I'm looking over the specs and features of the new Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX, billed as the "world's first mini LED gaming monitor," and I'm seeing how Asus also arrived at declaring this the "4K endgame." Well, except for one little thing—it sticks with HDMI 2.0 (and DisplayPort 1.4) instead of HDMI 2.1.
That's a shame, because HDMI 2.1 is a big upgrade over HDMI 2.0, serving up 48Gbps of uncompressed bandwidth (up from 18Gbps) and 128Gbps with compression. It also supports some nifty features, like an auto low latency mode and dynamic HDR, the latter of which adjusts the image on a scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame basis.
So it's not truly the endgame (incidentally, Asus is also set to release the first HDMI 2.1 gaming monitor next month). Even so, it brings a robust spec sheet to the table, starting with its mini LED makeup.
Mini LED is exactly as it sounds—it uses tinier LEDs compared to an LCD screen with regular LED backlighting. Unlike with OLED, pixels in an LCD screen need a separate light source to illuminate. Mini LED does a better job than regular LED, offering up potentially more lighting zones, better contrast, and a higher brightness level.
In this case, Asus says the PG32UQX can hit a scorching bright 1,400 nits with HDR content and 500 nits for SDR content. It's also one of only two monitors to meet VESA's DisplayHDR 1400 certification, the highest tier available (until if and when a DisplayHDR 2000 tier is added). In case you were wondering, the other is also an Asus monitor, the ProArt PA32UCG. It's a mini LED display as well, but it's aimed at creators and professionals, rather than gamers.
The PG32UQX offers up full-array local dimming (FALD) with 1,152 independent LED zones, instead of edge lighting. FALD is the more desirable of the two, as it allows for deeper black levels and better uniformity, though still not on par with OLED. It's still susceptible to the halo effect, or blooming (micro LED can't arrive fast enough), whereby light on an object in a scene leaks to its surroundings. This is mostly noticeable with white objects on a black background. I'll be interested to see how susceptible the PG32UQX is to blooming.
This is a 4K resolution monitor with a relatively fast 144Hz refresh rate. It's also a G-Sync Ultimate display, to keep the refresh rate in sync with your GeForce GPU to avoid screen tearing.
The PG32UQX leverages quantum dot technology and according to Asus, it offers up 98 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, and 160 percent coverage of the sRGB color space. This suggests it would be suitable for prosumer workloads, like digital photography and video editing. We have not reviewed this monitor, though, so we'll have to wait and see.
Connectivity consists of three HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.4 connector with Display Stream Compression (DSC), a 3.5mm headphone jack, two USB 3.1 ports, and a USB 2.0 port.
There are a couple of unique features as well. One is a tripod socket built into the top of the display, to mount a webcam. The USB 2.0 port sits conveniently next to it.
It also has a built-in OLED display on the bottom that serves as a live dashboard. It can show things like system temps, voltages, fan speeds, and system frequency. And underneath it is a dial to make adjusting the on screen display (OSD) controls quick and easy.
All of this comes at a high price—the PG32UQX is available to preorder in the US for $3,000.