At a Glance: Asus ROG Strix XG438Q Review

 

Large gaming monitors are becoming increasingly popular in today’s modern world. As a fan of large displays, for the last decade I’ve forgone the use of a real computer monitor and opted for an LCD TV instead. I remember discussing this on a public forum some years ago and being chided by fans of smaller displays who made a few nonsensical jokes about the enormous size of the pixel I must be seeing due to the TV’s low pixel density.

This view appears to be changing, though. Nvidia’s made waves a few years ago when it introduced its big format gaming display (BFGD) monitor design with a truly enormous 65-inch panel. Now Asus is looking to make a few waves of its own in the large display market with its ROG Strix XG438Q gaming monitor, which measures 43 inches diagonally. Let’s take a closer look.

Design

Most monitors commercially available today remain relatively small with panels that measure 32 inches diagonally or less. At 43 inches, the Asus ROG Strix considerably larger than these mainstream displays, though it’s still a long way off from matching up to the size of a BFGD.

I didn’t have the opportunity to test out this display first-hand, but from my personal experience using a 42-inch TV as my regular computer display, I feel this size to be roughly the best compromise possible. Having a display of this size gives you a ton of desktop real estate to work with, and my 42-inch screen almost fills my entire field of vision. At the same time, when compared to a BFGD monitor, Asus’s ROG Strix XG438Q is sure to be easier to move around, mount on a wall, or sit on a desk.

Built with unintrusive slim black bezels, the ROG Strix XG438Q houses a 4K VA panel that supports a refresh rate of 120Hz and FreeSync. Asus also includes its Aura projector with this monitor; it mounts on the bottom and can display various color patterns and the Asus logo onto the surface of your desk. The monitor also features two USB 3.0 ports as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack and a pair of built-in 10W speakers.

Although I haven’t handled this display myself, our sister site PCMag received one of these monitors to test in its lab and right off the bat they noticed a few issues. According to PCMag’s review, the image quality of this display deteriorates if you sit too close and view it from above. This is due to the VA panel technology and its limited viewing angles. PCMag also noted that speakers were small and didn’t perform well. Reviewer Chris Stobing also said that using this display initially caused him to feel motion-sick.

PCMag tested the color accuracy of this display and found it to be slightly lacking. Asus claimed that the display should support 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color spectrum, but test results showed it fell short at just 88.5 percent coverage. The display does accurately recreate the full sRGB color gamut, however, and the display features a high maximum brightness of 615.3 nits when HDR is enabled.

Conclusion

Put simply, this display isn’t perfect. But if you want a large gaming display then your options are rather limited. You could spring for a BFGD, but those are rather expensive, like HP’s Omen X Emperium 65 that sells for $4,999.99. You could also opt for a TV, but while those are large and affordable, they typically lack support for refresh rates above 60Hz, and they also may have other issues such as input lag.

At $1,099.00, the Asus ROG Strix XG438Q will set you back more than a similar-sized TV would, but its also far less expensive than a BFGD. It also has the advantage of being a true gaming display with a fast refresh rate and FreeSync support, which makes it superior to TVs for gaming. I’d recommend it as a solid solution for gamers that want a large, if not truly oversized, gaming monitor.

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