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The 27 Asus VG278Q is a gaming monitor that pairs Nvidia’s G-Sync adaptive sync technology with a 144Hz refresh rate to provide butter-smooth gaming action. This Asus monitor uses a Twisted-Nematic (TN) panel, meaning it doesn’t struggle to deliver good gray-scale and viewing-angle performance, but not as good as you’d get on an IPS panel.
To the good gaming performance, it adds a handful of connectivity options including Displayport 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 as well as dual-link DVI-D for extended monitor setups. Its Full HD (1,920-by-1,080) offers a very sharp hi-res picture, but its colors aren’t as accurate as those of the latest 4k gaming monitors, or even our Editors’ Choice for big-screen gaming monitors, the BenQ PD2700U.
Nvidia G-Sync Technology
Nvidia G-Sync is a type of adaptive sync technology used on gaming PC monitors and gaming laptop screens. This feature is an answer to AMDs’ FreeSync technology, with both technologies using the individual monitor’s refresh rates to eliminate screen tearing at high refresh rates, something that occurs when a monitor with a fixed refresh rate tries to keep pace with the graphics card. Screen tearing manifests in a split screen effect with the monitor displaying portions of two frames at the same time.
G-Sync corrects the unwelcome artifact by matching the display’s refresh rate to the Nvidia graphics card’s render rate. As a result, you get to see images immediately they’re rendered irrespective of the screen size while fighting input lag at the same time. With G-Sync technology, there are also options for variable overdrive, which readily predicts when the next frame will be sent and adjusts the monitor’s overdrive to eliminate ghosting artifacts.
Design on the 27 Asus VG278Q Monitor
The Asus VG278Q lacks the macho look of the MSI Optix MPG341CQR and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2740 models, it lacks the sleekness you find on curved gaming monitors, but like the Asus VG278QF gaming monitor, it is a nice-looking monitor nevertheless. It has a black, 2.5-inch cabinet with fairly slim (0.4 inches) bezels and a matte, anti-glare coating. The bezels here are not the thinnest around, but Asus does a good job keeping everything slim. You can easily prop it on a dual-monitor stand and work on two monitors side-by-side easily.
On the back, there are four VESA compatible holes and a supporting wedge-shaped base, and a mounting arm with a sliding hinge that offers up to 4.7 inches of height adjustment, 37 degrees of tilt adjustment, and a 90-degree pivot, that lets you use the monitor in Portrait mode.
Again, the mounting arm swivels 120 degrees at the base and is surrounded by a ring of LEDs that glow red once you enable the Light In Motion feature via the onscreen menus system.
Ports and Settings
On the 27 Asus VG278Q, all ports are located at the rear of the cabinet, which is the same positioning in its other sibling, the Asus VP28UQG. Here you find one HDMI port, one DisplayPort, DVI that suffices for legacy systems. The monitor does have a pair of embedded 2-watt speakers, but they are woefully underpowered and produce thin sound. They can’t replace real PC speakers, especially if you’ll be using the monitor for media consumption.
The Asus VG278Q settings can be adjusted via four function buttons on the right side, where you’ll find a Power button and a five-way jog dial that makes it easy to navigate the settings menus. The monitor’s Game Visual settings are in fact optimized picture presets and include Scenery, Racing, Cinema, RTS/RPG (Real-Time Strategy/Role-Playing Game), FPS (First Person Shooter), and sRGB modes.
Additionally, there are Brightness and Contrast settings, alongside five Blue Light Filter settings including Off to reduce eye strain, three Skin Tone settings (Reddish, Natural, and Yellowish), and four Color Temperature settings (Cool, Normal, Warm, and User). You also have ECO mode that dims the panel brightness for reduced energy consumption.
Apart from the Game Visual settings, the VG278Q features Asus’s GamePlus technology that readily offers four different crosshair aiming overlays and an in-game timer for tracking things like re-spawn times and overall gameplay times.
In our Asus VG278Q 27 review, it’s important to highlight how the monitor performs on modern titles. Surprisingly, it is an excellent performer, scoring well on PC gaming on Crysis tests, thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate and 1 millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response time. The monitor manages to deliver very smooth motion handling with no noticeable ghosting or blurring, though you don’t get the same detail as you could on pricier monitors, like the MSI Optix line of gaming panels. It offers the same clarity on Grand Theft Auto V on Sony PlayStation 4. The colors appear rich and the image detail is outstanding.
The rich colors notwithstanding, the VG278Q’s color accuracy is slightly off on chromaticity tests, with red and green colors missing their ideal targets, and blue is fairly on the fringe. Fortunately, the monitor doesn’t suffer from tinting or oversaturated colors as a result. The TN panel doesn’t struggle when displaying every shade of gray, with no loss of luminance or color shifting when viewed from extreme angles, but IPS panel types benefit from wide viewing angles.
Even with impressive test scores, it still benefits from Nvidia’s G-Sync technology that adds up to a good frame rate. With Sync disabled, screen tearing wasn’t an issue on Crysis 3 and Call of Duty: Black OP, but fast action scenes look much smoother and sharper with G-Sync enabled.
The Asus VG278Q G Sync monitor has an input lag of 27.4-milliseconds, which is decent and won’t likely affect your gameplay. Still, it doesn’t match the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540’s short lag of 9.7 milliseconds. The monitor draws 36 watts of power in testing when set to sRGB mode. That’s in line with most competitors who stay in the 38 watts range, but with ECO mode activated it can drop to around 29 watts.
The 27 Asus VG278Q Review | Verdict
The Asus VG278Q is a 27-inch gaming monitor that pairs Nvidia’s G-Sync adaptive sync technology with a 144Hz refresh rate to deliver accurate colors and excellent gaming performance. G-Sync does a good job eliminating screen tearing and helps deliver smooth gameplay.
The 27-inch panel delivers deep blacks, and its 1,920-by-1,080 resolution provides clear image detail, but as with most TN panels, its viewing angle performance would be better.
Is there a better alternative?
At this price range, you can’t miss an alternative with the same detail , and if you’re lucky you can snag a a 4K resolution with a better gaming experience. One such alternative is the 27-inch Acer Predator XB271HK, a monitor to covet if you want glorious 4K (3840 x 2160) gaming with G-Sync, even though this high resolution IPS panel has a low refresh rate of 60Hz. Not a big deal though, since most GPUs can’t run games at 100fps at 4K anyway and any monitor with a 3440 x 1440 resolution is fine. If you need it big, and boastful, the Asus ROG Swift PG349Q is a great alternative as well.
If you need something smaller, the 24.5-inch BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 offers a 240Hz refresh rate and also offers G-Sync compatibility for around the same price. If you need something for productivity and casual gaming, the 34-inch LG 34UC80-B is a good choice.
Should you buy the 27 Asus VG278Q monitor?
Yes. For the price, the 27 Asus VG278Q is money well spent of which you get strong gaming performance, a fully adjustable stand and gamer-friendly settings.