Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN Review

It’s finally happened. 1440p gaming monitors (which, I think, are the best fit for most PC gamers) have made the move to 360Hz, a refresh rate formerly available only at 1080p. The 27-inch Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is the leading edge of this new category, and comes with a price to match: expect to pay $1,049 if you can find it in stock at all. Many gamers will find the expense difficult to justify but, if you want 360Hz at 1440p, the Asus PG27AQN is the only game in town.

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN – Design

The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN has the company’s familiar, aggressive Republic of Gamers design language. This includes a beefy, thick display panel with an LED-backlit ROG logo and a wide tripod-like stand with a cyclone design on its neck. It’s a brash, in-your-face look.

Build quality is excellent. The monitor’s thick plastic panels creak a bit when depressed but feel sturdy, allowing minimal flex across the rear panel and along the monitor’s bezels. The stand is an absolute unit that keeps the monitor firmly in place and might work as an improvised weapon in a zombie apocalypse.

The stand adjusts for height, tilt, swivel, and pivots 90 degrees for use in portrait orientation. This is good news for ergonomics, but I did notice a problem: the stand is a bit too deep, which means the monitor sat closer to me than I would prefer, and might be a problem if your desk is less than 30 inches deep. The monitor supports 100mm x 100mm VESA mount, so a slimmer third-party stand, or a monitor arm, is also an option.

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN – Connectivity & Features

High-end refresh rates can lead to connectivity quirks, and the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is no exception.

It has three HDMI 2.0 inputs and one DisplayPort 1.4a, which sounds like a lot. However, the HDMI inputs can’t handle 1440p at 360Hz and instead are limited to 144Hz (or 240Hz at 1080p). Only the DisplayPort 1.4a port can handle 360Hz.

It’s a bummer to see just one 360Hz input on a 360Hz monitor but, on the other hand, a gaming PC is the only input device that can deliver 360Hz. This limitation is only an issue if you plan to connect multiple high-end gaming PCs.

The monitor also has a USB-B upstream port which drivers two USB-A downstream ports for connecting wired peripherals. These ports are also used if you decide to enable Nvidia Reflex Analyzer, which is supported. A 3.5mm audio output rounds out connectivity. The monitor doesn’t have speakers.

Asus packs a respectable range of on-screen menu options in this monitor. It includes both sRGB and wide color gamut modes (though the wide color gamut mode doesn’t promise any specific color space), precise color temperature and gamma modes, and six-axis color calibration. The PG27AQN isn’t meant for content creation, but these features make it capable of serving that purpose.

It can be used like a 25-inch 360Hz monitor when desired and as a 27-inch display otherwise.

There’s also a range of gaming-centric features. These include controls for Nvidia Reflex Analyzer and Nvidia G-Sync, an fps counter, a crosshair, a timer/stopwatch, and a dark booster that brightens dark areas and makes enemies easier to see.

Competitive gamers should note this monitor has a 25-inch display mode. When on, it confines the usable display space to that of a 25-inch monitor, but only when fed a 1080p input signal. It’s a niche feature, but one that could be very useful for gamers on the “path to pro.” It means this monitor can be used like a 25-inch 360Hz monitor when that’s desired (or required) and as a 27-inch display otherwise.

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN – Gaming Image Quality

Before digging into image quality, I must mention a pair of strange decisions made by Asus. This monitor arrived with the sRGB color gamut mode, and dynamic backlighting, on by default. Because of this, the out-of-box color palette is more limited and less vivid than many players will expect, and the display can show vertical bands of gray in dark scenes. After taking note of these problems, I turned the wide gamut mode on and the dynamic backlight off.

With those adjustments made, the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is a solid performer in most games. It has an extremely high maximum brightness of 495 nits in SDR mode, so the image always looks punchy, even in a bright sunlit room. The wide color gamut covers 95 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut and 89 percent of sRGB, and color accuracy is extremely good. All of this adds up to a vivid, brilliant image that’s well suited to colorful games like Overwatch 2, League of Legends, or Lost Ark.

Contrast and dark scene performance is an issue, however. I measured a maximum contrast ratio of 870:1, which is towards the low end for a modern IPS monitor. The BenQ EX270QM achieved a slightly better ratio of 980:1, and the Gigabyte M27QX can hit a ratio of 1140:1. As a result, the PG27AQN is frequently visited by the dreaded “IPS glow,” a hazy appearance that makes dark scenes look less detailed. This is bad news if you like horror games like The Callisto Protocol or open-world games with day-night cycles like Cyberpunk 2077.

The PG27AQN’s overall image quality is typical of a 27-inch gaming monitor with an IPS panel. However, its high price places the monitor in line with alternatives that are much, much better, such as the Alienware AW3423DW and AW3423DWF, a pair of ultrawides with an OLED screen. I enjoyed playing games on the PG27AQN but its image quality can’t match the best gaming monitors on the market.

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN- HDR Image Quality

The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is a VESA DisplayHDR 600 certified monitor, which means it was tested by VESA to achieve a peak brightness in excess of 600 nits. That sounds great on paper, but in reality is less impressive.

Contrast remains the issue. A limited contrast ratio means the monitor can’t display extremely bright scenes without elevating the brightness of dark portions of the screen. That’s not a big deal in games with bright presentation, like Overwatch 2, but it’s extremely noticeable in games with dark, moody scenes, like Cyberpunk 2077.

Asus tries to compensate with a dynamic backlight which, as mentioned, is enabled by default. The dynamic backlight turns lighting zones on and off as required to try and improve the darkness of dark content. This is an edge-lit LED monitor, though, and it appears to have just a handful of dimming zones. A small bright object on a dark background will cause a pillar of hazy gray to fill that portion of the screen from the top to bottom of the display.

Despite these issues, there are situations where the PG27AQN can look great in HDR games. Forza Horizon 5 looks amazing so long as the sun is up. The same is true of Microsoft Flight Simulator. But, of course, many modern games have a day-night cycle or a combination of dark indoor and bright outdoor areas, so results vary.

Here’s the bottom line: the PG27AQN’s HDR image quality is not good, and I wouldn’t leave HDR turned on if I owned it. The same is true of nearly all standard IPS gaming monitors sold today. Only Mini-LED and OLED can do HDR justice.

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN – Motion Performance

Image quality clearly isn’t the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN’s strongest point. But, to be fair, that’s not how this monitor is marketed. This is the first 1440p 360Hz monitor available: motion performance is the point.

Thankfully, that’s where the monitor excels.

Gameplay looks extremely clear at the monitor’s maximum refresh rate of 360Hz. It’s not perfect (no monitor is, yet), but the clarity makes it possible to read small fonts and see fine interface details while scrolling or panning the camera. This is the level of performance that I would expect from a 360Hz monitor, and the PG27AQN nails it.

The monitor also performs well at lower framerates, which is good, because many games won’t be able to maintain 360 frames per second at 1440p resolution even on the best hardware. Motion clarity at 60Hz and 120Hz is among the best I’ve seen from an IPS display. OLED monitors are the only displays that routinely offer better low-framerate motion clarity. Even then, the PG27AQN isn’t far behind.

Asus has the “Normal” overdrive mode enabled out of the box. I did notice overshoot causing some artifacts in extremely high-contrast situations, like a moving starfield. This has the effect of making the stars seem a bit brighter than they should. Otherwise, I couldn’t find an issue with it. The higher overdrive settings, however, cause trailing behind high-contrast objects and shimmering in some textures. It’s probably best to stick with Normal.

The PG27AQN delivers the best motion performance of any 27-inch 1440p monitor.

You can also just turn Overdrive off, as motion clarity remains extremely good at 360Hz. Technically, I know that it’s not quite as good: in reality, I could barely see the difference when flipping between the Normal and Off modes. It’s the kind of difference that’s visible in direct A-to-B comparisons but won’t leap out in real-world use.

As mentioned, the PG27AQN supports Nvidia Reflex Analyzer, a tool that can be used to measure the total display input lag on your monitor. Input lag is, indeed, very low on this monitor: expect less than four milliseconds of total input lag at 360Hz. That’s indisputably the best you’ll find on a 27-inch 1440p display.

The PG27AQN, unlike many esports monitors, does not include a backlight strobing mode. This technique can reduce motion blur by strobing the backlight at a very high frequency. However, the PG27AQN looks so good in motion the mode might not be necessary. Whether this is true is hard to say until a competing 27-inch 1440p 360Hz monitor with a backlight strobing mode becomes available.

In short, the PG27AQN delivers the best motion performance of any 27-inch 1440p monitor, and it’s noticeably better than 240Hz alternatives.

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN – Day-to-Day Use

Competitive gaming is the focus of the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN, but it also handles more mundane tasks well. The monitor’s high maximum brightness, good color accuracy, and 1440p resolution makes for a clear, crisp, and functional experience.

4K resolution is preferable for some content creation tasks, like 4K video editing and professional photography, but there’s an obvious trade-off between refresh rate and resolution. If you want 4K, you’re not getting 360Hz.

The PG27AQN’s connectivity is a bit lacking for home office use, mostly due to its limited number of USB ports and the lack of a USB-C input. A USB-C input is not a requirement for a gaming monitor, but it totally would make sense, as USB-C can handle DisplayPort video. This would have slightly expanded the monitor’s appeal.

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN – The Competition

The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQN is in a class of its own, as it’s the only 27-inch 1440p 360Hz monitor available right now, and also the only one announced. It has no direct competitor.

Competitive gamers may compare this monitor to 24-inch and 25-inch 360Hz monitors like the Alienware AW2521H, Acer Predator X25, and Asus ROG Swift PG259QN. The PG27AQN’s 27-inch screen is definitely more immersive in non-competitive games, so it feels like an obvious upgrade. The PG27AQN also has slightly better motion performance because of its new Ultrafast IPS panel. And the PG27AQN can emulate a 25-inch monitor experience with its 25-inch mode, which can restrict the viewable display space when playing at 1080p. This makes the PG27AQN a better choice than a 25-inch 360Hz monitor: unfortunately, it’s also two to three times more expensive.

Comparing the PG27AQN against other 27-inch gaming monitors reinforces its strengths and weaknesses. No other 27-inch gaming monitor can beat the PG27AQN’s motion performance. Most don’t even come close. However, many 27-inch gaming monitors have equal or better image quality. The Gigabyte M27Q X, BenQ EX270M, and Alienware AW2721D offer slightly better image quality at a lower price, though they only reach a refresh rate of 240Hz.