ASUS XG27AQM Review: 1440p 270Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The ASUS XG27AQM is a 27" 1440p 270Hz 1ms FreeSync IPS gaming monitor with a wide 100% Adobe RGB color gamut and ELMB-Sync.

Bottom Line

Thanks to its wide Adobe RGB color gamut, rapid response time speed, 270Hz refresh rate, and smooth VRR and MBR performance, the ASUS XG27AQM is one of the best 27″ 1440p monitors you can buy.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.9)
Performance:
(4.7)
Price/Value:
(4.5)
4.8

The ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQM is yet another 27″ 1440p 240Hz gaming monitor aimed at those after the perfect mixture of high resolution and high refresh rate.

Let’s see how it compares to its alternatives and if it’s the best model for you.

Image Quality

The monitor is based on an IPS panel with a wide 97% DCI-P3 and 100% Adobe RGB gamut coverage; that’s equivalent to ~150% sRGB!

As a result, you get gorgeous and vibrant colors. While LG’s Nano IPS panels with 98% DCI-P3 gamut coverage have richer reds, the Adobe RGB gamut of the ASUS XG27AQM brings more shade variety to blue, cyan and green colors, which makes scenes that involve nature (water, trees, etc.) especially beautiful.

DCI P3 vs Adobe RGB Color Gamut

There’s an sRGB emulation mode available that restricts the monitor’s native 150% sRGB gamut to ~100%. However, in this mode, all adjustments are locked, including the brightness setting.

By default, the brightness in the sRGB mode amounts to ~150-nits, which might be too bright for use in dark rooms, or not bright enough in well-lit rooms.

There’s a workaround to unlock the brightness setting by entering the service menu. To do so, you’ll need to turn off the monitor and then hold the joystick and the power button at the same time until the display turns on.

Once the monitor is on, pressing the joystick will now bring up the service menu in which you’ll be able to find and tweak the sRGB brightness setting (‘SRGB BRI’).

To get the old OSD menu back, press the power button and hold the joystick for a few seconds, release, and then press the joystick.

Moving on, the ASUS XG27AQM monitor has a 350-nit peak brightness, so it can get more than bright enough under normal lighting conditions.

Its contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, which is standard for IPS panels. In dark rooms, the 1,000:1 contrast ratio along with IPS glow can result in somewhat grayish blacks in comparison to deep blacks of VA panel displays with a ~3,000:1 contrast ratio, but it’s the expected drawback of IPS technology; VA monitors have other flaws.

Another strength of the ASUS XG27AQM IPS monitor is the 178° wide viewing angles, which ensure that the image is flawless regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen; the colors remain consistent across the entire screen at all times, which in addition to the precise Delta ≤ 2 factory-calibration makes the monitor fit for professional color-critical work.

Further, the 2560×1440 WQHD resolution hits the pixel density sweet spot on 27″ sized monitors. With 108 PPI (pixels per inch), you get plenty of screen real estate as well as crisp details and text, without any scaling necessary.

The monitor also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) and has VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification.

This means that HDR content gets a boost in peak brightness up to 400-nits, but since the ASUS XG27AQM lacks proper local dimming or a significantly high contrast ratio, HDR should be ignored; it’s not a selling point of the XG27AQM anyway.

Performance

What is the selling point, however, is the rapid 240Hz refresh rate – which you can further increase by overclocking up to 270Hz.

Additionally, the monitor has a quick enough pixel response time speed (0.5ms GtG specified) to keep up with such a high refresh rate in order to provide buttery-smooth gameplay without any visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.

But, there is a catch.

There are six response time overdrive settings (from Level 0 to Level 5). The optimal setting will vary depending on the monitor’s refresh rate. If you’re just using the monitor at a fixed 240Hz or 270Hz, you can just use Level 4 for the best results.

However, if you’re using a variable refresh rate (AMD FreeSync Premium or NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible), you’ll have to change to overdrive level according to your frame rate:

  • Level 4 is usable between ~200 and 270FPS
  • Level 2 is best for below ~70FPS
  • Level 3 offers the most balanced performance with some overshoot below 70FPS and some ghosting above ~150FPS.

Of course, this will vary between games and your personal sensitivity to ghosting/overshoot.

The most important part is that you can change the overdrive when using a variable refresh rate, so you’ll always be able to get the optimal performance.

Next, the ASUS XG27AQM input lag is imperceptible at around 2ms, so you won’t be able to notice or feel any delays.

Variable refresh rate is supported with both AMD’s FreeSync Premium and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible certifications within the 48-270Hz range for tear-free gameplay.

The monitor also supports Motion Blur Reduction technology called ELMB-Sync, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness.

ELMB-Sync can be used at the same time as variable refresh rate or at a fixed refresh rate (120Hz, 144Hz, 165Hz, 240Hz or 270Hz).

When ELMB-Sync is enabled, you cannot adjust the overdrive settings and it’s locked to Level 4 (unless you want to tinker with the service menu again). Without any tinkering, both ELMB and ELMB-Sync work great above 200FPS, but overshoot starts creeping in the lower the frame rate goes.

Features

ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQM Monitor OSD Menu

To navigate the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, you can use the directional joystick placed at the rear of the monitor. Below the joystick, you’ll find three hotkeys (two of which can be assigned to different shortcuts) and a power button.

Noteworthy gaming features include Shadow Boost (improves visibility in darker scenes by manipulating the gamma curvature), crosshair overlays, on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker and various picture presets (FPS, Racing, RTS/RPG, etc.).

You’ll also find some advanced image adjustment tools, including three gamma presets and saturation, besides the standard settings (brightness, contrast, color temperature, aspect ratio, etc.).

There’s also a low-blue light filter, while the backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless ELMB-Sync is enabled).

At the rear of the monitor, the ROG logo has RGB lighting that’s compatible AuraSync – or you can manually customize the colors via Aura RGB (six different colors and patterns).

Design & Connectivity

ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQM Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is robust and ergonomic with up to 100mm height adjustment, 90° clockwise pivot, +/- 25° swivel, -5°/20° tilt and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

The screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that eliminates reflections without making the image grainy.

Connectivity options are abundant and include two HDMI 2.0 ports, two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs with DSC, a headphone jack and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

Note that HDMI 2.0 is limited to 144Hz at 2560×1440 (48-144Hz VRR range).

The monitor also supports the 1080p 120Hz mode for the PS5 and 1440p 120Hz + VRR for the Xbox Series S/X.

Price & Similar Monitors

The ASUS XG27AQM price amounts to $700, which is standard for 1440p 240Hz monitors.

As far as the IPS models go, it’s our top-recommended model. It has a better overdrive implementation than the Acer XV272UX and XB273UGX models. It’s also better than the Dell AW2721D which doesn’t have an sRGB mode and MBR.

There’s also the ASUS ROG Swift PG279QM with a dedicated G-SYNC module and variable overdrive – it allows you to use a single overdrive mode across the entire refresh rate range. However, it’s ~$200 more expensive and doesn’t have backlight strobing.

Alternatively, you might be interested in the Samsung Odyssey G7 C27G75T 1440p 240Hz 1ms VA gaming monitor with better DisplayHDR 600 support and a higher contrast ratio. However, it has a 1000R curved screen and not as good VRR and MBR performance.

If you’re looking for something similar to the XG27AQM but cheaper, consider the MSI MAG274QRF-QD. It has the same wide Adobe RGB color gamut, as well as a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed, but a lower 165Hz refresh rate for ~$450.

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

Overall, the ASUS XG27AQM is the best 1440p 240Hz IPS gaming monitor you can get for the money. It has some drawbacks, but they can be solved in the service menu; we just wish that ASUS made adjusting these options more convenient.

Specifications

Screen Size27-inch
Resolution2560×1440 (QHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz (270Hz OC)
Response Time0.5ms (GtG)
Response Time (ELMB-Sync)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-270Hz)
Ports2x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, 2x USB 3.0
Brightness350 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)400 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
97% DCI-P3, 100% Adobe RGB, 150% sRGB
HDRDisplayHDR 400
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High pixel density, wide color gamut, consistent colors, sRGB mode
  • Plenty of gaming features including MBR and FreeSync up to 270Hz
  • Fully ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Locked brightness in the sRGB mode (unlockable in the service menu)

Related Reads

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HP X24i Review: 1080p 144Hz 1ms IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor
Rob Shafer
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.