ASUS And MSI Are In A Warranty War Over OLED Burn-In Coverage And Gamers Are Winning

Angled view of ASUS ROG's Swift OLED PG32UCDM monitor.
There's a war breaking out in the display landscape and it's going largely unnoticed. The main combatants at the moment are ASUS and MSI, though if the gentleman's skirmish keeps up, other display makers could be drawn into the fray. That would be a good thing, too, because the battle that's taking place is over burn-in coverage on expensive OLED gaming monitors.

If you're not up to speed, here's what you might have missed. At the beginning of the week, we wrote about ASUS upgrading its 2-year OLED gaming monitor warranty policy to specifically include coverage against burn-in, which is when static images become permanently seared into a display. You may never need it, but it offers some peace of mind, especially given that OLED displays are not cheap.

A day later, MSI basically said 'Hold my beer' and issued a press release stating that it too was updating its warranty policy to include burn-in coverage, but for three years instead of two years.

"In a commitment to our valued gaming community, MSI guarantees a 3-year warranty on OLED panels. Our 3-year warranty extends beyond typical coverage—it includes protection against the burn-in issue. MSI understands the importance of providing comprehensive support, ensuring our users enjoy gaming without any concerns," MSI wrote.

Screenshot of ASUS showing a 3-year warranty for one of its OLED gaming monitors.

Good stuff. Not to be outdone, however, ASUS appears to be updating its warranty policy once again to match MSI's three years of coverage. So far, only the product page on ASUS ROG's Swift OLED PG32UCDM has been revised to state it comes with a 3-year warranty, as shown in the screenshot above. However, it would be odd if that's the only model to garner extended coverage, but we'll have to wait and see.

The underlying question is, how concerned should you be about burn-in on OLED displays? That really depends on your usage habits, at least in part. On one hand, burn-in is a very real risk that's inherent with OLED technology. It's mainly a potential issue that can manifest with static images, like gaming HUDs (heads up displays) and television station logos. And once an image has been burned into an OLED display, there's no magic way to remove it. Note that burn-in should not be confused with temporary image retention, which is another trait of OLED—image retention typically goes away withing a few minutes.

On the other hand, OLED technology has improved over the past several years, with manufactures taking measures to lessen the risk. For example, both ASUS and MSI employ a range of protective measures, such as extra care being given to a monitor panel's cooling, the use of screen savers, detecting automatically adjusting the brightness of logos and taskbars, shifting pixels around, and other tricks.

Under normal use, most people don't need to stress over burn-in. It gets tricky for gamers who, for long stretches at a time, play games with persistent images. Hence why we're elated to see ASUS and MSI go back and forth on their respective warranty policies.

Here's hoping it continues, with more models being added to the mix and maybe even longer terms. Alternatively, mini LED is making strides and while the image quality doesn't quite match OLED, it comes close in some cases, with the added benefit of exceptional brightness.
Tags:  Asus, MSI, Monitors, OLED