The ideal gaming monitor comes in multiple forms to fit the needs and desires of different users. But in our opinion, the size and resolution sweet spot is a 27” QHD/1440p panel. Ultra-wides are cool too but they often compromise performance for the sake of their extra pixels. The 109 pixels per inch (ppi) of a 1440p 27″ screen offers a sharp and detailed image without appreciable artifacts like jaggies or line twitter around high-contrast objects. And 1440p is also an easy drive for mid-priced video cards at or around 60fps, while achieving 100fps doesn’t require a large investment PC graphics hardware.
Asus has embraced this formula with many past products and now brings an 1800R curvature to the party with the $799 screen we’re investigating here. The PG27V sports QHD resolution through a 27”, 8-bit native panel that includes Nvidia’s screen-smoothing G-Sync tech, ultra-low motion blur (ULMB), and a 165Hz refresh rate for those who crave ultimate refresh performance (and have the hardware to drive it). It also adds the Republic of Gamers line’s distinct styling and cool lighting features courtesy of Light In Motion and Aura Sync. Let’s take a look.
Yes, we were surprised to see a twisted nematic (TN) panel in a premium gaming monitor. Most would call this old-school technology, but new panels keep appearing from the major manufacturersa–and this one specifically comes from AU Optronics. Viewing angle issues are minimal thanks to the 1800mm curve radius, which provides a subtle wraparound effect with no hint of image distortion. In fact, given the screen’s 16:9 aspect ratio (unusual in a curved monitor), that curve almost completely eliminates light falloff or color shift for a centrally-seated user.
The panel otherwise has all the latest technology: 165Hz with overclock, G-Sync, and ULMB up to 120Hz. Light output is high at over 400 nits, which makes the blur reduction more usable since using it reduces brightness by around 50%. There is no HDR or extended color here. 2.2 power gamma and sRGB are the standard. But the high refresh rate, coupled with QHD resolution, means you won’t need a top-tier video card to edge above 100fps in your favorite games.
Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories
The PG27V comes well-protected in a large and stout carton. Molded foam protects the curved panel, which already has its upright attached. The bar is permanent by the way, thanks to the lighting effects, so no third-party arms will work here. Assembly consists of attaching the base with a captive bolt and snapping the Light In Motion filter in place. You get three different lenses, that each project something different on the desktop. Bundled cables include HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB. The power supply is external and comes in Asus’ now-famous Apple TV-shaped package. It’s much nicer-looking than the generic bricks we usually see. A CD provides the user manual and Aura Sync software.
The PG27V goes for the minimal-bezel look, with a thin line around the top and sides and a larger bar across the bottom. The 1800R curve is subtle but effective. It pulls the screen’s sides in just enough to reduce any issues with the TN panel’s off-axis image quality. When sitting on-center at around 24” from the screen, the picture is uniform from edge to edge with no distortion. The anti-glare layer is very aggressive at blocking reflections but does not reduce clarity.
Asus’ spaceship-hull-like styling is present here with subtle moldings on the screen’s back cover. The lighting effects are top-shelf, with colored lines surrounding the upright’s attachment point. This can be controlled with Aura Sync, which varies the effect using software. You can also set different options in the OSD (more on that below). By default, the Light In Motion featue projects a ROG logo on your desktop beneath the monitor’s base at one of three different intensities.
OSD control comes courtesy of Asus’ perfectly-engineered joystick, which makes navigation a breeze. Four additional buttons provide direct access to picture modes and the Game Plus feature. The power button is now textured to help prevent accidental turn-offs, an issue we found in previous ROG monitors. The power LED is just visible below the right-bottom edge. It glows red for G-Sync, green for ULMB, and white in normal mode.
The stand offers firm and smooth adjustments that include 4” of height, 40° swivel in each direction, and 20° forward/5° backward tilt. Like most curved monitors, there is no portrait mode. Ventilation happens through a small grille in back, and we could feel some heat coming from the front of the screen, at the edges, though never became an issue though. There are no built-in speakers, only a headphone jack in the input panel.
Source connections cover the modern basics. You get one HDMI and one DisplayPort. USB 3.0 is supported through one upstream and two downstream ports. The panel is finished with the headphone output and a DC input for the power supply. At 200nits, we measured 32.5 watts of energy consumption with our Kill-A-Watt.
|Panel Type & Backlight||TN / W-LED, edge array|
|Screen Size & Aspect Ratio||27″ / 16:9|
|Max Resolution & Refresh||2560×1440 @ 144Hz / 165Hz w/overclock G-Sync & ULMB|
|Native Color Depth & Gamut||8-bit / sRGB|
|Response Time (GTG)||1ms|
|Video Inputs||(1) DisplayPort v1.2, (2) HDMI v1.4|
|Audio||(1) 3.5mm Headphone out|
|USB||v3.0: (1) up, (2) down|
|Power Consumption||32.5w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base||24.1 x 16.5-20.5 x 10.6″ (612 x 419-521 x 269mm)|
|Panel Thickness||4.5″ (114mm)|
|Bezel Width||Top/Sides: 0.3″ (7mm), Bottom: 0.9″ (24mm)|
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