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January 01, 2016

Unboxing & Review: ASUS ROG SWIFT PG27AQ 4K G-SYNC Gaming Monitor


ASUS is among the brands that actually implemented the G-SYNC technology to its products since its announcement, with the ROG SWIFT PG278Q as its first G-SYNC and ROG branded gaming monitor. 

We have another ROG SWIFT gaming monitor at Tech Critter's lab this month, the ROG SWIFT PG27AQ - special thanks to ASUS Malaysia in the provision of the review unit. The ROG SWIFT PG27AQ is what we consider as a huge upgrade compared to the ROG SWIFT PG278Q; equipped with a whopping 4k ultra HD display IPS panel, flicker free and ultra-low blue light feature, etc.

Specifications

Unboxing

The ROG SWIFT PG27AQ comes packed in a huge box, where its prominent features are highlighted on the top.   


The content of the box is, of course, the ROG SWIFT PG27AQ, USB 3.0 A to B cable, the power adapter, DisplayPort cable, HDMI cable, drivers CD, user's guide and a warranty guide. 


At first glance, the ROG SWIFT PG27AQ looks almost exactly like the ROG SWIFT PG278Q. If you've seen an actual ROG SWIFT PG278Q previously, you'd notice the difference of the monitor stand, swivels and the base upon closer inspection. 



An additional bling to the monitor itself, an ROG logo that glows red! ROG fans would definitely appreciate this.


You'll find labels indicating that the ROG SWIFT PG27AQ is a 4K resolution monitor with DisplayPort and HDMI support. In case, if you didn't notice the label on top of the box earlier, the ROG SWIFT PG27AQ is equipped with IPS panel, which is deemed to be a better display technology for creative professionals.



High-end features are much to be expected from the ROG SWIFT PG27AQ, i.e: the screen has adjustable height feature and can be tilted 20° to the front and 5° to the back.


Rotatable 60° to both left and right.  



And you'll also get to pivot it 90° clockwise, in case if you fancy such a setup for your workstation.


At the back, you'll find the buttons for power on/off, OSD menu etc,and a fancy looking red colored 5-way joystick for multi-directional OSD toggling - neat!


At the bottom right of the screen is the audio jack for speakers or headset, and the DC adapter port for the power adapter.


As for the bottom left side, you'll find the USB 3.0 hub for your high-speed data transfer needs, ports for HDMI and DisplayPort. 


Fancy of a VESA mount? Not an issue. The ROG SWIFT PG27AQ can be mounted to pretty much any VESA mount and all you have to do is to detach the monitor stand by unscrewing the screws hidden beneath those rubber covers.

Monitor OSD Menu

The OSD menu is prompted by pressing down the tiny red joystick behind the screen. As the common feature is pretty much the same across other brands of monitor, we'll be skipping that and focus on the unique feature of the monitor instead.


The first in the list is the Blue Light Filter that helps to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your screen. Studies suggest that the blue light spectrum could cause serious long-term damage to your eyes if exposed over time.    


Here's the OD feature, where it overdrives the pixel response rate for better smoother display in overall. There're 3 options:
  • Extreme - Improves the response rate to the max, but the difference between normal and extreme is barely noticeable
  • Normal - Improves the response rate, the image trailing observed when OD is disabled has significantly reduced
  • Off - Disable OD, minor image trailing can be observed 
GamePlus

Here're a pretty sweet functions for gamers, first-person shooter gamers in particular. On screen crosshair for external aim assist, the timer for timing training and FPS counter to display the frames per second of the game that you're currently playing. 



The on-screen crosshair does come in very hand for most first-person shooter games, but do note that it's only an assisting feature and don't expect it to reduce your weapon recoil to zero.

GameVisual 

And here's the GameVisual mode, a list of specialized preset made for each specific purpose. 


Scenery mode, it somehow makes the pictures brighter and clearer for various scenery. 


Racing mode, specialized for racing games - or what they're claimed to be.


Cinema mode increases the contrast and saturation for more vivid visuals when you're enjoying your movies. The lipstick face demon from Insidious seems amused alright.


RTS/RPG mode, things does looks a whole lot better for Dota 2 when we switched to this mode. Good saturation and contrast, the brightness are just good, a definite yes for this mode if you're a Dota 2 player.


FPS mode, everything looks pretty normal for first-person shooter games but one thing we've noticed is that the brighter scenes in overall. We have better visual on enemies who hides in darker areas, take that for those who tries to blend in the shadow. 

Final Thoughts
The ROG SWIFT PG27AQ gets a huge thumbs up for its adjustable height, tilt, swivel, and pivot, pretty much of what we would expect a gaming monitor should have in order to give the advantageous features for gamers which most mainstream monitors couldn't offer. 

Feature wise, we have some highlighted features such as Blue Light Filter, G-SYNC, GameVisual, and GamePlus that is pretty useful in many ways. We can actually feel the difference with the Blue Light Filter on, less strain on the eyes is confirmed although there is a yellowish tinge when its enabled; G-SYNC works just as advertised, but it only works on DisplayPort and NVIDIA GPUs that supports G-SYNC, GameVisual, and GamePlus that helps to improves the overall experience, you don't need to be a pro in monitor color calibration! 

To wrap things up, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27AQ undoubtedly a pretty sweet monitor to own, mainly for the nice features it has, but do prepare to fork out a budget of £719.99 for it, which definitely burns a hole in your pocket.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Packs with NVIDIA's latest G-SYNC technology
  • Offers height adjustment, tilt, swivel, and pivot
  • Easy navigation with the 5-way joystick
  • Comes with a USB 3.0 hub with 2 x USB 3.0 port
  • Rich color profiles for different purpose with GameVisual
  • Cool game assist feature (GamePlus Crosshair and Timer)
  • Low blue light and flicker free eye care feature 
Cons

  • Hefty price tag
  • G-SYNC will only work on GTX 650 Ti Boost or higher spec graphics cards with DisplayPort output

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