The PG42UQ is certified to have an average error level below 2dE for both color and grayscale by an enclosed datasheet specific to each sample. Mine met this claim in both the DCI-P3 and sRGB gamuts.
Grayscale and Gamma Tracking
The best way to enjoy the PG42UQ is to leave it in Racing mode and set brightness to taste. For me, that was 100%. Grayscale tracking is visually free of errors with all values below 2dE. Gamma tracks on the reference line except at the 90% step which is a tad too light. I could not spot this error in actual content.
Calibration improves the error numbers and tightens gamma a bit, but I could not see this difference in actual content. Dialing in the grayscale required moderately large changes to the green and blue sliders, which was surprising, but they are at least precise. Whichever way you go, this is excellent performance.
sRGB mode can’t be calibrated, but its grayscale and gamma tracking are visually perfect. I noted a rise in gamma at the dark end of the scale, but I did not observe any clipping in low-brightness step patterns. All steps from 0-20% were visible.
Of all the monitors in the group, only the XG43UQ requires calibration. The others either look the same before and after or slightly better with adjustment. This is the way it should be for premium displays. One should not have to tweak them to achieve a picture that matches industry standards.
Gamma tracking follows the same journey, as none of the monitors show a visible issue. Though the PG42UQ is fourth in the range contest, its deviation from 2.2 is only 0.45% (actual value 2.21). This bodes well for perceived contrast and color tracking, which are excellent in tests and practical observation.
Color Gamut Accuracy
The before and after gamut charts are so close that one can barely see any change in the saturation and hue values. The pre-calibration chart has a slightly lower average error, but compared to the competition, there is no difference in placement. This is a professional-level result, meaning you’re looking at visual perfection.
In the PG42UQ’s sRGB picture mode, red is slightly over-saturated, but the overall error is still below the visible threshold. You’ll see the same result if you select the Racing mode with the sRGB color space.
Clearly, it doesn’t get much better than the PG42UQ’s 1.09dE average color error. Only the Aorus manages to pip it for first place. To the naked eye, there is no difference between any of the monitors. But the PG42UQ doesn’t require calibration to get there. It beats its competitors right out of the box.
Of the OLEDs here, two have greater color volume than the PG42UQ. The AW3423DWF manages this with a Quantum Dot layer (QD-OLED), but the Aorus takes top prize without that extra. If you want a monitor dripping with color, that is the one. The PG42UQ isn’t far behind; in my observation, the difference is pretty minor. With the bonus red I mentioned earlier, it exceeds the sRGB standard with 104.18% coverage. This is still within the range needed for color-critical work.
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