The long-awaited Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is something very special in the area of gaming monitors. This is the first G-Sync HDR monitor on the market that has first-class technical data such as a 4K 144 Hz IPS panel with 1000 nits peak brightness and 384 zone backlight. It's basically the tallest monitor you can currently get, with adequate support for HDR and never-before-seen refresh rate features at this resolution.
It is also the most expensive monitor you can currently get outside of professional high-end monitors, and certainly the most expensive gaming-class monitor at $ 2,000. This makes it about twice the price of the next most expensive gaming monitor. So you really want it to meet all possible criteria and last for many, many years without the need for an upgrade.
The Performance section covers many different aspects of this monitor. However, let's look at the design first, as this isn't a typical 27-inch gaming monitor.
Yes, we get all the usual garbage-like RGB LEDs in the Asus gamer style on the back, projected light under the stand, many interesting patterns and design elements as well as a typical Asus ROG color scheme.
It's not a minimalist or secret design at all. In fact, it's very obvious that this thing is meant for "gamers", much to my annoyance.
However, not every box in the modern player ad checklist is checked. It is not curved, which I personally prefer for 16: 9 monitors and especially for monitors of this size. I don't think a curved panel improves the experience at 27 inches. So that's positive. In addition, the bezels are quite large at 17 to 22 mm and the display is a bit chunky overall. In fact, it's as bold as some curved monitors without being curved at all, not that it really matters.
It's also the first monitor I've ever checked that requires active cooling. A vent directly in front of the display inputs on the back pumps hot air through a slowly rotating but audible fan. The fan is required to cool the new G-Sync HDR module, which is essentially an expensive, relatively powerful FPGA.
The module emits significantly more heat than the old G-Sync module, so the fan is needed.
In a quiet room, the fan is very obvious; It's definitely not loud, but the hum can be heard idling over my PC's fans, so quiet PC enthusiasts will hate it, especially considering that basically every other existing monitor doesn't require active cooling. The fan eventually stops after being idle for a long time and turned off, but you'd think the process might be a little faster, especially since the monitor consumes 27 watts while not displaying anything before idle before going into deep sleep.
In the further course we get the usual inputs for a G-Sync monitor: DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 as well as a USB 3.0 hub with two connections and a 3.5 mm audio jack. Only DisplayPort supports the full refresh rate, HDMI is limited to 60 Hz and does not support G-Sync.
The stand is sturdy and supports a wide range of motion, including tilt, height adjustment, panning and panning, so you can use the monitor in portrait mode if you want. Only the legs are made entirely of metal, the rest of the monitor, including the pedestal, is made of a rather nondescript plastic, especially for a $ 2,000 product. The build quality is not bad – there are no visual flaws or misaligned elements – but a higher quality finish would be desirable at this price.
The on-screen display uses a direction switch, which is required when you pack as many functions as Asus. You won't find anything unusual in the OSD, all usual Asus cheat crosshairs, low blue light modes and various game modes made the cut.
There are also some HDR-specific features like the backlight modes that I'll talk about later, while lacking ULMB or blurring with extremely little movement. This feature is typically found on high-update G-Sync monitors to improve backlight clarity. I suspect ULMB is not compatible with the new G-Sync module and I doubt that many people would use it via G-Sync with HDR anyway, so not a big loss.