Asus, market leader in the field of gaming monitors, was laying low for a while. Success stories like the MG279Q and PG348Q were not followed-up until recently. Now the manufacturer is finally back with three new screens. The ROG Strix XG32VQ discussed in this review combines a 32” WQHD VA panel with a high refresh rate of 144 Hz. This means that the screen is not unique - other manufacturers like Samsung, LG and AOC have produced gaming monitors based on the same recipe. The XG32VQ looks good next to the competition, in any case - whether the monitor's performance also stands out, you can read in this review.
Asus has been working hard lately with new' Republic of Gamers' gaming monitors. Although the introduction of new products had stalled somewhat since 2016, at the end of last year the manufacturer finally came up with a new line of gaming monitors, of which the XG27VQ, the XG32VQ and the XG35VQ are now also available. The' X' at the beginning of the product name indicates the presence of FreeSync, while the number represents the diagonal image diagonal. Models with G-sync can be identified by a P, such as the recently discussed PG27VQ.
Of the three FreeSync models, we have already discussed the ROG Strix XG35VQ - just like the old top-of-the-range ROG Swift PG348Q, a beast of a screen with a diagonal size of 35 inches, a resolution of 3440x1440 pixels and a 100 Hz refresh rate. The 32” WQHD resolution monitor that is the subject of this review we been waiting for since seeing it at press events, but it took a long time for the model to appear on the shop shelves and in our test lab. It is finally here!
Although image diagonal, aspect ratio and resolution vary, all three screens mentioned above have a vertical alignment panel. Previous Strix gaming screens were equipped with TN or IPS panels. The presence of a VA panel offers above all a promise of great contrast, traditionally a strong point of technology. Compared to TN screens, colour reproduction and viewing angle should also be enhanced. Generally speaking, slower response times meant that a VA panel for a gaming monitor was not an obvious choice until recently.
Developments in panel technology have meanwhile led to VA panels that are fast enough to allow a refresh rate of 144 Hz, as we have already seen in the review of the LG 32GK850. Not so long ago, such a high refresh rate was the exclusive domain of panels based on IPS or TN technology. The challenge is that the transition times of the pixels must be fast enough to upkeep the refresh rate - with 144 frames per second, transitions cannot take longer than 6.94 ms, otherwise ghosting will occur.
Whether the response times of the XG32VQ will be fast enough to keep up with the 144 Hz refresh rate will of course be seen in our test results. On paper, the monitor with its high refresh rate, FreeSync support and WQHD resolution has all the ingredients for a gaming screen, although the size will probably not appeal to every gamer. The look on the desk is also promising. Asus has already proven to pay a lot of attention to the appearance of his gaming monitors and continues this tradition with the new model, from the striking, asymmetrical (and pleasantly shallow) foot to the presence of RGB lighting at the back.
A number of monitors have already appeared with a 144 Hz WQHD VA panel and a diagonal of 32 inches. In terms of price, the XG32VQ is in the middle of that segment, which does not mean that the screen is cheap. On average, at the time of writing the monitor costs more than 670 dollars in our Price Comparison. The AOC AG322QCX, comparable in terms of specifications is on average about a hundred dollars cheaper, the Samsung C32HG70QQU costs approximately the same amount more, but offers HDR. The previously discussed LG 32GK850 is even more expensive, with a market price of around 800 dollars on average. However, that monitor has G-sync on board, a feature that always pushes up the price considerably.