Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ Review

What is the Asus ROG PG27UQ?

The ROG PG27UQ is the new Asus flagship monitor that features a set of amazing features and a price that combines. This 27-inch IPS LCD panel has a 4K resolution and can update up to 144Hz, something no monitor has ever been able to do before, and has true HDR capability thanks to full-range local attenuation (FALD).

is FALD? It is where an LCD panel has many separate LEDs that form its backlight, allowing you to control the brightness of the backlight for different areas of the screen. The result is that you have an incredibly high contrast, which is what HDR is about. HDR also brings with it an expanded color palette for even more vibrant and realistic colors.

On paper, the PG27UQ is the latest 27-inch monitor, and at a price of Β£ 2250, you would surely expect it. Read on to see if it lives up to its potential.

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Asus ROG PG27UQ – Design and features

Asus likes to imbue their flagship monitors with many eye-catching extras, and indeed, there's a lot here. Get no less than four different sections of lights on this screen.


At the base of the stand there is a red light down to which you can add a filter, so that it projects an image on your desk. Then, at the top of the stand there is a small red ROG logo and another that protrudes from the top.

You can adjust the angle of the projection by means of a wheel on the back of the holder, so that it shines on the wall behind or on the ceiling above.

Finishing the illuminations there is another ROG logo on the back of the screen that has RGB backlight and can be made to shine in all kinds of colors and designs.

It is likely that the projected lights, up and down, are a bit annoying to have all the time, but the rear RGB logo at least is quite discreet.

Regarding the rest of the screen, the most obvious thing is that this monitor does not use a low profile frame. Instead, you get a thick old-school bezel about an inch wide that measures 5 mm more or less proud of the screen.


This gives the screen a decidedly beefy look compared to many modern monitors. But, there is a good reason for this. The sophisticated backlighting system requires that the back of the screen be much deeper and that the frame around the screen be built to a higher standard than a monitor with a conventional backlight.

In addition to an illuminated ROG logo, the back of the screen has a pattern similar to a circuit to its matt black plastic construction. This general design motif continues with the angular metal support.

The base also includes the same copper paint projection that has become the signature of Asus' recent flagship monitors. However, the coloring has not taken place elsewhere, suggesting that Asus may have received less than positive comments about this striking design choice.

The support offers all the adaptability you would expect from a premium monitor. You get 120mm of height adjustment, the screen can be rotated 35 degrees left and right, can tilt forward 5 degrees and back 20 degrees, and can be rotated 90 degrees in a vertical orientation.

The latter is useful for those who work in professional design environments, who want to work on a large and high image. But, for the most part, it simply makes it easier to plug in the cables.

Speaking of which, you get a modest selection of ports here. This screen uses Nvidia G-Sync technology, in the form of only two video inputs: a DisplayPort 1.4 and an HDMI 2.0. This limits your options if you want to use a monitor to connect several PCs and consoles, but it is also typical of all high-end gaming monitors with G-Sync.

You also get a USB hub with two USB 3.0 ports, although, again, this is an area where this monitor is not as packed with features as its price might suggest. Other screens include additional USB ports on the side of the screen at your fingertips. Small extras are also lost as a support for headphones or audio gateway.

Something that Asus has highlighted in general with its high-end monitors are the menus and controls for those menus, and in general, this applies here. The use of a mini-joystick with insert function makes opening and navigating menus quick and easy. In addition, you get four additional buttons to quickly access other settings.

However, here the controls are a little weaker than we expected. They are still perfectly usable, but we expect a bit better from such an expensive screen.

Finally, we get to the screen itself, and this is where this monitor really does things right

A 4K resolution on a 27-inch screen is nothing new, but only with the arrival of DisplayPort 1.4 and the latest LCD panels (all these new IPS panels of 4K, 144Hz are made by AU Optronics) that I could refresh at 144Hz.

For hardcore competitive games, this probably will not be a significant development, such is the tendency of most players to operate at low resolutions to get the ultimate in responsiveness. However, for those games that do not depend so much on fast reactions as lightning, or if you can afford the multiple graphics cards necessary for most games to run at 144Hz + with a resolution of 4K, it will be quite the development.

Elsewhere, there is the full range of local attenuation and HDR capabilities. The backlight has 384 (24 columns, 16 rows) separate areas, whose brightness can be controlled independently. This gives us a first real sample of HDR images on a monitor. The likes of Samsung CHG90 and Philips 436M6 claim HDR and backlight attenuation, but they depend on only a few areas of lighting, which makes the technology almost useless.

The screen also uses quantum dot technology to create the three red, green and blue channels. This ensures that it can reach the required extended color range of HDR.

Normal computers use an 8-bit color standard and conform to the sRGB color space, while HDR-oriented extended-range screens require 10-bit color and more than 90% DCI-P3 color space larger, equivalent to around 150% of the sRGB space.

If you are not familiar with the color spaces and the color depth, see our practical guide of technologies: color spaces and color depth.

Asus PG27UQ – OSD and configuration

The PG27UQ arrives completely assembled, which facilitates the physical configuration. In the same way, the adjustment capacity of the support makes it easy to connect the cables and place the screen in a comfortable position.

If you prefer to use a monitor arm to hold the screen, the stand can be removed to reveal a standard VESA mount point of 100 x 100 mm.

As for the OSD, it is as complete as you would expect for a monitor so rich in features. Touch the joystick and show the main menu, which logically is divided into six main sections.

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The three most interesting ones are Overclocking, Color and Image. The first one allows you to press the refresh rate of the screen beyond its default maximum of 144Hz, but not by much and not much benefit.

As for the Color menu, from here the brightness will be adjusted, which is always the most basic requirement to have a monitor ready for daily use. You can also adjust the color balance, although, as we'll see later, it's something you'll barely have to worry about.

It is in the Image menu where you will find the most important options. The variable backlight allows you to completely disable the individual backlight areas to create a uniform backlight, such as you would get on a normal LCD monitor. This is useful if you want to use the screen for normal desktop work, but especially for editing images and videos, where you want as close as possible to a standard image.

You can also choose a fast or slow-variable backlight reaction. The former is better for competitive games, while the latter is good for video or slow-paced games, where you may want to reduce the likelihood of seeing quick and annoying changes in the brightness of the backlight areas.

Here you can also activate in Dark Boost, which basically does the exact opposite of HDR by reducing the contrast of a screen by illuminating the dark parts of the image. This makes the screen look worse, but makes it easier to detect enemies in the dark when you play.

There are also a couple of additional menus, activated by the buttons adjacent to the joystick.

The first is GameVisual, which provides a selection of pre-set images that are supposedly optimized for different types of games. For some reason, Racing mode is the default setting, while FPS mode generates Dark Boost to its maximum configuration. The RTS / RPS mode changes it to its second lowest setting, while adjusting the gamma settings.

None is essential, and you'd better experiment with the individual configuration to learn what you prefer and what each configuration does. [19659003]

The other menu shows some additional features. These include a superposition of crosshairs that makes it easy to aim, even when the game you're playing may not have a cross on the weapon you're using. There is also a timer and FPS, as well as a screen alignment tool.

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ – Image Quality

There are several aspects to consider when it comes to the image quality of this screen, so divide our evaluation into sections. We will start with basic concepts, such as viewing angles and color reproduction, and then we will see what works with 4K on a screen of this size, HDR performance, and ends with the performance of the games.

three modes in which we can test the overall color performance of this monitor. These are standard sRGB, 8-bit color reproduction and no variable backlight control. This gives us the most direct comparison with a typical monitor.

Then we can turn on the variable backlight, which increases the contrast of the screen but keeps it running in the 8-bit color mode. [19659003] Finally, we can activate the full 10-bit color range extended (through the display option Display SDR) used in HDR. Note that this is not really the HDR mode, which is enabled through the Windows HDR option, but it is the screen that takes an sRGB signal and extends it to fill the wide color space of the range.

All colors look super saturated, but this should give us an indication of whether this screen is up to the claimed color coverage of the 97% DCI-P3 it requires for true HDR playback.

The colorimeter used to measure the screen and the software does not know how to handle the HDR content, so we can not test the Full HDR performance.

Image quality: fixed backlight, SDR / 8 bits

  • White level: 296 nits
  • Black level: 0.2735
  • Contrast: 1083: 1
  • Color temperature: 6573K
  • Gamma: 2.26
  • sRGB coverage: 96.6%
  • DCi-P3: 69.8%
  • Delta E average: 0.19
  • Delta E Max: 1.52

Then, starting with the standard mode , not variable, this screen presents impressive performance. Hit all the right brands in all areas, with its color balance and gamma being anything but perfect. This ensures that the colors look as they should: there is not an overly washed or darkened appearance in the image. Keep in mind that we test with the screen at its default brightness level of 80/100.

A native contrast ratio of 1083: 1 is also on par with the typical high-quality IPS LCD panels, which guarantees a reasonable difference between the darkest and clearest parts of the image, even without the variable deception of the backlight.

The color space coverage is also as good as you would expect, with a coverage of 96.6% sRGB and an impressively low Delta E average of 0.19 (maximum of 1.52).

If it were a conventional LCD screen without HDR and a variable backlight, it would be best for its ready-to-use image quality. Simply reduce the brightness a bit and you will get an almost perfect image for everyday use.


Image quality: variable backlight, SDR / 8 bits

  • White level: 269 nits [19659052] Black level: 0.0419
  • Contrast: 6424: 1
  • Color temperature: 6562K [19659051] Gamma: 2.24
  • sRGB coverage: 97.5%
  • DCi-P3: 70.1%
  • Delta E average: 0.14
  • Delta E Max: 1.18

When switching on the variable backlight, the Contrast passes to 6424: 1, which shows the difference that this technology makes. Also, in this mode, without enabling HDR in Windows, the difference in the brightness of the backlight is subtle enough so that you hardly notice any changes. On the contrary, in Full HDR mode you can clearly see the brightest light halo around bright objects in dark backgrounds. More on that later.

Fortunately, turning on the variable backlight does not spoil the overall color performance of the screen, since its color balance, gamma, color space coverage and Delta E remain almost as perfect as before. 19659003] Image quality: variable backlight, wide color gamut

  • Monitor brightness level set to 42 (150 nits)
  • White level: 150 nits
  • Black level: 0.0662
  • Contrast: 2274: 1
  • Color temperature: 6702K
  • Gamma: 2.27
  • sRGB coverage: 100%
  • DCi-P3: 91.6%
  • Delta E average: 0.09
  • Delta E Max .: 0.73

Finally When activating the extended color range, we obtain the highest DCI-P3 coverage we expected, although in our tests the monitor only reached 91.6% coverage instead of 97% claimed. But it is close enough to be acceptable.

Here we also see that the screen retains a large part of its impressive overall color balance and gamma precision. So, again, while getting more vivid colors, the overall balance between them is still correct.

The only thing that is noticeable is that the contrast dropped to only 2274: 1 with the extended color gamut and the variable backlight on. However, this is not the full HDR mode of the screen, so the contrast will be higher when HDR is activated.

As for other central aspects of the screen, its viewing angles are decent, regardless of the color mode you choose. The IPS LCD technology is the best to see angles in general and that is seen here again, with no change in the image while moving from side to side or up and down.

You can see IPS brightness around the lighter parts of the image, but the dark areas remain black as ink

The only warning is the usual IPS glow problem, which is where from wider angles light can leak background to give a gray tone to the image. However, although it is visible on this screen, it is a much smaller problem than in the case of static backlight displays.

That's because the phenomenon is more annoying when you have large areas of darkness, such as the black bars up and down the wide-screen video. However, in such situations, this screen would naturally reduce the brightness of the backlight in these areas, greatly reducing the impact of the problem.

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ – 4K

Having a 4K resolution on a screen of this size means that it has such small pixels that you will need to use the Windows scaling configuration to enlarge most of what you see when you do activities normal desk. In this case, the 150% option is required and means that it ends with a screen with the same desktop area as a typical 2560 x 1440 27-inch monitor.

This immediately points out one of the drawbacks of this screen, which is that it is paying an astronomical price for a screen that does not allow it to obtain a desktop space or view greater than a quarter of the price.

On the contrary, it goes from, say, the 27-inch PG279Q to the 34-inch PG348Q provides you with a physically larger screen and a working resolution of 3840 x 1440.

The PG27UQ in its native 4K resolution

The PG27UQ with Windows scale of 150%

As such, if your idea of ​​the best computer monitor means that you should not only provide more detail and better image quality, but also a Larger view and an even bigger desk. This screen will not be for you.

This is especially true when Windows still has times when its scaling does not work as well as it would expect. Or some applications, EA Origin, for example, do not scale at all, or you will notice problems with the quality of the image, like the text that looks a bit blurry.

These moments are counteracted by the fact that there are applications that can make the most of the resolution. These include having high resolution thumbnails on YouTube or being able to view images in Photoshop with a native resolution. In general, however, we prefer to run a monitor at its original resolution.

A normal 14-inch 27-inch monitor

The 4K PG27UQ

Of course, when it comes to watching videos and games, the 4K resolution comes into play. The tiny pixels create an incredibly sharp and detailed image. If you have never seen high quality 4K images on a good quality TV or 4K monitor, a surprise awaits you. There is a quality similar to 3D that comes with much more detail compared to a typical 1080p video.

Also, while HDR is still in its infancy, 4K video is sufficiently established that there is enough content available to take advantage of it. screen. Whether you're playing, reaching your favorite vlogger on YouTube, or watching the latest Marvel series on Netflix, you'll appreciate the extra resolution.

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ – HDR

Just as there are professionals and Cons with 4K, the presence of HDR here, too, has some great advantages, but it is not exactly what you would expect.

First, the good things. Clear and simple, it looks fantastic. The ability to have dazzling bright colors along with the deepest dark colors, especially when combined with that 4K resolution, makes the video look much more in real life that, oddly, almost feels more fake.

Sit on it, though, and you'll realize that it's just the next step in video fidelity. When you return to the SDR mode, you realize what you were losing before.

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Standard dynamic range

High dynamic range

Unlike the Philips 436M6, which seemed to increase colors naturally, the extra intensity you see here It feels completely natural and true to life.

It's a similar story when it comes to games. Everything is brighter, bolder and more dynamic. For example, when they are handled correctly, things like explosions are blinding, which gives them much more impact.

The problem is that the support for the technology is quite weak at this time. Only a handful of games are compatible with HDR, while the availability of conventional video is also very low. This will change over time, but there is a strong argument to wait a year or so to see how much HDR support becomes before investing this kind of money.

This is not a decisive factor, but, again, it goes back to the problem with 4K. You are spending all this money on a high-end monitor, but you only really appreciate its benefits in certain scenarios.

Then there is the halo problem. This is where, to illuminate the brightest pixels in a part of an image, the backlight area associated with those pixels should shine brighter. As there are only 384 zones compared to 8,294,400 pixels, this means that you often get a block of noticeable brightness around those bright pixels.

You can clearly see the halo around the edges of the bright objects. Note that this image has been enhanced to slightly exaggerate the phenomena.

In most scenarios, this is hardly noticeable, but from time to time it becomes obvious. Even then, it feels like a reasonable compromise to get the overall effect of the nice contrast between the bright and dark parts of the image.

In addition, it should be noted that this screen can not deliver a true 10-bit color HDR at more than 98Hz, but instead falls to an 8-bit version with HDR dithering for higher frame rates. However, considering that HDR is not the type of feature that we would activate for competitive games, 98Hz is enough to get a smooth gaming experience.

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ – Gaming

Playing on this screen is very much a delight. Whether you're taking advantage of its 4K resolution and HDR, or simply playing 1080p in SDR, it delivers a quality image and a responsive feel.

That said, there are a couple of things to highlight. The first is that this will not compete with a response time of 1 ms, 144Hz, TN game monitor. Those screens still have the advantage for competitive games.

Also, if you're not running at a 4K resolution, which for many games will not be possible without a multi-graphics card configuration, then you do not get as good a picture as you would run in the native resolution of a screen. low resolution. Stretching and scale result in a soft-looking image that can distract, especially in competitive games.

But, in the vast majority of situations, this screen provides a fantastic gaming experience. The great detail and sharpness of the 4K games is impressive by itself, but adds HDR and is impressive.

The level of impact and the quality of the support varies from one game to another, but in general, if the option is there later, you will want to take advantage of HDR compatibility, at least for non-competitive games.

All this and, of course, get the latest compatibility with G-Sync, ensuring that the screen looks incredibly smooth as it dynamically alters your update rate according to the frame rate of your graphics card. There is no image torn or stuttering, all of which adds to the feeling that this provides perhaps the most compelling gaming experience that exists.

Why buy the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ?

If you're looking for the latest all-round 27-inch game monitor, then the PG27UQ surely has to be. It can provide large amounts of detail when necessary; can provide impressive HDR when necessary; can boot at 144Hz for high-speed games when necessary; and it can scale everything to provide a normal and high-quality image for general desktop work as well.

In the right conditions, it may seem absolutely impressive, and even when it can not offer its maximum absolute potential, because a game or video is not compatible with HDR, or because its graphics card can not cope with games in 4K – It still provides a level of world-class image quality.

The high price and the fact that HDR is still an emerging technology means that it does not feel exactly like the offer of the century. However, also, considering the level of technology involved, the price is not irrational.

If you are someone who has previously invested in an ultra-wide 34-inch screen, or considered one of those screens to be your next natural upgrade, then the simple fact that this is still only a 27-inch screen It means that you are missing out on that larger desktop experience. If this had been a 32-inch screen (such as 60Hz, 4K, Acer XB321HK) it would have made a difference.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for the ultimate in pure performance game monitors, then this screen will not be for you. You still want a TN-based screen with a resolution where you can run your games.

Verdict

A 4K resolution, 144Hz refresh rate and real HDR combine to create the best 27-inch monitor. But a high price and a small screen size for its price mean that the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ will not be the high-end monitor upgrade for everyone.

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