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Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ: 21:9 Curved Monitor in Review

UWQHD gaming. While notebooks have not yet embraced the 21:9 display ratio desktop monitors have, and new products continue to appear. We take a closer look at the 35-inch Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ in order to assess its gaming capabilities.
Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser, Andrea Grüblinger (translated by Finn D. Boerne), 🇩🇪 🇳🇱
ROG Strix XG35VQ

Specifications

Gaming enthusiasts tend to be at the forefront of technological development and eager to try new things in order to determine the pros and cons of new technologies. One of the most important display trends of late are 21:9 displays. The spectrum starts with affordable displays running at 2560x1080 at 60 Hz and ends at almost sinfully expensive contenders running at 5120x2160 at higher refresh rates. Today’s review unit is a mid-range device right in-between those two extremes, running at a native resolution of 3440x1440 pixels and a refresh rate of 100 Hz. As its name suggests the slightly dated Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ is a 35-inch monitor with a curved display surface specifically targeted at gamers.

ROG Strix XG35VQ
Screen size 35 inches (88.9 cm)
Format 21:9 Curved
Curvature 1800R
Resolution 3440x1440 (UWQHD)
Panel VA
Frequency 100 Hz
Features FreeSync
Connectivity 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x HDMI 1.4, 3x USB 3.0, 1x Line-Out
Weight (incl. stand) 26.9 lbs (12.2 kg)

Case

If you are a fan of striking and distinctive designs, then the XG35VQ is most likely going to grow on you very quickly. The very robust stand made predominantly of metal features an asymmetric design with red lamella elements and a cleverly positioned cable management tray. In addition, a round surface right underneath the stand is lit up in red. The display itself features narrow bezels and is much more discreet and unobtrusive than its stand, at least at the front. The backside, in return, features the typical ROG Strix look emphasized by an RGB ring. Build quality is solid, but at 12.2 kg (26.9 lbs) its weight is pretty hefty for a display this size.

ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ

Connectivity

Connectivity should be more than adequate for most users. In order to run the display at its native resolution and refresh rate of 3440x1440 pixels and 100 Hz, respectively, you need to connect either via the single DisplayPort 1.2 or one of the two HDMI ports (HDMI 2.0). The other HDMI port only supports HDMI 1.4. Additional ports include a 3.5-mm headphone jack and three USB 3.0 ports (2x Type-A, 1x Type-B). The power supply is not built into the display itself but included as an external 90 W brick, which is somewhat uncommon for a display.

Ergonomics

Overall ergonomics were decent despite the lack of pivot support. The XG35VQ can be tilted (+20° to -5°), rotated (+50° to – 50°), and height adjusted (up to 10 cm / 4 inches). Thus, you can perfectly adjust the display to your individual seating arrangement and application.

Operation

Handling is a mixed bag, to say the least. Just like with the PB287Q 4K display reviewed back in 2015 we did not grow particularly fond of the hidden buttons that while great from a visual point of view make handling the display an arduous task. At least the menus were well arranged and clear. The joystick accompanied by four buttons is pretty useful overall as well. In addition to various display modes (racing, cinema, RTS/RPG, etc.) the on-screen menu also contains various gaming-specific settings, such as a timer or an FPS counter.

Image Quality

Image quality was pretty good for a gaming monitor. The VA panel features narrower viewing angles than typical IPS panels but still manages to run circles around a TN panel. The following tests were conducted with the display’s GameVisual mode set to “User” at maximum brightness.

315
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
318
cd/m²
355
cd/m²
320
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
354
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 355 cd/m² Average: 327.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Contrast: 2219:1 (Black: 0.16 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.82 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.7, calibrated: 1.47
ΔE Greyscale 1.5 | 0.64-98 Ø5.9
97% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 76% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.47

With an average maximum brightness of 327 nits the 35-inch screen performed decently well and should be bright enough for most indoor applications and situations. Thanks to its decent black level of just 0.16 nits, the resulting contrast ratio was more than 2,200:1. Color accuracy was fairly high according to CalMAN, and at 97% sRGB and 76% AdobeRGB color-space coverage was more than high enough for gaming purposes as well as non-professional photo and video-editing.

CalMAN: grayscale
CalMAN: grayscale
CalMAN: saturation
CalMAN: saturation
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN: saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: saturation (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN: ColorChecker (calibrated)

Gamers will benefit from the display’s low response times the most. According to our tests, black-to-white takes around 9 ms while gray-to-gray takes a slightly longer 13 ms. Thanks to its matte finish there are virtually no reflections, although we are aware of displays that are even more matte than the XG35VQ.

ROG Strix XG35VQ vs sRGB (97%)
ROG Strix XG35VQ vs sRGB (97%)
ROG Strix XG35VQ vs AdobeRGB (76%)
ROG Strix XG35VQ vs AdobeRGB (76%)

Unfortunately, the XG35VQ suffered from significant screen bleeding like so many other displays. These light halations of various size were most prominent and annoying in case of dark uniform-colored display contents. We did not detect any PWM flickering whatsoever.

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
9.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2.8 ms rise
↘ 6.4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 10 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
13.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2.8 ms rise
↘ 10.8 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 11 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (38.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9661 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Real-World Impressions

Even though the 21:9 aspect ratio seemed odd and unfamiliar at first, we got used to it very quickly and actually started preferring it to the more traditional 16:9 display ratio after a short period of time. You can display two whole documents side-by-side, and more often than not you are able to run three applications or open windows simultaneously without requiring a second display.

When gaming, the 21:9 aspect ratio and its improved peripheral vision and wider field of view can be quite beneficial as well, especially in competitive first-person shooters such as Call of Duty Warzone (see photos). However, you need to consider the fact that many older and even some current games do not support ultra-wide displays yet, which might result in either shifted images or black bars left and right during in-game videos. Speaking of which: Feature films have been shot in 21:9 for a long time and thus benefit from these ultra-wide displays immensely.

ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ
ROG Strix XG35VQ

Generally speaking, the display showed a smooth image with only minimal ghosting. Even though you can already get 200 Hz displays, a 100 Hz refresh rate is a very welcome improvement over the typical 60 Hz display of yore. Even simple things, like the smoothness of the Windows mouse cursor, benefit noticeably and feel much smoother and more pleasant. FreeSync is supported with a compatible graphics card.

As the table below indicates our 3440x1440 display’s power consumption was right in-between traditional 16:9 2560x1440 and 3840x2160 displays. In order to run demanding games, such as Red Dead Redemption 2, in UWQHD we would recommend at least a GeForce RTX 2070. Less demanding or highly optimized games, such as Doom Eternal, will even be able to fully utilize the display’s high refresh rate.

GeForce RTX 2070 @Ultra settings 2560x1440 3440x1440 3840x2160
Doom Eternal 127 FPS 100 FPS 68 FPS
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 87 FPS 63 FPS 51 FPS
Red Dead Redemption 2 42 FPS 36 FPS 27 FPS

Verdict

21:9 displays are not only a great option for gamers but also for multitaskers and cineastes. What few drawbacks they inevitably have (space requirements, costs) are more than compensated for by their many pros (larger field of vision in games, more screen real estate for additional windows, etc). With its support for FreeSync and a refresh rate of 100 Hz the Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ is targeted specifically at gamers. We expect 21:9 displays to gain traction with falling prices, regardless of whether they are curved or not.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Asus ROG Strix XG35VQ: 21:9 Curved Monitor in Review
Florian Glaser, 2020-06- 1 (Update: 2020-06- 3)
Florian Glaser
Editor of the original article: Florian Glaser - Managing Editor Gaming
Growing up with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 in the early 90s, I discovered my interest in computers in my childhood. Especially computer games radiated a great fascination for me even then. From Monkey Island to Lands of Lore to Doom, everything was gambled that you could get your hands on. I have been working for Notebookcheck since 2009 with focus on high-performance gaming notebooks.