This is the world’s first 42” OLED gaming monitor. It’s the new ROG PG42UQ from ASUS. It comes with a 4K OLED screen, up to 138hz, VRR, HDMI 2.1 and has a DisplayPort. It also has a large custom heatsink which helps with performance and prevents image burn-in, as well as this awesome aspect ratio controller to change the screen size.
I’ll unbox it, set it up and give my first impressions on this dedicated gaming monitor.
Unboxing and Setup
So the box it comes in, and there’s no denying it looks like a gaming monitor with the design and logos they’ve gone for, it’s also pretty square looking which is unusual.
So as this is the 42” version, it can easily be lifted out by one person, although they do suggest two people do it. The accessories come in a nice little pouch instead of the usual cardboard box or plastic bag we get with other monitors.
Inside the pouch it comes with pretty much every cable you need to get up and running. There’s the power cable, DisplayPort cable, HDMI 2.1, USB 3.0, warranty and quick start guide, 4 screws for the stand and a remote control.
Then finally there’s the metal stand which has some rubber feet and pads on the bottom. Fitting it is really easy too, just lay the monitor flat on the table, making sure the bottom is overhanging very slightly, then line the 4 holes up before screwing.
Around the back it’s got a huge plastic panel which houses all of the internals as well as the heatsink and speakers. There’s an ROG logo on the right and it definitely has a gaming and more of an aggressive look to it. The top part is extremely thin, but as you move down you can then see the chunkiness of the main part of the monitor.
There are some vents at the top for the heatsink, and above that there’s actually a tripod hole designed for mounting a camera or any other accessory you might want to use. There’s also a Harman Kardon logo in the corner for the internal speakers.
On first impressions you might assume this can only be mounted on the stand, but it does actually have some hidden VESA holes for mounting to an arm or bracket. These are 300 x 300.
When it comes to the connectivity and ports on this, they are neatly hidden away behind a magnetic cover. Simply pull it off and it reveals the available ports. These include:
2 x HDMI 2.0 and 2 x HDMI 2.1 ports. These two are capable of the full 48Gbps bandwidth which are ideal for 4K and 120Hz on the latest gaming consoles.
There’s a DisplayPort 1.4, Optical Out and 4 x USB ports, including one at the top and at the bottom of the screen. Across the bottom there’s also a headphone jack, which is a pretty good and well thought out placement for easy access.
And one awesome feature, which has been massively overlooked by LG with their OLED TV models, a removable power plug.
For cable management, there’s a little clip here inside the cover, and you can then feed the cables either side of the cover once fitted. But behind the stand there are no clips or trunking, so you will see these cables hanging down.
Right, so we’ve talked about the rear design, let’s see how the front looks. Ok so it’s carried the gaming vibe over with the metal feet and the Nvidia logo on one side, although this can be removed. But what I like about this stand is the fact it can be tilted very slightly. It’ll move between 4 and -5 degrees, so you can get it just the way you need it.
And as for the frame and bezels on this, they are stupidly thin. In fact it’s almost borderless when you look at the screen from the front. And as you turn around the side, this is when you realise how thin the frame or the display is.
Across the bottom, not only is there a headphone jack, there’s a control box protruding from the screen. When it’s on it shows the ROG logo, but underneath it there’s a 5-way joystick which controls the on screen display.
Ok, let’s talk about the screen itself. So the PG42UQ is a 42” 4K OLED display with a 3840 x 2160 resolution. It supports everything you’d expect from an OLED including extreme black levels, vibrant colours and incredible viewing angles. Now the brightness is marketed as 800 nits max, which is pretty standard for OLEDs, and on first impressions it looks bright enough in my room for what I’d normally show on it.
But this next feature, isn’t like normal OLEDs we’ve seen before, as it has an anti-glare coating. Now you’ll either love or hate this, but the biggest pro of an anti-glare or matte coating is it massively reduces the reflections on the screen. For me this means I can have it opposite my window while gaming and I’m not going to see a mirror-like image, just a slight glare. It also helps with eye-strain. But the biggest disadvantage is you’re going to lose a little bit of clarity that you’d normally expect from a glossy screen. For a monitor I think it makes sense to have a matte screen over glossy.
Now this is still an OLED, so the image quality is incredible no matter how you view it. It offers true 10-bit colour and 98% colour accuracy, so this gives it a pretty vibrant picture overall.
Brightness appears good, but ROG have an exclusive uniform brightness setting that keeps the brightness levels consistent. In theory this will actually prevent the image dimming when a bright screen or white image is displayed. I need to spend some more time testing this, as on the LG C2 and G2 models, the ABL is very aggressive when used as a monitor.
Now this is a gaming monitor, so let’s look at the gaming features of this thing. So it’ll do native 4K gaming, but also supports 1080 and 1440p, something I have tested on the PS5.
It’ll do up to 138Hz when overclocked, so not quite the 144Hz that a lot of PC gamers are used to, but it’s close enough. But it does mean it’ll cover 120Hz for both the Xbox Series X and the PS5.
As mentioned before it has VRR, or variable refresh rate, which can be turned on and off on the monitor itself. Then there’s ALLM and a 0.1ms response time. I tested a few games over the last week and as you’d expect they ran smoothly with no screen tearing or stuttering. If you want to check what framerate it’s running at, you can turn this on and off in the monitor settings, and it’ll display it in the top corner.
So my personal gaming monitor is the 32” UltraGear GQ950, which is probably the optimum size for my desk. But if you want that immersive gaming experience the 42” looks awesome. Games like Gran Turismo 7 play so well on here and you really are getting that ultimate OLED quality you’d expect to see.
Now if you were worried about 42” looking too big for FPS gaming, you can adjust the aspect ratio. And this really cool feature lets you change the ratio to match a 24”, 27” or 34” screen. That means when you don’t need or want the full screen size, you can change it in the settings.
So OLEDs, typically speaking, can get quite hot, which can then affect the lifespan of the TV. Some manufacturers will cap the brightness level to combat this. Well the ROG Swift OLED series have implemented a cooling solution, in the form of a large custom heatsink. This helps keep the peak brightness as high as possible while still limiting burn-in.
I actually think this is a feature that a lot of OLED TVs could learn from.
UI and Menus
The UI and menu on this monitor is as simple as you need it to be. It can be accessed either via the joystick under the monitor or the remote control.
From here you can adjust loads of settings including the picture settings, brightness and HDR modes. Then in the gaming tab you can turn overclocking and VRR on or off, and enable the FPS counter and other on screen controls.
Now remember, this is a gaming monitor and not a TV. So this does not come with a TV tuner or downloadable apps. If you want to use this for watching Netflix or other streaming services, you can of course just use your PC, games console or other device.
But the remote on this is really nice. It’s not very often you see a remote control come with a monitor, but this is great. It means you can turn it on or off without fiddling underneath and you can bring up the on screen settings easier.
Oh and before I forget, this does have 2 x 10w Harman Kardon speakers and a 15w woofer built in. That can just be seen poking out under the screen. Most people won’t need or want these, but my son often sits at my desk to play FIFA and having speakers on the TV is great for that instead of wearing a headset.
So my first impressions on this 42” OLED from ASUS? It’s a pretty decent gaming monitor, and could easily be one of the best in 2022. It’s got the same capabilities we’ve seen on most OLED TVs this year, but is clearly been optimised for gaming. You can see this with the inclusion of the DisplayPort, placement of the headphone jack, the large custom heatsink and the overall design. I also think that 42” is a size that a lot of you might be interested in.
Personally I like the anti-glare screen, as every gaming monitor I’ve used at my desk has been matte. The glossy screens look nice, but I prefer that on my TV.
I will do a full review on this over the next couple of weeks. I want to spend some serious time with it first, test out loads of games and that uniform brightness feature.