Curved monitors are often touted as being more immersive because they appear to wrap around the user's field of vision. While this effect works for large ultra-wide monitors, it is not as prominent in a 27-inch model such as Asus' latest ROG Swift PG27VQ gaming monitor.
I could barely feel the difference between the Swift's curved display and a standard flat monitor.
Perhaps the curvature would be more pronounced with two or three Swift monitors side by side in a multi-monitor set-up. It helps that the Swift has narrow bezels at the sides so the user can almost forget that they exist.
Its 2,560 x 1,440-pixel screen resolution is sharper than the standard 1,080p resolution found in gaming monitors. The higher resolution is useful when users are working on a spreadsheet or document. But most gamers would probably be running their games at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels for optimal performance.
Its gaming credentials are underlined by its low response time. Asus says it is the world's most responsive curved monitor because of its 1ms response time. It also has a high refresh rate of up to 165Hz and supports Nvidia G-Sync technology that reduces screen tearing and stuttering that detract from the gaming experience.
Typical for a gaming monitor, the back of the Swift is decked out with colourful LEDs. These are arranged in the Mayan-inspired style favoured by Asus ROG devices and can be controlled using the onscreen display (OSD) settings.
But these LEDs truly come to life after the Aura Sync software is installed on a computer connected to the Swift via a USB cable. The LED lighting effects can be synchronised with other Aura Sync-compatible devices, which include Asus graphics cards and motherboards. However, I was unable to test this feature as I do not have any compatible devices, which is its biggest drawback.
RESOLUTION: 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
BRIGHTNESS: 400 cd/m2
RESPONSE TIME: 1ms
PANEL TYPE: Twisted nematic
CONNECTIVITY: DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0 downstream, headphone jack
The light show does not stop there - the bottom of the monitor stand has a built-in LED that can project a pattern, like a child's projector torch toy, on the desk.
Users can change this by swopping its clear plastic cover with two covers included with different Asus ROG logos. It also comes with three blank covers that can be customised.
The stand comes with a cable management slot that helps tidy up the monitor cables. The height of the screen is adjustable and can be swivelled by up to 40 degrees to either side.
Image quality and viewing angles are sacrificed for gaming performance. The Swift uses a twisted nematic (TN) panel that looks dull and washed out compared with an in-plane switching screen. There is a significant colour shift especially on the vertical axis.
But if you are considering a gaming monitor, you probably know this, as most of these displays use a similar TN screen. Gamers would also be familiar with its other gaming features, such as a crosshair overlay to help them aim and a frame rate counter for assessing the game's performance. These features are found in the OSD settings, which are easy to navigate with the joystick sited at the back of the monitor.
I also liked the quick shortcut button that lets users cycle among various preset display profiles that are tweaked for different uses, such as for watching movies or playing a first-person shooter game.
•Verdict: A flashy gaming monitor that favours responsiveness over image quality. The curved screen does nothing.