The Asus MX27UQ is a sophisticatedly designed mix-use 4K UHD monitor intended for savvy executives and classy homeowners who want excellent images with a few entertainment chops. This model comes at a premium when compared to the ViewSonic XG2700-4K which has similar specs but is more affordable, but Asus rewards the meticulous buyer with premium features such as Bang and Olufsen speakers plus a sleek and stylish chassis. Asus dominates much of the display market in sales and rating, so seeing if the premium mix-use Asus MX27UQ has what it takes to join its award-winning brethren in the best seller arena.
Asus MX27UQ Specifications
- Screen Size: 27 Inches
- Resolution: 4K UHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time:5ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Brightness: 300 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes 2 x 3Watts
- Stand: Height – No
- Stand: Tilt – Yes (-2°/+20°)
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot – No
- VESA Compatibility: No
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2 x 1, HDMI 1.4 x 1, HDMI 2.0 x1, USB 3.0 x 1, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Dimensions With Stand(WxHxD): 23.5″ x 13.22″ x 8.87″
- Weight: 12.13 lbs
Design and Features
The Asus MX27UQ features a beautiful brushed aluminium finish and a frameless design giving the product a touch of elegance and a hint of futurism. The face features a three-sided border-free design which provides a distraction-free view of the 27-inch 4K panel in all its glory. While we always prefer our gaming or design monitors to be in subdued black, this model looks undeniably attractive and unique making it suitable for display in a deluxe living room instead of a desk.
The rear of the chassis is finished in graphite black similar to what the PG series monitors have. The slight bulge does not overburden the form of the Asus MX27UQ, but one downside to its slenderness is the monitor uses an external power brick which can sometimes be a pain to position. The bottom part of the cabinet holds a pair of 3-watt speakers in a down-firing position, while the I/O layout is in a horizontal posture.
Speakers are always a target of criticism, but for us, the Asus MX27UQ gives us mixed feelings. For one, audio sounds cleaner and brighter on it thanks to Bang and Olufsen’s ICEpower tuning, but for entertainment purposes, it will still lack the satisfying response most will look for. The pair was built for near-field listening, so the farther you are from the display, the lesser appreciation this premium feature will get.
But interestingly, the Asus MX27UQ is Bluetooth compatible so that you can play your music wirelessly via the monitor. This is a nice addition to have, if only the speakers had enough oomph to really impress. For a product which markets as a display for professionals, we can’t help but feel that the I/O layout seems a bit lean. There are connector-rich products from other professional monitor makers like Dell or Acer, but we’re think adding in more receptacles might add more meat to the sleek physique.
The ports include DisplayPort 1.2a, HDMI 2.0, HDMI 1.4, a lone USB 3.0 slot with fast charging, and 3.5mm jacks for the speakers. To operate at 60Hz 4K, you will need to use the DP or HDMI 2.0 slots since they have the necessary bandwidth. The signal inputs are more than enough for modern usage, but we would have liked to see more accessible USB slots for convenience.
However, the beautiful stand can only offer tilt for ergonomics. The only consolation you get from this part is that it is machined perfectly, so there are not sharp edges and burrs plus it adds a nice touch to the whole package. It can be easily removed, but the Asus MX27UQ isn’t VESA compatible so might need an adaptor which will fit this model. VESA mounting should be a standard by now, but the brand sacrificed this to keep the good looks and the svelte figure intact.
Display and Performance
The Asus MX27UQ boasts a stunning 27-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 native resolution, 5ms response time, and 60Hz refresh rate. Colors are stunning since the panel in this model is rated to have 100% sRGB coverage via its 8-bit plus FRC interface, although it does look a bit warm which is ideal for games it could be detrimental to professional editing. Images and games appear extra fine thanks to the smaller pixel pitch, plus it would be difficult to notice each pixel or graininess against the matte AG coating.
Selecting sRGB mode provides the best color accuracy, but you might also want to increase contrast and lower brightness for the best performance. Of course, we all see things differently, so you might have a different sweet spot easily within reach by spending some time to explore the user-friendly OSD. Setting contrast to 80 and lowering brightness to around 20-40 provided the best, most comfortable image in our case, but we recommend users to test the Asus MX27UQ’s intuitive OSD out since it is easy as peas.
One problem you might encounter in the Asus MX27UQ’s form factor is that some icons and text might appear too small. Most operating systems have automatic scaling features, but a lot of programs do not work well with them. So if you have poor eyesight, you might want to check out a demo unit or this model or something similar before pulling the trigger.
60Hz at 4K is pretty standard nowadays for all UHD monitors, so you can’t expect smoother, blur-free gameplay unless it is the Asus PG27UQ we are talking about. 60FPS is still a lot for most graphics cards especially the current AMD models which you need to enable FreeSync. Of course once activated, the tech allows buttery-smooth pictures in games, although we noticed a bit of interlacing due to the slower pixel response time.
These are minor squabbles considering the Asus MX27UQ isn’t a dedicated gaming monitor, but it has enough capabilities in its fold to please after-hours warriors. The high-quality IPS panel helps to bring out the glimmering stars and planets against the dark backdrop of outer space in our Mass Effect Andromeda test. The real downer here is that our test GPU did not have enough horsepower to play the title at max graphics.
We did not get to measure input lag on the Asus MX27UQ, but it did feel responsive enough during our playthrough. We estimate near or a little over the ideal 10ms which is acceptable for casual gaming, but competitive players might have to look elsewhere if they want a 4K display. Still, if you factor in the premium features and the excellent imaging capabilities of this product, it shouldn’t disappoint.
Finally, the panel on the Asus MX27UQ is impeccably excellent in our experience, since it did not have detrimental backlight deviance nor noticeable backlight bleeding. The screen is crystal clear despite the matte coating, plus it had plenty of spunk in brightness for those times when glare can be an issue.
The Asus MX27UQ is fantastic at acting as a middle ground for both gaming and professional use, despite some missing features and the unsatisfying but improved performance from the premium speakers. Colors are excellent, and the 4K screen is crystal clear, making it ideal for media viewing or even gaming if needed. The product also looks elegantly designed, and the borderless front plus the brushed aluminum finish deserves adoration.
But when it comes to the price tag, the difficult question of whether to recommend the Asus MX27UQ as a good buy enters into play. Frankly, the price premium is a bit difficult to swallow when compared to products in the same segment, or it can turn-off gamers since there are excellent gamer-centric models for roughly the same amount. But if cash isn’t an issue and you want decent performance packed into a bundle of aesthetic sexiness, the Asus MX27UQ should make it to your list of eligible 4K UHD monitors.
Update: The Asus MX27UQ is available as the Asus MX27UC in the United States, but it comes with a USB-C slot and you can buy it in through this link.