While curved screens might not make the most sense in a TV application where several viewers typically need a good viewing angle, in the PC monitor space it makes perfect sense. I recently got eyes-on with Acer’s curved Predator X34 panel and lost any cynicism I had for that display type, and with Asus’s announcement of a new flagship display also featuring a 34-inch curved screen it looks like it’s going to become A Thing in 2016.
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The ROG SwiftPG348Q is a G-Sync compatible 144Hz IPS panel, as you’d expect from the company’s flagship monitor. It’s an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio housing a3440X1440 resolution.
That means, in theory, you won’t see any black bars when you watch a movie on the panel – “every inch of your display will be utilized when watching a movie in 2.40:1,” say Asus. “The majority of existing movies are already available in 2.35:1 or greater.”
It also boasts a 100% sRGB colour gamut and a 1000:1, although it’s not clear if the latter is achieved using a dynamic contrast mode or not – a technique many manufacturers employ to boost that spec.
Still, it’s no slouch. A 5ms response time is pretty lightning for an IPS panel, and though this particular model doesn’t occupy the 144Hz (and beyond through ‘overclocking) refresh rates of its stablemates in the Asus ROG range, the 100Hz on offer should do just fine.
I’ve tested both curved panels and those with 144Hz refresh rates lately, and to my eyes it’s the curved shape that proves the most transformative. Pairing a high refresh rate with a high-end NVIDIA card and enabling G-Sync does make a noticeable difference to games and effectively eradicates stutter, the dreaded microstutter, and tearing.
But there’s something incredibly immersive about having a panel stretch and mould itself around your eyes, extending into your peripheral vision, that I’d plump for if I had to choose between the two.
The monitor’s out this February worldwide, but pricing has yet to be announced. Acer’s similarly specced X34 is available for just under $1100/£1000 so expect to find it in the same ballpark.