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Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ review: A curved monitor with a lot of clout

Our Rating :
£886.38 from
Price when reviewed : £949

This 49in curved display’s stunning design and equally striking colours make it a fine gaming choice


  • Striking design
  • Impressive screen width and aspect ratio
  • Excellent contrast


  • Backlight uniformity is so-so

The Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ is one of the most exciting gaming monitors around – a vast widescreen with a 49in diagonal, 32:9 aspect ratio and 1800R curve. That’s a particularly attractive combination for racing games, where the width easily outstrips conventional aspect ratios and the curve adds to that in-car feeling. The design also helps in FPS, RPG and action games – any title where extra width is beneficial.

Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ review: Design

It looks the part, too, with a dramatic, angled stand. There’s substance to back up the style, with a strong set of speakers and height, tilt and swivel adjustment. Asus even wins the OSD wars, with an attractive, responsive design that’s easy to navigate courtesy of the joystick. Elsewhere, 144Hz AMD FreeSync 2 and a 4ms response time bode well for mainstream gaming, while two USB 3.0 ports and two HDMI 2.0 connections keep the DisplayPort 1.2 input company – just note the lack of USB 3.1 or USB-C.

Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ review: Performance

Also note the resolution. While 3,840 x 1,080 pixels aren’t to be sniffed at, we’d have preferred the 5,120 x 1,440 of some rival widescreen displays. The lower resolution means games look great and bring high frame rates into the realms of lesser graphics cards. But it also means that pixels are visible, thanks to the relatively low 81ppi density. The 1,080 vertical pixels may be an issue, too: sometimes that’s not enough vertical space.

The Asus, like the AOC, includes VESA DisplayHDR 400. That’s an entry-level HDR protocol, and its minimal demands with regards to brightness, black point and gamut coverage mean the Asus only delivers a fractional improvement over panels that don’t include such certification.

It’s an 8-bit VA (vertical alignment) panel, so we’d expect it to deliver better scores than TN (twisted nematic) rivals but worse coverage means the Asus only delivers of 0.1cd/m2 and a contrast of 3,200:1. a fractional improvement over panels that don’t include such certification (vertical alignment) panel, so we’d expect scores than TN (twisted nematic) rivals but worse than IPS. And so it proved. In our colour accuracy tests, this screen returned a solid average Delta E of 2.08 and a maximum of 6.67. That’s not as good as the AOC, but fine for gaming. Its sRGB gamut coverage level of 99.3% is near-perfect.

This screen’s contrast results are, broadly speaking, excellent. At factory settings, the contrast hit a vast 4,418:1, and in sRGB mode it was a still-great 1,484:1. In these tests the Asus’ brightness changed, with figures between an eye-searing 498cd/m2 and a usable 167cd/m2, but its black level remained consistent at 0.11cd/m2 or 0.12cd/m2. These figures deliver impressive punch and vibrancy while keeping darker areas inky. The MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) and Scenery modes also adhered to these results.

The Asus’ poorest contrast results came in the FPS and RTS modes, but even then, its results of 1,101:1 and 1,110:1 are fine. Brightness remained high, but the black level was revised to 0.43cd/m2 and 0.44cd/m2. That makes darker areas easier to see, but also leaves them lacking depth. So, at factory settings and in sRGB mode, the Asus has great contrast – although we would recommend turning the brightness down. And, while contrast suffers elsewhere, it’s still decent.

Head to the three HDR options and the Asus disappoints. Contrast hovered around 2,300:1, with a brightness of around 300cd/m2 and a black level of 0.12cd/m2. Those are good by conventional measurements, but they’re short of what DisplayHDR 400 requires: a long-duration brightness of 320cd/m2, a black level of 0.1cd/m2 and a contrast of 3,200:1.

Even if you ran HDR content using this screen’s best contrast figures, the Asus falls behind tougher protocols. So, when viewing real-world HDR content, the impact is minimal, not transformative. On top of this, the Asus only displays 80.8% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. That’s short of the claimed 90%, which is also required by tougher HDR standards.

The Asus struggles with uniformity – a common issue on widescreens. Its maximum brightness deviation of 28% is poor and its Delta E average veered by up to 8.56. Peering at the screen while it is static shows the backlight variation: its sides lack punch compared to the centre, and colours are different. But it’s not all bad news – the differences aren’t noticeable in fast-paced games, and the curve negates some of the impact. Plus, when we dropped the brightness levels down, the backlight variation averaged out to 13%.

Asus ROG Strix XG49VQ review: Verdict

So, whether you should buy the XG49VQ or not depends on what you want it for. Mainstream computing and occasional gaming? This isn’t the right choice. But if you’re in search of a huge screen to complete your gaming rig, its striking design and impactful colours make it a great option.

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