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Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ Review

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ Review

The screen in our Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review is one of the first monitors to arrive with the Asus TUF branding. This branding is usually reserved for motherboards and graphics cards, but it’s recently started to appear on displays – and laptops and headsets too.

The TUF brand is usually assigned to entry-level products, but the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ does have some areas where it’s definitely a high-end offering. And, with US and UK prices of $429 and £485, it’s still a large chunk of money to spend on a display.

Is it worth it, or should you stick to more conventional display brands? Our Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review will deliver the answers.

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ Review – Refresh Rate and Syncing

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ has core gaming features that help it stand out from many of its peers. This screen’s main features are designed to improve performance in fast-paced games. That makes this display ideal for FPS fans and esports players.

The Asus has Nvidia G-Sync that also works with AMD FreeSync 2. That means it can function with either Nvidia or AMD graphics cards. By default, the Asus runs at 144Hz, which is a conventional, impressive gaming speed. However, this panel also has an overclocking feature to increase the refresh rate to 165Hz.

Sometimes, overclocking a display refresh rate can create a little bit of ghosting or blurring. Happily, there was no evidence of that here – the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ ran flawlessly at its overclocked speed.

The overclocked refresh rate is joined by a featured called ELMB-Sync. The ELMB acronym stands for Extreme Low Motion Blur. This is the first time that a motion blur feature has been added to a screen where it can work simultaneously with Nvidia G-Sync or AMD FreeSync.

Usually, the two can’t co-exist – because motion blur requires screens to run at locked refresh rates to work properly. On the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ, though, ELMB-Sync works alongside syncing. That means you get butter-smooth gaming at fast speeds – while images look incredibly crisp.

The addition of ELMB-Sync only makes a relatively minor difference to this screen’s overall presentation, but it’ll help in competitive situations where every advantage is welcome. It also gives the VG27AQ a leg up over rivals, because none of them have this feature.

There are two other minor caveats when it comes to the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ and its refresh rate and syncing features. You need to use DisplayPort to get this screen running at 165Hz, for instance.

And, as ever, be aware that you need a beefy graphics card to get demanding games running at 144fps or 165fps. That’s doubly true if you want to run single-player titles rather than esports games, because they’re usually more graphically demanding.

Need more news on the latest kit? Click here to check out the latest headlines.

Features

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ serves up those refresh rate and motion blur features at the top of its spec list, but the rest of this monitor impresses in several key areas.

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review gaming monitor reviewThe 2,560 x 1,440 resolution is solid. That resolution provides more real estate and detail than 1080p screens can offer, and a 1440p resolution is still achievable for graphics cards at 144Hz or 165Hz. That’s not something that could be said for 4K, which would have been far too demanding on GPUs and extremely expensive.

The 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and 27in diagonal mean the Asus delivers a density level of 109ppi. That’s miles better than the 82ppi you’d get from a 27in screen at 1080p.

Underneath all of this there’s an IPS display with a superb 1ms response time. That bodes well for competitive gaming and for colour quality, but contrast may suffer compared to VA panels. It’s only an 8-bit screen, which is fine for gaming – but you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want a panel for work as well as gaming, because 10-bit colour will be more accurate for colour-sensitive work.

So the Asus has 165Hz Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync operation, ELMB-Sync, a 1440p resolution and a 27in IPS screen – and it has US and UK prices of $429 and £485.

That’s decent value compared to the rest of the market. Screens with similar specifications, including the full implementation of 165Hz Nvidia G-Sync, tend to cost around $599 or £550. If you want this kind of specification, the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ is one of the cheapest ways to get it in the current market.

It’s possible to find AMD FreeSync panels that work with G-Sync and have an equivalent specification to the Asus, and they tend to be a little cheaper. However, those screens don’t have the full G-Sync implementation and they don’t have ELMB-Sync either – and image quality will likely suffer too.

Click here for graphics card reviews – including the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, RTX 2070 and RTX 2060, and Nvidia Super cards!

Setup & Design

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ has great features on the inside, but the TUF brand’s entry-level designation is more obvious when the exterior is considered.

The VG27AQ does have some impressive, practical additions. It’s got 130mm of height adjustment, which is generous. It’s also got an impressive 180 degrees of swivel and 38 degrees of tilting. They’re all figures that will match any other gaming monitors in the market. The Asus supports 100mm VESA mounts, too, and it can be used in portrait mode.

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review gaming monitor reviewThis panel has good build quality throughout, with sturdy panels used all across this display, and it only weighs 5.8kg, so it’s pretty easy to move the Asus around and get it in the right spot. The slim bezels also mean this screen is suitable for multi-monitor setups.

The VG27AQ is practical, but it’s plain too. Build quality is good, but this unit is made from plastic rather than metal. The aesthetic design is plain, with a modest, flat base and no RGB LEDs. Building takes a little longer because the stand doesn’t snap easily into place – it uses screws instead.

The port selection is not outstanding, either. The Asus has a single DisplayPort connection, two HDMI ports and one audio jack, but that’s it. There’s no USB anywhere on this display.

The usual Asus on-screen display is solid, with sensible organisation and easy access to key options, like display modes, refresh rate options and syncing. Gaming additions like an FPS counter, time and crosshairs are included on hotkeys around the rear of the display.

The main OSD is controlled by a joystick, and it’s largely fine – but it is a little small and flimsy.

The Asus also has two speakers, but the pair of 2W units are disappointing – tinny and weak, without enough volume. They’re barely good enough for YouTube, and you’ll want other hardware for gaming.

Here’s our in-depth guide to AMD X570 motherboards!

Performance

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ has great colour quality. At factory settings the VG27AQ uses its Racing mode, and here it returned a Delta E measurement of 1.36. Anything below 2.0 is below the point where human eyes can detect discrepancies. It’s a cracking result and it means that colours will be rendered accurately on the Asus.

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review gaming monitor reviewThe factory colour temperature of 6,298K is good, too. It’s not quite able to match the 6,500K ideal result, but it’s not far enough away from that figure to cause any problems during gaming. The final colour result, a Gamma test, saw the Asus return a result of 2.22. That’s impressive – barely different from the 2.2 ideal figure.

The VG27AQ rendered 98.5% of the sRGB colour gamut, which is another great result – ideal for mainstream single-player games, and for esports.

However, this TUF-branded display can’t manage more than 80% of the DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB gamuts. Those results aren’t particularly good, and they mean that this screen isn’t suitable for HDR content or for certain work tasks.

The VG27AQ has a default backlight strength of 277cd/m2, which is absolutely fine for gaming. The panel’s peak brightness level of 354cd/m2 is better, and at half of its default brightness the Asus sat at around 200cd/m2. All of these results are good enough for mainstream gaming.

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review gaming monitor reviewThose brightness results are reasonable, and they’re paired with good black levels – at factory settings the Asus had a 0.24cd/m2 black point. That’s deep enough to give suitable depth to darker areas in games.

Those factory figures combined to create a contrast ratio of 1,154:1. That result was maintained when we increased the brightness and decreased it. It’s another decent result from the Asus, but it’s not huge. It’s certainly not as high as the contrast you’d get from most VA screens.

So, while the VG27AQ has contrast, brightness and black levels that are easily good enough for mainstream gaming and esports, they could all be better. Those middling, mainstream results mean that other screens will deliver more vibrancy and deeper black shades. They also mean that the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ doesn’t have the contrast or colour depth to handle HDR content.

Elsewhere, the Asus serves up an input lag measurement of 6.3ms, which is excellent and good enough for esports.

As usual, none of the alternative display modes are worth using. The FPS, RTS and RPG options are too bright and have poorer Delta E and colour temperature figures – they look oversaturated. The MOBA mode is nearly monochrome, the sRGB option is too warm, and the Cinema mode is cold, with a blue hue.

Uniformity is only average on this screen, too. The Asus lost 18% of its brightness on the left-hand edge and 16% on the right-hand edge. During fast-paced gaming you won’t notice these discrepancies. Lowering the brightness down from default levels will also reduce the impact of uniformity changes – but it remains that the VG27AQ is not the most even gaming panel on the market.

Click here to read our verdict on the best laptops in 2019 for gaming, work and home use!

Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ Review – Conclusion

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ isn’t a flawless gaming screen, but it does succeed in several important areas.

The inclusion of 165Hz Nvidia G-Sync means that gaming is fast, smooth and consistent – it’s easily good enough for esports and single-player games. That’s paired with ground-breaking motion-blur which means images are a little crisper here than on rivals, too.

Elsewhere, the Asus has a great resolution and size – ideal for gaming with lots of detail without taxing GPUs. It has superb colours and its input lag and response time figures are easily good enough for any kind of competitive gaming. It also has solid build quality and plenty of adjustment versatility.

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ does suffer in other areas. Contrast is good enough for gaming, but not high enough for HDR and not as high as VA panels. This panel can’t handle colours beyond the sRGB colour gamut. It looks plain, it’s made from plastic, and it has a middling OSD and no extra ports.

For mainstream gaming, FPS players, competitive gamers and for any other fast-paced gaming, though, the Asus is excellent – it has great refresh rates and motion blur features and top-notch colours. It’s also a little cheaper than many competitors. If you need a monitor with lots of speed – and if you have the GPU to handle it – then the Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ will not disappoint.

The Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ costs $429 in the US and £485 in the UKDiscuss our Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading our Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ review, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!

The GoodRecommended Award

  • Superb refresh-rate and motion blur performance
  • Great colour accuracy
  • Cheaper than many rivals
  • Plenty of adjustment options

The Bad

  • Middling contrast performance
  • Can’t go beyond sRGB – no HDR possible here
  • Plain design with no extra ports

The Specs

Panel Technology: IPS
Native Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Diagonal: 27in
Syncing: 165Hz Nvidia G-Sync
Display Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2.0
Speakers: 2 x 2W
Ports: 1 x audio
HDR: HDR 10
Weight: 5.8kg
Warranty: 1yr RTB

 

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ

About Author

Brian Joyce

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