ASUS ROG STRIX XG32VQR
Gaming Monitor (32”)
At this point it’s all but official, the QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels is the sweet spot for PC gaming. ASUS’s own description for the ROG STRIX XG32VQR gaming monitor states exactly that. Where the right level of fidelity and detail meets hardware requirements that won’t need a top of the line graphics card to get decent and impressive performance. 4K may be the resolution for the TV realm, but for gaming monitors and players that are all about 144Hz refresh rates and low input delay – the jump from QHD to 4K in relation to both the price of the monitor and the GPU required to output the image, you might as call it Unaffordable-K.
The ROG Strix XG32VQR from ASUS is a revision or update of an existing and popular 32” model from the hardware maker that has been available for a while now. Albeit one that comes with an upgrade and a couple of new features. Namely in the form of Radeon FreeSync 2 HDR technology and DisplayHDR 400 certification, leading to an overall brighter and more vibrant display than the previous model. Also, for a curved 32” display it’s priced reasonably for what has the look and feel and features of a premium product.
As a product in the Republic of Gamers range from ASUS, the visual design of the XG32VQR follows the recent trend we’ve been seeing where an angular stand holds up a bezel-free curved display. From there RGB flourishes can be found, with the back of the XG32VQR housing ASUS ROG patterns, and an Aura Sync RGB ring that once setup probably won’t be seen again until you move it. Not that you would, as weighing in at 9.6kg this is both a chunky and sturdy monitor. A fact that thankfully, is reflected in the build quality. Compared to other monitors with RGB lighting found on the backside of the display, in order to provide mood and a subtle desk glow, the one found here is rather subtle and not all that bright. It’s not exactly a must-have or all that necessary feature, simply unfortunate considering the chunkiness of the display.
“At this point it’s all but official, the QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels is the sweet spot for PC gaming.”
The 1800R-rated curve of the XG32VQR though is a welcome addition, and something that is slowly becoming a must-have or nice-to-have feature of monitors in the 32” range. Paired with the VA panel, which is a style of display that can suffer from a loss in brightness depending on the viewing angle, the curvature adds to the immersion. And, is something that doesn’t take very long to get used to. The amplification of edge and peripheral details is especially useful when gaming, adding just enough extra visual information to feel like it does alter the experience. The decision to get a curved display for gaming might seem like one that comes down to personal taste, but unlike the failure of curved TVs, sitting front and centre of a PC monitor means you get the benefit immediately and consistently.
Maximum Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel Type: VA
Refresh Rate: 144Hz AMD FreeSync 2
HDR: DisplayHDR 400
Response Time: 4ms (GTG)
Contrast Ratio: 3000:1 (Native)
Brightness: 450 cd/m2
Weight: 9.6 kg
As mentioned above the ASUS ROG STRIX XG32VQR utilises a VA-panel for its display, which might be one of the reasons the price isn’t excessive. Compared to an IPS panel what you lose in terms of overall sharpness and text readability you gain with deeper blacks and a more cinematic image suited to the moving image. Again, this display from ASUS hits the QHD 1440p sweet spot. Throw in the 4ms response time, a 144Hz FreeSync 2 rated refresh rate, and excellent contrast ratio for deep blacks without a loss of shadow detail and the result is mostly impressive. The overall bump in brightness results in noticeable but not exactly reference quality HDR performance too. The colour rating of DCI-P3 94% gives off a mostly natural and vibrant image, though we found a few of the in-built presets to be a little saturated - requiring tinkering to get a more accurate response. Something that should be considered for those that tend to simply plug-and-play when it comes to displays.
A View to Remember
Tested across a range of titles, including the recent Resident Evil 2 remake with HDR turned on ASUS ROG STRIX XG32VQR performed great – with only a minor loss in edge brightness and uniformity when we weren’t sitting dead centre. In terms of HDR though we did find issues with Radeon FreeSync 2 HDR giving off a washed-out image versus the standard HDR-10 implementation – something that could be PC related due to HDR in general being a pain to get working properly on several PC games. For instance, even with a different HDR-capable display, Forza Horizon 4 with HDR enabled works maybe 1 out 4 times we boot up the game. So, with that in mind, most of the testing and gaming we did with the XG32VQR was with the feature turned off.
“Throw in the 4ms response time, a 144Hz FreeSync 2 rated refresh rate, and excellent contrast ratio for deep blacks without a loss of shadow detail and the result is mostly impressive.”
In the end this is a great effort from ASUS that backs up its excellent build quality with a bright and vibrant picture without stuttering or any visible ghosting. Being G-Sync compatible is a definite plus too. Gaming with a 32” display, at 1440p, is something that feels very 2019 – and at the right price ASUS ROG STRIX XG32VQR complements just about any modern gaming rig. In other words, it hits the sweet spot.