In the not-so-distant past, gamers had two choices in monitors: Buy an expensive professional screen for its accurate color and rugged construction, or go with a business-class display and hope it offered decent contrast and accuracy. Once Asus came out with the 144Hz VG248, however, things changed irrevocably for the better. The gaming category is now so diverse, it has split into multiple sub-genres. We all know that 27 inches is the new 22 and that many desktop users won’t even look at diminutive 19-inchers any longer. But why have a flat 16:9 panel when you can wrap the game around you with a jumbo, curved ultra-wide display?
The ROG Strix XG35VQ continues an ever-lengthening line of well-engineered, solidly built gaming displays from Asus. It may represent a significant cash outlay for some, but that premium price is appropriate for what’s offered. A 3440x1440 native resolution on a 35” screen delivers an ideal 107ppi density. This is perfect for those craving fine detail and smooth gaming performance, and it doesn’t require a crazy-expensive video card to run right up to its 100Hz maximum. FreeSync ensures that, with a matching video card, one should never see a distracting frame tear, and snappy panel response ensures smooth motion that’s almost completely free of blur. And if you want no blur at all, there’s ELMB. Usually found only in G-Sync monitors, this backlight strobe works well without exacting a contrast penalty. You’ll just have to cope with a 53% reduction in brightness.
We were mightily impressed with the XG35VQ’s color accuracy after calibration. Without adjustment, it runs with the pack, and most users will be satisfied simply to leave it in Racing mode and set brightness to taste. But a few clicks of the blue slider takes grayscale and gamut results to reference levels. And a slight bump in color saturation means the picture is rich, vibrant, and natural; just the thing to increase gaming enjoyment.
Modders and the style-conscious will appreciate the XG35VQ’s aesthetic. Asus has refined the ROG line’s sci-fi design to a point where it doesn’t scream for attention but still looks unmistakably Asus. The lighting effects add another level of coolness, with an image projected on the desktop and a breathing color ring around back.
Taken as a whole, the ROG Strix XG35VQ is a very impressive package. The price isn’t low, but Asus earns its money with most of its ROG monitors, and we always enjoy reviewing and gaming on them. They manage, in a sense, to remove the equipment from the gaming experience and allow us to focus solely on the environment presented onscreen.
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