ASUS PG348Q 100Hz curved UltraWide IPS
Update: Update on availability. News piece below initially published 2nd September 2015.
For users looking for an engrossing gaming experience, curved 34” 21:9 ‘UltraWide’ models like the Samsung S34E790C and Dell U3415W are compelling choices. But for some, the static 60Hz refresh rate simply isn’t high enough or dynamic enough. The ASUS PG348Q, which belongs to the manufacturer’s famed ROG (Republic Of Gamers) brand, offers such users a bit more to bite their teeth into. And we’re not just talking about the design, which is certainly rather eye-catching. It looks like something from a sci-fi film with its brushed metal elements and weird angular feet, but it isn’t a case of form over function. The stand is highly adjustable, offering; tilt, height and swivel adjustment. Although the black image shown on the screen below hides the fact, the now rather common dual-bezel design is used with a very thin outer border in addition to a thicker (but still fairly slender) panel border. Menu and power controls are pressable rather than touch-sensitive, and there is a joystick (‘JOG’ button) for intuitive navigation. There’s also a little down-firing projector that projects the red ROG motif down onto the desk, which can of course be disabled if you don’t like that sort of thing.
The monitor uses a gently curved 34” AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) panel from LG Display, the LM340UW2-SSA1. This is a 60Hz panel with a very light and smooth matte screen surface, but it is overclocked up to 100Hz on this model. Nvidia’s G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology also features (30 – 100Hz variable) to help reduce stuttering and eliminate tearing. Note that G-SYNC requires a compatible Nvidia GPU. Other specifications of note include a 3440 x 1440 resolution (21:9 aspect ratio), 1000:1 static contrast ratio and 178/178° horizontal/vertical viewing angles. A flicker-free WLED backlight is used, offering generous sRGB colour gamut coverage with extension a bit beyond this for an extra hint of vibrancy. Colour support is true 8-bits per subpixel plus FRC dithering (10-bits total). A 5ms grey to grey response time is specified (misleading though such figures usually are).
Some additional gaming-oriented features are also included. These include the ‘GamePlus’ on-screen crosshair and timer feature, ‘Turbo Key’ refresh rate selector and 6 ‘GameVisual’ presets, which are extensions of the ‘Splendid’ modes but designed with different game genres in mind. The rear of the monitor is something of a piece of art. We can’t quite tell how the included stand attaches, with its meaty silver stand neck, but that ring of orange around looks like something from Portal (Aperture Labs, anybody?) so it must hide something good. Some sources, such as OcUK, suggest that 100mm VESA is included. The ports include DP 1.2 (with G-SYNC support), HDMI 1.4, 4 USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream) and a 3.5mm earphone jack. ‘High-powered’ stereo speakers are also integrated into the design. Only the DP 1.2 input is fully compatible with G-SYNC and 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz.
Further information can be found on the manufacturer’s website. The monitor is now available in the US for $1300 and in various other regions globally.