Full disclosure: I’ve never used a curved monitor in my life. My review here on the ASUS ROG XG35VQ will be less about the hardware technicalities and more about what it feels like to use it, meaning how it fares with everyday work and play.
Because that’s what really matters, doesn’t it?
Spoiler alert: I think curved monitors are pretty cool.
Anyway, here are some specs for the XG35VQ if you really need to know: it is a 35-inch ultra-wide curved monitor with a max resolution of 3440, its curve is at a 1800mm-radius, and it has a rapid refresh rate of 100Hz with built-in AMD FreeSync support. You won’t be able to rotate this monitor to portrait-mode but otherwise it’s quite flexible in is adjustability. Height-wise, you can adjust it up to 10cm and you have the ability to move it 50° left or right, 20° backwards and 5° forwards. There are two HDMI ports (v1.4 and v2.0) and one for DisplayPort.
Using an ultra-wide monitor is honestly the best if you’re constantly multitasking, or if you edit photos or videos like I do. Its width is quite literally the length of two of our in-office monitors, so one of these bad boys is all one needs. You can definitely game and keep an eye on your stream chat without having your audience even knowing your eyes are actually looking away from the game, keeping your interactions fluid.
If you’re worried about needing to upgrade your graphics card for this beast, throw those worries out the window. ROG’s GameFast minimises input-lag for a more accurate game. Gameplay-wise, the monitor’s Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB) takes any fast-paced game up a notch. As with most gaming monitors nowadays, there are different modes for different genres of games, and as far as I can see, it helps to change the modes for your specific needs.
Playing Quake Champions, the matches felt more immersive and with the monitor set to FPS-mode, their ‘high-contrast mode’, nothing escaped my sights as my awareness seemed to improve drastically. The width of this monitor definitely makes it easy to get lost in the game, in a good way. Pair your gameplay with a good set of headphones and you’re off in another world for a good few hours, no matter what the genre. Honestly, the hours flew by.
There is also a mode for MOBA games which, according to ASUS, is supposed to “enhance the colours of in-game health bars and other critical notifications”. What that basically means is this:
Everything except bright colours will be made grey. It made playing League of Legends a bit weird, since ‘dull’ character models like Morgana, Nunu and Ashe will forever be grey while ‘brighter’ characters like Annie and Ahri will to pop out more. Your health bar will be very visible in this mode, though not your mana bar. I’m unsure if playing DOTA2 makes much of a difference, but in all honesty this mode is unnecessary to get the full-blown MOBA experience though it does ease any strain on the eyes in almost the same way that night-mode does.
I also decided to throw in a short play of Frostpunk to see if games of that genre will be visibly enhanced with the monitor’s RTS/RPG mode but in my hour-long play, switching between modes, it honestly doesn’t matter. Maybe it fares better with RPG games, but at the moment I cannot say since there weren’t any installed at my old work desk.
For kicks, I also played a bit of Mega Man Legacy to see how playing retro games would look and…nope. Avoid playing any old school game unless you want to stream it or if you’re okay with playing it in windowed-mode. It just looks weird. Using this as a monitor for a PlayStation wasn’t a good experience either, it squeezed and elongated everything on screen so everyone and everything looked shorter and wider. Kratos looked like he put on a few pounds while Connor, the android sent by Cyberlife, looked quite squished. I recommend avoiding this if you want a screen for your console though I don’t know why you’d not use a TV instead.
All in all, this is a decent curved gaming monitor to have in your gaming den, if you really want one. It’s really good for multitasking, especially when you want to stream without the need for an extra monitor. Honestly, once you go ultra-wide, its tough to go back. While the ROG Strix is definitely pricey, I think it’s worth the investment if you need a big screen for effective multitasking an streaming.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG35VQ is available for RM3,999 at certain ASUS stores and resellers. I got my hands on with a review unit sent by Asus Malaysia when I worked at Gamehubs and this is the review in its original form before it was heavily edited (to the point where it just doesn’t look like it was written by me).