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

Conclusion

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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  • shallots
    Actually LFC works with any Adaptive Sync panel with more than 2:1 highest to lowest now (initially they said 2.5:1). So this screen supports LFC.

    And the Sammy CF791 has a 1500R curve, so this isn't the tightest curve available.

    This looks a lot like my ASUS MX34V which I purchased over 12 months ago... Which is also pretty good.
    Reply
  • loki1944
    Bit of a late review; this panel has been out for about 4 months now. I bought mine mid-February 2018; fantastic colors. Replaced my Rog Swift (TN); will not ever touch another TN panel and I'm not a fan of over-bright IPS either. This is the best monitor I've ever had out of all my TN/IPS/VA panels.
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    Unfortunately, it's been proven by sales numbers from multiple manufacturers that the FreeSync monitors have horrible return in revenue. In other words, they just don't sell very well. G-Sync monitors are significantly outselling FreeSync monitors. The plain fact of the matter is G-Sync is more expensive, but works better than FreeSync. The two main superior factors of G-Sync over FreeSync are higher refresh rates and wider range in which the dynamic refresh rate works. The one and only advantage FreeSync has is it is cheaper, but that's it.
    Reply
  • shallots
    Gsync is only better if you can't understand a spec sheet and need someone to spoon feed you information.
    Freesync can basically do everything Gsync can on the top end. It can run on the best HDR panels with the best colours, and the highest and widest range of refresh rates. But Freesync also provides advantages to mid and low end monitors, so it's much more versatile.
    And people say Gsync is better when Freesync can do the same and more (for $less), lol.
    Reply
  • zyh1987
    can you still call it rog if it’s freesync, or ROG monitor will be strictly fixed refresh rate plus vsync under the whole gpp thing. And Arez Strix for all free sync stuff.
    Reply
  • Valantar
    This is SO ******* close to being perfect, it kind of pisses me off. The real deal breaker is the huge stand and lack of VESA mount option - that thing will never, ever fit on the raised monitor shelf on my desk, and I won't go back to the hell of neck pain that living without it was. Such a shame, as the size, curvature, panel type, resolution, refresh rate, color accuracy and feature set is entirely spot on, ticking every single box.*


    *Except for: an external power brick? Seriously? Asus expects us to pay almost $800 for a monitor and still deal with an unmanageable and annoying lump on the power cord, making the setup messy and impractical no matter the effort? Really? At least I'd expect it to be high enough quality to not fail in an expensive monitor like this, but in general I don't trust external monitor power bricks - using an external generally means the OEM is cheaping out compared to spending a few bucks extra for heat-resistant components required for an internal one, and I expect them to die within ~3 years.
    Reply
  • shallots
    It does have a VESA mount I think. It's hidden in the circle on the back.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    I think the lack of AMD video card availability has to be hurting Freesync monitor sales. Although overpriced nvidia cards are at least for sale.

    What are the best cards to drive a monitor like this up to it's potential?
    Reply
  • Kaziel
    Do these have the same panels as Samsung's curved VA's with all the issues that come with them?
    Reply
  • Valantar
    20917178 said:
    It does have a VESA mount I think. It's hidden in the circle on the back.

    Hm. The spec sheet does indeed say 100x100 VESA mount, but I've never seen that on these LED projector-equipped monstrosities before. Intriguing.

    Review staff: would you mind looking into this? Is there some way to unscrew the upright?
    Reply