Gaming has changed a lot over the years. Whether you are in the console camp or the PC camp, your window into the gaming world is perhaps one of the most important components. The ASUS 34” ROG Swift Ultrawide Curved IPS G-Sync Gaming Monitor (say that three times fast!) is here to change that view, many pixels at a time.
The first thing you are going to notice about this monitor as soon as you get it out of the box is just the sheer size. The panoramic view it provides is nothing short of astonishing and is very impressive once you have it setup and running your favourite operating system. In this case I was running the latest Windows and opted for an HDMI connection and once the monitor and computer had a quick conversation, the stunning 3440 x 1440 resolution presented itself. The 21:9 aspect ratio does take a little getting used to, although what I realized over time was that this single monitor effectively replaces the dual screen monitors I usually have setup.
A Monitor from the Future?
Setting it up was a breeze. The stand is quite unique on this model, offering a very “Star Trek” like experience with almost Klingon-like textures. Part of the back panel comes off, making it easy to get to your connections and then once you are satisfied with the setup, it simply snaps into place and makes the back look neater, cleaner, and certainly cooler. If the included stand (which lights up by the way, for those late-night gaming sessions) isn’t your style, you can also use a standard 100 mm VESA mount.
The monitor is curved, which is quite pronounced given the great width of the screen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust the swivel, tilt or even height. Once you’ve got things positioned just how you want them, you’ll want to check out the back to see what connections there are. The power supply is external, so you will have to find a spot for the power brick which itself seemed (to me) to represent quality. There are ports for both HDMI and DisplayPort (and nice that both types of cables are also included in the box) and a full USB 3.0 hub with 4 ports available.
Many Options Geared Towards Gamers
Getting down to practical use, there are so many gaming specific features on this monitor that will likely surprise you. The “GameVisual” presets have settings that are geared towards specific types of games. Settings for a shooter, for example, are different from those designed for a MMORPG. Sure, you can adjust most of these things within a game itself but having these presets available to you on the monitor itself is the ultimate convenience.
|ASUS 34″ ROG Swift Ultrawide WQHD 5ms GTG Curved IPS LED G-Sync Gaming Monitor (PG348Q):
Aspect Ratio: 21:9
Screen Curvature: 3800R
The GamePlus hot keys give you some other interesting features as well. The on-screen crosshair didn’t really have much of an apparent benefit to me, but some gamers may find it handy. There is also a countdown timer you can use if you are trying to measure how much time you spend in a certain part of the game. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the FPS (Frames Per Second) counter that works without having to install any special software that can interfere with a game’s actually FPS rate. This tells you if things in your environment are affecting the gameplay and framerate that your machine is capable of putting out. You can often adjust extra rendering options in a game to get the optimal framerate in your own very specific environment. There is also an option for displaying some guides to make lining up a second or third (!?) monitor for say some great panoramic driving experiences, but honestly with this model you aren’t likely going to need it. There is a 5-way on-screen joystick that makes it easy to navigate through the options in the GamePlus menu portion and in the other sections of the OSD (on-screen display). I find these joysticks far easier and comfortable to use over messy confusing buttons.
Taking a Closer at this ASUS ROG monitor
Technology wise this monitor also supports the NVIDIA G-Sync technology that allows you to overclock the refresh rate to 100Hz. You’re going to need a GeForce GTX 980Ti or above, but if you happen to own one of those video cards or something similar you are definitely going to notice an incredible difference in lag and ghosting (or lack thereof). The colour spectrum is fully covered here with 100% sRGB support and the 1000:1 contrast ratio is going to give you deeper blacks and whiter whites.
The monitor also supports built-in speakers. While they are only 2W, they are enough for situations where you just need some basic audio and of course, there is a headphone jack which can be used to either listen directly to your game or even connect external speakers that way if it’s inconvenient to do so from the computer itself.
Giving the Monitor a Workout
I played a number of games with this monitor and overall was extremely impressed. Since the monitor is much wider than I am used to for a single screen I had to work a little at finding the “sweet spot” in terms of distance to be away from the screen but that was certainly the least of my worries. Many of the older games I tried (unsurprisingly) did not support the full resolution of the screen so they were simply centered on the display. Newer games, however, took full advantage of the panoramic view and combined with the curved screen provided a breathtaking experience.
It was hard to find anything wrong with this monitor. The display is bright and beautiful, the physical appearance of the monitor is impressive and many of the features are geared towards gamers. The monitor uses the latest technology available to it and the generous USB hub is handy and practical. You also have to remember that it is effectively two screens in one, so if you are thinking you might need two you can think again. While it might not be for everyone, the ASUS 34” ROG Swift Ultrawide Curved IPS G-Sync Gaming Monitor will impress you and your friends with its appearance, but its performance is what will keep your game on.