ASUS VG27WQ1B Review: 1440p 165Hz FreeSync Curved Gaming Monitor

The ASUS VG27WQ1B is a 27" 1440p 165Hz FreeSync gaming monitor based on a VA panel with a high contrast ratio and wide color gamut.

Bottom Line

The ASUS VG27WQ1B is a decent gaming monitor if you’re familiar with the usual downsides of budget VA panels. However, there are a few similar monitors by other brands that you should also check out.

Design:
(3.9)
Display:
(4.8)
Performance:
(4.0)
Price/Value:
(3.0)
3.9

Want an affordable 27″ curved gaming monitor with a high contrast ratio?

The ASUS TUF Gaming VG27WQ1B might be for you!

Image Quality

Thanks to its VA panel, the ASUS VG27WQ1B monitor has a high 3,000:1 static contrast ratio for deep blacks. IPS monitors, which usually have a contrast ratio of around 1,000:1, have grayish blacks in comparison.

On top of that, VA monitors don’t suffer from IPS glow, so the overall viewing experience is more immersive in a dark room.

VA technology has its downsides though. To start with, you won’t get quite as wide viewing angles as that of IPS panels. Some minor shifts in saturation and gamma are noticeable at certain viewing angles, but unless you’re doing color-critical work, it won’t be a problem – you can do basic content creation without issues.

Moving on, the ASUS VG27WQ1B has a wide 90% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, which provides you with a bit more saturated and rich colors (~125% sRGB gamut volume).

This causes some over-saturation when viewing sRGB content, but it’s very mild and most users will prefer the extra vibrancy.

There’s an sRGB mode that’s supposed to clamp the gamut down to ~100%, but it doesn’t have any effect. Instead, you can try using AMD’s software solution to emulate the sRGB gamut or this third-party application if you have an NVIDIA GPU.

Next, the ASUS VG27WQ1B has a peak brightness of 250-nits, which is the minimum as far as modern LED-backlit displays go.

For most people, that’s still more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions. However, if you plan on using the screen in a particularly bright room, it might not be able to completely mitigate glare even at its highest brightness setting.

Further, the 1440p resolution suits the 27″ sized screen of the monitor very well. You get a pixel density of 108.79 PPI (pixels per inch), which results in sharp text and details with plenty of screen real estate available and no scaling necessary.

What’s more, 1440p is a lot less demanding on the GPU than 4K UHD, allowing you to maintain a high frame rate with a decent mid-range graphics card.

Performance

amd freesync logo

The ASUS VG27WQ1B gaming monitor has a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz, which provides you with a huge boost in motion clarity and responsiveness in comparison to the standard 60Hz displays.

To take full advantage of 165Hz, you’ll also need high frame rates (ideally 165FPS), but a high refresh rate is useful even at low FPS as you get lower input lag and less screen tearing.

Additionally, the monitor supports variable refresh rate (VRR) for tear-free gameplay up to 165FPS. It has AMD’s FreeSync Premium certification, but it’s not certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC Compatible. Regardless, you can use VRR with GeForce GPUs over DisplayPort, while FreeSync works over both DP and HDMI on this monitor.

As expected from a VA panel display, some VRR brightness flickering will be noticeable in games with unsteady frame rates, around the 48FPS LFC threshold and in in-game menus and loading screens.

The ASUS VG27WQ1B also supports Motion Blur Reduction via its ELMB (ASUS Extreme Low Motion Blur) technology, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at the cost of image brightness.

ELMB also introduces screen flickering that’s invisible to the human eye, but can cause headaches after prolonged use to those sensitive to flicker. Further, ELMB can only be active at a fixed refresh rate of at least 100Hz, so it cannot be active at the same time as VRR.

Another downside of most VA panel monitors is the slow response time speed, mainly when it comes to dark pixels. There’s noticeable smearing behind fast-moving objects in dark scenes. Some users don’t mind this, while others are completely repulsed by it. So, it comes down to your personal tolerance.

If you’re worried about smearing, you’ll need to go with an IPS gaming monitor or invest in a fast VA model, such as the KTC M27T20 or the Samsung Odyssey G7.

The monitor has six response time overdrive modes under the TraceFree setting (from 0 to 100 in increments of 20).

Setting the TraceFree option to 100 will cause inverse ghosting (pixel overshoot), so we recommend setting it to 80 for optimal performance – if you’re using VRR at around 60FPS or you’re gaming at 60Hz, dial it back to 60 for the best results.

Input lag at 165Hz is only ~5ms, which is imperceptible.

Features

ASUS VG27WQ1B OSD Menu

At the rear of the display, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, three hotkeys for shortcuts and a power button.

Useful gaming features include various picture presets, crosshair overlays, on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker and Shadow Boost (improves visibility in dark scenes by altering the gamma curvature).

Besides the standard image adjustments (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), the ASUS VG27WQ1B also has saturation, aspect ratio and sharpness (VividPixel) settings.

The backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless ELMB is enabled) and there’s a low-blue light mode.

Lastly, the ASUS VG27WQ1B also supports HDR, but while it can accept the HDR10 signal and display it, there’s no proper hardware to actually improve the HDR viewing experience, so you can just ignore (disable) it.

Design & Connectivity

ASUS VG27WQ1B Design

The stand of the monitor is fairly sturdy and offers tilt (-5°/20°) and swivel (+/- 15°), but no height or pivot adjustments.

The screen is VESA mount compatible via the 100x100mm pattern and has a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy.

Further, the monitor has a moderate 1500R screen curvature for added immersion.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports (limited to 144Hz), a headphone jack and dual 2W integrated speakers.

The monitor also supports the 1440p 120Hz mode for consoles.

Price & Similar Monitors

The ASUS VG27WQ1B goes for around $250.

There’s also the ASUS VG27WQ variant with a higher 400-nit peak brightness, though it seems to be discontinued.

We recommend getting the AOC Q27G3XMN instead. It goes for ~$30 more yet offers proper HDR support with a 336-zone mini LED FALD, wider color gamut and a higher 1200-nit peak brightness.

If you don’t want to deal with smearing and VRR brightness flickering, and don’t mind having a lower contrast ratio, you can get an excellent IPS gaming monitor in this price range too, such as the Acer XV271U M3.

Check out our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide for more models and information.

Conclusion

All in all, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27WQ1B is an excellent gaming monitor as long as you don’t mind the usual drawbacks of budget VA panels.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Screen Curvature1500R
Resolution2560×1440 (WQHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time4ms (GtG)
Extreme Low Motion Blur1ms (MPRT)
Speakers2x2W
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-165Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness250 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
90% DCI-P3
HDRHDR10
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High contrast ratio
  • Wide color gamut
  • Decent pixel density
  • Plenty of gaming features, including VRR and MBR up to 165Hz

The Cons:

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
  • Peak brightness could be higher, but it’s acceptable
  • Some units affected by VRR brightness flickering
  • Design lacks height and pivot adjustments

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.