OLED gaming monitors aren’t anything magically new nowadays. Perhaps a few years back you would pull out our gaming notebook with an OLED panel and wow people around you. Or boot up your gaming console or PC on an OLED monitor and be far superior to the rest. But the tech has found its way into mainstream gaming with users embracing smaller OLED TVs as their go-to gaming displays and PC tech brands making their own large and small-format OLED displays.
Watch the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM monitor review
Where the tech is expanding is how well these OLED panels perform. They all have the same incredible black levels and offer colour unlike anything else on the market. However, the technical side of things such as refresh rates, latency and cooling is where brands are fine-tuning OLED panels to push the limits.
The latest is the new ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM – a 1440p 240Hz OLED monitor aimed at real enthusiasts. This monitor packs the popular display size of 26.5 inches and of course, a QD-OLED panel. When you list the features, this monitor has them all. It includes 800 nits of HDR brightness, 10-bit colour depth with HDR 10, is G-Sync and Free-Sync Compatible, has an infinite contrast ratio and all the ports needed to take full advantage of the 1440p 240Hz support.
- Display size: 26.5-inch widescreen
- Native resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
- Panel type: OLED
- Refresh rate: 240Hz
- Adaptive-Sync: Yes, FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible
- HDR: HDR 10
- Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB-A, 1x 3.5mm audio
- Stand adjustment: Height, swivel, tilt, pivot
- VESA mount: Yes, 100mm x 100mm
- Speakers: None
- Price: R35,000
You’ll need to fork out quite a lot of money for this monitor. ASUS is asking R35,000 for it. But the price does align with other OLED monitors from brands such as LG and AlienWare. However, it is a tough pill to swallow especially considering there’s a larger 4K version expected to launch in 2024. But more on that later. Right now, I want to share my experience with the monitor and let’s dive into the greats and not-so-greats on offer.
ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM Design
When you get the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM it takes a few minutes to set up. You’ll need to take the display portion, attach it to the back arm and screw on the stand. It is simple and hassle-free. The 27-inch size also means you can pretty much do this alone.
The monitor itself is definitely an ROG product and the unit has been designed to look like some spaceship from a distant galaxy. The stand itself is fairly wide in the front. If anything, a little too wide for my liking at 25.5CM.
There are some cool LED effects around the stand too and an underglow logo which shines down onto the table. Of course, this can be turned on and off if you’re not interested in it. I personally disabled it. I don’t know why but I really liked the back leg on the stand. The short, bent finger-like design doesn’t take up too much room and looks nice on the table.
The monitor itself houses all the tech but everything is crammed into one section behind the display. This compartment packs some pixel-like RGB on the one side, all the ports underneath and some cool ROG graphics splashed around the frame.
When it comes to the ports, the monitor includes a DisplayPort 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, one 3.5mm Audio Out, two USB 2 ports and one USB B upstream port. There’s no USB C which is kind of a bummer here. Considering the price of this monitor and how advanced it is, I expected it to include one.
Outside of that, the rest is an ultra-thin metal which extends the display outwards. This is nothing really new when it comes to OLEDs. Most TVs and monitors have almost no depth to them and all the components are hidden in a smaller compartment. It really is the joy of OLED. The tech barely needs anything behind it in order to work.
You can mount the display thanks to that optional 100x100mm VESA mount. But the stand itself works. It can tilt the panel 5 degrees upwards and 20 degrees downwards. It can also swivel 30 degrees both left and right. As for the height, the monitor panel can be positioned as low as 11CM off the table and slid upwards to 11CM.
The back arm also acts as a great place for cable management. Everything gets fed through the middle arch and lays flat so the monitor slider doesn’t touch the cables. There’s also a lit-up SWIFT logo on this portion.
Right behind the ROG logo on the panel itself is where the controls are found. This joystick is used to control the functions of the monitor which leads me to the next topic – the performance.
ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM Performance
Right off the bat, the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM comes loaded with a range of gamer-centric features that you’ll either use or won’t use. Black stabilizer helps increase the brightness of dark areas so you can see what is lurking in the dark. There’s also a range of colour calibration settings, different temperature toggles and even presets to make it easier for you.
One thing I was very interested to test was the display’s uniform brightness. If you don’t know, OLED displays tend to dim down the overall brightness when the image displayed is too bright. This is called Auto Brightness Limiter, or ABL. This is especially noticeable when you have a plain white 100% window on the screen. Some displays will drop down by at least 40% brightness to prevent overheating and burn-in.
Testing the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM, there’s definitely a noticeable drop in brightness but I was surprised to see how limited it was. I would say there’s a 4% drop. It is impressive.
I was also impressed to see an HDR Brightness toggle on the display too. It let me actually toggle the brightness of the panel when in HDR mode. Most HDR monitors lock this down and rely on the output metadata to determine how bright the panel gets.
Speaking of brightness, I measured only 241 nits of SDR brightness in a real scene test. This was the max I hit when playing games. In HDR, this was 723 nits. Of course, this might change for you depending on the settings. In a 10% window, HDR measured 610 nits. This means that if only 10% of the screen was lit up, the highlights would peak at that brightness. It doesn’t really portray what you’ll see in games.
But you can rest assured that the panel is bright and does its job. When scenes get too bright, however, I could definitely notice the ABL at work and it is hard to ignore the drop in brightness to compensate for the image.
Another thing I want to touch on is the subpixel layout. Due to the nature of the OLED panel, text across various situations on the display did fringe. This means if you’re in text documents and other font-heavy programs, expect to see some colour fringing around your text. It isn’t the end of the world but text isn’t as clear as you would find it on LCD panels. This is mainly due to the way the pixels are laid out in the panel and the spacing between the text and the pixels turning off and on.
Apart from that, the general picture quality on this monitor is great. I was impressed by the lack of reflections on the display itself. The panel also checks all the boxes across the colour gamut with 100% sRGB and 97% DCI-P3 coverage. It is incredibly accurate right out of the box.
The OSD is also quite featured packed with loads of calibration tools to tweak. You can also enable the FPS counter, turn on a crosshair, tweak the RGB settings and more. There are nine picture modes to toggle between too. Each is themed after a specific gaming genre and viewing style.
There’s also a lot of room to tweak the colour gamut and colour temperature. If anything, this ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM packed a robust list of settings and I was surprised to see just how much freedom ASUS has given consumers here.
Those worried about OLED burn can also make use of the screen protection features. There’s Adjust Logo Brightness and a Pixel Cleaning Reminder which will run a certain duration after using the display for a number of hours. The cleaner takes six minutes to run and you’ll have to do it often.
So what about gaming? Well, with everything I have said up to now you can pretty much gather it was great. The panel’s calibration and the greatness of OLED deliver a superb gaming experience here. It all looked phenomenal and the advanced internal tech provides a solid experience. Input lag was as low as 2.5ms and with VRR, that increased to only 3ms. I did experience a much higher input lag of 33ms during 60Hz gaming which is something to keep in mind.
While the display doesn’t boast HDMI 2.1, it does fully support both PS5 and Xbox Series X/S through 1440p 120Hz. It also comes with VRR and HDR thanks to this. Of course, it isn’t a 4K monitor so there’s no 4K 120Hz support here.
You’ll also need to be playing 240Hz games to fully take advantage of this OLED panel’s refresh rate. But even at 60Hz and 120Hz, things looked great. It is also thanks to the display’s fast pixel response time which ASUS says is only 0.03. This means pixels can change colour incredibly fast which reduces blur and makes everything look clearer. Even moving objects are highly detailed.
From a technical point of view, the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM is one of the best displays you can get. But I still kind of feel robbed here. The overall HDR brightness isn’t that great which means the so-called custom cooling system is still not up to standard to pump out the brightness seen on other display tech. Don’t get me wrong, OLED is fantastic but its brightness limitations are still a tough pill to swallow.
Then there’s no USB C which would have been the cherry on top for me. If you’re paying this price, it should be here…. just saying.
Of course, the elephant in the room is also the new model which is expected to launch in 2024. The 4K 240Hz model aims to increase the brightness seen on this display thanks to its graphene film. With that, we’ll see even brighter scenes at 4K and 240Hz. It kind of makes splurging R35,000 a little difficult knowing there’s a better model on the way. Sure, it will likely cost a lot more but it is still a factor to consider.
But for what it is, the ASUS ROG Swift PG27AQDM OLED monitor is pretty darn impressive and sits alongside other great OLED displays on the market. There’s no real standout feature that makes it a must-buy above others though. And if you’re not bothered with 240Hz gaming, you can always look at a 43-inch LG OLED with 120Hz support. Of course, a specific monitor has been made for those who want the best and demand the highest refresh rates. Of which, this monitor doesn’t disappoint.
Find out more about the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM gaming gaming monitor here
ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM Review
The ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM sits alongside some of the best OLED monitors on the market but it could do with a USB C port. It is also hard to ignore its brightness limitation and sub-pixel layout issues. It is definitely a high-performance monitor with an incredible display that is gorgeous in motion.