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ASUS XG438Q Preview: 43″ 4K HDR 120Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor

By January 13, 2019 6 Comments
asus xg438q review 2019


ASUS has introduced a new gaming display to their ROG Strix series, dubbed as the ASUS XG438Q.

The ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q is the first 43″ 4K monitor to feature a refresh rate that’s higher than 60Hz – it goes all the way up to 120Hz.

Additionally, the monitor supports HDR and AMD FreeSync 2.

Image Quality

Based on a VA panel by AU Optronics, the ASUS XG438Q offers a superior contrast ratio in comparison to IPS and TN panels as well as wide 178° viewing angles, a peak brightness of 450-nits (600-nits for HDR content), and 90% DCI-P3 wide color gamut.

The specified response time is 4ms though we are a bit skeptical regarding how the pixel transition will behave on such a big VA-panel display as they usually have prominent ghosting and motion blur. Hopefully, AUO’s brand-new panel has addressed this issue.

A lot of people were waiting for a 4K UHD high refresh rate monitor at this size since 4K looks crisp and sharp even on a 43″ display due to its rich pixel density of ~103 PPI (pixels per inch). This means that you’ll get plenty of screen space and vivid details but you won’t have to scale the picture.


Moving on, the ASUS XG438Q 4K 144Hz gaming monitor is equipped with AMD FreeSync 2 HDR which provides a variable refresh rate for compatible graphics cards with a 48-120Hz/FPS dynamic range.

What’s more, it provides a responsive gaming experience with minimal input lag penalty for HDR-compatible video games.

The monitor boasts VESA’s DisplayHDR 600 certification which ensures at least 600-nit peak brightness, localized dimming for higher contrast, and 10-bit color depth for a notable boost in picture quality for compatible content.

You will also find Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes, a low-blue light filter, and most likely, the ASUS GamePlus (crosshairs, on-screen timers, etc) and GameVisual (pre-calibrated picture presets) features.

Design & Connectivity

asus rog strix xg438q review 2019

The ASUS XG438Q features very thin matte black plastic bezels and the ROG logo projector while the design is VESA mount compatible, but tilt-only.

Turning to the connectivity, there’s a DisplayPort 1.4, three HDMI 2.0 ports, a quad-USB 3.0 hub, a headphones jack, and two 10W integrated speakers. For 4K, HDR, and 144Hz, you will have to use the DisplayPort 1.4 connector.

Price & Similar Monitors

The price of the ASUS XG438Q monitor is currently unknown while the release date is scheduled for Spring 2019.

Similar monitors include the Acer Predator XB273K (with G-SYNC) and the Acer Nitro XV273K (with FreeSync) which offer 4K HDR (VESA DisplayHDR 400) up to 144Hz by using two DisplayPort cables/ports.

The best 4K HDR 144Hz gaming monitors, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ and the Acer Predator X27, offer the best HDR viewing experience thanks to their full-array local dimming which allows for a peak brightness of over 1,000-nits and a far superior contrast ratio.

ASUS XG438Q Specifications

Screen Size 42.5-inch
Resolution 3840×2160 (UHD)
Panel Type VA
Aspect Ratio 16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate 120Hz
Response Time 4ms (GtG)
Adaptive Sync FreeSync (48Hz-120Hz)
Speakers 2x10W
Ports DisplayPort 1.4, 3x HDMI 2.0
Other Ports 2x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack
Brightness 400 cd/m2
Brightness (HDR) 600 cd/m2
Colors 1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
VESA Mount Compatible Yes
HDR VESA DisplayHDR 600

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