The Bottom Line
- + Buttery smooth gameplay
- + Incredible colors
- + Extreme brightness
- + Deep blacks
- - Price (but it's worth it)
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
ASUS has released its 2023 flagship OLED gaming monitor, introducing the PG27AQDM, a 240Hz OLED gaming monitor that sports a 0.03ms response time at a resolution of 2560 x 1440.
There are many different types of gaming monitors available, with many different brands offering various configurations of refresh rate, resolution, image quality, response time, and size. The configurations above are the most important factors in purchasing a gaming monitor - how good is the image quality? What's the refresh rate? What's the response time? What's the resolution? And how big is it?
Of course, many specifications are relevant, but the aforementioned specs are most important to gamers. By considering all of those specs, gamers run the ultimate arithmetic of finding out what gaming monitor is best suited for them. Introducing ASUS's PG27AQDM, a gaming monitor that achieves incredibly high in all the previously mentioned categories, leading me to say straight away that its gaming experience is nothing short of unforgettable. But is it for you?
Design & Panel Breakdown
ASUS's PG27AQDM oozes premium from the moment you get it unboxed to the moment you plug it in. The PG27AQDM is packaged the same as all ROG products - it arrives in a red and black box that contains foam that protects the display and its other components.
The PG27AQDM comes with two pieces that cleanly attach to the back of the panel and the base, both of which are extremely easy to install and snap in place with a very premium feel. The build quality of the PG27AQDM is especially impressive, and it's clear ASUS has taken a step away from its typical gaming monitor aesthetics to create something really special with the PG27AQDM.
The back of the PG27AQDM features a pixelated ASUS logo design and an extremely thin OLED panel controlled by a bulging back plate. The stand even feels premium as it's noticeably sturdy in your hand and offers full ergonomics with height adjustments up to 110mm, 30 degrees swivel, 5/20 title, and a 90-degree portrait mode. The panel thickness has to be this product's most eye-catching aspect, measuring at just 5mm. However, the back plate powering the PG27AQDM is 2-inches thick (50 mm), which is a small price to pay for what you are getting. As for bezels, the PG27AQDM comes with very thin 9mm borders on the sides and 11mm at the top and bottom.
Located at the bottom of the display is the OSD control, which features two keys on either side of the joystick located in the middle. At first, these buttons were annoying as they are quite sensitive to the touch, but after a few days of use and playing around in the settings, I became accustomed to them. The same goes for the joystick.
As for connectivity, the PG27AQDM's ports are located in the same spot where all gaming monitors have inputs. Notably, there are no speakers, but ASUS has whacked in a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Overall, the design of the PG27AQDM is very premium. ASUS has spared no expense in making the PG27AQDM feel and look like a top-of-the-shelf gaming monitor.
The 26.5-inch OLED panel comes with a resolution of 2560 x 1440; to be short, it is simply amazing. The PG27AQDM provides gamers with an incredible picture. The extremely deep blacks paired with the other vibrant colors make for a gorgeous image. The PG27AQDM has a wide color gamut that measures 97% of DCI-P3, and throughout my testing, it didn't require any color calibration - it looked gorgeous straight out of the box. The studio where I test these monitors is well-lit with natural light, and the PG27AQDM didn't give me a single problem regarding glare.
The resolution of 1440p gives the PG27AQDM the ability to crank up to 240Hz, a substantial jump from 144Hz, and a night and day jump from 60Hz. However, the refresh rate isn't the most impressive part. It's the response time of 0.03ms. The combination of a gorgeous OLED panel and a high refresh rate makes it extremely difficult to find any faults in the PG27AQDM's panel.
The PG27AQDM isn't just a pleasure to use for gaming. It was phenomenal for the myriad of tasks I undergo on a PC - long writing sessions, excel work, general online browsing, movies, and writing reviews. I attempted to calibrate the PG27AQDM for the lighting situation in the studio but found no changes were necessary. This may differ depending on your lighting setup, but from my testing, I can say that the majority of gamers won't need to make many adjustments, if any at all, with the PG27AQDM.
How good the PG27AQDM looks shouldn't be understated, and I believe that can be attributed to the incredible contrast the monitor provides. The extremely deep blacks still look like they contain detail and contrast perfectly with lighter colors, such as white text, without any image degradation. I tested the PG27AQDM for a month straight, writing almost every day for multiple hours a day without any problems.
Now that we've established that the PG27AQDM can be appropriately used for things other than gaming - let's talk about my in-game experience.
I was lucky enough to be able to test the PG27AQDM for a month, and during that time, I ran many different variations of games. Starting with Apex Legends, Overwatch, Age of Empires IV, Doom Eternal, and Starfield. Firstly, each of these games looked absolutely incredible on the PG27AQD, but some performed better than others. The 26.6-inch display on the PG27AQDM makes it perfect for first-person shooter titles, hence the 240Hz refresh rate. So, if you were considering purchasing this monitor, I would first check if the games you play are able to reach at least 240Hz, or else you would be paying for a refresh rate that you won't be using in your most-played games.
However, if you are a first-person shooter gamer who plays competitive titles such as Apex Legends, CounterStrike, or Overwatch, the PG27AQDM is simply heavenly. There are only two times I've felt like a monitor has given a distinctive advantage over my opponents in-game. The first is when I jumped from 60Hz to 144Hz, and the second is when I first used the PG27AQDM. The jump to 240Hz isn't as big compared to 60Hz to 144Hz, but it's still immediately noticeable. However, the refresh rate wasn't the most impressive part; it was the response time. I have never used a monitor this responsive before. The drop from a typical 1 to 2ms response time down to 0.03ms is the same feeling as going from 60Hz to 144Hz. Night and day.
The smaller size of the monitor, paired with its impeccable image quality, juicy high refresh rate, and responsiveness like no other, makes it very hard to find any faults at all with its gaming performance. Any competitive gamer would have a blast with the PG27AQDM.
As with every review, I attempt to find out what type of gamer is best suited for the gaming monitor that's in the spotlight. So, who should buy the PG27AQDM?
The PG27AQDM comes with a price tag of $999, and while that is expensive, you do get your money's worth. The PG27AQDM is a top-shelf gaming monitor designed for enthusiast-level gamers. I believe the PG27AQDM is best suited for a gamer who wants to get the absolute best first-person gaming experience.
The 26.5-inch display is perfect for locking into competitive, fast-paced FPS titles that require a lot of fast camera movements and precisely timed clicking. While I still enjoyed playing titles such as Starfield and Age of Empires IV on the PG27AQDM, it really didn't shine as much compared to FPS titles, which is why I believe an FPS gamer would get the most out of the PG27AQDM.
If you have the PC to push 1440p at 240Hz in your favorite FPS titles, don't mind paying a premium price tag for a top-of-the-line product, and want to change the way you play first-person shooter titles, look no further than the PG27AQDM. I played more than 20 hours of Apex Legends with the PG27AQDM, and I have never felt more dangerous in-game. The combination of image quality, responsiveness, and buttery smooth frames makes the PG27AQDM an unforgettable gaming experience.