2019 is the year of high performance and feature rich display panels. We’ve seen a lot during Computex 2019, with most of them already on the shelves. One such display is the TUF Gaming VG27AQ. A Computex favorite due to its excellent set of features – and it got some upgrades.

The features that sets the VG27AQ apart from the competition are the inclusion of ELMB-Sync, HDR-10 and Adaptive Sync compliance. The refresh rate at 165Hz, which is an upgrade from the officially stated 155Hz during its reveal is also nothing to scoff at. With those things said, we are going to check out everything it has to offer on this review.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Display
LCD Size27″
Aspect Ratio‎16:9‎
Resolution ‎2560 x 1440
Refresh Rate165Hz (Adaptive)
Pixel Pitch0.233mm
Brightness350cd/㎡
Contrast ‎Ratio1000:1‎‎
Panel Type‎IPS
Response Time‎1ms (MPRT)
Connectivity
Display Options‎DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
USBNA
Audio‎3.5mm (Earphone)
Ergonomics
VESA Wall Mount‎100 x 100mm
Pivot-90°/+90°
Swivel-90°/+90°
Tilt-5°/+33°
Hight Adjustment0-130mm
Dimensions
Length710mm
Width262mm
Height510mm
Weight5.8kg (With stand), 3.5kg (Without stand)

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ comes packed inside a huge Styrofoam padded packaging. The monitor comes with the following documentations and accessories inside:

  • Warranty card
  • Quick start guide
  • HDMI cable
  • DisplayPort cable
  • Power adapter
  • UK plug
  • China plug

DESIGN, LAYOUT AND CONNECTIVITY:

The ASUS VG27AQ sports the usual ROG-esque aesthetics in spite of the TUF Gaming branding. That said, the design is leaning towards a gaming oriented one with a bit of retained class. As for the IPS panel, pixel density is rated at 0.233mm. That’s about right for a monitor with 2560 x 1440 resolution at 27 inches.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ (3)

ASUS used is a blend between gloss and a matte finish coating for the VG27AQ. A usual feature found on most gaming displays due to its ability to reduce glare while still maintaining clarity. Bezel is  about 1cm thin so putting two or three of these would still look good on any given desk space. 3-way borderless is definitely one of its underlying features.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ (2)

Ergonomically, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ could tilt, pivot and swivel. The option to use a VESA mount of your own is also appreciated. This thing weights in at 3.5 kilograms without the stand so your typical budget oriented VESA mount will hold it in place just fine.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ (1)

As for display options, ASUS went with a dual HDMI and a single DisplayPort. We also got an audio out for your speakers or headphones. The joystick on the other hand for the OSD is situated at the far right side together with the buttons. Power is unfortunately external and the speakers are kinda weak in contrast to my ASUS MG278Q.

ON-SCREEN DISPLAY MENU:

The TUF Gaming VG27AQ features your usual ASUS OSD menu found on most ROG monitors. We have 8 main menus here with the GameVisual mode housing the most common presets and settings. Blue light filter is up next, featuring 5 levels of filtering. Personally, I find the in-house Night light option from Windows 10 a better option. Also, the brightness slider is borderline mediocre. A brightness value of 5 will net you 120 cd/m2 while a 100 will net you about 340 cd/m2.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ OSD (2)

The Color menu is where you could mix your own brightness, contrast, saturation, color temperature and skin tone. Image on the other hand is where it gets more technical. Here we got the HDR, overclocking, sharpness, VividPixel, Adaptive-Sync, ELMB SYNC, Shadow Boost, Trace Free, Aspect Control and ASCR as options. Note that some of these might be disabled based on the GameVisual mode selected and the compatibility your system.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ OSD (1)

The Sound menu is where you could adjust the volume (not that it matters) and mute it as well. The Input Select menu on the other hand is self explanatory. System Setup is where the GameVisual Demo could be found. The ECO Mode, OSD Setup, Language, Key Lock, Information, Power Indicator, Power Key Lock and Reset are located on this menu as well. Finally we got the MyFavorite menu where you could store up to 3 settings.

TEST SETUP AND METHODOLOGY:

Our test setup relies on the Blur Busters TestUFO Motion Tests and the Data Color Spyder5ELITE Display Calibration System. The cameras used throughout the review for the motion artifact and high speed assessments are the Fujifilm XE-1 and the Nikon 1 J1.

TEST SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
ProcessorIntel Core-i5 6600K
MotherboardASUS Z170-A
CoolerCryorig C1 Top Flow
MemoryCrucial Ballistix Tactical DDR4 @ 2666MHz 2x4GB
GraphicsASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC 6GB
Storage Crucial BX200 480GB
CaseThermaltake Core P3
PowerThermaltake ToughPower GX1 600W
DisplayASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ
OSMicrosoft Windows 10 Pro

Target for calibration is a 2.2 Gamma value, with a White Point at 6500K and a Brightness value set at 120 cd/㎡. Calibrated values are then analyzed with the Spyder5ELITE Display Analysis tool. Do note that Dynamic Contrast Ratio and other extra features built within the OSD are disabled during the tests. The following OSD values are selected for the display calibration.

OSD Settings
Brightness5
Contrast80
SaturationNA
TemperatureUser
GammaNA
PresetRacing

If you wish to use the calibrated ICC profile taken from our Spyder5ELITE result, just send us a message. You may also read our guide on how to use ICC profiles.

COLOR GAMUT:

The Color Gamut test evaluates the color spaces the display exactly covers. That includes industry standard spaces such as sRGB and AdobeRGB. Higher percentage values are better.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (1)

The color space coverage of the TUF Gaming VG27AQ is up there with the best featuring a 100% sRGB coverage. AdobeRGB coverage though is at 81%. Gamut wont tell everything about the display’s capabilities so keep that in mind.

TONE RESPONSE:

Tone response is where we check the display’s Gamma value and or presets if there are any. We then compare the results with industry standard of 2.2. Closer to this value is better.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (2)

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ doesn’t feature any gamma settings on its OSD. That said, you could still somewhat employ crude gamma corrections via the Shadow Boost, brightness and contrast itself. We can’t get it at 2.2 with our calibrated settings, but we could get it at 2.25 with the default Racing preset.

BRIGHTNESS:

The result of the test here will shows us an overview on how the display actually performs in terms of Brightness measured in candela per square meter (cd/m2). Higher is better.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (3)

Brightness at 100% is rated at 341.9 cd/㎡ which is just a bit lower than the specified. Nothing to complain here.

CONTRAST RATIO:

Static contrast ratio is also tested. The test here will shows us an overview on how the display actually performs in terms of Contrast measured in luminance ratio. Higher is better.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (4)

The static contrast ratio at 100% contrast level is at 840:1. Not quite the best based on our measurement but not bad either.

SCREEN UNIFORMITY:

This test shows us an overview of the screen’s uniformity at the calibrated brightness level. The closer this value to 0, the better the quality of the panel.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (5)

Screen uniformity is what I could say good with a Delta-E value of 1.39. The lower left and upper right corners are the worst performers here as far as uniformity is concerned.

COLOR ACCURACY:

This test shows how well different basic color hues are being reproduced by the display. These color tones correspond with the Datacolor SpyderCheckr. Lower Delta-E values are better.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (6)

The TUF Gaming VG27AQ scored an average of 0.93 Delta-E value. Excellent results we got here from the 27 inch IPS panel.

POWER CONSUMPTION:

The power consumption is checked with a power meter. Measurements are taken at maximum brightness level.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (7)

The TUF Gaming VG27AQ consumes maximum power of 42.4W. This goes even lower on our desired 120 cd/㎡ level.

BUTTON TO PIXEL INPUT LAG:

The Button to Pixel Input Lag is a combination of system latency from the point of input, processing and display output. That is the basic of it and to quantify the approximate Button to Pixel Input Lag, we utilized Quake 3 Arena as our main shooter. The game is set at the native resolution of the panel with the FPS locked at 250. We check how much delay in milliseconds it took the display to actually output the signal via a 1200 FPS high-speed camera with ~0.83ms of accuracy.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (8)

Our button to pixel lag results shows that the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ has an average latency of 5.3ms. This is by far, the best IPS gaming monitor we’ve tested when it comes to input lag and response time combined.

MOTION CLARITY: MPRT

Motion Picture Response Time (MPRT) is the numbered approach to demonstrate the level of perceived motion blur on a display. Basically, a lower persistence value indicates less motion blur. Refresh rate and the sampling method plays a major part here whereas a higher refresh rate nominally features better display persistence values.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Benchmark (9)

Assessing the typical display persistence is easy enough with sample and hold displays, while CRT and Strobe Lighting enabled displays are quite difficult to test with the current tools available. That said, these are still good references to check out. Especially true if we’re looking for differences based on refresh rates alone.

MOTION CLARITY: PURSUIT CAMERA

Setting up a pursuit camera courtesy of Blur Busters allows us to a great extent, perceive the actual motion blur of the display. Using such method also allows us to check out for other motion artifacts including ghosting, inverse ghosting and other artifacts. This pursuit camera test is a peer-reviewed invention.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Test (2)

There’s a lot to say about the TUF Gaming VG27AQ as far as motion clarity goes. At 144Hz with ELMB-Sync turned off, we got our usual blur from the said refresh rate. Turn on ELMB-Sync and you’d get a bit clearer picture at the expense of PWM artifacts. 165Hz seems to be the best with either ELMB-Sync turned on or off. There’s less motion blur and PWM artifacts are very much acceptable. Trace free is best turned on at all refresh rates with a value between 40-60 and it is locked at gawd-knows-what value with ELMB-Sync turned on.

BACKLIGHT BLEED:

Backlight Bleed is the phenomenon where backlighting from a display leaks. This is prevalent with LED backlight enabled displays where the LEDs used to light the panel are situated at the edges of the display. Testing the Backlight of the display is conducted on a dim room, simulating the recognizable amount of bleed for such scenario.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Test (3)

The backlight bleed of the TUF Gaming VG27AQ is hardly visible around the edges of the screen. You wouldn’t really notice any of it unless you bump up the brightness. The glow you see on the left side of the screen is just a reflection from an HDTV. My apologies for that one.

VIEWING ANGLES:

Viewing angles are also tested to check out how the display panel performs on various positions. This should be helpful if you are looking for a panel that could be used on multi-monitor setups.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Test (1)

Viewing angles are of course excellent courtesy of the IPS panel. This is an excellent display for multi-monitor setups.

FRAME SKIPPING:

Frame Skipping is the phenomenon where dropped frames and missing refreshes occur due to ineffective refresh rate overclocking. If your display exhibits such issues, it should be perceptually similar to in-game frame skipping. We are are utilizing the Blur Busters Frame Skipping Checker to test if there is any.

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ Test (4)

No worries here when it comes to our frame skipping test even at 165Hz.

SOFTWARE, LIGHTING AND SPECIAL FEATURES:

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ supports a maximum of 165Hz so it’s pretty smooth, responsive even, for an IPS panel. Adaptive Sync is supported, which means you get support for AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. That’s Variable Refresh Rate ranging from 48Hz to 165Hz.

Anti-motion blur is also supported via ELMB-Sync. We will get to the Sync part later but basically, the VG27AQ supports backlight strobing to minimize blur. You’ve seen how it works on our pursuit camera tests.

Now ELMB-Sync is technology that allows variable refresh rate to work with backlight strobing. That means it also matches the strobe with whatever frame rate you are at when variable refresh rate is enabled. ASUS managed to do this with a dedicated processor just for this task alone. Still, they recommended us to stay within or over the 85Hz range for the best possible experience. Another good thing about ELMB-Sync is that it has a small effect on brightness and contrast compared to other solutions in the market.

ASUS-TUF-Gaming-VG27AQ-Test-(5)

Another feature worth mentioning is the HDR-10/DisplayHDR 400 compliance or lack thereof? Basically, you could turn HDR support via the Windows HD Color Settings but there’s hardly any difference at all with HDR titles and movies due to its inability to support local dimming. If there’s one thing to nitpick about this display then this is it.

Monitor-Technology-Demonstration-2018-3

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I have said this before and I will say it again. The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ is one of my favorites from Computex this year. Having that said, I expected it to perform as demo’ed and it did not fail my expectations even by a bit – especially with the updated refresh rate support of 165Hz.

The TUF Gaming VG27AQ is overall an excellent 165Hz IPS gaming monitor from ASUS. In spite of its meaningless HDR-10 support, it managed to impress us with its ELMB-Sync feature, a very low response time plus input lag combined, color accuracy and excellent ergonomics. That’s on top of the mighty price point that should deter you from looking at other similarly priced options.

Coming in hot at 28370 Pesos MSRP, the TUF Gaming VG27AQ is well designated as a middleweight champion from ASUS. The combination of its game centric features and performance are just too hard to neglect for that price point. Color me impressed.

  • EXCELLENT RESPONSE TIME, LOW INPUT LAG
  • EXCELLENT ERGONOMICS
  • ADAPTIVE SYNC SUPPORT
  • ELMB-SYNC IS LIT AF
  • GREAT BUILD QUALITY
  • COMPETITIVE PRICE POINT
  • BRIGHTNESS OSD SLIDER RANGE
  • NOT REALLY HDR READY

TechPorn Awards 2018 (6)

ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQ 165Hz Monitor Review
  • PERFORMANCE
  • BUILD QUALITY
  • FEATURES
  • AESTHETICS
  • VALUE
4.5

Summary

The TUF Gaming VG27AQ is overall an excellent 165Hz IPS gaming monitor from ASUS. In spite of its meaningless HDR-10 support, it managed to impress us with its ELMB-Sync feature, a very low response time plus input lag combined, color accuracy and excellent ergonomics. That’s on top of the mighty price point that should deter you from looking at other similarly priced options.