Asus ROG Swift PG279Q: Excellent but pricey gaming monitor

The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q's in-plane switching screen offers significantly better viewing angles than its predecessor, the PG278Q.
The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q's in-plane switching screen offers significantly better viewing angles than its predecessor, the PG278Q.PHOTO: ASUS

A recent trend in gaming monitors is their support for variable refresh rate technologies such as Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.

Displays with these features are able to reduce stutter and screen tearing in video games when used with a compatible graphics card.

Launched two years ago, Asus' ROG Swift PG278Q was the first Nvidia G-Sync monitor in the market. The PG279Q is the successor.

The key difference between the two: Asus has replaced the twisted nematic (TN) panel on the older model with an in-plane switching (IPS) screen on the new version. As a result, the new model has better viewing angles. It also looks more vibrant than its predecessor.

With 100 per cent coverage of the sRGB colour gamut, the PG279Q is not just for gaming; it is also good enough for editing digital photos.

New, too, is the HDMI port, which supplements the single DisplayPort that was on the older model. The PG279Q has two USB 3.0 ports, though they are located at the back and not easily accessible. The monitor has a headphone jack and a pair of built-in speakers.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $1,369

    RESOLUTION: 2,560x1,440 pixels

    ASPECT RATIO: 16:9

    BRIGHTNESS: 350 cd/m2

    RESPONSE TIME: 4ms

    PANEL TYPE: In-plane switching

    CONNECTIVITY: DisplayPort, HDMI, 2xUSB 3.0 downstream, 1x USB 3.0 upstream, headphone jack

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Asus has made minor tweaks to the design. The Republic of Gamers logo on the monitor stand now glows and even pulses in red. But its bezel remains as slim as before at 6mm, which makes the PG279Q suitable for a side-by-side multi-monitor set-up because the bezel is so thin that it does not get in the way.

The PG279Q can pivot 90 degrees and switch from landscape to portrait orientation. The monitor swivels up to 60 degrees and you can tilt it back by as much as 20 degrees. Such adjustability is typical for gaming monitors of this class.

Asus says the maximum refresh rate of the new PG279Q can be overclocked from the usual 144Hz to 165Hz. This feature is not that useful because it comes into play only if your graphics card is powerful enough to produce 165 frames per second (FPS) in a video game.

You navigate the PG279Q's on-screen display settings using a joystick. It is easier to use than monitors that rely solely on buttons.

The settings include six preset display profiles optimised for various usage scenarios, such as watching videos (increases contrast and saturation) and first-person shooter games (increases brightness to help you spot the enemy).

Press a shortcut button to toggle between three types of screen overlays (crosshair, countdown timer and FPS counter) that may be helpful to gamers.

At $1,369, the PG279Q is easily the most expensive G-Sync monitor in the market. Its closest rival, the Acer XB270HU, costs $1,099, though the PG279Q looks better and has a more user-friendly interface.

Vincent Chang

•This is probably the best Nvidia G-Sync monitor you can buy now, but it will cost you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2016, with the headline 'Excellent but pricey gaming monitor'. Print Edition | Subscribe