The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is an excellent gaming monitor from ASUS's Republic of Gamers lineup. It's a refreshed version of the ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q, so the panel is largely the same but with a few minor differences. It's a 27 inch IPS monitor with a 1440p resolution, and its refresh rate can be overclocked to 170Hz. It has an incredibly fast response time, and its low input lag makes gaming feel responsive. It also supports Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate (VRR) to reduce screen tearing. While it has HDR10 support and a wide color gamut, it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights really pop in HDR content. It's best suited to moderately-lit rooms since it has good reflection handling, even though it doesn't get as bright as advertised. It's less suited to dark rooms because of its mediocre contrast. On the upside, it has wide viewing angles, which are great for sharing content or co-op gaming.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is a great all-around monitor. Its high refresh rate, fast response time, low input lag, and VRR support make it an excellent choice for gaming. Its size and resolution are also well-suited to productivity and content creation. It doesn't perform as well in dark rooms, though, because of its low contrast ratio. HDR content also looks a bit disappointing, since the monitor can't get bright enough to make highlights pop.
The ASUS XG27AQ is a great office monitor. While it's intended for gaming, its size and resolution are great for multitasking and opening multiple windows side-by-side. It has good text clarity, and its wide viewing angles are ideal for sharing content. While it doesn't get very bright, it has good reflection handling to fight glare. It also has good ergonomics, so you can adjust it to your ideal viewing position.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is an excellent gaming monitor with a ton of gaming features. It has an overclocked max refresh rate of 170Hz and a fast response time that results in smooth motion. It has a low input lag, and it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing. It also comes with extra features that gamers should appreciate, including on-screen gaming overlays and a Shadow Boost feature that improves visibility in dark scenes.
The ASUS XG27AQ is great for multimedia. The 27 inch size and 1440p resolution result in crisp images, and it has wide viewing angles that are well-suited to watching content with a friend. Unfortunately, the contrast ratio is mediocre, so blacks look more like gray in the dark. On the upside, it has good reflection handling so it diffuses light well in bright rooms.
The ASUS XG27AQ is great for media creation. The 1440p resolution delivers crisp images, and its 27 inch size offers plenty of space to have windows open side-by-side. The wide horizontal viewing angles mean you don't lose image accuracy from the side. It also has an exceptionally wide SDR color gamut, including great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing. That said, its contrast ratio is mediocre, so blacks look more like gray in the dark.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ is decent for HDR gaming. It delivers when it comes to strictly gaming performance thanks to its high refresh rate, fast response time, and low input lag. However, it can't produce a satisfying HDR experience because of its mediocre contrast ratio and low peak brightness in HDR that prevents highlights from truly popping. Its HDR color gamut is also somewhat limited.
The ASUS XG27AQ is gamer-oriented with an RGB lighting zone on the back where the ROG logo is. It has a flat screen and a sleek but simple design. Overall, it feels well-built and has some heft to it. Aside from the stand, it looks very similar to the ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q.
The stand's feet are made of metal and feel very solid, so the monitor feels well-supported. It has a fairly wide footprint but still leaves some desk space in front. It differs from the ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q, which has a unique tripod stand.
The ASUS XG27AQ has good ergonomics. You can adjust the height and rotate the screen clockwise into portrait mode. The swivel range isn't the widest, but it has a broad tilt range, so you shouldn't have trouble finding a suitable viewing position.
The back is solid plastic with an etched pattern covering half of the back panel. The ROG logo lights up, and there's a cutout in the stand for cable management.
The borders are thin and shouldn't be distracting in a dual-monitor setup.
With the stand, the monitor is fairly thick, requiring a fair amount of desk space.
The ASUS XG27AQ feels well-built. Its heavier weight gives it a sturdy feel, and there's almost no flex at all. It feels great overall, and there aren't any obvious gaps or issues in build quality.
The contrast ratio on the ASUS XG27AQ is not bad. It's a touch higher than the advertised 1000:1 ratio, but since it uses an IPS panel, it's still not that high, so blacks appear more grayish in the dark. It's important to remember that contrast can vary between units. The backlight is edge-lit, so the local dimming doesn't have much effect on our checkerboard test pattern because it senses the brighter areas of the checkerboard and turns all the dimming zones on.
Like most monitors with local dimming, the local dimming feature on the ASUS XG27AQ is bad, producing a lot of blooming and uniformity issues. The zones are large and edge-lit, so the transitions between them are very slow and obvious. Because the zones are so large, they don't light up on small bright objects, as seen with the small squares in our test video. As you can see, some of the zones in the middle don't light up if an object is moving too fast. There isn't much black crush because it simply raises the black level overall, but the zones themselves light up and make the image look worse. The local dimming feature is enabled by turning on Dynamic Dimming.
The ASUS XG27AQ has decent SDR peak brightness, although it's significantly lower than the advertised 400 nits. It's possible to achieve brightness closer to the advertised peak brightness by setting Brightness to max, adjusting the Color Temperature to '100-100-100' and changing the Gamma to '1.8'. Otherwise, it doesn't get anywhere near 400 nits in SDR.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration in the 'Racing' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max and Dynamic Dimming turned on.
The ASUS XG27AQ gets reasonably bright in HDR. It's bright enough to meet the advertised DisplayHDR 400 specification, although it's not the most consistent across different content.
We measured the HDR peak brightness using the 'ASUS Gaming HDR' Picture Mode, in which Dynamic Dimming is automatically enabled.
The ASUS XG27AQ has excellent horizontal viewing angles, among the widest viewing angles we've tested on a monitor. The image remains accurate even when viewed at an angle.
The vertical viewing angles are okay, but there's some color shift and overall loss of accuracy when viewing from above or below.
The ASUS XG27AQ has amazing gray uniformity, though this can vary between individual units. The corners and edges appear slightly darker, but overall it's very uniform, and there's very little dirty screen effect. Uniformity is even better in darker scenes.
Black uniformity on the ASUS XG27AQ is okay. There's a bit of backlight bleed near the edges and clouding in the center, as well as some blooming around bright objects, but overall it's not bad. With local dimming enabled, the sides of the screen are darker, but the lighting zones make it look less even.
The ASUS XG27AQ has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, although this may vary between units. The white balance is decent and most colors are only slightly off. Gamma follows the curve fairly well in brighter scenes, although darker scenes are darker than they should be. The color temperature is a bit cooler than our target, so images have a blue-ish tint. There's an 'sRGB' Picture Mode, but we used the 'Racing Mode' instead, as it was more accurate.
After calibration, the accuracy is fantastic. You shouldn't be able to notice any remaining inaccuracies without a colorimeter. Gamma is much closer to the target, although really dark and really bright scenes may still be a little too bright. The color temperature is nearly perfect.
You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.
The ASUS XG27AQ has an incredible SDR color gamut, with nearly full coverage of the commonly used sRGB color space and great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.
The ASUS ROG XG27AQ has incredible color volume. It can display a wide range of colors at various luminance levels, although it can struggle a bit with very dark, saturated colors due to its mediocre contrast ratio. It fills out more colors at lower luminance levels than the ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q, likely because of its less aggressive local dimming.
The ASUS XG27AQ has a decent HDR color gamut. It's considered wide for HDR content, but it only has decent coverage of both the DCI P3 color space and the wider Rec. 2020 color space. If you want a monitor with a wider HDR color gamut, check out the Acer Predator XB273U GXbmiipruzx.
We measure DCI P3 by sending a Rec. 2020 signal, but unlike most reviewers, we limit the colors to the DCI P3 primaries. This results in a lower, but arguably more accurate measurement.
HDR color volume is decent. As with SDR, it has some trouble displaying dark, saturated colors.
There are no signs of temporary image retention on this monitor, but this can vary between units. The small amount detected immediately after displaying a high-contrast image disappears quickly.
Gradient handling is superb and banding is hardly noticeable.
While there's some color bleed in vertical columns, it shouldn't be noticeable in most content, and there are no signs of horizontal color bleed.
The ASUS XG27AQ has good reflection handling. It diffuses direct light well and is decent at diffusing indirect light, but it's best suited to moderately lit environments.
The ASUS XG27AQ has good text clarity. With ClearType enabled (top photo), the appearance of diagonal and curved lines is improved, as seen in the R, N, G, and S.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The ASUS ROG XG27AQ has a remarkably fast response time at its max refresh rate. The best overdrive setting is 'Level 2' because it's faster than levels 0 and 1, but there isn't as much overshoot as levels 3, 4, and 5. If overshoot bothers you, 'Level 0' has none but has a slower response time.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
At 60Hz, the ASUS XG27AQ still has a remarkable response time, although it's marginally slower than at its max refresh rate. Surprisingly, the response time gets incrementally better between overdrive settings 2 and 4 but gets dramatically worse when it's set to 'Level 5'. The recommended overdrive setting at 60Hz, however, is 'Level 0' because it results in the fastest response time and has no overshoot.
The ASUS XG27AQ has a flicker-free backlight, which helps to reduce eye strain.
The ASUS XG27AQ has an optional Black Frame Insertion (BFI) feature, also known as backlight strobing. On this monitor, the feature is called 'ELMB Sync', and it reduces motion blur by flickering the backlight between frames. It works with VRR enabled without affecting the input lag, but you can't adjust the overdrive settings while it's on. To read more about BFI and how we test it, see here.
The monitor has a native 144Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked from 155Hz up to 170Hz. It has Adaptive Sync VRR, so it's compatible with FreeSync and is certified G-SYNC compatible. The max refresh rate you can achieve over HDMI is 144Hz, and G-SYNC only works over a DisplayPort connection.
The ASUS XG27AQ has an incredibly low input lag. It's higher at 60Hz and 60Hz with VRR enabled, which is similar to the ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q. Enabling BFI doesn't add input lag. The BFI input lag was measured at 170Hz. We couldn't measure the 10-bit HDR input lag because it's limited to 120Hz over HDMI, and while you can get 144Hz over a DisplayPort connection, we don't have the tools to measure HDR input lag over DP.
The ASUS XG27AQ is a 27 inch monitor with a great 1440p resolution, resulting in a high pixel density. That means you can open multiple windows side-by-side, and the image looks sharp and clear.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ has many extra features, including adjustable RGB lighting and built-in speakers. It also includes:
The controls are on the back of the monitor and include a joystick and four buttons to navigate the on-screen display.
We tested the 27 inch ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ, which is the only size available. It's a refresh of the ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q and has very similar features and performance overall. The XG27AQ has a different stand and uses a local dimming feature with more dimming zones. It's part of the ROG Strix lineup, which also includes the ASUS ROG Strix XG27UQ, among others.
If you come across a different type of panel or your XG27AQ doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
Our unit was manufactured in December 2020. You can see the label here.
The ASUS ROG Strix is an excellent gaming monitor with a high 170Hz refresh rate and 1440p resolution. It's NVIDIA-certified as G-SYNC compatible and supports FreeSync. It has an exceptionally fast response time at 60Hz, faster than most other monitors we've tested, and it remains exceptionally fast at its max refresh rate. It also has some of the widest viewing angles on any gaming monitor we've tested. For other options, see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best 1440p 144Hz monitors, and the best 27 inch monitors.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ and the Gigabyte M27Q are both excellent gaming monitors. They have a lot of similar features, including a 170Hz refresh rate, fast response times, and both support VRR to reduce screen tearing. At their max refresh rate, they both have an incredibly low input lag, but the ASUS has significantly more lag at 60Hz than the Gigabyte. If you're going to be using the monitor for content creation as well, the Gigabyte also offers greater coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, and it includes a USB-C port, allowing for more connectivity options.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ and the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A are both great monitors, but the XG27AQ is a bit better in terms of gaming performance. It has faster response times than the VG27AQL1A at both 60Hz and the max refresh rate, so fast-moving action will look significantly smoother. While the XG27AQ doesn't get as bright, it should still be fine in moderate lighting conditions, plus it has good reflection handling. It also has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy than the VG27AQL1A, so you may not have to calibrate it to get the best possible image. The biggest downside is that its HDR performance isn't as good as the VG27AQL1A if gaming in HDR is important to you.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG279Q and the ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ are very similar monitors with similar specs. The biggest difference is that the XG27AQ has a simplified stand, and its local dimming is a little less aggressive. The XG27AQ shows less backlight bleed, resulting in better black uniformity, but this is something that can vary. The XG27AW also has slightly wider viewing angles. The XG279Q, on the other hand, gets brighter overall in SDR and HDR, so it can fight glare a little more easily and can bring out more highlights in HDR content. Otherwise, they perform very similarly and both are among the better gaming monitors we've tested, so you can't really go wrong with either.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ performs very similarly to the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. As far as gaming goes, you can't really go wrong with either one. The MSI has a slightly faster response time at the max refresh rate while the ASUS has a slightly faster response time at 60Hz and a marginally higher refresh rate, but really, these are minor differences. While the MSI has a wider color gamut thanks to its use of Quantum Dot technology, in practice, colors can look oversaturated. The ASUS has a couple of other things that may make it preferable to some. It has wider viewing angles, so the image stays accurate from the sides, and it has much better out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you may not need to calibrate it to get the most out of your monitor. All in all, though, these are both excellent gaming monitors.
The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ and the ASUS TUF VG27AQ perform similarly overall, although they occupy different positions in ASUS's gaming lineup. The ROG series is meant to be more premium while the TUF series is more budget-friendly. That said, there are a few key differences between these two monitors that give the XG27AQ a slight edge, especially for gaming. The XG27AQ has a significantly faster response time than the VG27AQ at max refresh rate and especially at 60Hz. The XG27AQ also has a much wider color gamut in both SDR and HDR, and it has wider viewing angles, although the VG27AQ has better ergonomics and gets a little brighter to combat glare, so it may be better suited to an office environment.
The Acer Nitro XV272U KVbmiiprzx and the ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ are nearly identical in gaming performance. They both have a 170Hz refresh rate, exceptional response times, and low input lag. The Acer has a wider color gamut for HDR and better ergonomics, but it doesn't get as bright as the ASUS in SDR. This means that if you often game in a well-lit environment where glare might be an issue, it's better to go with the ASUS. That said, the Acer does get brighter in HDR.
The Acer Predator XB273U GXbmiipruzx and the ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ perform quite similarly. They both have superb response times, although the Acer has a higher refresh rate of 270Hz, versus 170Hz on the ASUS. The Acer gets significantly brighter in SDR and brighter in HDR too, and it has a wider color gamut.
The ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q and the ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ are both excellent gaming monitors from ASUS's Republic of Gamers brand. One of the biggest differences is that the PG279Q has native G-SYNC support while the XG27AQ is simply G-SYNC compatible. That said, the XG27AQ has faster response times at max refresh and especially at 60Hz, resulting in exceptionally clear motion. While the PG279Q has a marginally higher contrast ratio, the XG27AQ experiences less backlight bleed resulting in more uniform blacks, which is good if you prefer to game in the dark. That said, black uniformity can vary between individual units. The XG27AQ also supports HDR while the PG279Q doesn't, although its HDR experience is a bit lackluster because it doesn't get very bright for HDR content.
The LG 27GN950-B and the ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ are both impressive gaming monitors with different resolutions. The ASUS is a 1440p monitor, while the LG is a 4k monitor that delivers a sharper image. The LG also has a slightly faster response time, delivering exceptionally smooth motion, although its refresh rate maxes out at 160Hz whereas the ASUS can reach 170Hz. Both have VRR support and low input lag. While the LG has a slight edge when it comes to performance, the ASUS feels better built and has better ergonomics and reflection handling, if these are important to you.