ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ Monitor Review: Glorious 4K HDR, 144Hz G-SYNC Gaming
ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ: A Supremely Bright And Fast Display
The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ has been a long time coming, and spoiler alert, it was worth the wait. The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is one of the first monitors to finally bring together a full complement of cutting-edge technologies and combine them into a single offering, like a delicious stew full of tasty gaming ingredients. In this case, the recipe calls for a 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) in-plane switching (IPS) panel with a blazing fast 144Hz refresh rate, seasoned with High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals, and garnished with NVIDIA G-Sync support. Talk about a drool-worthy dish!
ASUS first teased the PG27UQ at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas...in January 2017. Yes, we have been eagerly awaiting this monitor's arrival for 18 months. So what has taken so long? Well, we're not privy to all of the juicy details. We have a few theories, but it doesn't really matter what the holdup was, because it's here now and it marks a new era in premium gaming monitors. From this point forward, we can no longer say that there aren't any 4K monitors with refresh rates higher than 60Hz, with G-Sync and HDR to boot. Game on!
Of course, there are caveats—you'll need a fat stack of cash to bring one of these monitors home, and a burly PC that can keep up with the PG27UQ's decadent specs. Even a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is going to struggle with pushing this monitor to its limits. You don't always have to run this display at full throttle though, as we will discuss a bit later on.
For now, let's get acquainted with the rest of the specs. As the model name suggests, the PG27UQ is a 27-inch monitor—a decent size to show off its many capabilities without being so big as to let parts of the action escape your peripheral vision. It's only a matter of time before NVIDIA and its partners port these same features over to other size panels, but for now, it's 27 inches or bust.
|4K (3840x2160) Ultra HD
|1.07 Billion Colors
|600 cd/m2 (Typical) / 1000 cd/m2 (Peak)
|HDR (High Dynamic Range) Support
|120Hz (Standard) / 144Hz (Overclocking)
|In-Plane Switching (IPS)
|Variable Refresh Technology:
|DisplayPort 1.4 (x1), HDMI 2.0 (x1), USB 3.0 Type-A (x2), 3.5mm Mini Jack (x1)
|Height, Tilt, Swivel, Pivot
|17.2~ 21.9 (H) x 24.96 (W) x 10.55 (D) inches (437~557 x 634 x 268 mm)
|20.28 lbs (tablet mode) (9.2 kg)
|1-year limited warranty, 3-year warranty optional
|$1,999.99 - Find It At Amazon
The PG27UQ ticks all the right boxes for a high-end gaming monitor, though a closer examination is required to truly appreciate what is at play here. As ASUS gleefully points out on its website, the PG27UQ is the first and only gaming monitor with DisplayHDR 1000 certification. We're not sure why Acer's similarly spec'd Predator X27 doesn't bear the same badge, but as of this writing, that distinction belongs to the PG27UQ only. This is also one of only two monitors overall to pass VESA's top-end DisplayHDR certification. The other is the Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB. [EDIT: The Predator X27 now shows up on VESA's list of DisplayHDR 1000 certified monitors. It's omission at the time this review was written was an apparent oversight by VESA.].
Why does that matter? Well, one of the keys to delivering HDR visuals is being able to crank up the brightness so that the pixels pop with color. Ideally, an HDR display would be capable of hitting 1,000 nits, and that is precisely what the PG27UQ is rated to do. Even its typical brightness level of 600 nits is higher than the peak rating of some other HDR monitors, many of which hover in the range of 400-450 nits.
What's In The Box
ASUS includes a couple of display cables with the PG27UQ, including an HDMI cable and a DisplayPort cable. It's recommended that you use the DisplayPort cable that ASUS provides, or if you bring your own, make sure it is a well-shielded, high quality one. The reason for this is HDR and high refresh rates both require a lot of bandwidth, which in turn increases signal sensitivity. If you use a lower quality cable, you could run into issues.
Other accoutrements include a USB passthrough cable, various literature, and plastic discs that you can install in the base of the stand for custom lighting effects. ASUS also tosses in a calibration report, as each of these monitors are dialed in before they are shipped out.
Let's have a closer look at the monitor's design and construction...