ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Oct 13, 2020 at 10:49 am
ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
8.0
Office
8.4
Gaming
7.9
Multimedia
8.1
Media Creation
7.3
HDR Gaming
Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate
170 Hz
Pixel Type
IPS
Variable Refresh Rate
Adaptive Sync

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is an impressive gaming monitor that's more well-rounded than its predecessor, the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It has native Adaptive Sync and FreeSync support, and it's certified as G-SYNC compatible. Its native 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 170Hz, and it has an excellent response time at its max refresh rate. The input lag is incredibly low, and it stays low even when gaming at 60Hz. HDR content looks good because it displays a wide color gamut and it has decent peak brightness. Its IPS panel provides wide viewing angles, but it comes at the cost of a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear closer to gray. It's well-built and the stand offers great ergonomics, so you shouldn't have any issues placing it in an ideal viewing position.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is great for most uses. It has impressive gaming performance because it has a quick response time, VRR support, and an incredibly low input lag. The high resolution and large screen make it easier to multitask, and it has great reflection handling if you work in a well-lit environment. It's good for watching the latest videos with some friends as it has wide viewing angles. It's decent for HDR gaming because of its wide color gamut and decent peak brightness, but it has a low contrast ratio.

Pros
  • High resolution and large screen.
  • FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility.
  • Quick response time.
  • Decent peak brightness in HDR.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Disappointing black uniformity.
8.0 Office

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is great for office use. The large, 27 inch screen provides enough space to multitask, and the 1440p resolution delivers clear text. If you work in a well-lit environment, it has good reflection handling and peak brightness. It has wide viewing angles and great ergonomics, making it easier to share your screen with others.

Pros
  • High resolution and large screen.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
8.4 Gaming

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is impressive for gaming. It has a high refresh rate, FreeSync support, G-SYNC compatibility, and incredibly low input lag. There's a Black Frame Insertion feature that can be used at the same time as VRR. Sadly, its low contrast and disappointing black uniformity mean it's not the best choice for dark-room gaming. It has great ergonomics that make it easier to place in an ideal position.

Pros
  • Great ergonomics.
  • FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility.
  • Quick response time.
  • Incredibly low input lag.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Disappointing black uniformity.
7.9 Multimedia

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is very good for multimedia use. Its 27 inch screen and 1440p resolution help deliver images with a ton of detail. The wide viewing angles and great ergonomics make it a good choice for watching the latest videos online with your friends. Unfortunately, it doesn't perform well in dark rooms because it has a low contrast ratio and disappointing black uniformity.

Pros
  • High resolution and large screen.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Disappointing black uniformity.
8.1 Media Creation

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is great for content creators. The large screen offers enough space so that you can open multiple windows side-by-side. The great ergonomics make it easier to find an ideal viewing position, and the wide viewing angles mean you can easily share your screen with a client. Also, it has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space; however, there are some signs of color bleed that isn't ideal for photo editors.

Pros
  • High resolution and large screen.
  • Wide viewing angles.
  • Great ergonomics.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
7.3 HDR Gaming

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A is decent for HDR gaming. It offers great gaming features like VRR support, a high max refresh rate, a quick response time, and low input lag. HDR content looks decent because it displays a wide color gamut and has decent peak brightness in HDR. Sadly, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray.

Pros
  • FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility.
  • Quick response time.
  • Displays wide color gamut.
  • Decent peak brightness in HDR.
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio.
  • Disappointing black uniformity.
  • Terrible local dimming feature.
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Office
  • 8.4 Gaming
  • 7.9 Multimedia
  • 8.1 Media Creation
  • 7.3 HDR Gaming
  1. Update 10/15/2020: Tested the local dimming feature.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved No
Curve Radius Not Curved
Weight (without stand)
9.5 lbs (4.3 kg)
Weight (with stand)
14.1 lbs (6.4 kg)

The ASUS VG27AQL1A is well-built, with a sleek and modern design. It looks different than its predecessor, the ASUS TUF VG27AQ, as it has a new stand and thin bezels on three sides. Even though it has a gamer-oriented style, it should fit well into any office setup.

Design
Stand
Width
21.0" (53.4 cm)
Depth
8.6" (21.8 cm)

The V-shaped stand is different than the square-based stand found on previous ASUS monitors. It has a wide footprint, but you can easily place things in front, like a keyboard or mouse. It supports the monitor well and there's no wobble.

8.0
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.1" (13.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape Yes, Both Ways
Swivel Range -20° to 20°
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

The ergonomics are great, so you shouldn't have any trouble placing it in an ideal viewing position. However, it's a bit of a downgrade from the ASUS TUF VG27AQ because the swivel range isn't as wide.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the ASUS VG27AQL1A has some etched designs, giving it a gamer-friendly aesthetic. Cable management is serviced through the stand. Sadly, there's no quick-release button to easily take off the stand.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.4" (0.9 cm)

The borders are thin and aren't distracting.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
4.8" (12.2 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
2.5" (6.4 cm)

The screen itself is thin, but the stand is thicker and takes up a fair amount of space.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The ASUS VG27AQL1A has a good build quality. The entire monitor is made of solid plastic and there aren't any obvious issues. The stand supports the monitor well and there's no wobble.

Picture Quality
6.0
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
1016 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
1091 : 1

Update 10/14/2020: We previously stated this monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. We corrected the mistake and updated the review.

The ASUS VG27AQL1A has a low contrast ratio, which is expected from an IPS panel, and the local dimming only slightly improves it. Blacks appear closer to gray when viewed in dark rooms. Note that contrast may vary between units.

1.0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

Update 10/15/2020: We previously stated this monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. We corrected the mistake and updated the review.

This monitor has a terrible edge-lit local dimming feature. There are four dimming zones that only slightly improve contrast. Zone transitions are slow and visible, and the local dimming doesn't improve the picture quality in HDR. The setting to control it is called Dynamic Dimming and it can't be used with the Black Frame Insertion feature. It automatically turns on in HDR.

7.7
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
318 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
310 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
331 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
331 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
331 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
331 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
309 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
330 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
330 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
330 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
330 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.004

Update 10/15/2020: We previously stated this monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. We retested SDR peak brightness with local dimming, but it didn't change the results.

The SDR peak brightness is good. It gets bright enough to combat glare, and it's very similar to the ASUS TUF VG27AQ, except small areas aren't as bright.

We measured peak brightness after calibration in the 'Racing' Picture Mode. If you want a slightly brighter image, we reached 339 cd/m² before calibration.

7.1
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
459 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
444 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
475 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
476 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
478 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
477 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
441 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
471 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
472 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
477 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
477 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.005

The ASUS TUF VG27AQL1A has decent peak brightness in HDR. It's a nice improvement over the ASUS VG27AQ, and it meets its DisplayHDR 400 standards. It makes some highlights stand out the way the content creator intended. We used the 'HDR Gaming' Picture Mode as it's brighter than 'HDR Cinema', which has a peak brightness of 455 cd/m².

8.3
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
47 °
Color Washout From Right
45 °
Color Shift From Left
51 °
Color Shift From Right
62 °
Brightness Loss From Left
46 °
Brightness Loss From Right
46 °
Black Level Raise From Left
70 °
Black Level Raise From Right
70 °
Gamma Shift From Left
55 °
Gamma Shift From Right
53 °

Like most IPS panels, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A has a great horizontal viewing angle. The image remains accurate when viewing from the side.

6.9
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
31 °
Color Washout From Above
28 °
Color Shift From Below
35 °
Color Shift From Above
46 °
Brightness Loss From Below
35 °
Brightness Loss From Above
34 °
Black Level Raise From Below
70 °
Black Level Raise From Above
70 °
Gamma Shift From Below
31 °
Gamma Shift From Above
31 °

The vertical viewing angle is okay. The image remains fairly accurate if you mount it above eye-level, but you may notice a loss in color or brightness.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.222 %
50% DSE
0.092 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.364 %
5% DSE
0.052 %

Excellent gray uniformity. There's no dirty screen effect and even though the edges are slightly darker, it shouldn't be too distracting. Uniformity is even better in near-dark scenes. Note that gray uniformity may vary between units.

5.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.759 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
5.842 %

Update 10/15/2020: We previously stated this monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. We corrected the mistake and updated the review.

Our unit of the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A has disappointing black uniformity, but this may vary between units. There's significant clouding throughout, and backlight bleed near the top and bottom right corners. The uniformity is worse with local dimming enabled because there's more blooming around the center cross as large zones are turned on.

4.6
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Racing Mode
Luminance
266 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
75
Contrast Setting
80
RGB Controls
Warm
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
5666 K
White Balance dE
5.24
Color dE
5.46
Gamma
2.15

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A has poor out-of-the-box accuracy, even worse than the ASUS TUF VG27AQ, but this may vary between units. Most colors are inaccurate and white balance is very off. The color temperature is warm, giving the image a yellow/red tint. Gamma doesn't follow the target curve well either, as dark scenes are too dark and bright scenes are too bright. There's an sRGB mode available, but it results in a slightly worse color and white balance dE.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Racing Mode
Luminance
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
14
Contrast Setting
79
RGB Controls
90-93-100
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6534 K
White Balance dE
0.71
Color dE
0.63
Gamma
2.18

The accuracy is outstanding after calibration. All white balance and color inaccuracies are corrected, and the color temperature is extremely close to the 6500K target. Gamma follows the target curve better overall, but some scenes are still over-brightened.

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.

9.2
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
98.8 %
Adobe RGB xy
84.9 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Racing
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Racing

Update 10/14/2020: We previously stated this monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. We retested SDR color gamut with local dimming, but it didn't change the results.

The ASUS VG27AQL1A has an outstanding color gamut. It has perfect coverage of the sRGB color space used in most web content, and impressive coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.

9.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.3 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
90.9 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Racing
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Racing

Update 10/15/2020: We previously stated this monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. We retested SDR color volume with local dimming, but it didn't change the results.

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A has remarkable color volume. It displays a wide range of colors at different luminance levels, but it has trouble displaying dark, saturated colors well due to the low contrast ratio.

7.8
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
86.5 %
Rec. 2020 xy
69.6 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Gaming
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Gaming

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A displays a good, wide color gamut for HDR content. It has excellent coverage of the commonly-used DCI P3 color space, but its coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is a bit limited.

Note: The DCI P3 coverage is much lower than the advertised 95% coverage. This is normal and is due to the way we measure DCI P3. We measure DCI P3 by sending a Rec. 2020 signal, but unlike most reviewers, we limit the colors we're sending to the DCI P3 primaries. This results in a lower, but arguably more accurate measurement.

8.0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
89.0 %
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
70.5 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Gaming
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Gaming

Great HDR color volume. It displays a wide range of colors due to its wide color gamut; however, it can't display dark colors well because it has a low contrast ratio.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention, but this may vary between units.

9.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The ASUS TUF VG27AQL1A has incredible gradient handling. You shouldn't notice any banding, and it's an improvement over the ASUS TUF VG27AQ because it has a 10-bit panel, as opposed to an 8-bit panel on the older model.

8.4
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.000 %
Pixel Column Error
0.321 %

There are some signs of vertical color bleed. Although it's not ideal for photo editing, you shouldn't notice it with most content.

7.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.4 %
Indirect Reflections
2.8 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.4 %

The ASUS TUF VG27AQL1A has good reflection handling. It shouldn't be a problem in a moderately-lit environment, but if you place it opposite a window with direct sunlight, the reflections may become too distracting.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A has decent text clarity. It can be improved by enabling ClearType (top photo). This helps the appearance of the diagonal and curved lines as seen on the letters R, N, G, and S.

Motion
8.6
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
60
Rise / Fall Time
4.5 ms
Total Response Time
11.9 ms
Overshoot Error
8.0 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
4.7 ms
Dark Total Response Time
12.0 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
8.0 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
0 Chart Table Photo
20 Chart Table Photo
40 Chart Table Photo
60 Chart Table Photo
80 Chart Table Photo
100 Chart Table Photo

The ASUS VG27AQL1A has excellent response time at its max refresh rate of 170Hz. The recommended overdrive setting is '60', which results in smooth motion. It has overshoot in some transitions, and if that bothers you, you can set it to '40', which has a slightly slower total response time, but less overshoot.

7.9
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
20
Rise / Fall Time
6.6 ms
Total Response Time
15.5 ms
Overshoot Error
3.3 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
8.6 ms
Dark Total Response Time
17.4 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
2.3 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
0 Chart Table Photo
20 Chart Table Photo
40 Chart Table Photo
60 Chart Table Photo
80 Chart Table Photo
100 Chart Table Photo

The response time at 60Hz is good, and it's an improvement over the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. Unlike at its max refresh rate, the recommended overdrive setting is '20', so you may have to change the setting if the frame rate of your game drops. It has a quicker response time than the '0' setting, and there's a lot less overshoot than the higher settings.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The ASUS TUF VG27AQL1A has a flicker-free backlight, which helps reduce eye strain.

6.1
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
170 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
120 Hz

There's an optional Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur. It's called ELMB Sync, and it works with VRR enabled, which is rare for monitors. However, its BFI range is a lot more limited than the ASUS TUF VG27AQ.

9.2
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
170 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (NVIDIA Certified)
VRR Maximum
170 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The ASUS TUF VG27AQL1A has an incredible refresh rate with native FreeSync support. The native 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 170Hz if you're using a DisplayPort connection. G-SYNC compatibility only works over DisplayPort.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
3.3 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
8.6 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
5.7 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
9.0 ms
10 Bit HDR