The ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ is an OLED gaming monitor that's part of ASUS' ROG Swift gaming lineup. It's a 42-inch model that sits alongside the ASUS PG48UQ, essentially a larger 48-inch model. Unlike smaller TVs that are popular to use as monitors, like the LG 42 C2 OLED, this has features that are more typical of monitors, like a DisplayPort input, an overclockable refresh rate, a USB hub, and a stand that offers tilt adjustments. It also has features to take full advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth and variable refresh rate (VRR) support to reduce screen tearing.
Note: The review is with firmware version V032, which was released a few days before testing, but has since been pulled from ASUS' website. There are a few severe issues that users are reporting, like image retention, power issues, and in some cases, the monitor becomes unusable, but we haven't experienced that. Also, HDR is severely washed out, which you can read about in the Color Gamut section. We've since updated it to firmware V033, but it doesn't change anything significantly in HDR.
The ASUS PG42UQ is great for mixed usage. It's mainly designed as a gaming monitor, and it's fantastic for that, as it has a 138Hz max refresh rate, FreeSync and G-SYNC VRR support, and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth for console gaming. It also has low input lag with high-frame-rate signals and quick response time for smooth motion. Its picture quality is incredible if you want to use it for watching movies or shows, as it displays deep blacks, and the black uniformity is perfect. It's also great for content creators and decent for office use thanks to its large screen, wide viewing angles, and amazing reflection handling, but the text clarity is just okay.
The ASUS PG42UQ is decent for office use. With a large screen, there's plenty of space to open multiple windows at once, but it also decreases the pixel density, and the text clarity is just okay. Although it doesn't get bright enough to fight intense glare, the reflection handling is amazing, and it's still a good choice for rooms with a few lights around. It also has wide viewing angles, meaning the edges of the screen don't look washed out if you sit too close.
The ASUS PG42UQ is fantastic for gaming. It has a near-instantaneous response time that makes motion look extremely smooth. It also has low input lag with high-frame-rate signals, but it increases with 60 fps signals, so it isn't ideal for some console games. Speaking of which, it takes full advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X thanks to its HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and it also has VRR support to reduce screen tearing. Lastly, it's fantastic for dark room gaming as it displays deep blacks without any blooming.
The ASUS PG42UQ is incredible for consuming multimedia content. With a 4k, 42-inch display, it's essentially a small TV, making it a great choice for small spaces and dorm rooms. The picture quality is fantastic, especially in dark rooms, thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity. It also has wide viewing angles that make the image remain consistent from the sides, which is great if you want to watch content with a few friends around.
The ASUS PG42UQ is great for content creators. The 42-inch screen is big enough to view your entire workspace at once with multiple windows open, but the text clarity is just okay, and not all programs support its RWBG subpixel layout, so text looks blurry with those. It also has great accuracy before calibration in SDR, but some colors look oversaturated. It has wide viewing angles if you need to share your screen with someone else, but it has limited ergonomics as you can't swivel it.
The ASUS PG42UQ should be incredible for HDR, depending on the source you use, but there are issues with it. It displays perfect blacks without any blooming, making it a great choice for use in dark rooms. While it displays a wide range of colors, those colors are severely washed out in HDR, making the image look worse than in SDR, which you can read more about in Color Gamut. ASUS has said there should be an eventual firmware update to fix this.
We tested the 42-inch ASUS PG42UQ, which is part of ASUS' ROG Swift lineup alongside the 48-inch ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG48UQ. Both monitors are nearly identical, except the 48-inch model has an extra USB port, but other than that, both sizes will perform the same.
|Model Code||Size||Resolution||Max Refresh Rate||USB-A Ports|
Note 11/03/2022: The entire review is done using firmware version V032. It was released a few days before testing started, but since then, ASUS has pulled the firmware from their website, and they've said a fix is coming in mid-November (see here). There are various issues users have experienced using V032, but even other versions like V028 and V031 have their own problems, so there's no perfect solution. If you have a monitor on V032 that performs differently than ours or has other problems, let us know.
Note 12/09/2022: ASUS released firmware V033 to fix some of the power, overclock, and HDR issues that were previously reported by various users. Unfortunately, the firmware doesn't change anything in terms of HDR performance, and it doesn't fix the waking up from sleep issues we experienced with a macOS while using the overclock feature. During our original testing, we didn't experience the same overclock and power issues on a Windows PC as others.
Our unit was manufactured in June 2022; you can see the label here.
The ASUS PG42UQ is a fantastic OLED gaming monitor with more monitor-oriented features than if you were to get a TV as a monitor, like the LG 42 C2 OLED. However, there are firmware issues with HDR and other problems that users are experiencing, so until ASUS fixes that, it's best to stay away from this monitor.
See our recommendations for the best 4k monitors, the best 4k HDR monitors, and the best gaming monitors.
The LG 42 C2 OLED and the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are both 42-inch OLED displays with a few differences. The LG is a TV, so it has more built-in features like a smart system and image processing, but the ASUS is a monitor with a USB hub and a DisplayPort input. In terms of picture quality, they're very similar, but the ASUS currently has issues with HDR where colors look washed out and dull.
The ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ and the LG 48GQ900-B are both OLED monitors with different screen sizes and have many similarities. One big difference is that the ASUS looks worse in HDR as colors are washed out, but that should be fixed with a firmware update.
The Dell Alienware AW3423DW and the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are different types of OLED monitors. The Dell is an ultrawide display with a 3440x1440 resolution, while the ASUS is bigger with a 4k resolution and a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. The Dell uses a QD-OLED panel that makes colors look more vivid, even if the ASUS gets brighter with some highlights.
The Gigabyte AORUS FO48U OLED and the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are both OLED monitors with a few differences. While the ASUS has a smaller screen with higher pixel density, the text clarity is just okay between each. They have different screen finishes, with the Gigabyte having a glossy screen and the ASUS having a matte screen, which reduces direct reflections but introduces haziness to the image. The ASUS also has a slightly faster 138Hz refresh rate than the Gigabyte.
The Sony 42 A90K OLED and the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are both 42-inch OLED displays with a few differences. The Sony is a TV, so it has more built-in features like a smart system and image processing, but the ASUS is a monitor with a USB hub and a DisplayPort input. In terms of picture quality, they're very similar, but the looks worse in HDR as colors are washed out.
The ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ and the Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 S32BG75 are gaming monitors with different panel types, each with strengths and weaknesses. The ASUS has an OLED panel with perfect black levels and no blooming around bright objects, while the Samsung has an LED panel that gets brighter in SDR, and some highlights are brighter in HDR too. While the Samsung has a higher 165Hz refresh rate, motion is much better on the ASUS as it has a near-instantaneous response time.
The ASUS PG42UQ is a large display with a gamer-oriented tripod stand. It has metal feet, and the panel has a black back with ROG branding. It even features a slot to attach something like a tripod on top, like for a webcam.
The ASUS PG42UQ has fantastic build quality. The metal stand holds the display well, and the feet are grippy, so they don't slide around. There isn't any wobble from side to side, but there's a bit from front to back because the stand tilts. The bezels are uniformly attached to the screen and the plastic housing in the back feels good.
The stand offers limited ergonomics as you can only tilt it, but at least it's better than stands on other large monitors. The back features covers for the inputs, and you can guide the cables through the stand for cable management.
The tripod stand is metal, and it holds the display well. It takes up a lot of space on the desk, which is normal for such a large display, and at least there's space between the feet to put your mouse and keyboard.
You can control the monitor's settings with the included remote, which is rather basic but has the necessary buttons. We received the remote with a typo on the side that says 'For Those Eho Dare', and this isn't a problem only with our remote. There's also a joystick underneath the center branding to navigate the on-screen menu.
The ASUS PG42UQ doesn't have a backlight, so it doesn't require a local dimming feature. However, with a near-infinite contrast ratio, there isn't any blooming around bright objects, and it's the equivalent of a perfect local dimming feature. We still film these videos on the monitor so you can see how it performs and compare it with a monitor that has local dimming.
The ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ has okay SDR peak brightness, which is typical of OLED monitors as they don't get bright enough to combat glare. However, there isn't much variation in brightness between different scenes when you enable Uniform Brightness, which is meant to reduce the Automatic Brightness Limiter, similar to the Peak Brightness setting on LG TVs. It's important when maximizing and minimizing windows as you don't want any distracting changes in brightness.
These results are from after calibration in the 'User Mode' Game Visual with the Uniform Brightness enabled, Brightness at its max and all Screen Protection settings disabled. If you want the brightest image possible and don't care about the ABL, you can disable Uniform Brightness, and the screen gets much brighter:
The HDR brightness is very good, and it's much brighter than other similarly-sized OLEDs like the LG 42 C2 OLED and the LG 48GQ900-B. It means that highlights pop for a satisfying HDR experience. The EOTF doesn't follow the target PQ curve perfectly as most scenes are too dark, but with a smooth roll-off at the peak brightness, there isn't too much of a loss in details in bright scenes.
These results are in the 'ASUS Gaming HDR' HDR Setting, which automatically maxes out the brightness and disables Uniform Brightness.
Note: HDR looks severely washed out with some sources while using firmware V032 or V033, so highlights and colors don't pop as they should. You can read more about it in the Color Gamut section.
The ASUS PG42UQ has an excellent horizontal viewing angle. The image remains consistent if you're viewing it from the side. However, if you sit too close to the screen, the edges of the screen start to shift colors and look inaccurate, so you need to sit far enough from the screen to see an accurate image.
The vertical viewing angle is once again fantastic. If you're standing up and looking down at the monitor, you'll see the same thing as if you were sitting down.
The ASUS PG42UQ has amazing gray uniformity. There's hardly any dirty screen effect or dark areas throughout, which is great when viewing full-screen webpages or documents. There's a bit of a pink tint in the center, which is typical of OLEDs. Also, like any OLED, there are faint vertical lines in near-dark scenes. However, you'll only notice them if you look for them.
Although some people have reported issues with severe image retention while using firmware V032, we didn't notice any image retention on ours during testing.
The ASUS PG42UQ has great accuracy in SDR before calibration. It has an sRGB mode that aims to lock the colors to the sRGB color space, but it isn't perfect, as some colors are still oversaturated. Still, most colors and the white balance are only slightly off, and the color temperature is extremely close to the 6500K target. Unfortunately, gamma doesn't follow the sRGB target at all, as most scenes are too dark, while bright scenes are over-brightened.
The sRGB mode locks you out of a few settings including the Uniform Brightness. If you don't like that, you can use any picture mode with a separate sRGB clamp setting that performs the same as the sRGB mode, but the settings aren't locked out.
The accuracy after calibration to the 6500K white point is fantastic. It isn't perfect, but any inaccuracies are nearly impossible to spot by the naked eye.
The sRGB color gamut is incredible. It has perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most web content and has good coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in some print publishing. However, like most monitors, reds and greens are off in this color space.
Update 12/09/2022: ASUS released a firmware update, V033, that's advertised to fix the 'ConsoleHDR' mode, power, and overclock issues. We didn't experience the power and overclock issues in our original testing with a Windows PC (read more about the overclock with macOS here), so we looked at the HDR performance with this new firmware. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything to significantly improve the HDR performance as colors still look washed out. While playing Destiny 2 and Borderlands on the PC, colors are washed out with HDR enabled in Windows and in the game. The same thing happens even when disabling Windows HDR but keeping the HDR enabled in-game. It looks the same with the Xbox Series X while playing Destiny 2 as well, and external sources still look washed out in HDR. Enabling the overclock or VRR in HDR doesn't change anything either, so the HDR performance is still disappointing.
The ASUS PG42UQ has an excellent color gamut, but there are some issues depending on the source you're using. Our testing is done with an HDFury Vertex linker via HDMI, and with that, the monitor displays a wide color gamut with good tone mapping, which is what you see in the test results. However, when sent an HDR signal from other sources Windows HDR, the performance is significantly different as colors are more washed out. External sources like Apple TV also result in an undersaturated and washed out image, similar to Windows HDR, meaning it's the monitor that can't display proper HDR from most sources. It's because the tone mapping is terrible, which you can see here, and the monitor severely limits the color gamut. This was done with firmware version V032, which has since been pulled from ASUS' website.
We also compared images from Murideo in SDR vs. HDR to see if this source has any issues. Like with the Vertex, HDR looks as it should, but when you play games from the PC, HDR looks washed out. You can see examples of it below of SDR vs. HDR using the Murideo and also Destiny 2 on the PC:
As you can see from the photos above, HDR looks fine with the Murideo, but with a PC, as HDR looks under-saturated and colors are washed out compared to SDR. However, these pictures don't tell the whole story, and the difference is more noticeable in person.
The ASUS PG42UQ has great HDR color volume when tested with an HDFury Vertex Linker, but as explained in Color Gamut, HDR is severely washed out in Windows HDR, meaning it has a worse color volume.
The reflection handling is amazing. It's different from the LG 42 C2 OLED because it uses a matte finish instead of glossy, which is more typical of monitors. It helps reduce reflections very well, but also introduces a haziness to the image.
The ASUS PG42UQ has okay text clarity. It's worse than most monitors because it has low pixel density due to its increased size, so it can't display text as sharp as smaller displays. Also, not all programs support the RWBG (also known as WBGR) subpixel layout, as they're designed for RGB monitors. The default scaling is 300%, which is way too big, and you'll have to decrease it to around 100% or 125%, depending on your preference. The photos above are with the scaling at 100%, and enabling Windows ClearType helps improve the text clarity but also introduces some color fringing. You can also see it at 125% with ClearType on and ClearType off.
As this uses a RWBG subpixel layout, all four pixels are never on at the same time, but you can see different pixel combinations below:
You can achieve its max refresh rate via overclock, similar to the LG 48QG900-B. We didn't experience any issues with the overclock with a Windows PC, but there are some problems with macOS, even after firmware V033.
The ASUS PG42UQ supports both FreeSync and G-SYNC variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies to reduce screen tearing. Both work over the entire refresh rate range over HDMI and DisplayPort, and it supports Low Framerate Compensation to continue working when the frame rate drops too low.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The ASUS PG42UQ has a near-instantaneous response time that results in almost no motion blur with fast-moving objects. However, due to the sample-and-hold method of OLEDs, there's still some persistence blur. Unlike other gaming monitors, it doesn't have any overdrive settings to further improve the response time.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The ASUS PG42UQ has a fast refresh rate at 60Hz. When sending a fixed 60Hz signal, the screen is actually refreshing at 120Hz, so the results are nearly identical to the response time at 120Hz. However, the screen properly refreshes at 60Hz with VRR enabled, so the results are with VRR enabled. You can still see the results with a fixed 60Hz refresh rate here:
Unfortunately, the ASUS PG42UQ doesn't have a backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur.
The ASUS PG42UQ doesn't use pulse width modulation like on LED-backlit monitors, but it isn't flicker-free either. There's a slight dip in brightness that coincides with the 138Hz refresh rate. However, this isn't visible and isn't a full on and off flicker like on LED-backlit monitors that use PWM.
The ASUS PG42UQ has low input lag with high-frame-rate signals for a responsive gaming experience. However, the input lag increases a lot with 60 fps content, likely because of the 120Hz refresh rate with fixed 60Hz signals. It's a bit inconsistent, going from 21.8 ms to the max 28.6 ms, so it isn't ideal for competitive, reaction-based gaming, but it's fine for casual gamers.
Due to its larger screen compared to smaller 4k displays, it has the same pixel density as a 27-inch, 1440p monitor.
The power input is located on the left side.
Unlike many monitors, it has an Optical Digital Audio Output, which is something most TVs have to connect to a soundbar. The two HDMI ports that support HDMI 2.1 bandwidth are HDMI 3 and 4, which are side-facing.
Two of the USB ports are located on the side with the rest of the inputs, while there's another on top and one located on the bottom next to the headphone jack.
Update 12/09/2022: ASUS released a firmware update, V033, that's advertised to fix the wake-up issue while using the overclock issue. Unfortunately, the update doesn't change anything about the wake-up issue with macOS.
The ASUS PG42UQ works properly with recent M1 MacBooks. There aren't any issues with VRR, and Windows return to their position when sleeping but not when closing the lid, which is a common issue with monitors. However, with the overclock feature enabled, you need to use the remote to turn it back on when waking up from sleep. There's a bit of brightness flicker with the overclock enabled and VRR on, but it's only in certain situations, and it's hard to notice.
The ASUS PG42UQ has Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes, but there are a few limitations. You need to disable the overclock and VRR, and enabling PBP/PIP also disables the Display Stream Compression, aspect control, and HDR, so you're limited to the signals you use with it, and you can't use the monitor the same way you normally would on its own. There are also a bunch of extra features, including:
There are also a few settings to help reduce the risk of permanent burn-in and temporary image retention associated with OLEDs like Pixel Cleaning, Screen Move, Screen Saver, and Adjust Logo Brightness. Even though it's likely less prone to burn-in than older OLED panels, there's still a risk, and temporary image retention can be a problem if you leave a high-contrast static image on the screen for a long time. It's best to leave these settings enabled to reduce these risks. OLED panel technology has significantly advanced since our real-world burn-in test, which used 2017 models, but we've started a new longevity test to determine how effective each of these new panel technologies are at reducing the risk of burn-in.