I’ve been using ASUS’ ROG PG42UQ 42-inch OLED monitor as my main monitor for the past month. And in this article, I’m going to give you my updated thoughts on it. including what I like and dislike and whether this could be the ultimate monitor.
I’ll go over what it’s like for gaming as well as how it performs as a productivity monitor. I’ll even compare it to its biggest competitor, the LG C2, and decide which one I would choose.
Asus PG42UQ Specs
This screen uses the same panel as the 42-inch LG C2, and we already know the C2 is a great TV. Well, what ASUS has done is they’ve taken that and they’ve stripped it down. Then they’ve added their own features on top. It’s got all of the usual specs and features you would expect, including hdmi 2.1 vrr hdr 4k and up to 138 hertz.
but it’s also got a display port, a custom heatsink, and an anti-glare coating. The fact that it’s an OLED means there are no dimming zones as the pixels are all self-lit, creating almost perfect contrast and black levels. So, in terms of specs, this checks the majority of the boxes for both work and play.
Gaming On OLED
From a gaming point of view, this thing is an absolute beast. Over the last few weeks, I’ve played games like Warzone and Saints Row, and I’ve even completed the new The Last of Us remake. so there is plenty of time to test it out and see how it performs. It supports everything that you need, including 4K VR and 120Hz, so it’s perfect for the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X.
It also has g-sync compatibility as well as one display port and four HDMI ports, two of which are HDMI 2.1. But unfortunately, there’s no support for e-arc, which means you cannot actually send your audio back to your AVR or your soundbar.
Checking the stats on both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, you can see it ticks everything on here apart from Dolby Vision, so you really are getting everything needed for both of these consoles. VRR, or variable refresh rate, means the games run smoothly and there’s no screen tearing or stuttering while playing. Not all games support this natively, but the games that do look great, and there’s something awesome about playing story-driven games on a screen.
This thing is incredibly immersive. Pair that with some decent headphones, and you’re practically in the game. For FPS or fast-paced games like Warzone or Apex, you might struggle if you’re using a screen. If you’re this worried about sitting this close, you’ll either want to sit further back or reduce the overall screen size. I’ve used it fine for the last month.
Asus PG42UQ Monitor Size
I can honestly say this is too big for my normal Warzone sessions. Any other game is fine. but I think 32 inches is still my preferred size. Some say size matters—bigger is better and all that—but is 42 inches too big for a monitor? Well, I think that depends on how you’re using it. If you didn’t want to use the four 42-inch windows, you could either resize or reposition your windows. You could use the inbuilt aspect ratio controller instead, so at the click of a button, you can toggle between 24, 27, and 34 inches.
On top of that, you can even move the position of this boxed area, and this will work on any connected device too. As it keeps the aspect ratio the same, it just changes the overall screen size. If you wondered what resolution you get while playing in this mode, well, it’s obviously not going to be 4K. The pixels aren’t there, but the connected devices still recognize it as a 4K panel.
This is obviously marketed as a gaming focus monitor with the various gaming features and design, but it is still a monitor. Now what puts this monitor above, say, the LG TV equivalents, like the C2 OLED, is the fact that it comes with a display port. I’ve hooked up my Macbook Pro to test it out and make the most of those 120 Hz capabilities.
I’m using one of these USB-C to display port cables. Using the HDMI port on my Mac will actually limit me to just 60 hertz. So, over the last few weeks, to really test this out, I’ve been running all of the usual tasks that I normally do on my laptop. That’s to be seen. If this is viable to use day-to-day, that includes reading and writing documents, checking emails, and editing videos. Firstly, the size of this display is huge. You can fit so much on here both vertically and horizontally that you really don’t need any more space. Rather than this, you can snap multiple windows, whether that’s a document on one side and a website on the other, or you could easily push it to three.
If you wonder what app I’m using to snap these windows across the screen, it is called Magnet. It’s about seven pounds in the app store. Well, last week I edited my entire YouTube video using this monitor, and everything looked awesome. Being able to see my entire timeline in one view was a huge advantage, but not only that, the text clarity is incredibly good.
It’s hard to capture here, but I was really impressed with how sharp the text looked even with that anti-glare coating. On top of that, as I’m using the 120 hertz mode, everything looks smooth and completely stutter-free, whether that’s scrolling through a timeline or document or just moving windows around the screen. It is silky smooth.
Also, the response I get from moving my mouse around the screen is instant. Because this is a monitor rather than a TV, there is no longer any noticeable delay. Because this is a monitor rather than a TV, it has one of the most useful features. and that’s wake from sleep, so this means if you put the monitor into standby mode, it will wake as soon as you turn on your PC or laptop. It also has an auto switcher, so if you turn one device off and then another one on, it’ll automatically switch over to the new one again, like a normal monitor would.
PIP and PBP
We’ve covered gaming and productivity, but what if you wanted to do both at the same time? Well, fortunately, it does have an in-built picture-by-picture or picture-in-picture mode. This will let you run two inputs at exactly the same time. So I tested it with the PlayStation 5 and my MacBook, and it worked really well either by using picture in picture and moving the image around the screen or picture by picture mode.
While using this mode, I couldn’t get HDR to work on the PlayStation 5. So I had to disable that, but it looked good otherwise. The PS5 still recognized this mode as a 4K 120Hz display, so I had to disable that. So you could have a game running at the same time as viewing or reading a walkthrough guide, or if you wanted a Windows PC and a Macbook, that would work as well.
So we already know it’s got the LG C2 OLED panel underneath. You would assume it’s identical in terms of picture quality and performance as well. During my testing so far, I would say it’s 90 percent the same, but there are a few obvious differences. The color and vibrancy of the picture are incredible. It’s obviously got an OLED panel. It’s got the usual 98-color space, 10-bit color, and HDR 10. Out of the box, the colors look accurate and as punchy as you’d expect from an OLED. So movies and games really do look great.
Here it’s also calibrated out of the box, so there aren’t really any settings to tweak as such, other than just the brightness and the contrast. But one of the biggest selling points of an OLED is the infinite blacks and incredible contrast ratio. But with the anti-glare coating on this screen, the blacks are more of a hazy dark gray than jet black.
Compared to a normal IPS panel, this is still very impressive. But it’s only when you compare it to a normal, glossy old shoe that you notice the difference. It was actually when I went back to my LG C1, the 77-inch I’ve got here, that I noticed just how flat the image looked in comparison to the rog.
Another point I did touch on very briefly in my first impressions review is that the screen doesn’t suffer from abl or the auto brightness limiter, and that’s where the screen dims very slightly. When showing bright images like Word documents, it pops back to full brightness if you move your mouse or change the window.
I was actually really excited to test this out and see it in action, but unfortunately, during my testing, I just could not get it to work. I enabled the uniform brightness mode in the settings, and I left the screen alone for a couple of minutes, but as soon as I moved or scrolled the screen, it popped back to full brightness, exactly the same as the C2 and the G2. I’m actually really disappointed with the result of this.
It’s obviously not quite as aggressive as the c2 in the g2, but it definitely still exists, and it’s something that might annoy you if you’re using it as a monitor. I’ve also noticed there is a very slight blue tint on the outer edges and a warmer color in the middle. This is only noticeable on pure white screens, and as you move off center, the color does shift. This is actually a known characteristic of oled, unfortunately. So it’s not limited to just this display, but I still wanted to mention it anyway. One of the comments I often get when using an oled is concerns about burning.
Poking out just under the monitor are two 10-watt Harman Kardon speakers, and above those is a 15-watt woofer. Most of the time, while gaming, I will use headphones, as it’s pretty rare that I’ll use speakers. But for productivity, when you have a video playing or some music in the background, these are a lot more useful than I expected. It means you don’t need or have to have external speakers or headphones.
Sure, they’re not going to sound as good or be as immersive as headphones or a dedicated soundbar, but they are pretty good. I would put them on par with every other LED TV that I’ve used this year, with a slight bump in bass and clarity. Here’s a quick test to give you an idea of what they sound like.
Design and UI
I mentioned this in my unboxing, but the overall look and design of this monitor without a doubt has a gaming vibe to it. With the rear design, the metal feet, and even the red rog logo on the front, there’s no denying this is aimed more towards gaming than a normal desktop monitor.
But it still looks nice with the ultra thin bezels and frame and it looks sleek enough. It will not be an eyesore on your desk. The tiltable stand is a great addition to have Let’s take a quick look at the menu on this monitor. So if you tap the five-way joystick underneath, it will bring up this on-screen display.
It doesn’t look anything special but it is functional, so you’ve got a few gaming focus features like turning overclocking on to get that 138hz and enabling g-sync in the game. In the plus area, you can turn on an FPS counter, a crosshair, or even add a sniper box, and this creates a magnified area in the centre of your screen.
There’s a visual mode where you can toggle between picture presets and then under the image you can actually change the brightness and enable the uniform brightness setting. This is also where the aspect ratio controller is. The colour space and colour temp can be adjusted along with the gamma option. The different input selections the picture in picture mode, which we’ve already covered favorites.
This lets you actually change the default button layout for the joystick. And finally, we’ve got the system setup, so there’s things like the language settings, sound options, and whether you want the rog logo to be on. There’s also different power settings. But as it is an OLED, there are also the usual screen protection settings like pixel cleaning and other options in the settings.
It is pretty limited in terms of what you can do. I mean, there’s no picture setting controls or adjustments like you would see on other OLED TVs as this is essentially already calibrated.
Asus PG42UQ Monitor vs LG C2 OLED
I know a lot of you want me to cover this and that’s comparing this monitor to the LG c2 and I would say on a like for like comparison. The LG C2 OLED is the only real competitor to this. They are similar in size and offer very similar features. But there are a few areas that set them apart that could sway you one way or another. The ASUS monitor comes with an anti-glare screen, which, depending on your setup, could be an advantage. It has a display port for connecting it to your PC and a custom heatsink to help with keeping it brighter.
It also has that awesome aspect ratio controller to change the screen size, and then there’s the fact that it acts like a monitor, so it will automatically switch on or off and go into standby. Then there’s the LG C2, which has a glossy screen, which naturally means better contrast and black levels. It has four HDMI 2.1 ports instead of just two. It also has all of the usual TV features and apps, so if you wanted a TV and a monitor, well you could have both with this screen. Finally, the PG42UQ is currently priced at £1400, while the 42-inch C2 is priced between £1000 and £1200, a difference of £200-400 that ultimately comes down to.
If you see value in the different features personally, which might surprise you, I would just go for the LG C2. The money saved alone is a big one. Then there’s the added TV features, more hdmi 2.1 ports, and if you prefer a glossy oled screen, well that’s an easy choice.
Then it also has the game optimizer mode, which is an awesome feature. But if you want an anti-glare screen to prevent reflections in a display port, a brighter panel with a heat sink and an impressive aspect ratio controller, the ASUS Swift OLED is hard to beat.
My dream spec right now, if you were interested, would be a 32-inch OLED with a glossy screen, speaker heatsink and integrated rgb lighting. It’s a bit like the Philips Hue monitors where it reacts to what’s on the screen. But how about you? Does the ASUS PG42UQ check all of your boxes when it comes to monitors, or do you prefer something else? If you drop an old monitor in the comments.