- Fantastic Image Quality
- FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible
- ELMB Effective
- Lower Price (Around $1000 MSRP)
- Needs two DP 1.4 connections to run at 144Hz
- Aging Design
- Priced Higher than Most Gaming Monitors
The Asus XG27UQ is a 4K 144Hz gaming monitor made more affordable than the PG27UQ by using FreeSync instead of G-Sync HDR which adds a hefty premium. This model also doesn’t have the 1000-nit FALD backlight, so it’s a dialed down variant that focuses on a 4K output with extended refresh rates. The Asus XG27UQ is still a flagship model despite being more timid than its counterpart, so let’s see if it’s worth your hard-earned bucks.
Asus XG27UQ Specifications
- Screen Size: 27 Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K UHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Response Time: 4ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Brightness: 350 cd/m2 (400 cd/m2)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes
- Connectivity DisplayPort 1.4 x 2, HDMI 2.0 x 2, USB 3.0 x 2, 3.5mm jack x 1
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 24.95” x 21.93” x 10.61”
- Weight: 16.53lbs
Design and Features
The Asus XG27UQ is almost identical to the PG27UQ when it comes to the design that utilizes the signature helix stand. The monitor has a nice, dark gunmetal finish marked with distinct ROG decorations such as the ROG eye and the futuristic printing at the rear. The monitor isn’t bezel-free, so you have to deal with thicker than the usual borders if you want to enjoy the 4K 144Hz panel that requires it.
One notable difference on the Asus XG27UQ is the red accents on the base which is originally bronze orange on the PG27UQ. Most ROG Strix monitors follow this aesthetic formula, while the latter is usually reserved for the ROG Swift products. However, its not a considerable concern, and we’d go and say that red is easier to fit into most aesthetics and tastes.
Build quality is another aspect that the top brand takes into consideration for almost every variant of displays it offers. The plastics used on the Asus XG27UQ feel thick and sturdy, while the monitor stands without any wobbling whatsoever. The edges and the seams are also pristine, so no visible cosmetic defects will surprise you once you unbox this monster.
The Asus XG27UQ still has the RGB LED feature shaped like the ROG eye logo at the upper corner of the rear panel. This add-on is bright enough to cast a glow on your build’s background, making it invaluable if you have a full Asus Aura-compatible build. The lighting also casts a bias light, but its off-center position can sometimes make the glow look awkward.
The Asus XG27UQ offers two convenient ways to access its controls, starting with the joystick and hotkey combination the brand uses on its gaming variants. However, this model also gets the Asus Display Widget compatibility which lets you tweak the monitor’s functions via an app in Windows. This combination makes accessing common settings such as brightness quicker, so you don’t have to get annoyed by plying through several submenus and wasting precious time.
The helix stand used for the Asus XG27UQ features a fully-adjustable mechanism that lets you tilt, swivel, pivot, and adjust the height of the display. There is also an LED projector at the bottom which you can customize with 3D-printed filters which can add to your aesthetics. The XG27UQ is also compatible with VESA mounts, but we recommend checking out the manual if you want to remove this part.
One of the most notable improvements of the Asus XG27UQ is its I/O layout which doesn’t have the limitations set by the G-Sync HDR module in the PG27UQ. The panel includes dual DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 slots, and a trio of USB 3.0 ports for peripherals. Take note that you are going to need the two DP 1.4 slots to run at 144Hz without compression, but you do lose the adaptive sync feature of the monitor by doing so.
Display and Performance
The Asus XG27UQ sports a 27-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 4K resolution, 144Hz overclocked refresh rate, and 4ms response time. The backlight is limited to 350 cd/m2 this time along with contrast which is listed at a typical static ratio of 1000:1. The Asus XG27UQ loses full HDR capabilities, settling for DisplayHDR 400 certification which isn’t as profound instead.
The Asus XG27UQ’ standout characteristic is its extra-crisp screen that gets a boosted refresh rate for considerably smooth gaming. Some users will feel the need to use scaling with this variant since small objects like text have the tendency to look very tiny. However, users should be worried more about the necessary GPU power to run this resolution at anything above 60 FPS.
The Asus XG27UQ is capable of excellent color, starting with full sRGB gamut coverage and up to 92% DCI-P3 when HDR mode is active. Color accuracy has a Delta E score of only 1.80, so shades are lifelike and natural. The color temperature by default is slightly warmer than the 6500K point, but that will not bother you while gaming.
Performance in brightness and contrast are also impressive, with results sitting at 520 cd/m2 and around 1500:1 in HDR respectively. SDR operation gets a lower 1010:1 contrast ratio, but that is still decent as far as IPS gaming displays are concerned. Gamma, on the other hand, is slightly off at 2.15, so some scenes might have minor imbalances.
Panel uniformity is probably the weakest point of the Asus XG27UQ due to backlight bleeding at the top corners. Some clouding and contrast reduction can become noticeable in dark scenes from games like Modern Warfare due to the issues mentioned. However, it’s possible to get a unit that’s better in this regard especially since there are practically no identical IPS modules on most units.
Pixel response time on the Asus XG27UQ is excellent since there are no major blurring issues while enjoying fast-paced games. The overdrive feature in the OSD does an excellent job at reducing trails, but you can also use this model’s ELMB feature which doesn’t lockout key features. The peak brightness of the monitor will drop considerably, but at least you get to enjoy the strobing action while FreeSync is active.
One of the things that make the Asus XG27UQ unique is its dual DP 1.4 slots which will help it run 4K 144Hz without compression. However, doing so will lock out FreeSync and add a bit of input lag, so we advise staying with a single connection instead. Thankfully, there is a feature called DSC or Dynamic Stream Compression which compresses and decompresses the signal so you can use the monitor in 4K 144Hz with a single cable.
The feature isn’t perfect, but the reduction in chroma rendering and the like aren’t as noticeable, and you would be hardpressed to point them out. Its still a better alternative to using dual DP connections, and we’re glad Asus handed its customers the ability to choose which is best for themselves.
We’ve seen this limitation on the Asus XG438Q which is equally impressive but is marketed as a 120Hz model instead. We don’t think it’s a big of a deal, but many meticulous users will always want the maximum output as described in a product’s marketing.
The Asus XG27UQ is a FreeSync monitor like most of the Strix variants, but it’s also G-Sync compatible. You are going to need an RTX 2080 Ti or two to run at high frame rates in this resolution, so being able to use Nvidia GPUs while adaptive sync is active is an invaluable capability. Input lag sits at 4ms, so there should be no delays between the screen and your inputs during play.
Thoughts on the Asus XG27UQ
The Asus XG27UQ is an incredible piece of kit that is considerably more affordable than its predecessors at the cost of a few luxuries. You don’t get the HDR 1000 certified output, but the IPS display’s excellent color and contrast make up for the loss. You also get G-Sync compatibility with this model, making it a more practical choice over its G-Sync HDR counterpart which costs at least $500 more.
The only complaint we have with the Asus XG27UQ is its natural weakness of requiring dual DP 1.4 connections to run at maximum. It’s a natural limitation of the current technology, but the DSC feature as an alternative makes us feel better about it. But despite that, we’d still pick the Asus XG27UQ as a fantastic choice if you want to truly upgrade your visual experience beyond what a regular gaming monitor can offer.
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.