ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ review
In modern times, gaming monitors are claimed to do whatever you can think of – run at 1 million Hz, show all of the visible and invisible colors of the universe, and of course – have a pixel response time shorter than Tom Cruise. Should you believe all that manufacturers are saying? Well, the color reproduction and color accuracy are pretty important, while the refresh rate is something that you simply cannot lie about. So yes, most of the specs are real. How about the pixel response time – arguably the most important metric of the gaming monitor?
Today, you are going to learn the exact values of the response time of this 165Hz 27-inch monitor. Interestingly, it also comes at a 1440p resolution, which puts it right in the new normal. In addition to that, there is a feature called ELMB Sync. We’re going to explain what it does and how it works later on.
ASUS claims that their TUF monitor is HDR10-certified, and features the support of NVIDIA G-SYNC. However, you should keep in mind that some images of the product elegantly dodge the “Compatible” that sits behind the G-SYNC. Essentially, this means that the monitor doesn’t support G-SYNC, but is Adaptive-Sync ready. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves by boring you with synchronization factology, and take a look inside the box this ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ came in.
You can check the current price of ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ here: Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)
Unboxing and setup
As you can imagine, the 27-inch monitor has a pretty beefy enclosure. After all, there is a bunch of styrofoam inside, that protects the precious hardware you just purchased. In addition to the monitor and the two stand parts, you will find some paperwork, a power cord, and a 65W power adapter, which looks exactly the same as that of some of the marque’s business laptops. Furthermore, there are two cables – an HDMI and a DisplayPort one.
Design and construction
Like with its TUF Gaming laptop series, ASUS was pretty moderate with the aggression in this monitor’s design. It has some sharp edges, but from the front, it looks like nothing more than an office display with thin bezels.
Further proof of this argument is the ability of the monitor to swivel, pivot, and tilt. Plus, it has a 130mm motion in height adjustment. All of this is thanks to the stand – it is metal by heart, but has a plastic enclosure.
The display is also covered in plastic, and it is really weird to see some exposed screws. Not that this is bad, because it would make disassembling the monitor less of a hassle.
Assembling the stand is pretty easy – you just need to “screw” the bottom part into the stem, which is already attached to the monitor itself. In addition, the device supports VESA wall mounts, but for this to happen, you need to remove the entire stand from the monitor.
Since there is no I/O cover here, you can easily see the I/O. It is not very extensive, with only two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.2, as well as an audio jack, and a power plug. Keep in mind that the HDMI ports support up to 144Hz at 1440p, while the other connector allows you to take advantage of the full 165Hz capability of the monitor.
ASUS TUF Gaming V27AQ is equipped with an IPS-type panel. Its diagonal is 27″ (68.58 cm), has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, and a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 109 ppi, and a pitch of 0.23 х 0.23 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 80cm (31.5″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels).
It has comfortable viewing angles. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.
We measured a maximum brightness of 411 nits in the middle of the screen (“Racing Mode” – “Game Visual”, Brightness 100%, Contrast 80%, Color Temperature “User Mode – RGB R100, G100, B100). The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and maximum brightness is 6580K, which is almost matching the sRGB standard of 6500K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. It is how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 18% Brightness.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the monitor for color-sensitive work. The contrast ratio is good – 1070:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream display.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows ASUS TUF Gaming V27AQ’s color gamut coverage in the “sRGB” mode in the first graphic and in “Standard” mode in the second.
This display covers 98% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB encoding curve. We’ve used the “Color temperature User Mode – RGB R100, G95, B100” preset, and compared it to the “sRGB Mode” preset.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of ASUS TUF Gaming V27AQ with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
The response time of the pixels shouldn’t be slower than the refresh cycle of the screen (16.67 ms for 60Hz, 6.94 ms for 144Hz, and so on). Ultimately, this results in ghosting, caused by the pixel’s inability to change in that amount of time, thus continuing in the next frame. In order to battle that issue, manufacturers use Overdrive. Essentially, this is a technique for RTC (Response Time Compensation). What does it do? Well, it supplies higher voltage to the crystals (in LCD monitors), which makes them switch their position faster. However, excessive levels of Overdrive can result in Overshooting, which transforms into inverse ghosting, coronas, and artifacts, obviously affecting the image quality in a negative way. This is why many manufacturers provide several levels of Overdrive, so you can choose which suits you best.
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa and maximum brightness.
Here, the display is pretty fast, but we didn’t see any practical difference between using the OverClocking function, which pushes the panel to its maximum 165Hz. Otherwise, it works at 144Hz.
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude and maximum brightness.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
ASUS TUF Gaming V27AQ’s backlight is not PW-modulated at any brightness level. This makes it comfortable for your eyes in this aspect even during long working periods. (the results are with “OverClocking” enabled).
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Gloss level measurement
Glossy-coated displays are sometimes inconvenient in high ambient light conditions. We show the level of reflection on the screen for the respective laptop when the display is turned off and the measurement angle is 60° (in this case, the measurements show a value of 55.2 GU, which is okay).
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for the ASUS TUF Gaming V27AQ.
In this case, the profiles are ready for work after a factory reset, except for the Gaming and Web design profile, where you need to set the display to the “sRGB mode”. Interestingly, depending on the ambient light and the game you’re playing it is highly possible that the Office Work profile might be more appealing than the Gaming and Web design one.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount
ASUS TUF Gaming V27AQ’s HDR IPS panel has a very short pixel response time, comfortable backlight regarding PWM, a high maximum brightness, and comfortable viewing angles. All of the aforementioned qualities make it a very appealing option for gamers. Furthermore, its colors are pretty accurate after calibration and profiling, thus making the monitor appropriate for users, who need true-to-life colors – at least when it comes to the Web.
We also need to mention the high resolution. Well, it’s not that high, considering that you can now order a 4K 120Hz panel pretty much everywhere. However, at a price of around $289 as of the time of writing this review, you can’t ask for more than 1440p at 165Hz. With that said, you have to keep in mind that the 165Hz refresh rate is only accessible via DisplayPort. The HDMI connectors here are “only” able to output 144Hz at this resolution.
Moreover, you need to specifically go to the NVIDIA Control Panel in order to switch to 165Hz or “overclock” your monitor. Quite frankly, the more important variable is the pixel response time, which is hardly changed by switching through the refresh rates. Speaking of variables, the monitor sports the variable refresh rate technology, called G-SYNC Compatible. Furthermore, it is enhanced by the “Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync” or the ELMB Sync we mentioned earlier. Thankfully, we warned you not to trust some marketing names at the beginning of the review.
Now, if you are a casual gamer (or a hard-core gamer that needs its monitor for office work as well), the TUF Gaming VG27AQ may be a really appropriate choice. Its stand offers all kinds of motion, including pivoting to a vertical position. And unlike some of the more gamer-centric devices like the Alienware AW2521H, its design is very lowkey.
You can check the current price of ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ here: Buy from Amazon.com (#CommissionsEarned)
- It Falls in the sweet spot for gaming monitors (in terms of size and resolution)
- Covers the entire sRGB color gamut and has accurate colors with our profiles
- Overclockable to 165Hz and pretty fast in terms of response time
- Adjustable height, tilt, swivel, and pivot
- G-SYNC Compatible and HDR10 support
- Affordable price
- Requires a DisplayPort connection to get the 165Hz refresh rate (HDMI “only” goes to 144Hz)
- Limited I/O