ASUS continues to lead the gaming monitor market and strives to be the first to push new standards and technologies. The top series of gaming displays ROG Swift quickly won the hearts of buyers, and the later ROG Strix allowed savings for those who prefer graphics cards from the AMD camp. Meanwhile, in both cases, the models turned out to be expensive, not everyone had enough stock of their capabilities, and therefore it was not easy to fight on equal terms with some competitors.
After NVIDIA’s announcement of the start of official support for the VESA Adaptive-Sync protocol, which was made at CES-2019 in January, the hands of monitor manufacturers have become untied. Now, in order to interest your less demanding and wealthy consumers, there is no need to use an expensive G-Sync module for the adaptive sync system to work — just a little better prepare, set up and test a new monitor, and then request NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible certification.
This one step brings the cost of the monitor closer to models with support for free AMD Free-Sync, but ASUS went further. In monitors of a completely new series called TUF Gaming, the manufacturer removed USB ports, abandoned any external space lighting systems, and also simplified the case and mounting system, which together made it possible to further reduce the price of displays.
However, this does not mean that all new «chips» will now be only in expensive monitor lines. The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ reviewed today was one of the first monitors on the market where dynamically variable refresh rate (VRR — Variable Refresh Rate) can work together with the black frame insertion system — this is called ELMB-Sync. And of course, the much-loved combination of a 27-inch panel with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels and a frequency of 165 Hz has not gone away — and all this at an attractive price. How do you like such an application for success?
⇡ # Reference information and specifications
The novelty was announced in September 2019, after a series of rumors about the older comrade VG32VQ. ASUS was in no hurry to sell the display, and therefore both new items can be freely purchased only in the USA and some European countries. In the first case, the price of the monitor under study starts at $429, and for the 32-inch version they ask for a little more — $459. You have to choose based on which diagonal and which type of matrix suits you best. If you’re a heavy gamer and need high responsiveness and color work, then the IPS panel-based VG27AQ is the obvious choice.
The first batches should reach our country in October, and the promised price is still at the level of $320 (we assume that the real price will fall below $30,000 in a month or two) — and this is already a rather interesting offer. Among similar solutions, we can cite the new products from Acer and Gigabyte, which in terms of price are on both sides of the ASUS solution. However, they cannot offer any analogue of ELMB-Sync, and this is perhaps the main difference.
|ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ|
|Matrix coating||Semi-matte (Haze)|
|Standard resolution, pix.||2560×1440|
|Matrix type||IPS type|
|Max. brightness, cd/m2||350|
|Contrast static||1000 : 1|
|Number of displayed colors||16.7 million|
|Vertical refresh rate, Hz||48-165 + Adaptive-Sync/NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible|
|GtG response time, ms||ND|
|MPRT time, ms||1|
|Maximum viewing angles
|Video inputs||2 x HDMI 2.0;
1 x Display Port 1.2
|Additional ports||1 × Audio-In (3.5mm)|
|Built-in speakers: number × power, W||2×2 RMS Stereo|
|Screen Position Adjustment||Tilt, rotate, change height, flip to portrait mode (Pivot)|
|VESA mount: dimensions (mm)||Yes (100 × 100 mm)|
|Mount for Kensington lock||Yes|
|Max. power consumption
working / standby (W)
|65 (at 200 nits) / 0.5|
(with stand), L × H × D, mm
(without stand), L × H × D, mm
|Net weight (with stand), kg||5.8|
|Net weight (without stand), kg||3.5|
|Estimated price||30 000-320$|
Now let’s dive into the main technical characteristics of the hero of the review. Its heart is the latest and not yet found in other displays AHVA-matrix AU Optronics, model M270Q008 V002IPS type. The manufacturer notes that it is 8-bit (without FRC or with it — it’s not clear), with the ability to play 16.7 million colors. The color gamut is standard — at the sRGB level, it is provided by the usual W-LED backlight without flicker (Flicker-Free).
The working resolution of the monitor is 2560 × 1440 pixels (WQHD standard), which, together with a diagonal of 27 inches, provides a pixel density level of almost 110 ppi and allows you not to complain much about the working space area, and also do without using the Windows scaling system.
A maximum backlight brightness of 350 nits, a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and viewing angles of 178 degrees in both planes are quite common characteristics for a modern IPS matrix. Of the interesting things, only support for receiving HDR metadata is declared, but there is no question of any real compliance with one or another standard: the monitor matrix does not provide requests for even the most primitive (and most useless) of them — VESA Display HDR400, not to mention the specified ASUS HDR10. This is neither bad nor good. It’s just the same as 99% of the previous gaming monitors on the market!
However, all this did not prevent the manufacturer from adding as many as two HDR modes to the VG27AQ menu (one for cinema, the other for games) with a different approach to processing the received metadata from related content. Well, that’s his right. If you like a bright and oversaturated picture, you will like it too, but of course, there can be no talk of any real HDR.
At the time of the release of the TUF Gaming VG27AQ, the manufacturer declared for it the maximum refresh rate of 155 Hz. Later, the numbers were revised, but this value still flaunts in the TX and on the packaging. In reality, the monitor provides a trouble-free operation at a frequency of 165 Hz (in overclocking mode), which not all IPS gaming monitors on the market can boast of. Until recently, this was considered a very high figure.
The monitor is certified by NVIDIA as G-Sync Compatible, and the operating range for VRR is quite wide: 48-165 Hz. Owners of video cards from the «green» ones will be able to get a working G-Sync in this range only when using the installed Display Port 1.2 interface, and users of AMD video cards can also get an HDMI connection (which is necessary for set-top boxes with VRR). By the way, for the latter, support for Low Framerate Compensation (LFC) is also provided, and therefore you don’t have to worry too much if the FPS counter drops below 40-48 frames per second for a short time.
At the same time, the display uses an improved “black frame insertion” system, which not only allows you to specify the frequently occurring frame display time of 1 ms (according to the MPRT method), but is also able to work simultaneously with one of the VRR systems, which was previously impossible. The standard response time for the VG27AQ is typical — 4 ms GtG.
⇡#Equipment and appearance
The monitor comes in a small box with high-quality printing, the same photo on both sides and listing the main features using various icons on the sides. There is a plastic handle on top for easy portability.
The manufacturer almost completely gave one of the sides of the box to the main list of advantages of the model, which we counted as many as 14.
The sticker on the packaging does not contain particularly useful information for the buyer. It only informs that the display is made in China.
The package is scattered around the box and includes only the essentials:
- power cable;
- external PSU;
- DisplayPort cable;
- HDMI cable;
- quick installation and configuration guide;
- prospectus ASUS VIP Member;
- prospectus for safe use.
In terms of appearance, the novelty is a slightly simplified ROG Swift or Strix, there is also something from the old models of the MG series with a similar diagonal. But in the TUF Gaming VG27AQ, the texture of some plastic surfaces has been changed, there are fewer glossy inserts and other decorative elements. Severity and minimalism in everything.
The manufacturer has retained the «frameless» design on all four sides (plastic overlays for non-working areas, like an ASUS «chip», have not gone away), an ergonomic stand and the usual control system based on a 5-way joystick and several pairs of keys.
The red insert around the central column has not gone anywhere, but the lighting system of the external space was told “Goodbye!”.
The stand itself is exactly the same as that of more expensive solutions, but the shape of the central column is a little simpler, but the designers did not refuse to list the entire range of adjustments in its upper part.
In turn, the cable routing system for the VG27AQ is no different from what we saw in the almost twice as expensive old man PG279Q — it is made due to a special cutout in the lower part of the B-pillar. The solution is not the most efficient, but at least something.
The new product does not use a quick-release connection — another form of savings. The central column is initially attached to the case on a VESA-compatible mount, and the screw heads are covered with rubber plugs.
Ergonomic stand provides height adjustment within 130 mm, tilt in the range from -5 to +33 degrees and body rotation 90 degrees right / left.
A turn to portrait mode (Pivot) is provided, while the centering of the body is practically not affected. The position changes accurately, clearly and with fixation in the required position.
The base of the stand is plastic, but all internal fasteners are made of metal. For better grip on the work surface, seven rubber feet of various shapes are used, which do an excellent job with the duties assigned to them.
The matrix of the monitor with a semi-matte work surface. It has sufficient anti-reflective properties and pleases that the crystal effect on it is almost imperceptible in any viewing conditions.
By two long stickers on the bottom of the monitor case, we finally found out the production date of our copy (July 2019) and the contractor represented by the well-known company Qisda (Suzhou), which often fulfills ASUS orders. Everything else is not so interesting.
Interface connectors are located at the rear of the case and are directed downwards. Due to the ability to flip to portrait mode, connecting cables is very simple in any situation.
The monitor has a built-in speaker system with a total power of 4 watts. We can’t say anything good about the quality and maximum volume, but for some simple tasks such acoustics should be enough.
The build quality of the monitor under study is close to ideal: all parts are connected precisely and with minimal uniform gaps, the painting is even, there are no backlashes, and the structure is highly rigid. The display is practically not amenable to twisting, but slightly crunches / creaks with adequate physical impact.
The materials used are not cheap, with different textures and a matte finish, without any problems with practicality and wear resistance. Two glossy inserts — for the sake of style. Paying about $300, you get the same level of quality as ASUS models 2-3 times more expensive — this is the main thing to remember from this section.
⇡#Menu and controls
The monitor is controlled by a five-way joystick and four different-sized trapezoidal physical buttons located at the rear of the device.
On the bottom edge there is a dim white power LED, which, if desired, can be turned off through the settings. The VG27AQ does not provide additional monitor operation indicators, as in more expensive models.
Of the four control buttons, one is responsible for turning on the monitor, the other is the cancel or exit button, the remaining two are used to activate the game timer / custom crosshair / FPS counter (GamePlus function) and quick access to GameVisual modes.
The five-way joystick allows you to navigate through the menu. This is one of the most successful ways to work with the OSD menu — and ASUS has long known about it. You get used to it quickly, you can manage without problems both day and night, everything is accessible and easy.
The menu design has not changed for a long time, and everything is the same in the VG27AQ. The appearance of the OSD screen is simple, concise and modern. In the case of the novelty, it contains eight sections with slightly modified content.
To access the preset GameVisual color rendering modes, go to the first section of the menu.
The second section selects the degree to which the Blue Light Filter function affects the image on the screen. If you delve into this topic, it becomes clear that the color temperature simply decreases, however, sometimes with a strong bias in one of the parasitic shades. In the Blue Light Filter 4 mode, in addition, the brightness of the backlight is sharply reduced.
You can change the brightness, contrast, color temperature, saturation and skin tone in the Color section. Separately, we note that in most modes not all parameters are available, and when the HDR mode is activated in the OS, the section is completely blocked.
The Image section contains settings for the scaler, dynamic contrast, Trace Free matrix overclocking and Shadow Boost technology, which allows you to increase the visibility in the shadows. There is an option to increase the VividPixel edge sharpness (it is better not to touch it) together with the usual sharpness control, and when HDR is enabled, an HDR section appears in the operating system with two modes of metadata interpretation/processing. There are also options for increasing the vertical frequency (Overclocking), enabling Adaptive-Sync and ELMB-Sync.
Under the choice of the signal source and the volume control of the built-in speaker system, one section is allocated.
The System Setup section contains parameters that are mostly not related to the quality of the image on the screen. Among the available options: setting the appearance and position of the OSD menu, choosing the menu localization language (Russian is available with a fairly good translation), blocking the control keys and turning off the power indicator.
There is a subsection with basic working information on the monitor, the ability to turn on the ECO mode, activate the demonstration of the effect of GameVisual modes on the picture, and, of course, the function to reset all menu settings to default values.
The last section is designed to save the settings made to one of the three memory cells. If necessary, you can quickly switch between them.
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ was tested using the X-Rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter in combination with the X-Rite i1 Pro reference spectrophotometer, Argyll CMS with dispcalGUI and HCFR Colormeter. All operations were carried out in Windows 10 Pro x64 with the latest updates. During the main testing phase, the screen refresh rate was 165 Hz.
In accordance with the methodology, we will measure the following monitor parameters:
- white brightness, black brightness, contrast ratio at backlight power from 0 to 100% in 10% increments;
- color gamut;
- color temperature;
- gamma curves of the three primary colors RGB;
- gray gamma curve;
- color deviation DeltaE (according to the CIEDE1994 standard);
- backlight uniformity, color temperature uniformity (in Kelvin and DeltaE units) at 100 cd/m2 brightness at center point2.
All measurements described above were carried out before and after calibration. During tests, we measure the main monitor profiles: default, sRGB (if available) and Adobe RGB (if available). Calibration is carried out in the default profile, except for special cases, which will be discussed later. For monitors with wide color gamuts, we select the sRGB hardware emulation mode, if available. Before starting all tests, the monitor warms up for 3-4 hours, and all its settings are reset to factory settings.
We’ll also continue our old practice of posting calibration profiles for the monitors we’ve tested at the end of the article. At the same time, the 3DNews test lab warns that such a profile will not be able to 100% correct the shortcomings of your particular monitor. The fact is that all monitors (even within the same model) will necessarily differ from each other in small color errors. It is physically impossible to make two identical matrices, so a colorimeter or spectrophotometer is required for any serious monitor calibration. But even a “universal” profile created for a specific instance can generally improve the situation for other devices of the same model, especially in the case of cheap displays with pronounced color rendition defects.
In ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ, the manufacturer offers seven pre-installed GameVisual modes. When testing the monitor, we used the Display Port 1.2 interface as the only one among those presented, which provides the ability to work NVIDIA G-Sync in Compatible mode.
By default, the basic settings look like this:
- GameVisual– Racing;
- Brightness — 63;
- Contrast — 80;
- color temp. – warm;
- Trace Free — 60;
- Shadow Boost — None.
During manual edits for the brightness at the center point of 100 nits and the white point of 6500 K, the settings took the form:
- GameVisual– Racing;
- Brightness — 0;
- Contrast — 80;
- color temp. – User – 81/81/86;
- Trace Free — 20-40;
- Shadow Boost — None.
We had to reduce the brightness settings to zero, after which more serious RGB Gain edits were required, not only to set the white point, but also to further reduce the brightness to the required level. We determined the adequate overclocking of Trace Free at the level of 20-40% — there is no point in betting more. All other parameters should not be touched.
⇡#White brightness, black brightness, contrast ratio
The initial check was carried out in the Racing mode with the default settings:
|Brightness in menu (%)||White brightness (cd/m2)||Black brightness (cd/m2)||Static contrast (x:1)|
The maximum brightness at the central point turned out to be at a level slightly higher than indicated in the TX — 359 cd / m2and the minimum upset us a lot — 130 cd / m2, or, as some say, burn out your eyes. You can fix this by lowering the “contrast” parameter or by adjusting the RGB gain, which we did during the manual adjustment. In turn, the monitor has no problems with the contrast ratio — 1140:1 on average, which is more than the 1000:1 specified by the manufacturer and is generally a good result for an IPS display.
|Brightness in menu (%)||White brightness (cd/m2)||Black brightness (cd/m2)||Static contrast (x:1)|
When ELMB-Sync mode is activated with black frame insertion, the default brightness is set to 90%, which corresponds to 169 nits. The contrast ratio remains at its original level, and the overall brightness adjustment range changes to 102-176 nits. For a long game, rest assured you won’t need more, but you may want a little less.
⇡#Results at default settings
The monitor in question has a matrix with a standard color gamut and the usual W-LED backlight, which is still found in 90% of all monitors on the market. The manufacturer does not promise factory calibration, but, as it turned out, it could well do it.
The capabilities of the matrix almost completely cover the sRGB standard and, as expected, surpass it on the right side — in red, orange and green shades. With these features, the monitor can be easily used in professional color work, when the standard color space is the required maximum.
A finely tuned white point sits next to perfect CG grayscale stability, which is maintained across the entire brightness range.
From the gamma curves, one can judge about the insufficiently good visibility of deep shadows (which was confirmed in the first minutes of working at the monitor) and a general increase in contrast throughout the entire range. At the same time, there is no obvious imbalance between the channels, and the picture quality should suit most of the buyers.
Thanks to this setting and a color gamut close to sRGB space, the monitor performed quite well in the Argyll CMS color accuracy test. The main questions are about a couple of color shades and dark grayscale. But this can be improved.
⇡#results after tuning and calibration
During manual adjustment, we reduced the backlight brightness and RGB Gain to achieve the desired brightness level and white point color temperature.
The anchor points on the CIE diagram slightly changed their coordinates, but there were no global changes in the color gamut. The monitor under study again demonstrated a high level of compliance with the sRGB space. The other two spaces in his case, as you understand, are of no interest to us.
The white point crept close to 6500 K, and the stability of the CG grayscale decreased by just a couple of percent.
We didn’t manage to achieve perfect gamma curves, but it’s easy to improve the visibility of shadows and slightly reduce the overall contrast of the picture.
The Argyll CMS report shows the expected decline in deviations expressed in DeltaE94 units. The average value decreased to 0.28 units, and the maximum did not exceed 1 unit. The result is excellent. It remains to look at a couple of other modes of interest to us.
⇡#Results in mode sRGB
Our methodology requires that we test a special sRGB mode from the general list of GameVisual. When it is activated in the monitor menu, most of the settings related to color reproduction are blocked (including the brightness of the backlight, which is set at 155 nits), and the color gamut must be brought to the corresponding standard name. Is it so? No.
The superiority in the right zone does not disappear anywhere, sRGB emulation is not performed, however, the level of compliance in the studied mode turned out to be maximum and approached 99%. However, the need to use the color profile of the device in sRGB Mode does not disappear anywhere.
The white point transitions into a “warm” zone by 5700 K without stray hue, and the stability of the CG grayscale is maintained at an initially high level.
Gamma curves — the spitting image of the Racing mode, set by default. The same problems, the same features, but the picture is still decent.
The sRGB mode scored the highest in the color accuracy test, but keep in mind that the backlight brightness is locked at a fairly high level, and the picture is noticeably «warm» — and this cannot be changed. The only option, if you don’t want to manually adjust and calibrate the Racing mode, is to match the working lighting conditions to the sRGB presets. Will someone do it? We doubt.
Results in mode Blue light filter
To reduce eye strain, manufacturers have long offered modes like the Blue Light Filter with a reduced blue component of the backlight spectrum. In the ASUS monitor, this mode has four levels of exposure. The first three affect only the white point with small shifts in color temperature, while the fourth additionally causes a sharp drop in brightness. That is what we decided to check.
To our surprise, the monitor’s color gamut remained at a high level. We did not see significant changes.
The white point flew to 4500 K and acquired a slight greenish tint. A similar thing happened with shades of gray, which lay side by side in a dense group, thereby maintaining the highest possible stability.
ASUS engineers decided not to change the gamma curves, as other manufacturers do in order to drastically reduce the contrast of the picture and “bring all the shadows into the light,” as a result, everything was preserved as it was by default.
This led to the fact that we saw the strongest deviations from the reference only at the white point. The rest is the Racing mode with a different color temperature and a brightness of 190 nits. Nothing interesting.
The uniformity of the display backlight was tested after reducing the brightness at the center point of the monitor to a level of 100 cd/m2 and setting the color temperature to ~6500 Kelvin.
The picture above shows a photograph of a white field with a certain exposure compensation during shooting (in the dark) and further software processing for a more visual representation of the backlight uniformity.
On white, backlight uniformity problems are not very visible, but when you look at the gray fields, they all crawl out.
The average deviation from the central point was 9.9%, and the maximum was 17%. The result is slightly below average, but for a relatively affordable gaming monitor of this class, this is a decent level — you should not count on something more (just look at the test results of other models).
But with the uniformity of color temperature on a white field, things are much better. In our specimen, the spread was no more than 372 K, the average deviation from the central point was 1.2%, and the maximum was 3%. The result is high, and it makes no sense to talk about some problem areas here. The new VG27AQ proved to be much better than all its predecessors, and it remains to be hoped that many instances of the new AUO matrix are capable of this.
Now let’s look at the uniformity of the backlight and the different color effects in the case of a black box. We will do this using two photographs taken at different distances from the screen (~ 70 and 150 cm).
From the point of view of the angular Glow-effect, the monitor under study showed a result quite normal for an IPS-matrix — four «illuminated» corners (more on the right) with weak spurious shades. The size of the «flares» depends on the distance to the screen — the closer, the larger they are. And of course, on the set brightness of the backlight and the level of ambient light in the working room. The higher the brightness of the screen and the lower the brightness in the room, the more noticeable Glow.
When moving away from the screen, Glow completely disappears — and it becomes clear that with real black uniformity, our VG27AQ instance is doing very well. There is no effect of clouds (clouding), as in *VA-panels, there are no horizontal or vertical stripes, only some unevenness in color temperature and an overexposed strip on the left edge have been preserved. The rest of the problems are not observed.
⇡#Features of the model and visual evaluation of the image
⇡#Gradient Quality and Response Speed
The 8-bit matrix used in the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ was able to demonstrate good gradient uniformity in all preset modes and after editing the operating parameters in the OSD menu.
Sufficiently high-quality factory settings allowed the monitor to get by with minimal edits to the LUT of the video card during the calibration, which, in turn, ensured only a slight drop in the quality of tonal transitions: two distinguishable transitions with weak spurious shades appear — and that’s it.
In the issue of «banding» on complex tonal transitions, the new VG27AQ showed an average result, which should suit the vast majority of consumers. We did not see anything terrifying, as is often the case with *VA models.
The hero of the review is a gaming model, and therefore the declared speed characteristics correspond to this class of IPS displays. The maximum refresh rate of 155 Hz, which in reality can be 165 Hz (after activating the Overclocking function), as well as 1 millisecond, obtained using the Motion Picture Response Time (MPRT) method, is a serious claim for success, but there is no talk of any record goes. If we talk about the response time using the Gray to Gray (GtG) method, then the figure is completely ordinary — 4 ms.
To overclock the matrix in the VG27AQ, the manufacturer uses the standard TraceFree technology (aka Overdrive in the general sense) with six acceleration values. By default, the TF-60 mode is set, which in reality turned out to be not the best option. If we talk about a refresh rate of 144-165 Hz, then with such TraceFree overclocking, just while scrolling text (black on white), you can easily detect blue-violet artifacts that are extremely difficult to see on moving objects from the picture above. Things get much worse if you set the frequency to 60 Hz, which is indecently low for such a display, but, unfortunately, this is the level that you will encounter when connecting the VG27AQ to modern game consoles.
When overclocking is reduced to TF-40, there are practically no changes in the studied picture, but text scrolling becomes less painful for the eyes — artifacts are slightly reduced. The result is even better with the TF-20 and should suit most users. True, the length of the trails and their visibility increase, but the artifacts almost completely disappear. The best combination, in our opinion, is the frequency of 144-155 Hz and TF-20. With such a bunch, the ASUS VG27AQ monitor will please you with high speed and the absence of well-distinguished artifacts.
If you want to get the sharpest picture, then it remains to activate the ELMB-Sync mode with the insertion of a “black frame”, available starting from a frequency of 100 Hz. In this case, the load on the eyes, of course, is much higher, but moving objects, including running text, become clearly distinguishable. When the FPS drops below 100, the number of «black frames» is twice the frequency of the sweep, which, in turn, leads to the appearance of trails both behind the object and after it. Nothing to do with it, just something to keep in mind.
Despite all the problems that certainly deserve heated discussions on the forums and in the comments, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor can be safely considered a fast gaming model that easily outperforms all gaming *VA solutions, competes with the best representatives of the IPS camp and can compete with some TN+Film solutions.
Not the most adequate overclocking of the new AUO panel to achieve high speed performance can be explained by the unwillingness of ASUS to create unnecessary competition for one of the top and most popular gaming monitors of the ROG Swift series — PG279Q. The official G-Sync Compatible support for the new VG27AQ and similar numbers in TX create internal competition, so it was simply impossible to make the new product ideal in everything — this would be a victory for engineers over marketers, which is contrary to the principles of product promotion.
For G-Sync Compatible to work correctly, you should update the NVIDIA drivers, where support for the monitor studied in this material was added in one of the latest versions. The technology performs well in the declared range of 48-165 Hz, allowing you to achieve the absence of micro-lags and image tearing at a highly floating FPS level.
Finally, we note the absence of frame drops at a maximum frequency of 165 Hz, which was confirmed by a special test from the UFOTest package. In this issue, the monitor did not have any problems.
viewing angles and Glow—Effect
In terms of viewing angles, the monitor in question is not much different from other 27-inch WQHD models with IPS-type panels, demonstrating a high level of picture stability at working viewing angles. Experience has shown that 27-inch IPS is still one of the most versatile and practical solutions on the market, even with the rapid development of other panel formats and types.
With minor changes in the horizontal plane, the picture on the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ screen does not change at all. If you increase the angle to 30-45 degrees, then the image becomes a little less contrast, the saturation of some colors slightly decreases, the shadows are slightly brightened — nothing unusual. With changes in the vertical plane, the picture on the screen deteriorates faster and stronger. The extreme areas of the screen, in particular, the corners, change their appearance especially strongly.
The tested monitor is not spared from the Glow effect, since it is built on the basis of an IPS-type matrix. It is Glow that makes the main contribution to the appearance of complaints about the stability of the picture on the screen and the comfort of working in a dark room, especially when watching movies and working in software with a dark interface. Depending on the position of the user in front of the screen with a black fill, the stray tint and the degree of its manifestation vary greatly.
The Glow-effect also demonstrates itself on color images, especially if the picture is made in dark shades. In this case, when viewed from the side, a warm or cold parasitic shade appears (depending on which side to look at). When checking on other pictures, the result may be completely different, but the general patterns will remain in force.
⇡#crystal effect, Cross—hatching, PWM, sharpness, operation noise
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor uses a high-quality semi-matte matrix work surface.
The picture on the screen is pleasing to the eye. The crystalline effect is barely noticeable, many will not see it at all. When you change the viewing angle, its visibility practically does not increase. This display model is completely free from the Cross-Hatching effect.
We had no issues with displaying small elements and drawing text of various sizes; Sharpness and VividPixel adjustments are not required. The monitor confidently passes all tests and leaves a positive impression of the picture on the screen.
According to the manufacturer, the display has Flicker-Free backlighting, which was confirmed during our tests. At any level of brightness, SHI modulation is not used, or its frequency is several kilohertz or even tens of kilohertz. For their own eyes, potential buyers can be calm. It remains not to forget about the need to take breaks in work and not to set too high brightness in low or medium ambient light.
If ELMB-Sync is activated, the monitor enters the mode with the insertion of a “black frame”, and the backlight, accordingly, begins to flicker with a high duty cycle at the frequency of the set vertical scan. The load on the eyes in this case, of course, increases, but the moving objects on the screen become clearer. For short gaming sessions, this mode can be interesting, but for prolonged work at the monitor, it should definitely be avoided.
The VG27AQ uses an external power supply. Neither he nor the control electronics emit parasitic sounds.
The powerful attack of competitors on the segment of affordable gaming monitors prompted ASUS to create another series of its gaming models, which was given the name TUF Gaming. The purpose of its creation was not only to lower the entry price threshold, but also to once again show and prove engineering superiority. The monitor under study became the second on the market (after its older brother) with support for ELMB-Sync technology, which allows the adaptive synchronization system to work simultaneously with the insertion of a “black frame”, which was even hard to imagine before (although some enthusiasts have already traded in this way, but on other models , and it was all much more difficult). Well, the official support for NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible is worth a lot.
To reduce the cost, the manufacturer did not cut as much as it might seem at first glance, but to reduce internal competition, it seems that he deliberately made several mistakes: the display got a high minimum brightness (however, the extremely popular PG279Q also sins in a similar way), and artifacts can be detected even with the factory settings of TraceFree overclocking, especially at a low sweep frequency. You can adjust the display better, but it will take a little time and an individual selection for your visual sensitivity of the ratio of the refresh rate and the TF value.
In terms of other evaluation parameters (color rendering quality, viewing angles, backlight uniformity, and so on), the new product at least does not differ from its predecessors and competitors, and in some cases noticeably surpasses them, which can make significant adjustments to the placement of positions in the 27-inch gaming market. WQHD IPS displays. Good luck with your choice!
From the 3DNews.ru file server, you can download color profile for this monitor, which we received after calibrating with Argyll CMS.
- nice design (although simplifications are still visible);
- excellent quality of materials and assembly;
- ergonomic stand and VESA-mount standard 100 × 100 mm;
- decent delivery set;
- convenient control system based on physical keys and a 5-way joystick;
- good factory setting;
- high quality gradients in preset modes and after manual edits;
- official support for NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible in Free-Sync in the range of 48-165 Hz;
- one of the first monitors with the ability to activate the insertion of a «black frame» when the VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) system is running;
- very good uniformity of illumination on a bright field in terms of color temperature — the result was a pleasant surprise;
- good illumination uniformity on a black field (excluding the Glow effect);
- backlight without flicker (Flicker-Free) in the entire range of brightness changes;
- no visible crystal effect, cross-hatching and parasitic sounds of electronics during operation;
- good viewing angles and picture stability;
- excellent elaboration of text and small elements on the screen — additional sharpness adjustment and VividPixel are not required;
- expectedly adequate price ($30,000-320).
- high minimum brightness level — to reduce to adequate values, you will have to reduce the contrast ratio and RGB gain;
- noticeable artifacts at high values of the sweep frequency and TraceFree response time overclocking (40-100%) — this is probably such marketing (otherwise the model would have eclipsed the flagship ASUS monitors), because a huge number of similar IPS solutions by ASUS itself and its competitors do without similar problems.
May not suit:
- lack of quick-release mount and USB-switch;
- the absence of any system for illuminating the external space (behind them you will have more expensive models);
- mediocre emulation of the sRGB standard in the appropriate mode with restrictions on brightness adjustments and other parameters;
- decrease in the quality of gradients after calibration, even despite minimal edits in the LUT of the video card;
- Pseudo support for HDR — the monitor can process metadata in as many as two modes, but the matrix does not satisfy even the simplest HDR standard, VESA Display HDR400;
- standard color gamut — perhaps you want the level of the new DCI-P3;
- average backlight uniformity in terms of brightness level on a white field;
- well-marked Glow-effect.