Asus Swift PG27AQ 4K Ultra HD Monitor Review
4K Ultra HD monitors are becoming almost run of the mill in their popularity across numerous segments of the PC monitor market and as such, many models are also coming out with some pretty specific target markets and the specs to go for them.
The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ 27-Inch WQHD G-SYNC LED Gaming Monitor is one such example of this increased 4K display specialization and it’s a great one at that, in this particular case, aimed, as its name suggests, squarely at PC gamers who want to really indulge the 4K UHD experience. In pretty much every characteristic of its build, from exterior looks to internal specs, the PG27AQ has the gamer market firmly in mind and it delivers the goods in many superb ways, even if it’s not without a few minor flaws.
If you’re a PC gamer who wants to go in the direction of 4K UHD and have been looking for one of those ideal 4K UHD monitors that was actually built specifically with your needs and possibly even your visual aesthetic preferences in mind, then PG27AQ may just be the monitor you’ve been waiting for. Let’s take a closer look.
The fine features of the PG27AQ are numerous across the board and in a general sense as far as 4K UHD displays of any kind go. If you’re a gamer, many of these quality characteristics take on even greater, more useful significance.
Starting things off, there is the single most obvious part of the PG27AQ which we can’t help but like, and this is its appearance. With a lean, minimalist matte black body and some very sharp, almost dangerous looking edges, this monitor simply declares itself as gamer-oriented. The PG27AQ is most definitely not your average office or home work space 4K UHD monitor with the usual sorts of boring design features, instead, as you can see from the images in this review, it’s downright flamboyant in its physical gaming appeal. Furthermore, the roomy 27 inch display screen comes with a minimal amount of bezeling that both serves to enhance the immersion with a single display and minimize the cutoff between multiple PG27AQ’s joined together into a single large screen array.
Next up, there is the PG27AQ’s IPS display panel to enjoy. Most 4K UHD gaming monitors come with TN display technology and while this certainly has its benefits (such as a lightning quick response time) the IPS panel display of the PG27AQ went ahead with the superior vibrancy, color accuracy, brightness and viewing angles of IPS while still offering a very respectable grey-to-grey response time of 4 milliseconds, which is still small enough not to screw around with a fast-paced gameplay experience even if it doesn’t rival the 1 millisecond times of otherwise inferior TN monitors.
Moving on from that, the PG27AQ from Asus also offers a 60Hz native refresh rate and enhances it still further with Nvidia’s G-Sync GPU-Monitor refresh coordination technology, thus ensuring that gamers who use some of the best 4K-friendly graphics cards in the world from Nvidia will have the smoothest currently possible gameplay experiences. G-Sync is designed specifically to coordinate refresh times between monitor and a Nvidia GPU’s internal game refresh pace so that both mesh for maximal smoothness and minimal glitching effects. Other 4K UHD displays also come with G-Sync and some, like the Samsung U28E590D even also include IPS display and G-Sync , but none that we’ve reviewed so far combine both in a 4K display with so much physical style.
Finally, the range of excellent connectivity specs with HDMI, DisplayPort and USB represented, along with a robust flexibility in terms of full adjustments for height, swivel, tilt and pivot complete the picture of a great piece of smooth, easy to use and gamer friendly 4K UHD PC gaming display technology in the PG27AQ.
3.5 - 11 Reviews
No monitor is absolutely perfect and the PG27AQ also comes with its share of minor but in this case not at all deal-breaking flaws. For starters, the maximum refresh rate of this monitor sits at 60Hz, so in an odd way, while this makes the PG27AQ great for 4K gamers who are serious about speed and smoothness, it also makes it less than perfect (but still very good) for serious high frame rate Full HD and 1440p gaming enthusiasts:
Playing 4K UHD games on the PG27AQ at high frame rates shouldn’t be a problem since virtually no modern 4K-friendly GPU can take 4K-ready games of any kind too far above 60fps at a maximum anyhow, with most games on most 4K GPUs still running no higher than the mid-40s and high 50s as far as frame rates go. However for those users who want to use a 4K monitor to push their Full HD gameplay into the 100+ fps range, the built-in limitation on refresh with the PG27AQ forestalls this possibility.
Next and this is hardly a matter that we’d call out as the fault of ASUS, users who are running older software (and its interfaces) or older versions of Windows (7 and below) on the PG27AQ sould beware that the monitor’s native 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels doesn’t always work so well with some graphics. In certain software applications, scaling to 4K resolutions just fails, either through gross distortion or simply by creating icons and visuals that shrink to ridiculously tiny size.
The above are really the only notable flaws we could find to the PG27AQ from Asus. One other very minor complaint might be the fact that this monitor’s IPS display technology can manage a response time no faster than 4ms but with the inclusion of G-Synch and all the other benefits of IPS display, those extra 3ms will barely make a notable difference to any but the most absolutely picky of gamers.
Our overall opinion of the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ is overwhelmingly positive. While truly serious HD gamers who want high frame rate Full HD gaming would do best to go for a PC monitor that supports refresh rates of 144Hz, for 4K and 1440p gamers, this particular model is nearly a dream in terms of specs and features as well as its cool looks.
Weight: 15.87 lbs with stand, 14.74 lbs without stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 619.77x552.53x237.9 mm with stand/ 619.77x362.96x65.98 mm without stand
Screen size: 27 inches, measured diagonally
Screen type: IPS
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Colors: 1.07 billion (10-bit)
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Screen Lighting: LED
Response time: 4 ms grey-to-grey
Resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD)
OS Compatibility: Windows
Connectivity Ports: 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x USB 3.0, Headphone out
The main highlights of the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ are as we’ve already mentioned them above. These principal shining points about this particular gaming monitor and others consist of the following, for a bit more detail in case you missed it:
First, the PG278AQ offers up a superbly rendered 27 inch 3k UHD IPS display with a beautifully clear resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. What further augments this 4K display is the presence of in-plane switching (IPS) screen technology which also enhances brightness, dramatically expands the effective viewing angles of the monitor and makes the color gamut coverage of the PG278AQ stand out all the more.
Next, there is the Nvidia G-SYNC technology which we have already covered above. With G-Sync, the PG27AQ manages to effectively coordinate refresh rate on the screen with the refresh output of your PC’s GPU (if it happens to be a compatible Nvidia model. If you’re a 4K UHD PC gamer who also has one of Nvidia’s top shelf 4K-capable graphics cards in your PC , then the PG27AQ is an ideal choice due to this mutual compatibility. The resulting effect it creates is one of optimally smooth fluid gaming at frame rates of 60fps or less, which are for now the upper limit of any 4K GPU anyhow.
Asus has also added in a host of eyesight protection and gaming enhancement technologies such as Ultra-Low Blue Light, Flicker-Free, GamePlus and GameVisual for maximum comfort and ease on the eyes during prolonged gaming sessions. Given how many hours you might find yourself spending in front of the screen with the latest mods on GTA V in place, these additional ASUS adjustments definitely qualify as useful highlights.
Finally, the overall physical design of the PG27AQ, once again, is excellent. Not only does this 4K monitor simply look damn cool, it also offers plenty of flexibility with its wide ranging height, pivot, tilt and angle adjustability. The PG27AQ can of course also be taken down from its regular stand and mounted to other objects or spaces thanks to its VESA compatibility.
3.5 - 11 Reviews
The PG27AQ delivers a beautifully rendered 27 inch 3k UHD IPS display with a beautifully clear resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. On this particular 27 inch panel, those 8.29 million pixels amount to a PPI (pixels per inch) density of 163, meaning that as far as your eyes will be able to tell, pixilation will be nearly invisible unless you really squint up close. Of course, 4K alone isn’t everything and not all 4K resolutions are created equal since the visual qualities of a UHD monitor depend enormously on other factors as well. However, in this the PG27AQ also delivers the goods very effectively by further augmenting all those 8.29 million pixels with 1.07 billion colors thanks to its highly advanced 10-bit color array.
This color array and the screens general visual output also shine vibrantly and with excellent dynamic range because they’re accompanied by a very solid 1000:1 contrast ratio and some great 300 cd/m2 brightness that actually matches the formal specs put out by ASUS. In many monitors we’ve reviewed, luminance in practice is at least a bit lower than what is promised in the specs. In the PG27AQ, the opposite seems to be the case, with luminance which meets or even very slightly exceeds the formal 300 cd/m2. Going back to color once again, the native gamma of 2.2 is perfectly decent by the standards of high-end 4K UHD monitors and by our estimation, the out-of-the-box color temperature in this monitor sits ate a very close to ideal setting of 6,612K. We should also note that while the PG27AQ doesn’t offer the kind of color gamut coverage we’ve seen in some professional designer-oriented 4K monitors which cost upwards of $2,000, it still manages 99.6% sRGB color coverage and a very respectable 76.2% AdobeRGB coverage.
In terms of connectivity, the PG27AQ from Asus shows one of its few weaknesses. While it comes with all the port types you’d need for fundamental high quality connection to a 4K-capable GPU or other external devices, it lacks sufficient quantities of these ports. In other words, while we did get the benefit of 2 USB 3.0 ports in the PG27AQ, there was only a single HDMI 1.4 port for 4K at 30fps and just one DisplayPort 1.2 connection for 4K video at 60fps to be found.
The PG27AQ can be used perfectly comfortably for most gaming needs and will deliver the fundamental goods for 4K gaming through its connection ports, but the lack of additional slots does reduce its versatility in some ways.
Currently, the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ 4K Ultra HD Monitor is priced at $899 on Amazon.
3.5 - 11 Reviews
To summarize briefly, it suffers from a small number of defects in the form of only one HDMI and one DisplayPort slot, and because it offers no support for refresh rates above 60Hz, thus not allowing for high frame rate Full HD gaming up to the 144Hz we’ve seen in some HD monitors. This is more of a 4K-gamer oriented PC monitor, as its resolution clearly indicates.
• G-Sync from NVIDIA
• 6OHz native refresh
• Superb color
• Great contrast
• IPS display
• Looks great
• No support for above 60Hz
• A bit weak on connectivity
• Possible scaling issues with 4K graphics