It’s here! After months of anticipation, the ROG Swift PG348Q is finally available. And it’s glorious.
Much of the excitement surrounds the specifications, which read like an enthusiast’s wish list for a premium gaming monitor. The 34” ultra-wide screen stretches its panoramic 21:9 aspect ratio across a gentle 3800R curve. It’s based on a matte IPS panel with a UWQHD 3440×1440 resolution that delivers 4.9 megapixels to your eyeballs. And it uses G-Sync to match the refresh rate of the display to the frame rate of the graphics card at up to 100Hz—or FPS.
That’s a lot of technobabble for one breath, and it sounds impressive even if you don’t know what it means. But it doesn’t fully capture what it’s like to sit down in front of the latest edition to the ROG Swift family. I’ve been doing that for over a week, and wow. The PG348Q takes gaming monitors to a whole ‘nother level.
The first thing that strikes you is the sheer size of the thing. The 34” diagonal doesn’t do the monitor justice, so we’ll use a banana for scale.
The center of the display dominates your view, while the ultra-wide aspect ratio extends into the periphery. If you’re right in front of the thing, you almost have to turn your head to focus on the corners. Curving the screen brings those corners a little bit closer and maintains a more consistent distance between your eyes and the display. The result is an impeccable picture that wraps naturally around your field of view.
Much of the credit for the picture quality is owed to the IPS panel, whose wide viewing angles are accentuated by the curve. Groups can gather around the PG348Q to watch movies and play games without the colors washing out for people on the edges. The anti-glare coating keeps unwanted reflections at bay, you can focus on what’s actually on the screen.
The panel produces over a billion colors and completely covers the sRGB gamut. Everything looks rich and vibrant—and more importantly, correct. Fresh out of the box, our sample had an average ∆E of just 2.04 according to our colorimeter. To put that measure of color accuracy into perspective, consider that our professional-grade PA-series monitors are calibrated at the factory to deliver a ∆E under 2.0. Calibrating the PG348Q in our lab reduced its average ∆E to an amazing 0.43!
Accurate color reproduction makes games and movies look the way their creators intended. It’s also important for content creators who want to work and play on the same machine. The PG348Q effortlessly transitions between productivity and entertainment, and its ultra-wide aspect ratio even accommodates both side by side.
The 3440×1440 resolution is a big part of the PG348Q’s multitasking prowess. With 35% more pixels than the widescreen equivalent, this ultra-wide variant offer loads of desktop space for multiple applications. At 109 PPI, the pixel density is also high enough for detail-oriented work. Individual pixels are invisible at normal viewing distances, making text, images, and textures look razor sharp.
Otherwise known as UWQHD, the native resolution is an excellent fit for gaming. Details come to life with the graphics turned up, and you don’t need an insane rig with multiple graphics cards to hit high frame rates. The 4.9-megapixel resolution requires roughly the same horsepower to reach 100 FPS as 4K does to hit 60 FPS. A single GeForce GTX 980 Ti will do for most games.
The PG348Q’s refresh rate can be overclocked as high as 100Hz for smoother gameplay, and that’s just the peak. NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology synchronizes the refresh rate with the frame rate of compatible graphics cards to maintain fluidity regardless of performance. This close collaboration between components reduces input lag by reflecting your movements instantly rather than waiting for a fixed refresh cycle. It also eliminates visual tearing by refreshing the display one frame at a time.
G-Sync’s profound impact on the gaming experience is hard to overstate. The combination of smoother animation, lower lag, and tear-free graphics eliminates a lot of the imperfections that interfere with immersion, resulting in a much deeper and more engaging connection to the game. The PG348Q’s ultra-wide curve sucks you in even further by spreading the experience across a broader field of view. Everything in the periphery quickly fades away, taking reality along with it. The sensation is most pronounced in first-person shooters and driving games, but it also translates well to other genres, from third-person action to isometric strategy. The only caveat is that ultra-wide resolutions aren’t natively supported by all games; some console ports and older titles have yet to join the 21:9 party.
With cutting-edge technology on the inside, it just wouldn’t do for the PG348Q to look ordinary on the outside. Our designers came up with something that’s truly unique and frankly gorgeous. The distinctive aesthetic channels the Plasma Copper and Armor Titanium tones that grace other ROG flagships, like the Matrix GTX 980 Ti and Maximus VIII Extreme/Assembly. There’s a futuristic edge throughout, from the nearly frameless border surrounding the screen to the flared metal stand holding it up.
And yes, there’s a little extra bling on the bottom. Let’s dim the lights for a closer look.
The PG348Q’s Light in Motion effect projects a brilliant red ROG graphic below the display. Three brightness levels let you tailor the projection for the environment, and you can turn it off completely for a stealthy approach.
We didn’t sacrifice function in pursuit of the PG348Q’s original form. The stand offers 25° of tilt freedom, 50° of swivel range, and 4.5” of height adjustment, so it’s easy to find a comfortable position for different users or varying degrees of personal slouching. The screen attaches with a quick-release mechanism that makes the initial setup a cinch. You can also swap the stand for a monitor arm that connects via the VESA mount on the back.
The stand and monitor both have removable panels to tidy cabling. That’s a good thing, because you could end up with a lot of wiring coming out the back of the PG348Q. DisplayPort is a must, since that’s the only way to get G-Sync, and HDMI is useful if you want to connect a console or other devices. The monitor also has an upstream port for a four-way USB 3.0 hub. There’s enough built-in USB connectivity for a keyboard, mouse, and gamepad, plus a charging cable for your phone. You even get a 3.5-mm headphone jack for bypassing the integrated speakers.
OSD control is handled by a little joystick tucked around the right edge. Navigating is incredibly intuitive, allowing you to change virtually every aspect of the display with a fingertip. The OSD provides access to six GameVisual profiles that tweak the picture for different types of games and applications, from an FPS mode that helps expose enemies hiding in shadows to a cinema mode that turns up the contrast and saturation to make movies pop. These profiles have varying degrees of configurability, so you can dial them in just right.
Integrated GamePlus overlays are activated by a dedicated button at the back. Options include multiple crosshairs for games that make you go without, multiple timers for keeping track of events, and an FPS counter for monitoring performance in real time. Another button toggles between 60 and 100Hz peak refresh rates for situations where you don’t need to be running at maximum speed.
I logged a lot of hours in front of the PG348Q to bring you this article, and that time gave me an opportunity to appreciate an important aspect that’s far too often overlooked. Using a monitor for prolonged periods can induce eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. The PG348Q employs a flicker-free backlight that reduces those symptoms, and it has an adjustable blue light filter that captures up to 70% of harmful emissions. The blue light filter can also prevent late-night gaming sessions from interfering with interfering with sleep patterns. As with ASUS’ other Eye Care monitors, the flicker-free backlight and blue light filter both are certified by TÜV Rheinland, a leading authority on display testing.
Days of drinking in the ROG Swift PG348Q have left me with little doubt that this is the ultimate gaming monitor. The specs are a big part of the appeal, because things like the massive ultra-wide panel, curved profile, 100Hz refresh rate, and G-Sync technology all make the gaming experience much more compelling and immersive. But the execution also plays a significant role. The PG348Q delivers its cutting-edge hardware in a complete package that’s stunning to look at, quick to set up, and easy to live with.
Building a premium gaming monitor that ticks all the right boxes is challenging, and the $1299.99 price tag reflects that. If you want the very best, though, the PG348Q is the way to go.
This article was originally posted from ASUS PCDIY