After having been plagued for almost a year with early introductions at trade fairs and events, it is finally over: the new top gaming monitor of Asus is in our test lab. Today we report our findings of the Asus Republic of Gamers Swift PG27VQ, a 27-inch curved gaming monitor with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels and a refresh rate of 165 Hz.
More than three years ago, Asus launched a fairly ground-breaking gaming monitor with the ROG Swift PG278Q - the combination of 27-inch with WQHD resolution, 144Hz and G-sync was an unprecedented technical masterpiece at that time. Not only did the screen provide convincing results in terms of response times, we were also pleasantly surprised with the colour rendering.
Since then, Asus have added one WQHD-gaming monitor after the other to their range. The PG278Q was succeeded by the unfortunately never tested PG278QR, which also had an IPS counterpart - the PG279Q. A variant of this with FreeSync and a significantly lower price is the MG279Q. Then there is the TN version (and therefore the FreeSync version of the PG278Q), the very popular and highly appreciated MG278Q. Meanwhile you also understand the naming system: M stands for FreeSync, P for G-sync, -8 is TN, -9 is IPS. It is not very imaginative, but within the monitoring market this is one of the more clear, understandable and recognisable approaches to naming products.
Asus’ efforts were not without reward, because the brand can now call itself the market leader in the field of gaming monitors, which is a major achievement. It is a segment that can rejoice in the very warm interest of today. The market is filled with gaming screens from (nearly) every manufacturer of displays (if Fujitsu comes with a gaming screen, we will not need the “nearly”). Although for a long time practically ignored by the two Korean giants, Samsung and since this year also LG are back in this market with very serious candidates. Despite the fact that monitors are cut-throat market with narrow margins, manufacturers like Medion and MSI are also trying to get a foothold there.
Against this backdrop, it became painfully clear how old the 27-inch WQHD range of Asus has grown over time. Nothing had appeared since 2015. All throughout 2017 we caught glimpses of new models from time to time, but nothing was officially announced.
This is now changing, because the new line is being introduced rapidly into the market. The peak is measured by PG27VQ – top of the range and the subject of this review. We have also already identified the XG27VQ, the XG32VQ and the XG35VQ. If we tell you that both TN and VA panels are used in this and we keep the PG27AQ of early 2016 (an UltraHD model) in our minds, it will be clear that Asus has discarded his understandable naming strategy. P is still G-sync, but FreeSync now gets an X at the beginning. You can no longer deduce the panel technique from the name, and what VQ and AQ stand for – only Asus know. In any case, it is not the resolution, because there are VQ models with 2560x1440 and 3440x1440, and AQ copies with 2560x1440 and 3840x2160.
We shall start off with a critical point: the new ROG Swift PG27VQ with an average price of 1135 dollars is no less than 140 dollars more expensive than the PG278Q when it was introduced in 2014, and no less than 310 dollars (!) more expensive than the PG278QR with G-sync and 165Hz WQHD TN screen. The new top-of-the-range model is also significantly more expensive than 165Hz WQHD monitors with G-Sync and an IPS panel, such as Asus’ own PG279Q and the Acer XB271HU. It is also in line with expectations that the price will go down further, as we see it at the time of writing for 1040 dollars in our Price Comparison. However, this is still almost 240 dollars more than the widely available PG278QR is.
Of course, the newcomer has an entirely new panel, which is also curved, and Asus has a very nice stand and, yes, very extensive RBD lighting. However, the basic specifications are not different compared to the existing models. It then has to be purely the performance that can justify this substantial increase in price.