As much as it can be a mouthful to pronounce, the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN gaming monitor also feels like a lot for most gamers. Almost too much, if we’re being honest. When you break it down, this 27-inch IPS monitor provides a native 2560 x 1440p resolution, along with HDR10 and a Variable Refresh Rate. The real kicker? That insane 360 Hz maximum refresh rate. Sure, there are a few things to address before diving into this review. You’ll most likely need an insane rig to push this monitor to the limits, along with a game that’s even up to the challenge in the first place.
That being said, the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is still an incredibly impressive monitor for both competitive and casual gaming, while being bright and vibrant enough for everyday activities and media streaming. If you can justify the beefy A$1899 price tag, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better.
When it comes to both design and build quality, the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN gets a lot right. Its stand is easy to set up and fully adjustable in terms of both height and tilting angle, making it a solid option for most desks and even awkward viewing angles. While the stand is incredibly sturdy and made of metal, it feels a little deep for my desk, causing it to sit a little closer to my eyes than I would like, but there is simply no denying the solid build quality and sleek design that comes with it. It even includes a nifty cable management port within the stand, that guides cables through.
Its mainly grey colour palette with orange accents running throughout is a nice touch, while the glossy ROG logo on the back is even capable of RGB lighting. It’s certainly a premium feature, but I question its effectiveness, depending on your setup. My setup pretty much sits flush against a back wall, so unless your setup is in the middle of the room or adjacent to someone else’s, this might feel a little pointless at times.
The PG27AQN is an edge-lit IPS screen that, while providing adequate levels of both SDR brightness (400 nits) and HDR brightness (600 nits), feels hit-and-miss at times. The edge-lit technology is also adequate but fails to provide decent black levels, even with local dimming included. While it does its best with 32 vertical dimming zones, it’s all the more noticeable in darker viewing environments. I only bring this up because, at this price point, it’s now competing with 27-inch OLED panels that might not provide that sweet 360 Hz refresh rate, but do provide perfect blacks, and feel far superior. But at the end of the day, it’s certainly bright enough to attain some decent viewing angles, while deflecting a hefty amount of glare.
Then there’s that sweet 360 Hz refresh rate. Put simply, it’s a feature that relies heavily on your GPU via Display Stream Compression (DSC). While some older NVIDIA’s GTX 16 and RTX 20 Series cards support this feature, it’s only available through the single DisplayPort 1.4a port. We’ll certainly touch more on this down below, but there’s no doubt that next-generation rigs and competitive gamers alike will benefit from this new era of incredible refresh rates.
The PG27AQN comes with three HDMI 2.0 inputs and one DisplayPort 1.4a, which is more than enough for most users. But it’s worth keeping in mind here that none of these HDMI are compatible with 1440p at 360Hz and instead are limited to 144Hz, or 240Hz at 1080p. This makes it a fantastic option for next-gen gaming and older rigs, but they’re not quite the star of the show. That belongs to the solo DisplayPort 1.4a port, which this the only port in the monitor that can handle that 360Hz refresh rate.
The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN also comes with a dedicated navigation joystick and four option buttons on the back. While I can’t imagine why you would want to hook up two high-end rigs to this, it’s also worth noting that thanks to that solo DisplayPort 1.4a port, you can’t. Aside from the aforementioned ports, the PG27AQN is fitted with a USB-B port and two USB-A ports for connecting certain accessories. Finally, a 3.5mm audio output provides connectivity for speakers, which is a must, seeing as the PG27AQN doesn’t come with any.
The wide range of assistive features also makes this a wonderland for casual and competitive gamers alike. Via Nvidia Reflex Analyzer and Nvidia G-Sync, users can access a trusty fps counter, embedded crosshairs and even a feature that intentionally brightens darker areas on the screen. It even has a 25-inch display mode, which shrinks the display down a couple of inches, although I question its usefulness for entry-level gamers who want to sharpen their natural field of view.
Verdict & Value
While there’s a lot to weigh up with the PG27AQN, none of it is bad. That beefy 360 Hz refresh rate might only be accessible via a combination of certain hardware, software and a single DisplayPort 1.4a port, but there’s no doubting its effectiveness and usefulness in competitive gaming. The edge-lit panel feels bright enough, even if the local dimming lets it down at times in the contrast department.
But thanks to solid build quality and the generous number of HDMI 2.0 ports, there’s hardly any gamer who wouldn’t be able to source some sense of quality and reliability from this. The steep price point may raise some questions in regard to preference in terms of competing OLED panels, but the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is a worthy contender for one of the best IPS monitors on the market today.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Incredible 360 Hz refresh rate; Solid brightness and viewing angles; Generous number of HDMI ports; NVIDIA software features; Solid stand and overall build quality
Lowlights: Middling contrast due to local dimming
Review based on unit supplied by Asus.