ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ Monitor Review: Glorious 4K HDR, 144Hz G-SYNC Gaming
Inspecting The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ
Like other monitors in the Republic of Gamers family, the PG27UQ carriers a gaming aesthetic that lets you know right way what the target demographic is for this display. You won't find this (or any ROG Swift) display in a dentist's office, in other words, unless you happen to frequent the coolest dentist in the world. If so, feel free to give us a referral...
Getting the PG27UQ assembled is very easy, as it should be with any monitor. It only takes a few seconds (and no tools) to secure the base to the neck, which is already attached to the panel, and you are good to go. Then comes the part where you heave the heavy display to its permanent resting place, presumably on top of your computer desk. There's some added pressure, given the cost of this thing.
It's heavy because it's thick, and it's thick because of all the technologies ASUS and NVIDIA squeezed inside, not the least of which is a G-Sync module. Perhaps knowing it was unlikely many people would want to place two of these monitors side-by-side, ASUS ditched any pretense of using thin bezels. Instead, a comparatively thick border engulfs the 27-inch panel. There is an ROG logo on the bottom bezel, and angled corners that are not perfectly rounded to give the PG27UQ some added flair.
We could talk all day about the bezels (don't worry, we won't), but we are more interested in what lies underneath the hood than the external trim. If we were to pop the top off this hotrod, we'd find a Full Array LED (FALD) backlight consisting of 384 lighting zones, with local dimming support. This enables the monitor to turn individual LEDs on and off to help contrast light and dark sections of an image, and ultimately bring out more detail. FALD with local dimming is typically reserved for higher end displays.
All of those lighting zones help the PG27UQ achieve its peak 1,000 nits brightness. This monitor also features quantum dot technology, which is another reason why the display is able to get so bright. It all adds up to a 10-bit (with dithering) panel that is rated to output 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color spectrum and 97 percent of DCI-P3.
ROG's design DNA extends to the rear of the monitor. It looks as though ASUS found an alien spaceship and ripped off a chunk of the paneling, then used it as part of the PG27UQ's frame. The design sets an aggressive and geeky tone, even if you'll see it mostly when first setting it up.
This is also where the lighting effects are most prominent. When viewed from the rear, a large ROG logo with RGB lighting sits in the upper-corner. By default this glows different colors with a slow breathing effect, though you can customize the lighting through the On Screen Display (OSD) controls. It's also compatible with ASUS's Aura Sync software.
There is more lighting on the top of the support arm as well. If you turn this on, it beams the ROG logo onto your ceiling or wall, depending on how you have it angled—there's a scroll wheel to adjust it, or hide it from view. It's basically a bat signal for your monitor. Yes folks, the PG27UQ has a freaking bat signal. (Or would that be a 'ROG' signal?)
The lighting effects don't end there. Lest anyone forget that this is a ROG product, the company's logo shines from the bottom of the support arm and onto your desktop too. ASUS includes a couple of blank, plastic discs that you can customize with your own graphics and swap out if you want change things up.
The collection of inputs is pretty sparse, especially for a $2,000 monitor. You get a DisplayPort 1.4 port that drives the monitor's G-Sync and overclocked 144Hz refresh rate capabilities, and an HDMI 2.0 port supporting up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, in case you want to plug in a game console like an Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro. And that's it as far as display inputs go.
Other ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack (there are no built-in speakers) and two downstream USB 3.0 Type-A ports, along with the requisite upstream USB 3.0 port. There's also a Kensington lock slot. Given how chunky the frame is, we'd like to see a couple more USB 3.0 ports on the side where they would be more easily accessible.
Underneath it all is a vent to expel hot air, which is forced out by a cooling fan. It's not loud, though you can hear the fan if you put your ear close to the monitor, or have a silent PC. Otherwise it gets drowned out by the ambient noise of your system. The heat output is the bigger annoyance, especially since it expels down onto your desk instead of through the top or rear. Cats tend to love laying underneath it though (yes, we tested this).
Rather than leave an unsightly cutout in the back of the monitor, the ports can be covered with a thin plastic panel that is easy to pop into place and remove. There's also a cutout in the base support to route your cables and keep things looking neat and tidy.
The PG27UQ offers a fair amount of ergonomic adjustments for a gaming monitor. They include:
- Tilt : +20°~-5°
- Swivel : +35°~-35°
- Pivot : 0°~+90°
- Height Adjustment : 0~120 mm
There's also a 100mmx100mm VESA mount on the back of the display, in case you'd rather mount this thing to your wall. Protip: Pivoting the panel makes it much easier to plug the cables into the monitor, just make sure to route them through the cable management cutout first.
The OSD buttons are on the back as well. They consist of four paddles and a joystick. It's a rather intuitive design that makes navigating the OSD menus a breeze. That's a good thing, because you'll want to do that when first setting up the display, and to verify if certain features are enabled.
On that note, let's have a look at the setup and put this puppy through its paces.