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Asus ROG PG348Q 34-inch Curved G-Sync Monitor Review

Asus adds to its premium Republic of Gamers line with the curved ultra-wide PG348Q. It sports a color-accurate IPS panel at 34" diagonal, with 3440x1440 resolution, G-Sync, and a 100Hz refresh rate. We’re checking it out today.

Grayscale, Gamma And Color

Grayscale Tracking

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

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The Racing mode posts decent grayscale tracking results by default. There aren’t any visible errors, although we could see a slight red tint in the brighter steps if we looked hard. If you don’t plan to calibrate, this mode works just fine as long as you make the change to contrast we’ve already talked about. You’ll see its effects below.

With that change and a tweak to the red slider, we achieved a chart worthy of a professional screen (or a premium gaming monitor). The post-calibration results are about as close to perfection as you can get.

Comparisons

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Most users would be satisfied with an average 1.82dE error level, us included. But if the ability to improve is there, why not take advantage? Our tweaks reduced the error to a mere .54dE, better than many professional-grade displays and beaten only by the LG in today’s tests.

Gamma Response

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When we took our initial measurements, we though some sort of dynamic contrast was in play. But the PG348Q has no such feature. All of the picture modes posted the same result including sRGB. We checked out a color PLUGE pattern and discovered obvious clipping in the three primaries as well as white. This points to a contrast control that is set too high. Reducing it from 50 to 43 solved the issue and generated the second chart which is much better. There’s still a little too much darkness at the lower end and a bit of extra light at 90%, but these errors are minor, and tracking stays right around the 2.2 line. You’ll see in our color tests how saturation and luminance are similarly affected.

Color Gamut And Luminance

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.

In the PG348Q’s default state, we can see two things in our color charts that require attention. First, in the CIE graph, the targets below 100% (inner points) are all over-saturated. It’s most obvious on the red/magenta/blue side of the triangle. While this won’t have a huge impact on image quality, it’s something that we need to address. In the next graph, all luminance levels are too high. That gives the picture something of an overblown look with colors that don’t look quite as natural as they should.

The post calibration result shows how our contrast fix solves the problem. Reds and blues are still a tad over, but less so. More importantly though, luminance levels are now almost at zero across the board. That’s where we really see the effects of proper versus improper color balance. Just that simple repair has taken the PG348Q from good to great.

Comparisons

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Calibration takes the average of our 36 color measurements from 4.01dE to an excellent 1.71dE. It’s not quite at the professional level, but for a gaming monitor, this is top-notch performance. You can see that only the LG and the XR341CK measure better, and not by much.

In the gamut volume test, we see a little extra color mainly thanks to some bonus blue. While 100% is perfect, a little more punch is never unwelcome. It’s unlikely anyone will use the PG348Q as a proofing monitor, but it could rise to that task if necessary.

  • RocketChild
    How's the cable management on this pretty monitor? Doesn't look like there is any and I take it no VESA mounting points either? Seems like a decent part of the cost with this monitor is that stand so you can have a flashlight on your surface. Good to see headway is being made with higher refresh rates at greater resolutions.
    Reply
  • itsnotmeitsyou
    I don't understand why we're still seeing Predator/Bionicle themed high-end hardware... Can the kids that are into this garbage actually afford it?

    I would guess that the larger market is the people who grew up gaming that are now career professionals. I suppose that doesn't imply their taste in hardware styling has matured, but personally I'm over the whole PowerRangerMegaZord kitsch that started with Alienware in the 90s.

    It looks like a beautifully specd monitor. Just wish it wasnt so painfully styled.
    Reply
  • moogleslam
    I've had this monitor since April 2016, and it's phenomenal. The combination of 21:9, 34", 3440x1440, 100Hz, Curved, IPS, & G-Sync cannot be bettered by anything currently on the market. Today, this is the ultimate gaming monitor. It's completely immersive, and I've had no issues with game support so far. Funnily, my most jaw dropping moment was when I first took it out of the box and saw the size of it.... before I even powered it up! It's huge! My own sample isn't 100% perfect though. There is noticeable IPS Glow/Backlight Bleed (I don't really know the difference) in all four corners, though it can only be seen in almost entirely black scenes, and fortunately, for the games I play, that's almost never. There are also visible scanlines at any overclock. You have to look very closely to see them, and certainly, during normal game play, I never notice them. In all though, I am incredibly happy with this monitor (even if I paid $1300!), and I expect it to serve me well for many years, regardless of what else comes to market!
    Reply
  • Realist9
    Wouldn't it be smarter to pick up a 4k of similar size/specs like the Predator XB32 for $60 more?

    Given you have the rig to run 4K?

    My concern is relative adoption of 3440x1440 vs 4k. I *feel* like 3440 is not as widely supported as 4k, and with 4k, there's no fisheye (right?).

    for ref: Currently running 3x32" surround on a 1080 (for ref concerning frame rate). 3440x1440 = 4.9M pix, 5760x1080 = 6.2M pix, and 4k = 8.3M pix.
    Reply
  • moogleslam
    18663297 said:
    Wouldn't it be smarter to pick up a 4k of similar size/specs like the Predator XB32 for $60 more?

    Given you have the rig to run 4K?

    My concern is relative adoption of 3440x1440 vs 4k. I *feel* like 3440 is not as widely supported as 4k, and with 4k, there's no fisheye (right?).

    for ref: Currently running 3x32" surround on a 1080 (for ref concerning frame rate). 3440x1440 = 4.9M pix, 5760x1080 = 6.2M pix, and 4k = 8.3M pix.

    I've tried 4K, and this is far superior. There is no 4K with similar specs. Two of the three most important things this monitor provides are missing on 4K; 100Hz, and 21:9. Before this monitor, I had a 144Hz monitor, and dropping to 100Hz was a sacrifice I was willing to make, but I'll never go back to 60Hz, even with G-Sync/FreeSync. And 21:9 is the real difference maker. The extra horizontal screen real estate is amazingly useful, and it's what provides greater immersion than ever before; probably immersion that can only be beaten with VR (not even with triples because I hated the bezels).

    I don't see any adoption issues. Firstly, this format is becoming more and more popular all the time. Secondly, whether it's adopted by the masses or not, I'v had zero support issues to date. The most I've had to do is edit a config file (World of Tanks), but all other games have been completely straight forwards.

    There's zero fish eye in any games. I'm not quite sure what you're getting at.... I mean, your in-game FOV isn't distorted by having a wider monitor; you just see more left and right, in a completely natural manner; there's no stretching to fill it.

    I've tried triples and 4K, and I firmly believe that the three most important factors in a gaming monitor, which I'll never go without again are:

    21:9
    G-Sync/FreeSync
    100+Hz

    Resolution would only be 4th on my list, and I'd even take a 2560x1080 21:9 before I went to 4K, just so I could have the 3 must haves above.
    Reply
  • moogleslam
    18662798 said:
    How's the cable management on this pretty monitor? Doesn't look like there is any and I take it no VESA mounting points either? Seems like a decent part of the cost with this monitor is that stand so you can have a flashlight on your surface. Good to see headway is being made with higher refresh rates at greater resolutions.

    Cable management is actually good. If I recall correctly, the cables, where they plug into the monitor, are hidden behind the back cover, and then feed through the stand, coming out at the rectangular square you can see at the bottom/back of it.
    Reply
  • larsv8
    This guy, or similar, is on my wish list for some time over the next two months. Heard the light bleed is really the only noticeable downside, but that is not the biggest deal.

    I am assuming this is mostly identical to the Predator X-34? Gonna have to make a decision on which brand to go with.

    I am hoping the new version, the X34P, which is supposed to have some performance improvements is released soon, to either drive this price down, or be affordable enough to upgrade.

    I can't wait to fire up Forza Horizon's 3 on this badboy at max settings. Good time to be a gamer!



    Reply
  • moogleslam
    18663459 said:
    This guy, or similar, is on my wish list for some time over the next two months. Heard the light bleed is really the only noticeable downside, but that is not the biggest deal.

    I am assuming this is mostly identical to the Predator X-34? Gonna have to make a decision on which brand to go with.

    I am hoping the new version, the X34P, which is supposed to have some performance improvements is released soon, to either drive this price down, or be affordable enough to upgrade.

    I can't wait to fire up Forza Horizon's 3 on this badboy at max settings. Good time to be a gamer!



    It uses the same panel as the Acer Predator X34, yes. The ASUS PG348Q seems to have had less issues/better QA, and the OSD and associated controls are far superior on the ASUS as well. Many also tend to prefer the PG348Q styling. Other than that, they're more or less identical.

    Sim racing on these monitors, in cockpit view, is one of my favorite things. Try out iRacing if you can, and use the built in FOV calculator.
    Reply
  • infamousk12
    This monitor is extremely expensive, however, it is absolutely amazing. I have owned it for about a month. Out of the box, it was easy to assemble and the quality of the parts is simply top notch. The monitor performs extremely well, and once you game on a native 21:9 aspect, you will never go back.
    Reply
  • poochiepiano
    18663372 said:
    I've tried 4K, and this is far superior. There is no 4K with similar specs. Two of the three most important things this monitor provides are missing on 4K; 100Hz, and 21:9. Before this monitor, I had a 144Hz monitor, and dropping to 100Hz was a sacrifice I was willing to make, but I'll never go back to 60Hz, even with G-Sync/FreeSync. And 21:9 is the real difference maker. The extra horizontal screen real estate is amazingly useful, and it's what provides greater immersion than ever before; probably immersion that can only be beaten with VR (not even with triples because I hated the bezels).

    I've tried triples and 4K, and I firmly believe that the three most important factors in a gaming monitor, which I'll never go without again are:

    21:9
    G-Sync/FreeSync
    100+Hz

    Resolution would only be 4th on my list, and I'd even take a 2560x1080 21:9 before I went to 4K, just so I could have the 3 must haves above.
    If you take a 4k monitor and chop of the top and bottom 1/6 of the screen, you get 1440p with an even wider screen. How is having additional vertical real estate bad? Assuming the 4k monitor has 100+ Hz that is variable, for the same price, I don't see how it's not better.

    I love the 21:9 form factor too, and I use one at home, but at these prices, I don't see how a 1440 21:9 can beat a 4k with the same specs.

    If the price was more in line with the comparative resolutions, aka it didn't cost virtually the same with <1/3 of the pixels, I would say that 1440p IPS in 21:9 with a 34" diagonal is my sweet spot too, but it just costs too much. This is pretty much the highest-end of these types of displays, especially with 100 Hz, so it's understandable, but with a comparable 4k? Why go with this?
    Reply