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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX gaming monitor review

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The Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX is the world’s first Mini-LED gaming monitor. This explains why it’s also one of the most expensive at a heartbreaking $3,700. For context, that’s $1,000 more than the exceptional 65-inch LG C1 OLED TV which would likely be the best competition for this monitor. But there’s a lot going on here that makes for an extremely potent package that will appeal to the prosumer/gamer segment. 

For the uninitiated, Mini-LED uses thousands of tiny LEDs to offer up full-array local dimming (FALD), unlike conventional LED displays that use crude edge lighting instead. This means by turning on and off LED zones, the panel can have more precise control over the picture’s lights and darks. Case in point, the PG32UQX has 1152 independent LED zones which can shift from almost perfect black to a blindingly bright 1400 nits. 

The end result is that the PG32UQX is one of the best panels I’ve ever used. Colors are punchy yet accurate and that insane brightness earns the PG32UQX the auspicious DisplayHDR 1400 certification. However, since these are LED zones and not self-lit pixels like an OLED, you won’t get those insane blacks for infinite contrast. 

Additionally, since the Mini-LEDs get really bright, you’ll, unfortunately, get some obvious haloing around singular bright points like the mouse cursor or certain HUD elements in games. It’s not common but it is there. Thankfully, everything else looks so pretty that it was never really a putoff in daily use and gaming. 

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX specs

Panel size: 32-inch
Panel technology: IPS Mini-LED
Native resolution: 3840 x 2160
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Refresh rate: 144 Hz
Response time: 4 ms
HDR: VESA DisplayHDR 1400
Color: 10-bit (98% DCI-P3)
Brightness: 500 nits
Video Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4, 3x HDMI 2.0
MSRP: $3,799 | £3,299

The PG32UQX boasts 10-bit color with 160% Adobe sRGB coverage and 98% DCI-P3 wide color with a Delta E<2 which makes it a creator’s dream. Compared to my calibrated MacBook Pro 16 Retina display, the PG32UQX outpaces it with a sharpness and vibrancy to die for. And at 32-inches, the PG32UQX offers just the right pixel density to revel in its 4K resolution. 

Asus also threw in support for Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate, plus there’s also VRR which works well with Xbox Series X|S but is sadly unsupported by the Playstation 5. Altogether, this makes for an extremely gorgeous display to work and game on. I’ve been sucked back into the addiction that is Destiny 2 and for all its faults, it’s still one of the most beautiful games to play in HDR.

Colors burst with life and the dark hides ominous foes for you to slay in your quest for the newest loot. Of course, at 4K you’ll need a hella rig to get anywhere above 60fps in most AAA games; let alone 144fps. I did get Doom Eternal to cross the 144Hz barrier in 4K HDR using an RTX 3080 and boy was it marvelous. 

You can connect everything and the kitchen sink to the PG32UQX thanks to its three HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 ports. Two USB 3.1 ports join the action, with a further USB 2.0 sitting on the top of the monitor to connect your webcam. There’s also a threaded screw to easily mount the camera. A headphone jack is also provided but since the monitor doesn’t offer anything like a DAC to improve sound, I ignored it. 

The PG32UQX’s controls are a delight thanks to the chunky, tactile dial conveniently located on the lower bezel of the monitor. The dial is flanked by two contextual buttons that make navigating and changing settings a breeze. The menus are easy to understand and give you access to the gamut of Asus Game Visual and Game Plus features. 

Screen queens

Best gaming monitor: pixel-perfect panels for your PC
Best high refresh rate monitor: screaming quick screens
Best 4K monitor for gaming: when only high-res will do
Best 4K TV for gaming: big-screen 4K PC gaming

Also sitting on the lower bezel is another cool but ultimately gimmickry LiveDash OLED display. This display can show pretty much whatever you want, from frame rates to CPU temps or even a custom logo. It can be useful for monitoring but mostly distracting. This is a fail-safe to prevent burn-in but the cycle is too often. 

Design-wise, the PG32UQX isn’t much to look at from the front, besides that flashy LiveDash panel and textured bottom bezel. But the back panel is rather beautiful with its etched pattern and illuminated ROG logo. It’s a shame since you’ll rarely ever see the back but I guess it’s cool for tournaments and offices where you can floss. 

I also love the beautiful stand with its two-tone copper and matte grey finish. The V-shaped feet don’t steal much desk space either and are sturdy enough to keep the PG32UQX from wobbling. The stand also has an RGB light that projects an image of your choice onto your desk for some true gamer excess but hey, you did pay over three grand for this. 

Ultimately, the PG32UQX is one of, if not the best, 4K gaming monitors money can buy and an exciting look into the future of gaming monitors. After using this, I’m no longer pining for an OLED. Sure, Mini-LED is still in its infancy, so it’s far from perfect but the only way left is up and we’re all for it. But first, make it cheaper. Much cheaper.

The Verdict


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Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX

The PG32UQX is an exciting peek at the future of high-refresh, high-res gaming monitors. We’d just like to see less halo in high-contrast areas and the price brought down to something mere mortals could afford.

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