There's some pretty crazy high-end tech on the floor of Computex in Taipei this year. Chief amongst them are two new monitors that take the absolute best tech from high-end TVs and cram it into desktop-friendly sizes, although the price tags will probably put any other peripheral you could ever think of to shame. If you're cashed up and ready to frag, the Asus ROG Swift PG35VQ and the Acer Predator X35 are equally worthy of your attention.
The PG35VQ is an ultra-widescreen 35-inch gaming monitor with a 3440x1440pixel resolution. And a 200Hz refresh rate. And Nvidia's G-Sync tech. And HDR. And quantum dot pixels. And 512 zones of locally dimming backlighting with 1000 nits of peak brightness. And a curved display with an 1800R radius. Alex called it a monitor with everything and it really is.
There are a few things that I don't like about the PG35VQ. The stand, for one, is... pretty ugly. The ROG design is... OK, if you like that kind of thing. But when you see it in action, in person, all those concerns kinda just fall by the wayside, because when you have so many useful bits of tech in one screen it just puts anything else to shame. HDR-10 support is fantastic for those games that support it (and more are on the horizon) as well as streaming content, but it's the fundamentals of the panel itself that impress me.
The 3440x1440pixel panel isn't especially high resolution, but its backlighting tech does a few things to massively boost contrast — dynamic LED zone dimming across 512 areas, and a quantum dot pixel structure that makes blacks look better whether they're lit up or not — and that's honestly more important. Back that all up with a super-high refresh rate and dynamic refresh rate adjustment through G-Sync and a supported Nvidia card, and you get genuinely the best picture for gaming that I've seen on anything that isn't a ludicrously large and expensive 4K OLED or LCD TV.
It's hard to pick out any one of this laundry list of features as most important. It's very bright at 1000 nits peak, twice what some of the best monitors can hit these days — useful when you're in a bright space, but equally important for quality HDR playback. And its lowest low black level is dark, too
Even without anything else, the fact that the screen hits the DCI-P3 colour space should impress you. The combination of 21:9 ultrawide ratio and the curvature on a screen like this actually makes sense, too. Curved TVs are much of a muchness, but when you're sitting up close to a panel having it wrap around just slightly is good for the immersion of you feel. By the way: it took me a long time to accept that 21:9 was going to be a thing, but it is and that's fine. And on a monitor like this, it's glorious.
The Acer Predator X35 is functionally the same, but with a design that's a little more mainstream and a little less gamerz. It's the successor to the Predator X34 in name, but with all those extra hooks - 200Hz, HDR, and that extra inch - it's really so much more. Whichever one you choose, you'll get an amazing experience. It'll cost you an absolute boatload, of that I have no doubt, but it makes sense to spend a good amount of cash on your monitor, right? It's the thing you interact with most while you're gaming.
There's no word on any Australian release date or price for the PG35VQ — but expect it to be expensive, and expect it to take a little while until it reaches our shores. I'm happy to wait.