Laptop Mag Verdict
The Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ is a beautiful big monitor with a 4K display and fast 144Hz refresh rate, but for the price, it could do some things better.
Bright, vivid 4K panel
144Hz refresh rate
Fast response time
Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync compatible
Text is fuzzy
HDR looks washed out
Speakers are muted during dialogue
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If you’re looking for a big screen to fill up your gaming space with gorgeous visuals, it’s difficult to find a better choice than the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ, a 43-inch, 4K gaming monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate.
This beauty provides remarkable visuals, a fast 1-millisecond response time to match and smooth compatibility with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. It even comes with a neat little remote. But, it’s not all fun rainbow colors here. Firstly, this beast costs $1,499, and it’s not without problems. Text is noticeably fuzzy on the display, the HDR looks washed out compared to SDR, and the speakers are bad at highlighting dialogue.
Despite all of that, if you can get over some fuzzy text and come prepared with your own gaming headset, the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ is easily one of the best gaming monitors out there.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ design
For a thick 43-inch boy, the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ is quite sleek thanks to its incredibly thin, discreet stand. It’s essentially a svelte tripod doing its darn best to perform a split. However, doing so keeps it low to the ground, so this big ol’ beauty can steal the show while you’re gaming or watching TV -- because this thing is basically a TV (fight me).
The Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ’s bezels are relatively thin considering the size of the display. They’re thinner than the bezels on the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ, and that’s a 27-inch monitor. The bottom bezel features a glossy ROG logo centered around curves that lead up to the rest of the bezel on either side of it. The sensor for the remote (yes, there’s a remote!) is located on the right side of the bottom bezel.
After struggling to turn this monster around on my TV stand, I found a very familiar cyberpunk-esque design going on in the bottom half of the panel (found in the aforementioned 27-incher). On the left is where all the navigational buttons and ports are located, while the upper right half of the panel is home to a plain matte surface as well as a giant ROG logo.
The Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ’s Y-shaped base is 9.5-inches long, from back to front, so it does protrude past the display. But since it’s incredibly thin, I hardly noticed it. Where the base is connected to the display is a tiny hole that you can screw in the included mini projector, which projects a ROG logo in various RGB colors.
Unfortunately, given the size of the monitor, the stand isn’t capable of much. It can tilt +15 degrees to -5 degrees, and that’s about it. However, you can hook it up a 100 x 100 millimeter VESA mount to put it against a wall.
At 33.7 pounds and 38.4 x 24.9 x 9.5 inches, Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ is one of the biggest monitors out there, so you'll likely need a TV stand to get this baby set up.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ installation and setup
Setting up the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ was easy because it comes pre-assembled. However, if you plan on disassembling it, you’ll need a hex screwdriver or an Allen wrench to unscrew the four bolts keeping the stand in place. Still, a very simple process.
The monitor also comes with a mini projector that attaches to the back of the monitor with a small screw (Phillip’s head). It’s powered via a mini-USB cable (yes, like the PS3 cable), and you can find a port for that on the monitor.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ ports, cabling and interface
Accessing some of the ports can be a bit of a pain. Half of them are easily accessible on the right side, however, the rest are located on the underside, and since you can’t pivot the display, you have to dig for those ports.
The monitor features two HDMI 2.0 ports, two DisplayPorts 1.4 inputs, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a headphone jack and a power jack. Some of the ports can be hidden away with an included plastic panel that snaps onto the back of the monitor.
The Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ comes with a DisplayPort 1.4 cable, an HDMI 2.0 cable and a USB Type-A to USB Type-B cable.
You can navigate the interface via the buttons on the right side, but there is no need to ever do that when the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ comes with a nice little remote. On the remote, you’ll find buttons for the power, input switcher, two shortcut buttons, a cancel button, volume buttons and a directional pad to navigate menus.
In the GameVisual tab, you’ll find a whole list of presets, including Scenery, Racing, Cinema, RTS/RPG, FPS, sRGB, MOBA and User. The GamePlus tabs give you access to a crosshair, timer, fps counter and display alignment. In the Color tab, there’s Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Color Temperature and Gamma.
In the Image tab, you can adjust the sharpness, OD (increases the monitor’s response time), Aspect Control, ASCR (Asus Smart Contrast Ratio), ELMB (extreme low motion blur), Blur Clarify, Adaptive Sync (this enables Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync), Blue Light Filter (adjusts the amount of blue light), HDR Max Brightness, HDR (includes three HDR presets that seemingly did nothing), Dynamic Dimming (improves dynamic contrast) and Shadow Boost (makes blacks brighter).
The rest of it includes the PIP/PBP Settings tab, which lets you open up sub-windows connected from any video source, the Input Select tab and the System Setup tab. The system tab includes settings for the RGB projector, the audio, DisplayPort version control, USB power control and various settings for the interface.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ performance
The ROG Swift PG43UQ boasts a 43-inch, 3840 x 2160-pixel display with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1-millisecond response time. This VA panel also comes with HDR1000 support and is compatible with Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.
However, the capabilities of HDMI and DisplayPort content are different since this monitor doesn’t feature HDMI 2.1. The HDMI port at 2560 x 1440p can utilize up to 120Hz, but at 4K, it’s limited to 60Hz, while the DisplayPort gets full access to 4K clocked at 144Hz. So if you plan on purchasing this screen to play on our Xbox Series X or PS5, you’ll have a happy medium between resolution and refresh rate, but you won't be able to hit 4K, 120Hz.
In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, I stood over the edge of the tallest building on Asgard and gazed into the distance. The rainbow bridge gleamed, exploding with vibrant colors all over the display. When I dove into the ocean surrounding our small island, it was dark, but the display’s ridiculous brightness was able to light me a path toward my objective. When I turned on HDR, however, the display looked washed out. I tested it on both console and PC, and while it seemed a little better on PC, the colors didn’t pop as they did in SDR. The only thing that HDR did better was to provide more detail in the sky, as I was able to see the curve in the sun over Asgard.
I played a bit of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and I spawned in the Corvo Bianco Vineyard, where the vibrant orange sun was just setting over the horizon. I’ve never seen a game look more like a painting than gazing at the skies of Toussaint. Despite how naturally dark the interior of Geralt’s house is, the Swift PG43UQ is bright enough to reveal the fine details in the wood structure around me. The panel was sharp enough to make Geralt’s chainmail armor pop. However, I did notice that text was a bit fuzzy while scrolling through the menus. When I scrolled through the Xbox’s UI, I noticed it as well, which was frustrating considering this is a 4K monitor.
In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, vivid yellow electricity exploded from my fist when I Venom punched some fool trying to shoot at me. When swinging through Central Park at night, I saw every bit of detail in the trees and snow that surrounded me. After beating the game, I swung around with the Spider-Man cat costume, a.k.a. the best outfit, and I loved that I was still able to make out the fine features of Spider-Man (the cat) licking himself in my tiny backpack.
The best settings that made the display shine were GameVisual: Scenery Mode, Brightness: 100, Contrast: 80, Color Temperature: Normal, Saturation: 80 and Gamma: 2.2. I blew up the saturation because it makes the color pop more, and I love me some vibrant colors. I also cranked the sharpness up to 100 because the screen can’t handle text very well, so I hoped that this would help mitigate it, but unfortunately, it doesn’t fix it nor does it make a notable change.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ audio
The Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ boasts two 10W speakers that are decently loud when playing music, but can be frustratingly quiet during dialogue in video games.
In Katana Zero, the music was overwhelmingly loud, so much so that my fiancee was complaining about it from the living room. The Swift PG43UQ’s speakers amplified the electronic beats and bass tunes of the soundtrack in that game. Even the menu music was full of life, immersing me in this sci-fi fantasy world with detailed hypnotic beats.
However, in Spider-Man Miles Morales, it was damn near impossible to make out what characters were saying half of the time. I had to turn on subtitles and caught myself frequently reading them because the dialogue was so muted. Sound effects like punches, web-swinging and even the background music sounded decent, but the speakers definitely leaned into bassy and electronic beats more than anything else.
There are audio settings you can tinker with in the Sound section of the System Setup tab. There are four presets: Music, Movie, Gaming and User. User is the only one you can customize, as it gives you a very basic EQ to tinker with. I turned the gain all the way up on all of them so I could hear higher-pitch sounds, and it seemed to help a bit. However, I wouldn’t recommend relying on the speakers if you’re really into what you’re playing or watching, because the speakers won’t do the dialogue justice.
Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ lab testing
The Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ scored really high marks on our benchmark tests, which is to be expected from a monitor this expensive.
The Swift PG43UQ nailed 878 nits of brightness on SDR settings, which destroyed the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ (355 nits) and the Alienware AW5520QF (400 nits). With HDR turned on, the Strix XG27UQ can get up to 1,084 nits of brightness, but that isolated test doesn’t calculate for real-world use. I actually found SDR content to be brighter than HDR.
When it comes to color, the Swift PG43UQ is incredibly vivid, covering 90.61% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, but it couldn’t keep up with its competition. The Strix XG27UQ and Alienware AW5520QF were more colorful, covering 108% and 100.5%, respectively.
Testing the sRGB color range netted similar results. The Swift PG43UQ covered 99.5% of the sRGB color gamut, while the Strix XG27UQ covered 152% and the Alienware AW5520QF hit 141.9%.
When calculating color accuracy, the Swift PG43UQ has a Delta-E of 1.29 in the DCI-P3 color range and a Delta-E of 2.30 in the sRGB color range (closer to zero is better). Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as accurate as the Strix XG27UQ (0.28 -- sRGB) or Alienware AW5520QF (0.27 -- sRGB).
On top of being a 43-inch beast, the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ offers excellent features like its 4K screen, 144Hz refresh rate, speedy response time, variable refresh rate compatibility and a neat remote. However, $1,499 is a big ask, especially when this monitor has issues with fuzzy text, washed-out HDR and unbalanced speakers.
You can save some cash and go with the $799 Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ. It’s far more colorful and the text actually looks sharp. However, it’s not as bright and it doesn’t have speakers.
If having sharp text and bumpin’ speakers are important to you, maybe the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ isn’t for you, but if you’re willing to overlook those two flaws, this 43-inch bad boy is an excellent choice for any kind of living space.
Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.