Asus PG278Q RoG Swift
This is it. The Jesus panel. The one with everything.
On paper, the new Asus RoG Swift doesn't just tick all our boxes for the ultimate gaming monitor. It mashes them into oblivion. It's the screen we've been waiting for. And before anyone pipes up about TN versus IPS panel technology, the latest 28-inch 4K monitors have proven that TN can be pretty. End of debate. In that context, and assuming it delivers, we can just about cope with the Asus' ?700-ish price tag. But beyond the headline specs, what exactly are you getting? As an RoG item, it's premium through and through. The chassis and stand are fully adjustable, while the overall look and feel is expensive. The best bit is the super-slim and near-flush screen bezel. But the power and status light that forms a full ring around the swivel point on the stand is pretty darned snazzy, too. Input-wise, you're limited to a single DisplayPort socket. Problematic? Penny pinching? Not in our view. This is a panel with a very particular purpose. And due to the bandwidth requirements of driving a 1440p pixel grid beyond 60Hz, that purpose can only be achieved with DisplayPort.
Likewise, we're not bothered by the lack of pointless image-processing frills like dynamic contrast. There's a triple-level option for pixel overdrive, with the middle setting being the best compromise between speed and inverse ghosting. And that's your lot. Moving on to the critical question of image quality. First, the bad news. Immediate impressions make it clear that this 1440p TN panel can't match those new 28-inch 4K TNers for raw image quality. We're not talking about sharpness, resolution or pixel pitch. Instead, the issues are things like contrast, vibrancy, perceived depth and viewing angles. Before the 28-inch 4K generation appeared, the Swift would probably have had a shot at being rated as the very best TN screen we'd seen.
But as good as it is - and it is very good by broader TN standards - things have moved on dramatically, and that makes the Swift slightly disappointing. Elsewhere, it's much better news. As ever, 144Hz is just glorious - on the desktop, in-game, everywhere. Once you've gone high refresh, you won't ever want to go back. As for Nvidia's G-Sync tech, it's a little more hit and miss. When it works, it's lovely. No rips, no tears, no judder, no stutter. And most of the time it does work. But the effects are relatively subtle and it can be hard to verify correct operation. Like multi-GPU scaling, the benefits are obvious, but it will occasionally drive you mad wondering whether it's working. All of which means the RoG Swift somehow manages to be easily the best purist gaming panel we've ever seen, and still disappointing. The problem is the breakneck speed of monitor development of late. 4K, high refresh, synced refresh, super-wide aspect ratio, improved panel tech. As things stand, no single monitor has managed to bring it all together. Despite the Swift's messianic promise, the wait continues.