monitors are wafer thin with barely-there bezels.

Knowing that, there are a lot more wealth-withering gaming monitors on the market, including Asuss own 3299 ROG Swift PG32UQX. That uses Mini LED tech that, while still nailed to an IPS panel, is technically newer and much more futuristic than OLED. Making me wonder is this OLEDs time and energy to shine? This tech is really a step of progress over most alternatives, the PG48UQ and PG42UQ convince as proof its gaming credentials, and TVs and phones show that it could get cheaper with time but simultaneously, its not bleeding edge, so wont function as sole reserve of the hyper-enthusiast crowd.

Maybe in after some duration, OLED gaming monitors would be the go-to choice for anybody ready to spend a little for optimal display quality. Suppose well learn eventually and for the time being, Ill be seeking to spend a bit more quality time with Asuss efforts. And my calibrator.

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