ASUS PG42UQ OLED Monitor Review

No matter what we are talking smartphones or living room TVs, it’s well known that OLED is the king of perfect contrast and deep, inky blacks. However, the desktop monitor population has been a little slow to catch up. After testing the waters with Gigabyte, Alienware, and OLED panel manufacturer LG, Asus’ ROG sub-brand is now performing the metaphorical cannonball with not one but two new models.

The 48in PG48UQ and 42in ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are proper, gaming-grade displays that promise faster refresh rates than competitors, adaptive sync technology to work well with both PC and console graphics cards, and improved internal cooling to support peak brightness without accelerating pixel burnout. Let’s check out more specifications!

Design & build: seriously skinny

Asus could have simply attached a stand to a super-slim OLED display and called it a day, but that’s not what you’re getting here. Both models are undoubtedly quite thin in some areas. However, an OLED TV of comparable size would have more bulge. This is to make place for the improved internal cooling, which should enable the panel to produce a peak brightness of up to 900 nits and maintain it for a longer period without burn-in.

With almost no display bezels and a small stand that doesn’t take up much space on a desk, both panels make a noticeable visual impact from the front. This is substantial given that the smaller model is still a sizable 42in. There is a welcome +/- 5° tilt range but no height, rotation, or swivel adjustments.

Features & connectivity: thinking like a gamer

Asus has added a few gamer-friendly features and many ports because it knows its intended market. A tripod thread and USB port are located at the top of the device so that you may connect a webcam or key light without having to run cables across your desk.

Most of the ports are covered by a detachable cover that directs all the cables in one direction. There are two HDMI 2.1 ports for consoles, two DisplayPort 1.4 ports (rare on OLED TVs this large), two HDMI 2.0 ports for PC games, several additional USB 3 ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Although Asus includes a remote control in the package, the five-way joystick for operating the on-screen display is thoughtfully positioned, so you don’t have to stoop awkwardly to reach it. It will be helpful for console gamers who are not seated directly in front of the screen.

You won’t discover any TV features, such as a back-mounted tuner or integrated smart streaming capabilities. Additionally, there won’t be any image processing or motion smoothing, which some people might find appealing.

Image quality: Peak Performance

The PG42UQ and PG48UQ appear to be exceptionally well done by Asus. Both appear razor-sharp, with vivid colors, striking shadow detail, dazzling highlights, and fluid movement.

Each one covers 98% of the DCI-P3 color space and includes a factory calibration report, so designers should be able to plug them in and start working immediately. Under the strong sunlight of Asus’ demo room, the anti-glare screen performed admirably, allowing us to see the darkest regions of Halo Infinite’s opening skirmishes.

The panels provide an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and Auto low latency mode (ALLM) for console gamers, but PC users can overclock to 138Hz when connected through DisplayPort.

The advertised contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 is as good as anything you’ll find to fit on your desk, and the peak brightness of 900 nits is promising for delivering HDR film and games the impact they deserve.

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ Initial Verdict

Asus seems to have done an excellent job of overcoming the limitations of the technology. For example, none of the screens at the company’s launch event had to operate at a lower brightness despite being on for extended periods on a very warm August day, thanks to more effective cooling.

The PG42UQ and PG48UQ have an advantage over a conventional OLED TV for desktop use thanks to ROG’s inclusion of many gamer-friendly features, and they have all the panel technology that picky gamers require.

Naturally, no OLED is affordable. Pre-orders for the PG42UQ and PG48UQ are currently open on Amazon UK for £1399 and £1499, respectively.

 

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