Excellent gaming performance. Very fast refresh rate. Nvidia G-Sync enabled. Fully adjustable stand. Gamer-friendly features.
Expensive. Slightly skewed greens. Limited I/O ports.
- Bottom Line
A pricey 25-inch-class monitor, the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q's low resolution and limited port selection is outweighed by its outstanding gaming performance and the wealth of gamer-friendly features it offers, including an ultra-fast refresh rate and Nvidia's G-Sync technology.
The latest addition to the Asus Republic of Gamers line of gaming monitors, the ROG Swift PG258Q ($599.99), boasts some impressive specs, including a 240Hz refresh rate, 1-millisecond pixel response rate, Nvidia's G-Sync anti-tearing technology, and a bunch of gamer-centric settings. Not surprisingly, this 25-inch-class display aced our gaming tests and looks good doing so, but its 1,920-by-1,080 resolution is low for a $600 monitor, and it's a bit stingy with its I/O ports. Our top pick for midsize gaming monitors, the Dell 24 Gaming Monitor S2417DG, offers a higher 2,560-by-1,440 resolution and comes in at $30 less.
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Design and Features
With its zero-bezel design and Light Signature custom lighting effects, there's no doubt that the PG258Q is meant for gaming. The 24.5-inch panel is housed in a dark-gray cabinet with copper accents and a high-tech pattern. The 6.9-pound cabinet is supported by a three-legged stand that also has copper accents and provides the gamut of adjustment options, including tilt, swivel, height, and pivot. The cabinet can be removed from the stand and mounted on a wall using the four VESA-compliant mounting holes.
The bottom of the stand contains the Light Signature lamp, which projects a pattern onto your desktop surface. The monitor comes with two plastic lenses with the ROG logo pattern and three blank lenses that you can use to create your own custom pattern using a marker pen. At the rear of the cabinet, on the right side, are four buttons that are used as hot keys to select a gaming preset, enable crosshair-aiming reticles, exit the menu system, and turn the monitor on and off. There's also a five-way joystick button for navigating the settings menu and selecting menu items.
In addition to Brightness, Contrast, and Gamma settings, the PG258Q offers six GameVisual picture presets, including Scenery, Racing, Cinema, Real-Time Strategy (RTS), Role-Playing Game (RPG), and First-Person Shooter (FPS), as well as sRGB modes. It also offers the same GamePlus settings that come with the Asus Designo Curved MX34VQ, including crosshair-aiming targets, a frames-per-second counter, and a game timer. You also get four low-blue-light settings, an Ultra Low Motion Blur (ULMB) setting, four Color Temperature settings, and a Dark Boost setting.
The PG258Q's Twisted Nematic (TN) panel has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution, which is fairly common for a panel of this size, but is relatively low compared with the 2,560-by-1,440 (WQHD) resolution of the similarly priced Dell S2417DG. In addition to a 240Hz refresh rate and 1-millisecond pixel response, the PG258Q has a peak brightness of 400 cd/m2, a 1,000:1 native contrast ratio, and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
You don't get many I/O ports with the PG258Q. It has a DisplayPort input, an HDMI input, a USB 3.0 upstream port, two USB 3.0 downstream ports, and a headphone jack, all of which are located at the rear of the cabinet, facing downward. The Dell S2417DG offers the same selection of video inputs, and gives you two additional USB 3.0 ports, which are mounted on the side of the cabinet for easy access. The PG258Q is backed by a three-year warranty for parts, labor, and backlight, and ships with a Quick Start guide, the aforementioned lenses, a resource CD, and HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB cables.
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When it comes to gaming performance, the PG258Q comes up big. It handled fast motion in our Crysis 3 (PC) and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (Sony PlayStation 4) tests with aplomb, delivering smooth gaming action, with no noticeable blurring or ghosting. Screen tearing was minimal, but enabling G-Sync remedied that issue and made gameplay appear even smoother and more fluid. Input lag, as measured with a Leo Bodnar Video Input Lag Tester, came in at a manageable 16.3 milliseconds. Our fastest monitor, the BenQ SW2700PT, measured 9.5 milliseconds.
Color accuracy in our tests was good, but not ideal. On the chromaticity chart below, our color measurements are represented by the colored dots, while the ideal CIE color coordinates are represented by the boxes. As illustrated, red and blue colors are in line with their ideal coordinates, but green is outside of its box. This is fairly common with TN panels and will likely go unnoticed, as long as the monitor is not going to be used for color-critical work. There were no signs of oversaturated greens or tinting while viewing scenes from Marvel's Antman on Blu-ray, and colors appeared uniform in the DisplayMate full-screen Uniformity and Purity tests.
Grayscale performance was also good, but not quite as sharp as what you get from a good In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel like the one used on the ViewSonic VP2468. As was the case with the Dell S2417DG, viewing angles were good, but not great, in our tests; side- and bottom-angle viewing was fine, but the picture became slightly washed out when viewed from a top angle.
The PG258Q consumed 19 watts of power in testing while set to sRGB mode (it does not offer an ECO power-saving mode). That's identical to the Acer R240HY and a bit more energy efficient than the Dell S2417DG (24 watts), the AOC G2460PF (30 watts), and the AOC G2460PG (32 watts).
The Asus ROG Swift PG258Q is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a midsize monitor with serious gaming chops, but at about $600, it doesn't come cheap. However, it offers the fastest refresh rate available, as well as a speedy pixel response and Nvidia's G-Sync technology. Moreover, it's packed with lots of neat features that will enhance your gaming experience, including gaming presets, custom lighting, crosshair-aiming overlays, low-blue-light filters, and a fully adjustable stand. That said, a few more connectivity options would be nice. If you prefer to do battle at a higher resolution, consider our Editors' Choice for midsize gaming monitors, the Dell 24 Gaming Monitor S2417DG, which also costs $30 less.
By John R. Delaney Contributing Editor
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for… More »
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