What we have here for review is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A. This is a WQHD (2560 x 1440) gaming monitor, featuring a 180 Hz refresh rate in a 27-inch IPS package. It retails for about ₱13,300 PHP which is one of the most affordable models for its class.
With that price in mind, the VG27AQ3A also comes with ELMB Sync, a 1 ms GtG response time, 130% RGB color coverage and the new to me, variable overdrive.
Disclosure: ASUS sent the TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A for the purpose of this review. The company did not ask me to say anything particular about it.
|Panel Size||27 in|
|Resolution||2560 x 1440 (16:9)|
|Refresh Rate||180 Hz|
|Variable Refresh Rate||Adaptive-Sync|
|Contrast Ratio||1,000:1 (Typical)|
|Response Time||1 ms (GtG)|
|Color Coverage||130% sRGB|
|Display||HDMI 1.4, 2x DisplayPort 1.2|
|USB||Type-A (2.0, Firmware)|
|Audio||3.5 mm (Out)|
|VESA Mount||100 x 100 mm|
|Anti-strain||Blue Light Filter|
Packaging and Accessories
The VG27AQ3A is packed inside a laser-cut polystyrene packaging.
Scope of delivery are as follows:
- ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A
- DisplayPort cable
- HDMI cable
- L-shaped screwdriver
- Power adapter
- Power cord
- Quick start guide
- Warranty card
Good bundle of accessories we got here. I believe this is also the first monitor I received for review with a screwdriver in-tow.
Design, Build and Connectivity
The VG27AQ3A looks like your typical ASUS TUF gaming monitor, featuring a distinct V-shaped base with a gaping hole at the center for cable management.
The rear is well… too gamer-ish for my styling but it is not bad compared to other displays targeting the same audience. That aside, the monitor comes with proper vent holes at the top, along with a nice cover for the VESA mount.
Navigation is made easier with a joystick along with a few shortcut buttons.
Input and output wise, the VG27AQ3A houses two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 port, 3.5 mm audio port, the power port for the external adapter and a USB port for firmware updates or possible integration with a software in the future.
Overall, the VG2AQ3A do not feel flimsy for a sub $300 USD monitor. I wish it comes with a USB hub though but the exclusion of such feature is understandable.
The TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A comes with a four layer OSD menu. There are 6 main menus here, with the Gaming, Image and Color being the most important ones – in no particular order.
The OSD is enough for most, but it lacks some fine-tuning features such as gamma level and color temperature adjustments to name a few.
The VG27AQ3A comes with a 27 inch panel featuring a native resolution of 2560 x 1440, translating to a PPI level of 108.79 which is not bad if you have at least 60 cm of desk space – depth wise. Since it is also an IPS panel, you have decent amount of viewing angles to work with. It also has an anti-glare lamination along with a blue light filter to combat strain and or fatigue.
Now, the stand leaves a lot to be desired. It could not pivot and has a mediocre level of tilt. These could be traced to how the stand works, or rather, the lack of height adjustment feature to make use of those features. It could swivel up to ±20° though and does come with VESA mounting points should you wish to go that route.
Out of all the presets, we chose Racing as the basis for our calibration. It is also the default, has some good out of the box measurements and does not lock us out of the essential options required for color correction.
|Settings||Brightness||Black Levels||Contrast||White Point|
|Scenery||237.1 cd/m²||0.34%||700:1||7400 K|
|Racing (Default)||200.3 cd/m²||0.29%||700:1||7400 K|
|Cinema||169.9 cd/m²||0.31%||540:1||10900 K|
|RTS/RPG||219.8 cd/m²||0.31%||700:1||7400 K|
|FPS||220.3 cd/m²||0.30%||730:1||7400 K|
|sRGB||105.7 cd/m²||0.15%||690:1||7300 K|
|MOBA||220.8 cd/m²||0.32%||700:1||7400 K|
|Night Vision||39.7 cd/m²||0.15||260:1||6500 K|
OSD settings are as follows:
- Preset = Racing (Default)
- Brightness = 41 (120 cd/m²)
- Contrast = 70 (Default)
- Color Temperature = User (R100, G95, B91)
- Gamma = N/A
- Color Space = N/A
Shoot me an email if you need the ICC or ICM profile for this particular monitor.
Color coverage is mostly exceptional – sans for the AdobeRGB and NTSC at 88% and 85% respectively.
Gamma level is rated at 2.2 γ flat which is perfect. Still, I would love to see other gamma presets here since the standard is not to everyone’s preference.
Brightness and Contrast
Brightness level could be adjusted between 44.1 – 236.1 cd/m². That said, SDR peak is just a few candelas away from the specification. Contrast ratio on the other hand is around 690:1 at 120 cd/m². These are decent results regardless.
|Settings||Brightness||Black Levels||Contrast||White Point|
|0%||44.1 cd/m²||0.00%||44050:1||7200 K|
|25%||96.7 cd/m²||0.14%||690:1||7300 K|
|50%||145.0 cd/m²||0.21%||690:1||7400 K|
|75%||192.0 cd/m²||0.28%||690:1||7500 K|
|100%||236.1 cd/m²||0.33%||720:1||7500 K|
The TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A’s color uniformity is also decent. We observed three hot spots here: the middle left, lower left and the lower center areas of the panel. Luminance hot spots on the other hand are higher on the surrounding areas, with the top left corner as the highest offender. Other than that, I would say the monitor passed the test but definitely not with flying colors.
With an average Delta-E of 0.88 (calibrated), the VG27AQ3A is among the best panels we’ve tested for this particular measurement.
The VG27AQ3A features a variable overdrive mode at 5 levels. We’ve tested them all and found out that Level 4 is the best – with an average rating of 77.62. Going lower than level 4 increases blur, while level 5 increases artifacts. This is the balance point and it visually checks out. It is also on par with the most recent 240 Hz panel we’ve tested so it objective performance is not shabby at all.
Now input lag is excellent, with a reported 3.1 ms average On Display Lag. If you are going to blame anything on your system whenever you lose a fight, then this is not it; unless we are also going to take its weaker visual response ratings into the equation.
Power consumption is what I would say typical for its size, resolution and high refresh rate.
The ASUS VG27AQ3A is a great addition to the ever growing TUF Gaming series of monitors. It comes with a 180 Hz refresh rate that could put some 240 Hz panels to shame. Couple that with a calibrated color profile and you’d get an accurate gaming monitor, capable of doing some pro-level workloads. For competitive gamers looking for that extra advantage, the VG27AQ3A also supports ELMB Sync – a v-sync compatible strobing technology that enhances motion clarity at the expense of a lower brightness level and possible eye strain.
Now it is not all rainbows and sunshine with the VG27AQ3A. Its variable overdrive basically has one useful level, it is not color accurate out of the box and the HDR mode is just there to check the box. Yes, this monitor is capable of displaying HDR content but its maximum brightness of around 200 cd/m2 and lack of local dimming at the said mode is a futile attempt. Best not to use it really and if you find improvements, that would be 100% placebo.
Still, with a price just north of $200 USD, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A is hard to beat – regardless of its flaws. I would say it is one of the best, if not the best 1440P gaming monitor at its price range this side of the year.
ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A $246.99 USD
Product Name: ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A
Product Description: 27-inch QHD(2560x1440) gaming monitor with 180Hz refresh rate designed for professional gamers and immersive gameplay.
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ3A is a sub $300 USD (₱13,300 PHP) WQHD monitor featuring a 180 Hz refresh rate and loads of gaming oriented features otherwise seen at more expensive models.