Hands on: Asus ROG XG17 review

It's important to have a well informed opinion about the technology you're buying.

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EARLY VERDICT

The Asus ROG Strix XG17 should be at the top of your list if you’re a traveling pro gamer, but anyone else might want to wait until pricing information drops before getting too attached.

FOR

  • Fast response time
  • Good image quality
  • Attractive design

AGAINST

  • Smart cover is a bit cumbersome

Esports is bigger than ever before – pretty much every online game seems to have a dedicated audience that eats tournaments up. But, people that usually travel for these events are often stuck with whatever displays their gaming laptop offers, but the Asus ROG XG17 aims to change that.

This is a portable 17.3-inch gaming monitor with a blazing-fast 240Hz refresh rate. That means you can play competitively on the road, without finding a way to check your gaming monitor onto your flight.

It’s an interesting solution to a problem we honestly didn’t know existed, but if our time with the Asus ROG XG17 is any indication, Asus might have solved it.

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Pricing and availability

We don’t have pricing and availability information for the Asus XG17 – the build available at Computex isn’t even the finished product. However, we don’t think it’s going to be cheap. Not only is this a 17.3-inch IPS display running at a high refresh rate, but there’s also a battery in there. We wouldn’t be surprised if this portable gaming monitor crosses the $500 (about £390, AU$730) mark.

As for when we’ll see it, it’s anyone’s guess. Asus isn’t sharing release date information, but we suspect that we’ll be waiting until at least CES 2020 to see more information. But, we’ll be sure to update this article if we hear anything else.

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Design

Because this isn’t the final design of the Asus ROG XG17, it’s hard to pin down what’s going to stay and what’s going to go, but we do have to say that it’s remarkably thin and light. Asus isn’t sharing information about the measurements yet, but there’s no way this monitor ways more than 5 or 6 pounds. It’s remarkably thin, too. You should be able to fit this monitor into your luggage without any issue.

Moving on to ports, there are two USB-C and a mini HDMI on the side. We would have liked to see a headphone jack, but, again, this is not a final design. On the same side as the ports, you’ll find the power and volume buttons.

Then, there’s the panel itself. It’s a 17.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS display, running at 144Hz. We don’t know what the color reproduction specs look like, but honestly, it looks accurate enough to our eyes. Colors are nice and vibrant without being over saturated.

Luckily, the display has a matte finish, too, so you won’t have to worry about fingerprints while traveling. And, the back of the display is similarly fingerprint-resistant, so this portable monitor should stay presentable easily.

Asus also includes a smart cover that will cover the display while traveling, and will double as a stand for the display when you’re ready to get your game on. The demo model was mounted on the top of a laptop, and while Asus will release an accessory to allow users to do this, it wasn’t sharing information about it at the time of this writing.

Finally, there are some 1W speakers around the back of the monitor, but as we’re testing it in a loud Computex booth, we aren’t able to do much testing here. We’ll have to wait until we get it in for a full review.

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Performance

We weren’t able to run all of our tests on this monitor in the limited time we had with it, but we can say that playing games felt incredibly smooth. Testing with the Division 2, which ran at around 90 fps on the laptop Asus has available, and we didn’t notice any kind of slowdown on monitor. But, because it’s a game running at less than half the refresh rate, that’s to be expected.

What we’re interested to see is how this gaming monitor holds up when its actually pushed to its limits. We’d like to get some Counter Strike: Global Offensive or Overwatch running on this thing to see what it’s really capable of.

And, it will be interesting to see how high refresh rate games affect battery life, too. The Asus rep told us that the manufacturer is aiming at around 3 hours of battery life, but that’s something we’ll have to test when we get it in for a full review.

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Early verdict

The Asus ROG XG17 is certainly a compelling product. A portable high refresh rate gaming monitor with a 17-inch IPS display is something we weren’t expecting to encounter at Computex 2019.

And, the actual technology is very promising. If you’re a traveling esports player that needs a high-refresh display on the road, you definitely want to keep an eye on the Asus ROG XG17.

However, our recommendation is ultimately going to depend on how much Asus is charging for this monitor, and whether or not the battery life is viable.

Source: techradar.com