● Amazing 4K quality
● G-Sync capability
● Customizable display with GamePlus
● Freely adjustable stand
● It’s still over $900
● Contrast issues with video content
● Built-in speakers distort at high volumes
● Inputs aren’t easily accessible
Gaming on a 4K monitor is still in the luxury phase with the best options hovering at $1,000.
When it comes to most rigs or consoles, there are more affordable options that can provide just as much quality and performance. For those that require the best and have the rig to showcase
it, the best bang for your buck resides in the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ.
Adaptable to your needs
This 27-inch monitor falls under Asus’ Republic of Gamers umbrella, so it features a stylish base that compliments the IPS panel. A red ring glows around the pivoting area that can swivel and tilt to meet the user’s comfort. It features a span of 60 degrees to the left or right and it can tilt backward at 20 degrees and forward five degrees. Built to satisfy any desktop setup, the ring can also be turned off for more discrete preferences, and the base can be abandoned to hang the monitor on a VESA mount.
ASUS also adds a joystick nub on the right side of the panel that sends users to a bevy of display options. It’s simple to navigate menus that offer a variety of blue light filters, preset modes, sound settings, and more. GamePlus, which is a feature in most ASUS monitors, gives the gamer the ability to add counters and change crosshair displays to enhance the experience.
For those picking up a quick game, two-watt stereo speakers are mounted for convenience. While the quality is high enough for personal enjoyment, they don’t quite fill up a typical room. Turning up the audio can distort the quality, leaving longer sessions requiring a headset or traditional speakers.
All the expected inputs are provided with the PG27AQ with one HDMI 1.4, one DisplayPort 1.2, two USB 3.0 ports, and a standard headphone jack. Perhaps the only inconvenient part of the monitor is these ports are located at the bottom of the panel. It will take memory or adjusting the unit’s position to reach them.
Quality performance with the gamer in mind
While this monitor doesn’t provide the increasingly popular ultra-widescreen aspect ratio, it still illuminates the room with a beautiful 3840×2160 4K resolution. A maximum refresh rate of 60Hz with a response time of 4ms meets the requirements of most gamers. It’s stellar to see that performance level on a 4K IPS, but you wouldn’t be spending over $900 on anything less.
Nvidia’s G-Sync is also equipped in the PG27AQ. The addition boosts up the price tag and is limited to the company’s GPUs only, but it provides a spectacular display while preventing screen tearing. There’s also limited to no ghosting with movement, and that setting can also be tinkered with in the settings. Like similar 4K displays, colors are vibrant and pop out when compared to traditional monitors.
Where the screen lacks is in properly displaying videos. Contrast suffers in movies and TV shows compared to other 4K screens. Deep blacks are not achievable and colors can be overly vivid. As usual, calibration options can tailor this to any preference, but contrast remains an issue. Most games take advantage of the color, which makes sense for a monitor that was made with the player in mind.
The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ isn’t made for a full-fledged media experience, but it’s the best 4K monitor on the market. It just avoids the four-digit price tag and provides an immersive experience that shows off anybody’s high-powered rig. 4K and IPS monitors are finally able to meet the standards gamers crave with no input lag and a constant 60Hz refresh rate.
For those with a bigger budget, the larger Acer Predator XB321HK nearly has all the features the PG27AQ includes. The 32-inch screen supports G-Sync, has slightly better built-in speakers, and it improves on the contrast issues. However, the monitor is a bit clunky at 25 pounds, it can’t be adjusted as much, there’s one less USB port, and there aren’t as many settings to tinker with (and no GamePlus). At over $200 more, it’s less valuable than the PG27AQ.