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ASUS XG27WQ 165Hz WQHD VA model

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27″ screens with a 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) resolution and high refresh rates hit the sweet spot for many gamers. They come in three main flavours, each with different strengths and weaknesses. The ASUS XG27WQ, of the ROG Strix series of gaming monitors, comes in the high-contrast VA flavour. The looks of the monitor are in-keeping with others in the series. A powder-coated metal ‘tripod’ stand base features, with a central orange plastic (‘plasma copper’) element. The bottom bezel is brushed effect matte black plastic, whilst the top and side bezels opt for a dual-stage or ‘frameless’ design. This includes a slender panel border that’s flush with the rest of the screen, plus a slim hard plastic outer component. The OSD (On Screen Display) is controlled by pressable buttons and a joystick at the rear of the monitor, towards the right side when viewed from the front. A ‘ROG Signature’ LED feature is included, projecting a red ROG motif (or customisable pattern using stencils) onto the desk.

Signature styling

The monitor uses a 27″ 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) VA (Vertical Alignment) panel. More specifically a Samsung SVA based unit, with light matte anti-glare finish, 3000:1 specified static contrast ratio and 178° horizontal and vertical viewing angles. A 1500R (moderate) curve is employed to draw you in and create a feeling of extra depth, without feeling completely unnatural. A 165Hz refresh rate is supported alongside Adaptive-Sync. This includes Nvidia’s ‘G-SYNC Compatible Mode’ AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, with a variable refresh rate range of 48 – 165Hz with LFC. The monitor supports 8-bit colour output and adopts a flicker-free WLED backlight with 450 cd/m² typical maximum luminance and a 92% DCI-P3 (125% sRGB) colour gamut. VESA DisplayHDR 400 is supported, allowing the monitor to respond to HDR10 content. It can put its colour gamut and reasonably high brightness to good use for such content, whilst a 10-bit colour signal is used for enhanced precision (8-bit plus 2-bit GPU dithering). This is far from a full HDR experience owing to the lack of local dimming to enhance contrast or stunning brightness levels. A 1ms MPRT response time is specified, using the ELMB (Extreme Low Motion Blur) strobe backlight function. This is not to be confused with a 1ms grey to grey response time during normal operation – you should never pay much attention to such figures, anyway.

The monitor also includes a range of Low Blue Light (LBL) settings to enhance viewing comfort, plus the usual ‘GamePlus’ features. These include an on-screen timer, crosshair and refresh rate display (‘FPS Counter’). The rear of the monitor is largely matte black plastic with various engraved patterns for extra visual interest. The included stand offers tilt, swivel and height adjustment and can be removed to reveal 100 x 100mm VESA holes for alternative mounting. A ring of customisable RGB LEDs are found around the stand attachment point, set up in the OSD (‘Aura RGB’) or using ‘Aura Sync’ software. The ports face downwards, concealed beneath a removable plastic cover. These include; DC power input (external ‘power brick’), DP 1.2a+, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

A hint of colour

Further details can be found on the manufacturer’s website. The monitor is available for ~$430 USD.

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ASUS XG27WQ