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Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ Monitor Review: A Prime, Curved Pick for FreeSync Gaming

Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response, Lag & FreeSync

Viewing Angles

VA’s off-axis image quality falls in between that of TN and IPS, though it’s closer to the latter. Its main weakness is the obvious color shift shown in the photo. The ROG Strix XG35VQ looks a bit pink when viewed at a 45° side angle. Brightness is reduced by about 40%, as well. For the user in a center seat, all is well, thanks to the 1800R curve. Bringing in the screen sides reduces the need to turn one’s head, situational awareness gets improved, and the picture looks great from edge to edge. From the top (an angle at which no one would view a monitor for long), the shift in color and brightness is much the same.

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.

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Curved monitors are a bit more varied in their uniformity than flat panels, but newer models are more consistent than those from two or three years back. The XG35VQ delivers a smooth-toned image, with scores just above 10% in both the black and white field tests. Our sample was free from any glow or bleed at the edges, and we noted no hot spots. Color uniformity is excellent, with just a 0.82 difference in Delta E values.

Pixel Response & Input Lag

Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

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A response time of 11ms means you won’t see much blur from the XG35VQ, even without ELMB engaged. (We’d rather use FreeSync, anyway.) And it shows that even a relatively mundane refresh rate such as 100Hz can still deliver a high degree of gaming performance. While the ultra-quick 240Hz screens offer the fastest response, you won’t give up much by going at "just" 100fps. 10ms of additional input lag is something that almost no one will detect. Perceived latency is non-existent, and frame rates above 48 always resulted in judder-free gameplay.

Gaming With FreeSync

The first thing we did was to turn adaptive sync off to try the ELMB feature. Only a handful of FreeSync displays have blur reduction, so we had to provide due diligence. Getting enough output means maxing the brightness slider; 163 nits is about it. And the settings aren’t independent. You’ll have to adjust the control each time you switch modes. While we could see a tiny improvement in blur, frame tears became obvious. 100Hz isn’t quite fast enough to hide them. After a short time, FreeSync went back on, and we set the overdrive to level 4. That keeps motion resolution high without creating any ghosting around moving objects.

Tomb Raider required us to set detail on High, two down from the max, to get speeds over 80fps. It would require a minor upgrade of our system to play at the Ultimate level, as we’re still using a Radeon R9 285. With game play comfortably in the Strix XG35VQ’s sweet spot, we spent hours exploring the dark corners of Lara Croft’s doom-laden world. We were able to beat one of the difficult boss levels, in part thanks to the monitor’s fast response and near-lack of input lag. Quick movements of the mouse were our best weapon, as we could quickly spin the viewpoint 180° while keeping detail fine enough to aim and shoot during a half-second window of opportunity. Monitors like this provide a clear advantage to the player. If you take fast action games seriously, it becomes an indispensable tool. Overdrive worked perfectly at level 4, and we were never tempted to try ELMB after our initial experiment. Contrast worked to our advantage, as well, bringing the environment even closer to that real-feel.

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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.