Gaming

Premium curved display that's ideal for gaming

The design of the PG348Q lets users display multiple windows at the same time, which is handy for tasks such as stock trading and programming.
The design of the PG348Q lets users display multiple windows at the same time, which is handy for tasks such as stock trading and programming.PHOTO: ASUS

Asus was one of the first manufacturers to embrace variable refresh rate technology, by implementing it in its ROG Swift line of high-end gaming monitors.

Introduced a couple of years ago, these technologies - namely, the Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync - synchronise the frame rates produced by the graphics card with the monitor's refresh rate in order to eliminate screen tearing and stutter in games.

The latest ROG Swift monitor is the PG348Q. It is an ultra-wide 34-inch curved display that supports Nvidia G-Sync.

Its native refresh rate of 60Hz can be overclocked to 100Hz, which means Nvidia G-Sync will work in games with frame rates of up to 100 fps (frames per second). This is important because gamers are always looking to increase the fps for a smooth gaming experience.

This monitor has an ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio that leads to a broader field of vision, which is ideal in games.

This design also lets you display multiple windows at the same time, which is handy for tasks such as stock trading and programming. However, there will be black bars at the side when you watch videos on the Swift, because videos are typically formatted for 16:9 displays.

The Swift is not as curved as the recently reviewed Acer Predator Z35. Hence, the Swift does not feel quite as immersive.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $2,099

    RESOLUTION: 3,440 x 1,440 pixels

    ASPECT RATIO: 21:9

    BRIGHTNESS: 300 cd/m2

    RESPONSE TIME: 5ms

    PANEL TYPE: In-plane switching (IPS)

    CONNECTIVITY: DisplayPort, HDMI, 4 x USB 3.0 downstream, 1 x USB 3.0 upstream, headphone jack

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

On the other hand, the Swift looks better, with a higher 3,440 x 1,440 pixel resolution. More importantly, the Swift uses an in-plane switching (IPS) screen that looks more vibrant. Even from the sides, images remain vivid and clear, not washed out like on the Acer Z35.

To appeal to gamers, Asus has installed an ambient LED light display at the base of the monitor's circular stand that projects the Asus ROG logo in red on the desk. The monitor's design is eye-catching with a three-pronged, copper-accented aluminium stand. The bezel is relatively slim for its size.

Another gaming feature is an overlay that can show an fps counter or crosshair to help with aiming in first-person shooter games.

To adjust the monitor settings, you can use the joystick at the rear right corner. It makes navigating the on-screen display very intuitive. There are also four short-cut buttons at the back, including one that instantly switches the refresh rate from 60Hz to 100Hz, even in the middle of a game.

In my testing with a colourimeter, the ROG Swift scored well with its wide gamut (100 per cent sRGB colour space) and good contrast. But colour accuracy is average.

•Verdict: Gamers will appreciate the Swift's variable refresh rate feature, curved display and ultra-wide design. But you can probably find cheaper alternatives with similar features.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Premium curved display that's ideal for gaming'. Print Edition | Subscribe