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  • Soon Kai Hong

The OLED Monitor That Literally Changed Our Entire Gaming Experience.

There’s nothing like it, like gawd damn, is it good! If you’ve never tried an OLED monitor, do it right now, because for the past couple of weeks, we’ve had the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM and it literally changed everything.

If you think your current gaming setup is a 10 out of 10, having an OLED monitor turns it up to 11. Everything that you do with your PC is going to be that much better and it’s just incredibly awesome and there’s no comparison in our opinion.

The colours are amazingly punchy and vibrant, the viewing angles is top notch and perhaps the best of all? The response time of the OLED makes this an incredibly great monitor for fast-paced shooters and everything just feels as it should be, and that’s even when compared to really fast TN or IPS panels. Not to mention, it isn’t even that pricey for what it is at US$999 or S$1,459. If you’re looking to invest heavily in your next monitor, seriously consider this.

So let’s break down what kind of an experience you’re going to get yourself into should you be considering the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM as your next monitor. But first a short disclaimer.

We definitely do no have the equipment to accurately measure performance of monitors and from one panel to the next, so do understand that what we’re going to share is ultimately from our own opinion and experience. If you’re looking for more concrete technical data, we highly suggest you frequent the other major channels out there that are able to do that.

With that said however, let’s talk about this unique OLED monitor.

We're Liking This New Design

The first thing you’ll notice is the brand new design that ROG has going on. Gone are the more usual bronze and copper finish on most of their high end monitors and in is a cool new grey with red accents thanks to RGB.

One thing we also noticed with most OLED monitors is also the fact that manufacturers are kind of following the style of OLED TVs. The actual OLED panel itself is extremely thin but you then get a bulkier centre portion where all the other electronics reside. In our opinion, this is a very modern look and makes the entire monitor look and feel much sleeker, which we do very much prefer.

With this new design, ROG has also gone ahead and implemented a new stand. Think of it as a twin pillar with a movable centre column. Not only does this allow for a wider range of adjustments but that space in the middle also acts as a cable channel for tidy cable management. On top of that, there’s a ¼ inch thread on the very top, which will allow you to easily mount something like a webcam or light accessory.

Should you want to use a VESA monitor arm instead, you can also do so via the use of a VESA adapter that does come included with the monitor. The use of RGB is pretty minimal but strategically positioned, giving a more vibrant outlook to the entire monitor without being too intrusive during actual usage.

Anyways, it’s a fantastic design for a monitor and it’ll certainly fit well in almost any gaming setup and will be that centrepiece alongside your gaming PC for the most part.

Okay okay but let’s now put that all aside and let’s talk about the OLED panel itself because well, that’s what you’re actually paying for and my gawd is it that good.

OLED Is King

Firstly, let’s talk about specifications.

With this very monitor, you’ll be getting a 26.5” OLED panel that has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 running up to 240Hz and a pixel response time of 0.03ms. It’ll also cover 135% sRGB and 99% DCI-P3 with a Delta E <2 alongside 10-bit colour support. It’ll have an average brightness of about 450 nits with a peak brightness of 1,000 nits alongside HDR10 and it does also support both G-Sync Compatible and FreeSync Premium.

Now that’s a lot that this OLED panel is capable of and it certainly delivers. Just speaking from a standard usage standpoint, it’s really amazing how much better OLED simply looks. What’s supposed to be dark is actually dark and content, be it on Netflix or YouTube, just looks stunning with punch and vibrant colours that just pops.

But of course, many of you might be sceptical, given the fact that ROG has decided to go with a anti-glare matte coating for this very monitor. Now, true, it does reduce the sharpness and punchiness of colours ever so slightly as compared to a more typical OLED panel that’s usually glass or glossy.

All we can say is that the difference isn’t as stark as what many claim it to be. When you put this monitor side by side with a comparably specced IPS monitor, you can certainly see the benefits and advantages that OLED provides, clear as day. So all we can say is that, you needn’t worry that much if this is your pet peeve. And to be very honest, this is primarily meant to be a gaming focused monitor and thus the anti-glare matte coating is extremely important to reduce as much glare as possible and remove any possible form of distractions while gaming, especially competitively.

Speaking of which, how is the OLED experience when it comes to gaming? This sentence probably sums up what we want to say.

The OLED Gaming Experience Is Top Tier

OLED literally changed our entire gaming experience.

We kid you not when we say OLED is that much better as compared to IPS. No matter what kind of games you play, it just looks and feels much better. But there is definitely one aspect in which OLED really shines and takes it that one step further.

In games where there’s a heavy usage of dark scenes mixed in with multiple light and shadows, that’s where OLED really makes you go, wow.

One such game is Cyberpunk 2077, especially with Ray-Tracing turned on. Say what you may about Cyberpunk 2077 but it is an absolute beauty of a game. The use of vibrant neon lights of various colours, complete with the dystopian colour palette of Night City stands out ever more with OLED. Especially during night time, that’s where our jaws dropped. It just looks that good.

Another game which really stood out would be Resident Evil 3, to which we can also say translates to both Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 4. Horror games in general make use of lots of dark scenes and because OLED can literally mimic black at its truest value, the whole environment feels that much more dreadful. Play Resident Evil at night with all the lights turned off for the full experience, would be our suggestion.

So that’s the visual aspect that we just talked about. However there’s one other advantage with OLED that not many people might actually focus on and that’s the response time.

Because of how OLED works, OLED is literally one of the best when it comes to pixel response time and the PG27AQDM does have a 0.03ms grey-to-grey response time. Again, we don’t have proper equipment to accurately measure this, pixel by pixel, frame by frame. But even just general usage and in comparison to a fast IPS panel, the OLED just feels much more natural and smoother.

When you have a PC that can actually push out all those frames at 240 frames or beyond, it is an incredible experience. In a fast-paced shooter like Modern Warfare 2, the experience feels instantaneous and every movement feels and looks like it should. Dare we say we did fare a little better in our gaming sessions as compared to before.

Or perhaps that’s a placebo effect? Who knows. Anyways, all that we’ve just said sums up to one thing and one thing only. OLED is simply awesome and it’s great in almost any application that you would want it for.

High End Equipment Requires Care

But of course, there are some things you do need to take into consideration if you’re planning to have an OLED monitor like this as your next primary monitor.

The primary concern that anyone would have would be burn-in and truth be told, all we can say is that it’ll eventually happen down the road. When that might be, who do not know but we can at least safely assume that you’ll be fine for three to four years of general usage. Feel free to watch many other reviewers who’ve covered this topic before and OLED has definitely come a long way and it’s relatively fine.

But if you’re still that worried, Asus did implement a few things to help mitigate as much as possible even if you’re the possibly worst OLED user on earth. The first of which is basically a dimming of the entire display which is the Screen Saver option within the OSD. When nothing is happening for about 5 minutes or so, the monitor will basically dim the display to around 150 nits or so, thereby not pushing each individual pixel as hard as it would have.

The second function is Screen Move. This is a smart technique in which the monitor will adjust and shift each pixel off to the other every so often, basically ensuring that the pixel goes through an on off state every so often. There are different strength levels in which you adjust via the OSD but at the default Medium setting, we daresay you wouldn’t notice it at all during general use.

The last is Pixel Cleaning. By default, there will be a pop-up reminder every 8 hours to remind you to do so and if initiated, what this does is a complete refresh of each individual pixel, a process which will take 6 minutes. Now this one setting is probably the most annoying portion, because it’s something you cannot not do. So it’s entirely up to you as to how annoyed you’ll be with regards to this.

But just like how you would take care of your PC with regular maintenance for longevity, you’ll basically be doing the same with your monitor which is arguably as important. So for us, we totally don’t mind it considering the benefits you actually get with OLED.

Now one last thing is the brightness. Technically, the OLED can get up to 1,000 nits of brightness but that’s provided HDR mode is turned on and a HDR compatible content is running. Even so, it can only hit 1,000 nits for 3% of the entire display area so in general, you’re only looking at 450 nits all around. Which to be fair, is plenty bright to use in a home or office setting. If you’re still annoyed at how the brightness changes depending on how much white there is on-screen, ROG did also implement a Uniform Brightness setting which locks the display to a maximum of about 200 nits.

It’s a lot darker for sure but it does remove all that constantly changing brightness as you use your PC regularly.

Worth The Price

Anyways, we’ve said a whole lot with regards to the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM. All we can say is that we’re thoroughly impressed. It’s a darn good monitor and I personally wished I waited till today to buy this instead of what I have at home right now.

And it’s actually pretty decently priced at US$999 or S$1,459. It definitely is still a lot to ask for a monitor, that’s 0.5” smaller than usual at that. But to be honest, we do think it’s well worth it.

Like we said, it literally changed our gaming experience and it made it incredibly difficult for us to transition back to IPS. Perhaps miniLED will change our mind in the future but for now, OLED has got our hearts.

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