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Aorus FO48U 4K OLED Gaming Monitor Review: Contrast Beyond Comprehension

Phenomenal contrast and color accuracy

Aorus FO48U 4K OLED
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Aorus)

Is the FO48U the ultimate gaming monitor? The answer is: that depends. One must consider the properties of OLED versus LCD to decide if that technology is right for them.

We judge image quality based on four elements – contrast, color saturation, color accuracy and resolution, in that order. An OLED panel will win against LCD every time by that standard. But some add max brightness to that list. Then, LCD has a distinct advantage. Additionally, LCD has no issues with image retention. That makes it well-suited for gaming and computing, two activities that leave a lot of static content on the screen. But the FO48U addresses those challenges with scanning and preservation features that operate completely in the background.

Speed is another factor in any gaming monitor purchase. If you’re a console gamer, the FO48U runs at the top speed of the Xbox Series X and S and PlayStation 5, 120 Hz. And it supports Adaptive-Sync with HDR. PC gamers can enjoy much higher framerates; however, the latest LCDs are running at 360 Hz, and the difference in smoothness and response between 360 Hz and 120 Hz is perceivable. For speed lovers, only an LCD will do.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The only negative we observed was when using the FO48U like a TV. It doesn’t support Dolby Vision, nor does it match framerates with 50p and 24p material. A monitor this large should function as a TV and that’s where some might opt for an LG OLED TV instead, which has those features.

If you’ve decided that an OLED is for you, and gaming is your primary focus, Gigabyte’s Aorus FO48U is a top choice. Input lag is low enough for all but the most skilled gamers, and for the absolute pinnacle of image quality, the Gigabyte Aorus FO48U is unparalleled among gaming monitors. With incredible contrast, richly saturated color and professional-level accuracy, nothing else looks as good.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
  • mihen
    Already able to see some very minor burn in after playing a game for 10 hours that has a fixed UI. Only visible on dark gray screens. I was at 100% brightness =/, went down to 30% as suggested by others.
    Reply
  • saunupe1911
    Why would I even consider this over a 48 inch LG C1 at $1299....$1596 with 2 year burn protection?
    Reply
  • deesider
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.
    Reply
  • Bryman
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.
    I sit about 38 to 44" away on my LG c1 when using for gaming/pc and 48" when watching TV
    Desk is 33" deep
    Reply
  • larsv8
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.

    If you check my sig to the pcpartpicker build I had a custom desk built to place my 48 incher further away.

    It sits about 42 inches away, but its wall mounted so a little bit closer.
    Reply
  • Spike_xps720
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.
    I have Acer Predator CG437K 43" monitor and I am sitting 33" from it. I love this monitor. All 4K details are bigger and gaming experience is great.
    Reply
  • rdmetz
    mihen said:
    Already able to see some very minor burn in after playing a game for 10 hours that has a fixed UI. Only visible on dark gray screens. I was at 100% brightness =/, went down to 30% as suggested by others.
    That's just image retention no oled is going to burn in after 10 hours. It will go away with varied content.

    I've gamed for 1000's of hours (some at 100% for hdr the rest at 80%) on my 2019 lg c9 and have zero signs of permanent burn in.

    Almost all panels that exist today are just LG display panels and for the most part should have similar burn in protections.

    If you're talking about a panel pre 2018 then yes burn in was a bit more likely and even I, with the same game I've put thousands of hours in on my 2019 c9, saw permanent burn in on my 2016 after just 3 months and maybe 300 hours of said game.

    Today its very very difficult to burn in your screen unless your absolutely careless or are purposefully disabling protections built in and enabled by default.
    Reply
  • rdmetz
    deesider said:
    For people who use this size of monitor (or TV), how far away do you sit from it?

    I just can't imagine sitting at a desk with a 48" screen. I use a 27" as my main and prefer to sit at least 1 metre away.

    I game on a 65" C9 OLED and while I have a desk and keyboard mouse setup about 24" in front of it (it's wall mounted) but I do most of my gaming about 4 feet from it using a controller.

    My vision isn't great and honestly only with a large screen and pretty much "immersed" can I actually stay competitive in the fps type games I like to play. Seeing "deep" into the picture is hard for me unless my vision is pretty much dominated by screen. I've grown quite accustomed to it and just make sure any hud elements are pulled in as close to center as possible so I don't have to move my eyes too much.
    Reply
  • Friesiansam
    [URL='https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/author/christian-eberle']Christian Eberle[/URL] said:


    This is thanks to its ability to shut off individual pixels on the fly to create an infinitely low black level. The word infinitely is not an exaggeration.
    It is an exaggeration. To be infinitely black it would have to be invisible, emitting or reflecting absolutely no light whatsoever. Even Vanta Black still reflects a very tiny amount of light.
    Reply
  • mihen
    rdmetz said:
    That's just image retention no oled is going to burn in after 10 hours. It will go away with varied content.

    I've gamed for 1000's of hours (some at 100% for hdr the rest at 80%) on my 2019 lg c9 and have zero signs of permanent burn in.

    Almost all panels that exist today are just LG display panels and for the most part should have similar burn in protections.

    If you're talking about a panel pre 2018 then yes burn in was a bit more likely and even I, with the same game I've put thousands of hours in on my 2019 c9, saw permanent burn in on my 2016 after just 3 months and maybe 300 hours of said game.

    Today its very very difficult to burn in your screen unless your absolutely careless or are purposefully disabling protections built in and enabled by default.

    Thanks, I was worried when I noticed it.
    Reply