Brightness & Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
VA monitors are still relatively rare in our review database, but we have a few curved displays in today’s comparison group. From Acer comes the Z301C, AOC brings the AG352UCG, and Asus is represented by its XG32VQ. To fill out the ultra-wide category, we included IPS screens: ViewSonic’s XG2703-GS and Acer’s XR382CQK.
Most ultra-wide monitors don’t deliver a ton of output, but our top two contenders manage to exceed 350 nits. This is the bare minimum for any sort of blur reduction, in our opinion. You’ll need some overhead to compensate for that backlight strobe. The ROG Strix XG35VQ loses 53% brightness when ELMB is engaged. There’s no variable pulse width, though we can see enough reduction in blur that we wouldn’t want to make things any darker. And don’t forget that FreeSync is disabled, as well. The good news is that there’s no contrast penalty, which is a first in our experience. Blur reduction usually reduces image depth, but not in this case. ELMB is very well implemented. Black levels are superb, as we’d expect from any VA panel, and resulting contrast is comfortably over 2000:1.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
The XG35VQ’s minimum brightness setting is just about perfect for gaming in a dark environment. You’ll definitely want to forgo ELMB at this point, since the image would be quite dark. Black levels drop proportionally, as they should, keeping contrast at around 2100:1. This is consistent performance.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
Apparently, not all VA panels are created equal. Though the XG35VQ easily outdistances its IPS competition, its contrast isn’t quite as high as the Z301C and XG32V. The difference is small but visible. You can never have too much dynamic range, after all. We’d still rather game on this screen than nearly any other.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
Intra-image contrast is superb, with the XG35VQ taking second place in the ANSI test. Only Asus’ own XG32V can boast better numbers. When coupled with accurate color, good saturation, and proper gamma tracking, the image here is better than the vast majority of monitors we’ve reviewed, gaming or otherwise. This is a premium-priced display, but it is worth every penny of that cost.
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