ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q: Too swift for your eyes
Getting a gaming monitor has always been a tougher thing to do than picking out a TV. Especially so these days when you have so many other features that you need to keep an eye out for. Things that generally wouldn’t affect your movie and TV viewing experience, such as higher-than-60Hz refresh rates and G-SYNC or FreeSync support, will figure prominently here. Then came pixel count that went way beyond Full HD and now, gamers need to balance between feature-rich and budget-friendly options. Today, we’re here to see if the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q falls into either category.
Design and features
As you’d expect, it’s a gaming monitor that wears ASUS’ ROG badge proudly, so it’s got to have some serious gaming credentials. And for the most part, it does. It comes with G-SYNC, which makes this a GeForce GTX-friendly monitor. It’s also got an insane 240Hz refresh rate for when you really want to push the temperature in your rig to high heavens. But, and it’s a tad odd in today’s market, it’s a 24.5-inch Full HD panel, and not the increasingly common QHD or even UHD ones. For those who want all the features, this means that you’re not getting 4K resolution from this monitor, but for others who are comfortable with Full HD and would rather have lower pixel count than low refresh rate, then this provides the best of both worlds.
It can also get really bright if you want it to. This can be a good thing, as display brightness often takes a dip – or a dive – when Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) is turned on.
At a glance, the PG258Q certainly has the looks to stick out from the crowd. It has a very futuristic look to it. The stand also comes with a light that, with the acrylic plates provided, can be made to beam down the ROG logo. You can choose to turn it off if you find that it’s distracting you from the game, or you can push up its brightness if you don’t notice it enough while gaming.
As with many gaming monitors these days, you can adjust the height and angle of the monitor, and can even rotate it to a certain degree once you’ve placed it on a stable, flat surface.
The bezels on the PG258Q are 7mm thin on the sides, so they shouldn’t affect the experience too much if you want to go for a multi-monitor setup. Round the back, where the alien ship-like texture is, you have a joystick and four buttons, which you'll use to turn on or off, as well as access the many features that it comes with, with the help of an on-screen display. This is where you access, among other things, ULMB and color profiles. You can tweak them as you see fit, except for sRGB mode, where many of the options are grayed out.
To be fair, we feel that the highlight of this monitor is the 240Hz refresh rate. While we personally don’t really see any difference beyond 144Hz (and we struggle to tell the difference between 120Hz and 144Hz), perhaps there would be competitive individuals who would be able to appreciate its value. But either way, our experience across three different games was great. Using a separate system instead of our usual test rig, we managed to run Warframe, Dota 2 and StarCraft II comfortably with maximum settings and G-SYNC enabled. Frame rates were comfortably above 120 fps and throughout the experience, we never felt the need to switch over to ULMB mode, but we did anyway just to test out the mode. ULMB mode limits the display’s refresh rate at 144Hz, but that works fine with us. Indeed, brightness did take a dip, but this is easily solved by pushing up the brightness levels to compensate for it.
The only thing is that, everything was done in Full HD as that’s the maximum resolution of the PG258Q. Again, those who want the pixel count will have to pass on this one, but you can have multiple PG258Qs in a multi-monitor setup if you wish.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q is definitely an odd monitor in today’s market. Gaming monitors usually have both the pixel count and the refresh speed dialed to eleven, with the other included features dictating its price point. This one decides to keep the pixel count at a reasonable Full HD, while piling on the other features.
It’s a monitor that’s nice to look at, whether you’re looking at the screen or elsewhere. There are many preset modes for you to choose from, and most of them are adjustable, so you’ll almost always find the setting that’s best suited for your game. When you’re not looking at what’s going on with your game, the rest of the monitor also serves as pretty good eye candy.
So, is the ROG Swift PG258Q worth your money? And what exactly is the price we’re talking about here? Well to start, it’s a G-SYNC monitor, so there’s already a premium to be expected here, but on the flip side, you can expect the price to be trimmed down due to the modest resolution. All this brings the number to RM2,984. If you think all the features combined is worth that price, then here’s a monitor for your consideration.