Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ Monitor Review
A Super Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor With Style
Super ultra-wide gaming monitors are a bit of a niche product, with them only really being suited to single-player titles, racing games, and of course flight simulators. Regardless, there are many out there that can enjoy gaming with black bars and in theory, could set whatever in-game resolution they wanted while still keeping that extra screen real estate for other tasks.
The monitor under the microscope today is the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ, a super ultra-wide gaming monitor we have been eager to get our hands for quite some time. The Asus ROG Strix department has brought us many superb gaming monitors over the years but we hadn’t bought into many super ultra-wides before, however, this model ticked a lot of the boxes, on paper anyway.
With a spec sheet packed with premium features, let’s waste no further time and see what this monitor has to offer.
- High refresh rate
- Impressive adjustable stand
- Accurate colors and decent panel uniformity
- Only worthwhile with simulator and single player games
- Colors weren't great before calibration
What's In The Box
When the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ arrives you would be forgiven if you assumed a bike or refrigerator was inside – it’s hefty. It comes exquisitely packaged and it is safe to say the monitor arrived unscathed. The monitor features the same toolless design we have seen from other Asus monitors and can be assembled on your own, even if the panel feels like a heavy surfboard. The stand comes in two parts and then the panel slots onto the stand with ease thanks to an overlapping design taking some of the weight.
The monitor ships with all the necessary panels you need to cover up untidy ports and the connection between your monitor and stand. We also see an accessory box that includes your power plug plus a USB cable, HDMI cable, and DisplayPort cable.
Design And Features
A gaming monitor of this caliber has many design points and premium features we need to closely inspect, especially when you consider the price of this monster. We will be taking a closer look at the overall design, build quality, and main features the XG43VQ comes equipped with.
Asus ROG Strix branded monitors are often something quite special to look at. My favorite aesthetic aspect of the XG43VQ is it’s all gun-metal gray appearance and lack of extra gaming flare we sometimes see from ROG. There are no garish logos or flashes of RGB lighting, just a chrome logo front and center and that glorious super ultra-wide curved panel.
Taking size out of the equation, the subtle design of the XG43VQ is something I really prefer to bright colors, sharp angles, and RGB lighting, and I’m sure many will agree.
The stand is a three-pronged design, in order to support the extra lengthy panel above and I have to say, is quite stylish. The stand follows suit with the all gray appearance with a cutout for cable management.
There is a level of expectation from Asus when it comes to build quality, as even their lower-end monitors tend to be built to last. The ROG Strix XG43VQ excelled in terms of build quality across the board with every aspect of the monitor feeling sturdy and well-built. The casing around the panel is made from a robust plastic that has zero give in it at all. I gave the monitor a once over and tried to get some creeks out of the frame but couldn’t do it, it is solid.
The stand’s base is mostly metal and has a great weight to it, offering the panel full support and excellent weight distribution. Despite being the width of a car, the stand doesn’t take up too much space on the desk and could be utilized by a wide variety of gamers.
It is worth noting the stand’s adjustment components are of high quality as well, with the monitor transitioning between different tilts and swivels smoothly.
The panel on the XG43VQ features an anti-glare matte coating. The coating does an excellent job of handling external light sources, particularly daylight, while gaming or working. I tested this monitor nearest our large glass entrance at the WePC office and have not been impeded by the daylight or office lighting yet.
The thin bezels on this monitor come as no surprise but they add a lot in terms of aesthetics to the overall appearance. Of course, the point of a super ultra-wide is to get rid of that nasty gap/bezel between dual monitor setups but at the top and sides, we see a total of 9mm bezels, with the bottom being 21mm.
If you were ever crazy enough to get two of these together somehow, the bezels are thin enough to make it an enjoyable gaming experience.
The stand, visually, is one of the better ones I’ve seen but my preference is still for the small square stands Asus feature on the majority of their normal-sized monitors. Having said that, for a super ultra-wide, this is one of the best stands on the market and it isn’t just a pretty face.
The adjustment options from the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ are very accommodating and allow you to perfectly position this monitor, in a variety of ways, for optimal gaming. The height adjustment gives you a range of 120mm from its lowest height of 397mm to its max height of 517mm. The monitor can also be swiveled left and right by 16 degrees, giving you near-perfect viewing from extra locations around the room. Finally, the monitor also comes with a tilt adjustment, giving you 20 degrees of upward tilt and 5 degrees downward.
Overall, I found this monitor extremely easy to get in a perfect position and regardless of which way I was adjusting the monitor, it felt smooth, and making the minor adjustments was effortless.
In terms of connectivity, it was all fairly standard at the back of the XG43VQ. The monitor features 2 x HDMI 2.0 and 1 x DisplayPort 1.4. I was using DisplayPort 1.4. Now I always utilize the DisplayPort connection where possible as there are a couple of benefits, mainly higher bandwidth and spec for me to connect HDMI devices. While using this connection you can make use of the FreeSync 2 technology, 120Hz refresh rate, and HDR, so all in all great but it is worth mentioning that you need to loosen the cable a bit after unboxing.
Other inputs include 3.5mm in and out ports, 2 x USB 3.0(downstream), and 1 x USB 3.0 (upstream), meaning you can get a few peripherals plugged into the monitor if you desired.
The OSD with Asus monitors, in general, is always user friendly, with simple mechanics. With the ROG Strix XG43VQ, it has been simplified further and everything is now done by a single button. The joystick/ on button feels large and is the perfect size to flick through the various menus. With your initial touch on the joystick, regardless of the direction you press, you will see the shortcut menu. This is an extra press to access shortcuts but this is a feature I really like as I’ll often press the button the wrong way until I get used to the overall controls.
To access the main menu you press the button upwards twice, revealing the ROG OSD menu. From here you will have access to GameVisual, GamePlus, Color, Image, PBP Setting, Input Select, and System Setup.
In GameVisual, you have access to several preset color modes. We tested three of these modes, which I’ll get into a little later, but the ones I flicked between the most were FPS Mode, Cinema Mode, Racing Mode, and User Mode. This extensive list of presets means even more users will be able to get a quick color setting to match their personal preferences without having to calibrate it as we did.
In Image, you will be able to alter the sharpness, turn FreeSync on/off, adjust the blue light filter, and turn on HDR.
Picture Quality & Color Accuracy
When it comes to picture quality and color accuracy, the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ was a little underwhelming out of the box. I ran some initial tests in Racing, sRGB, and User mode, to find some rather average results aside from a few exceptions.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Gamma|
|Racing Mode||4020K||0.1485 cd/m²||734.5:1||4.31||2.24|
|User Mode||3759K||0.0708 cd/m²||1706.3:1||4.24||2.23|
Initial tests across the three chosen presets showed a rather disappointing white point with the XG43VQ yet some deep blacks, depending on the mode itself. In Racing mode, we saw the monitor achieve a black reading of 0.071 cd/m² compared to 0.1485 cd/m² when in sRGB mode. Gamma was set to 2.2 and our readings all showed this quite consistently with the results being between 2.22 and 2.24 across all three modes.
While in sRGB we saw the best average DeltaE reading but after taking this through an in-depth sRGB test, the results were rather disappointing, to say the least, with a max DeltaE of 10.26. As sRGB mode limited customization, I opted to calibrate this in User mode. Below shows the sRGB in-depth test against the calibrated test.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||maximum ΔE*00||Gamma|
|sRGB In-depth||4042K||0.1463 cd/m²||740.8:1||5.14||10.26||2.2|
While calibrating the monitor I noticed the blue was still prominent in the whites and while trying to get this as accurate as possible the RGB settings were set to 53, 69, and 100 respectively. The calibrated white point was near perfect, and while the blacks and contrast weren’t particularly great, the calibrated settings enhanced the colors to no end in comparison with the out of the box settings. The calibration saw the average DeltaE reading from 4.36 to 0.55.
After we calibrate the gaming monitors we then check to see how uniformed the panel actually is with a, you guessed it, panel uniformity test. In this test, we use the center square as the reference, with every other square being tested to see any differences.
In an ideal world, we would like to see every square come back green but we are more than happy with each square showing nominal tolerance passed.
The results show our 5 x 5 grid we tested on the XG43VQ panel and as you can see, the monitor performed well. If you had to scrutinize the panel you could argue that the left side didn’t do as well but overall the panel showed uniformed results, with accurate colors and luminance.
The Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ utilizes a VA panel, known for a solid mix of good blacks, responsiveness, and viewing angles. All this rang true, especially the viewing angles, with this monitor being my main source of film and TV for the last week now. I found that no matter where I sat, aside from the absolute extremities, I could see what was happening on the screen. The colors may have suffered slightly when viewing from the side but overall i was very happy with the viewing angles.
When calibrating the XG43VQ, DisplayCal software was used, which presented us with the monitor’s gamut coverage and volume figures for sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI P3.
As you can see, the gamut coverage and volume of 99.4% and 126.7% respectively were superb but the monitor fell just short of its advertised 90% DCI P3, with our results showing 89.8% but I suppose we can round that up. Overall, we were impressed with the gamut results, making this a viable monitor for gamers who also require accurate colors on a daily basis.
Gaming On The Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ
When it came to gaming, I found this monitor far too big for the usually FPS related titles I’d normally fire up but not all. The immersive nature of Battlefield 5 was where I started and the campaign has never looked better than on this super ultra-wide. The monitor particularly exceeded in those little cut scenes, with action popping off overall 43 inches of this curved display.
Whether I was racing on Assetto Corsa or flying in BF5, the monitor really sucked you into what you were doing and was incredibly enjoyable with specific titles. If you have a PC that can run games no problem in windowed mode then you will be able to take advantage of a lot of screen space, as I did when trying CS:GO. I had black bars running and sat the CS:GO window in the middle (what a waste).
In any case, this is a gaming monitor made for immersive action, flight simulator fans, racing sim enthusiasts, and it takes away the pain of a gap between a dual monitor setup in stylish fashion. My only critique is that I’d prefer a bigger resolution than 3840 x 1200 but I can certainly see the appeal for those looking into dual monitor setups.
The addition of 120Hz refresh rate and FreeSync 2 HDR means you are getting an all-round brilliant gaming experience from this responsive, curved monitor.
If you are into your immersive titles, flight simulators, racing games, or even just love a film night, this monitor is going to spice up your setup. With the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ, the initial color tests may have been a little underwhelming but there are enough presets for most users to get the colors to your personal preference with ease.
After calibration, the changes were visible, with a feeling of less vibrancy but still better overall. This gaming monitor has many gaming features packed into it, so it comes as no surprise that this is geared specifically at the gaming market but I could see a few designers enjoying the bezel-free super ultra-wide too.
Gaming was a smooth and immersive experience thanks to the 1ms MPRT and 4ms G2G response times. The 120HZ refresh rate worked well with the adaptive sync technology to make those single-player missions even more immersive than they already were. The curved panel sucks you in and once the colors had been corrected, I was in super ultra-wide heaven.
If you have the desk space, you can wave goodbye to that gap in the middle of a dual monitor setup for good with the Asus ROG Strix XG43VQ.
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