The Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD is a remarkably immersive 49-inch gaming monitor thanks to that ultra-wide curved screen. Blend it with the impressive picture quality that OLED provides, and this looks to be a very promising display.
- 1800R curvature:With a 1800R curvature, the monitor wraps around your peripheral vision, offering more immersion than a flat screen.
- QD-OLED panel:Capable of displaying inky blacks thanks to the superb black levels that the QD-OLED technology provides.
- Built-in cooling system:Asus has added a substantial cooling system to lower the risk of burn-in and allow the monitor to reach high levels of brightness.
Asus has launched numerous monitors over the years, including those with OLED panels and others with stretched-out curved screens to fill your peripheral vision. But Asus have never combined the two features together until now.
The new Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD has a humongous 49-inch display, with a sharp 1800R curvature that wraps around your head for a more immersive gaming experience.
The QD-OLED delivers deep inky blacks too, ensuring a vivid contrast to enhance the contrast of any game or video. Asus has even developed a new cooling solution to make the monitor capable of a sky-high peak 1000-nit brightness (with HDR activated) and to reduce the likelihood of OLED burn-in.
It’s an ambitious gaming monitor from Asus, but is it good enough to challenge the excellent Samsung Odyssey monitors? I spent some time with the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD at Computex 2023, so here are my early thoughts.
Price and availability
Asus has not provided a price or release date just yet, although has said more details should be released later in the year.
Design and features
- 49-inch screen with 32:9 aspect ratio
- Features a tight 1800R curvature that fills your peripheral vision
- Smart KVM Switch allows keyboard to control two connected devices
The Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD was a showstopping attraction at the brand’s Computex 2023 booth in Taipei. That remarkable curved screen (with a tight 1800R curvature) draws the eye immediately, especially since the screen is as long as 49 inches diagonal.
Rather than having a classic squarish 16:9 aspect ratio, Asus has opted for a 32:9 format instead. So think of two classic 24.5-inch gaming monitors fused together side by side, and you’ll get a rough idea of its size.
The obvious benefit of this is to get a wider view of in-game worlds. I played Forza Horizon 5 at the demo, and was in awe of the wide landscape vistas of the Mexican countryside. It can also prove useful for productivity work too, allowing you to have multiple browser windows and apps open simultaneously for easy viewing.
The curved screen also helps to improve your immersion. I briefly forgot I was even standing in a busy exhibition centre when driving through the small Mexican villages in Forza, with the curved panel filling up my peripheral vision so I could lose myself in the virtual world.
The Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD features a built-in Smart KVM Switch, which means you’re able to control two different computers with a single keyboard and mouse setup.
What’s more, if two devices are plugged into the monitor simultaneously, you’ll be able to display them both on either side of the wide-screen monitor, and swap between the two devices by simply moving your mouse cursor to each side. I was unfortunately unable to try out this feature at the Computex booth, but I can imagine it being extremely useful for multitasking.
Around the rear of the monitor you’ll find various ports including DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.1 and a high-bandwidth USB 3.2 Type-A. There’s even a USB-C connection here with 90W power delivery. That means you can charge devices through the monitor, be they gaming peripherals or even your smartphone.
Asus has opted for its signature stand, with the base shaped like the foot of a T-Rex by forming the shape of a triangle. This creates a sturdy and stable base for the monitor, even with its huge 49-inch screen.
- OLED provides superb contrast and inky blacks
- Features a high 5120×1440 resolution
- Limited to a 144Hz refresh rate
The Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD has gone all out on screen specs. It has a 5120×1440 resolution (which works out as Quad HD with this aspect ratio) for sharp imagery, while the OLED panel allows the monitor to display perfect blacks, resulting in detailed dark scenes.
OLED provides a big boost to the contrast too, helping on-screen colours to appear bolder and more vibrant. The wheels of the car look as black as night, whereas non-OLED monitors can sometimes see greyish shades creeping in instead.
Those inky black shades help to emphasise the brighter colours by comparison, with the blues, yellows and whites of my racing car standing out vividly from the gravelly road underneath.
The blue sky looked bold and brilliant too, while the clouds appeared remarkably detailed, with shades of grey giving warning for an imminent downpour. Asus claims the monitor covers an impressive 99% of the cinema-grade DCI-P3 colour gamut, which should result in accurately presented colours suitable enough for professional-grade content creation. We’ll need to test these claims when we get the monitor in for testing.
One of the biggest limitations for OLED screens is that they have a greater risk of overheating, increasing the risk of a phenomenon called burn-in, where a static image can be permanently imprinted into the monitor’s display – this is particularly an issue for gaming where HUDs remain locked in position for long periods of time.
Many OLED manufacturers will limit the peak brightness in order to resolve this issue, but Asus has instead developed a new cooling solution. A large custom heatsink has been built into the rear, keeping the monitor cool without needing to bother with noisy fans. By doing so, Asus has been able to achieve a remarkable peak brightness of 1000 nits, allowing users to make the most of HDR content.
The Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD has a supremely fast response time at up to 0.03ms, ensuring that there’s no visible delay between your inputs and the on-screen action. But the refresh rate is limited to 144Hz, which means the screen is capable of refreshing the picture 144 times per second, resulting in a smoother motion (than the default 60Hz) that can be essential for shooting accuracy.
While I’d hardly call the refresh rate slow, you can certainly find faster monitors on the market, with Asus even itself offering a 500Hz gaming panel. With Asus already packing in top-end features such as the QD-OLED panel and massive ultra-wide screen, I can only assume it wanted to stop the price spiralling out of control.
The average gamer should be fine with 144Hz, especially since you’d need an extremely powerful graphics card in order to reap the benefits of even greater speeds. But this limitation will likely turn off the eSports crowd.
By blending together the incredible immersion of an ultra-wide curved screen and the dazzling picture quality that OLED provides, the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG49WCD is arguably one of the company’s most promising monitors to date.
It’s not without competition, with the Samsung Odyssey range offering similar specs and features. But if the price is right, then Asus could be onto a real winner. That said, with no release date as of yet, check out our best gaming monitor list for more options.