Having to review a gaming monitor is somewhat an honour for me because I love gaming and secondly I hardly get to review a gaming monitor. Now all thanks to ASUS, I get to review what I think is an awesome gaming monitor. The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Monitor is something worth looking at especially with its high refresh rate up to 165Hz for that extra smooth game play.
To be honest, I don’t have a high-end gaming setup. My home PC just has enough power to run relatively older 3D shooter games such as Quake Champions. I have been playing the Quake series since the late 90s so yeah, I’m from that era. Nevertheless, I have always enjoyed the game even until today.
So this review will be my own personal view of the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor and what I think of it from a layman point of view. I don’t usually like to give out the technical details because some “normal” users want to know how good it is and will-it-be-worth-my-money, kind of information. And from my own personal review, I will tell everything based on my experience while using the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor.
Key Features and Design
Now, the main key features of the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ is the high refresh rate that goes up to 165Hz. It has also been certified as G-SYNC Compatible, delivering a seamless, tear-free gaming experience by enabling VRR (variable refresh rate) by default. That means it can switch between 60Hz and 165Hz depending on the rendering situation.
It also comes with HDR10 high dynamic range for colour reproduction and brightness levels that exceed the capabilities of normal monitors. And I like the stand the most. I can set it up as a standard landscape view or turn vertically for a portrait view. Many other monitors can do this but I’m just saying that the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ can also do this. Get it? But I don’t use the portrait orientation because I have no use for it unless I’m monitoring a chat-box in FB Gaming or Twitch while I’m streaming.
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor comes with a 2560×1440 max resolution on a HDR IPS display. As indicated in the model name, it is a 27” display monitor that is large enough for some good gaming sessions. And for the first time in any gaming monitor, Motion Blur Reduction and Adaptive-sync can be enabled at the same time. This new technology is called ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB SYNC). ELMB SYNC works with G-SYNC Compatible, allowing gamers to enjoy sharp, high speed frames, all the time.
As for the design, I like the look of the base that is holding the monitor up. The overall design feels futuristic with a nice black frame with red lining design around the monitor. One look, you can tell that it is an ASUS monitor. And it has slim bezels along the sides to maximise the viewing angle. The whole monitor can easily be raised up and down with a gentle nudge, adjusting the height to suit your comfort level.
Turning the monitor 90 degrees for portrait mode is just as easy. Simply lift the monitor to its maximum height and turn it either way (clockwise or counter-clockwise) to orient it in portrait mode. I find that this can be done easier than the ASUS ProArt display that I reviewed last year. That is also a very good ASUS monitor but it is focused more on creative work rather than gaming.
Another feature that was mentioned earlier is the extreme low motion blur sync (ELMB Sync). With ELMB SYNC, you can enable ELMB (low-motion-blur technology) and G-SYNC Compatible at the same time, eliminating ghosting and tearing for sharp visuals and high frame rates while gaming. I have noticed this before on another monitor where ghostings and blur usually occur during fast in-game movements. While it still looks good, I tend to get dizzy after a while.
With the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor however, the movements are smoother and lifelike. Now I get dizzy because it is too clear and smooth. But it is very enjoyable nonetheless. Faraway enemies can be seen much clearer. So I guess the ELMB SYNC and G-SYNC features work nicely, for me at least.
If you have a higher end gaming machine with a more powerful CPU x GPU, you will appreciate the in-game enhancements done with the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor. There are a few enhancements you can get such as Shadow Boost, Gameplus, Game Visual, Flicker-Free Technology and Ultra Low Blue Light Technology. With all that being said, now I do wish I have a high-end machine so that I can experience the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor’s full potential for gaming.
Around the back, there are two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort. The two HDMI ports have a maximum of 144Hz refresh rate and since this monitor can go up to 165Hz refresh rate, you will need to use the DisplayPort to take full advantage of the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor. Alas, I don’t have a DisplayPort compatible PC. So I have to rely on the HDMI connection only.
User Experience and Performance
I only get to play less than 2 hours a day during my two weeks with the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor. And the game I play that I consider is playable on my machine is Quake Champions. It’s good on my normal monitor but it’s way better on the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor.
Colours are vibrant while the black (dark) areas are really dark, but not as good as an OLED display. It does look like a little washed out black but it’s more black than my normal monitor. Since I set it to its full resolution of 2560×1440, the rendered graphics looked crispy and super vibrant.
Screen refresh rate is good at 144Hz. If it’s smooth at this rate, I do wonder how it will look like on a 165Hz enabled machine. I bet it will look even better. Again, I do wish I had a better machine made especially for gaming so that I can take full advantage of the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor. Oh well, soon I hope.
Gaming aside, I literally use the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor for everything that I do while testing it. I love the minimal bezels around the sides and the ease of adjusting the height of the monitor when I need to. I did however, take advantage of the large display and high resolution to work on some graphic designs on Photoshop and Illustrator. Most important aspect that I need is the colour accuracy. Comparing it to my normal monitor, the one on ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor produces a darker contrast on the colours, making it look slightly dimmer in certain areas.
I guess this is because the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor is more of a gaming monitor rather than a creative monitor. I don’t mind it one bit as long as the colour is close to what I intended it to be. While it is vibrant, it just may look a little dimmer than usual.
However, there is no doubt that the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor can be your next monitor purchase. Why? Because you will get a huge bang for your buck. With high frame rate and great high dynamic range with motion blur reduction features, you will be glad that you made the purchase. Sure, the colours are dimmer when you’re doing a little graphic work but you can always bump up the brightness level to your heart’s desire. Needless to say, there is always something for everyone.
As I said earlier, I will only review based on my own personal experience with the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor. There is nothing technical about it because I want to give a simple layman term review for those who don’t actually know any technical stuff. So by keeping it as simple as possible but explaining the whole experience of using it, it may be suitable for beginners who want to look for a new gaming monitor.
With that being said, I think the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ is one heck of a good gaming monitor. It lacks the punchy brightness for creative work but it delivers a sharp and vibrant image for gaming. The smoothness of the 144Hz display is good, but I’m sure if you manage to utilise the 165Hz, it would be better.
Will I recommend the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ monitor if you’re into gaming? That’s a definite yes! It is one of those monitors that ticks every gaming box for high frame rates, adaptive sync, motion blur reduction and many others.