Asus ROG Swift OLED (PG27AQDM) review: OLED meets brightness


MSRP $1,000.00

“OLED gaming monitors continue to impress, but the brightness of the Asus ROG PG27AQDM is what stands out.”


  • Top cinema and competitive gaming

  • Much brighter than other OLEDs

  • A striking signature of ROG design

  • DisplayWidget center


  • Poor color accuracy out of the box

  • OLED is not good for desktop use

It didn’t take long for the few OLED monitors we’ve seen to rank among the best gaming monitors, but now we have an exciting development — Asus’ take on this nascent panel technology. The PG27AQDM looks like just another 27-inch OLED gaming monitor, but it greatly improves on the design that LG debuted earlier this year.

On the surface, Asus managed to improve brightness, which was the main criticism of LG’s approach to the 27-inch OLED. But the PG27AQDM goes beyond that with a more robust range of features and the distinctive flair that ROG monitors are known for.

Asus ROG Swift OLED (PG27AQDM) specifications

Horizon Zero Dawn runs on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Asus ROG Swift OLED (PG27AQDM)
Screen size 26.5 inches
Panel type OLED
Resolution 2560 x 1440
Superior brightness 450 nits (SDR), 1000 nits (HDR)
HDR That
Local dimming 3,686,400 zones
Contrast ratio 1 500 000:1
Response time 0.03 ms (GtG)
Refresh rate 240 Hz
Bandage Not
Loudspeakers ON
Entries 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
port 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 3.5 mm headphones
Adjustments 60 degree swivel, 180 degree swivel, 25 degree tilt, 4.3 inch height
Price list 1000 dollars

Striking ROG design

Undershine on the Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The ROG Swift OLED looks incredible, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Asus makes good-looking monitors, and the ROG Swift OLED brings much-needed style to the growing world of OLED gaming displays.

It has Asus’ signature three-point stand, which includes a soft glow that illuminates the ROG logo below the elevated monitor. There’s also the ROG logo on the back that lights up like Asus’ AniMe matrix on laptops like the Zephrus M16, as well as a bezel-less design. There is still a bezel, but virtually no bezel around the monitor.

ROG logo on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Combined with how thin the panel is, the ROG Swift OLED feels like a futuristic gaming monitor. Asus amplifies that feeling with several unique features. For example, there is a 1/4 inch thread on the top of the stand if you want to mount a camera, similar to the Asus ROG PG42UQ.

Asus also took some lessons from that larger 42-inch OLED. The cooler inside, according to Asus, leads to 5% lower temperatures, with a 17% increase in brightness compared to the PG42UQ. I don’t have the PG42UQ on hand for comparison, but I can say that active cooling in the ROG Swift OLED was never heard during my testing.

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Better control

Menu on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There’s nothing too exciting going on with the ROG Swift OLED 27’s ports. You have two HDMI 2.0 ports, along with one DisplayPort 1.4 connection. You’ll want to use a DisplayPort connection if you can — HDMI 2.0 locks the monitor to 120Hz.

You also get several USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack via the USB-B port. Even if you don’t need a USB hub, you should connect a USB-B cable to the DisplayWidget Center.

DisplayWidget Center is a great addition to the ROG Swift PG27AQDM.

Asus took some notes from monitors like the Sony InZone M9 and developed the DisplayWidget Center. It’s an app that lets you control all of your monitor’s settings from your desktop, including OLED panel maintenance settings.

It’s a great addition, but you don’t need to use DisplayWidget Center if you don’t want to mess with extra cables. The four-way joystick is easily accessible, and the Asus has a clean and concise display on the screen. Fortunately, there are dedicated power and input buttons next to the joystick, so you don’t have to fumble with pushing in all directions to find what you need.

Brightness solution

OLED demo on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The ROG Swift OLED comes with the same panel as the LG UltraGear OLED 27, so it inherits a lot of the same qualities. Asus goes a little further though, significantly increasing the brightness.

That was the biggest criticism of LG — it was too weak. I measured a peak brightness of just 204 nits on the LG monitor, while the ROG Swift OLED reached 297 nits of peak brightness. That’s far lower than what Asus advertises, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. OLED monitors are much weaker than LCD monitors like the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8.

The brightness is significantly higher than what LG showed earlier this year.

That’s roughly the brightness of the Alienware 34 QD-OLED in SDR — but note that QD-OLED is mostly impressive because of its brightness advantage over OLED. However, HDR is where the ROG Swift OLED gets interesting.

As usual, the screen doesn’t reach 1000 nits across the screen. Still, it approaches the 3% window, hitting 931 nits and confirming Asus’s brightness claims. Expand that to a 25% window, and the brightness drops to 406 nits. That’s still not the brightness of a high-end LCD, but the brightness is significantly higher than what LG showed earlier this year.

OLED demo on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Brightness and contrast are the best part of OLED quality; remember, OLED allows each pixel to reach the right black level, theoretically offering infinite contrast. Color is a completely different story, and that’s where the ROG Swift OLED struggles.

In SDR, color coverage is solid at 97% DCI-P3 and 91% AdobeRGB, but color accuracy is all over the place. Out of the box, blue and red were very poor, resulting in a color difference of 9 (most monitors aim for less than 2). Asus claims the monitor comes calibrated, but my results say otherwise. HDR performance is worse, which is expected from an OLED panel with a white subpixel.

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The good news is that it’s a monitor calibration problem, not the board itself. Using the SpyderX, I was able to achieve a color difference of 1.3, which is more than acceptable for a panel of this caliber. During my review period, Asus issued a firmware update to improve HDR color accuracy, which helped, so I’m hoping a future update will improve the default color performance even more. The monitor’s sRGB mode is pretty accurate, so you can limit the monitor to that color space.

Cyberpunk 2077 on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Just that really important if you want to create content. The default color profile is technically wrong, but it still looks great. I’ve played through some Cyberpunk 2077The new Overdrive mode with the default profile and I had to step away from it to write this review. It looks fantastic, but if you want to do some video or photo editing, significant calibration is required.

OLED troubles

The ROG Swift OLED looks great, and with calibration, you can use it to create content. OLED does come with some issues though, and the ROG Swift OLED is not above those issues.

First is burn-in. The risks of OLED burn-in are overblown, even on a desktop monitor, but it’s still something to keep in mind if you want to use the monitor primarily for a desktop computer. This is a slightly more pronounced problem on the ROG Swift OLED as it can get brighter. Static images at high brightness for long periods of time lead to a higher risk of nicking, and I noticed slight hints of image retention even during the review period.

Asus includes a bunch of migration features. By default, you’ll get a notification after every eight hours of continuous use to trigger the pixel cleaning feature, but Asus goes further. There is an automatic screensaver, along with a setting that will automatically dim static logos. There’s always a small risk of burn-in, but some minor maintenance will keep the ROG Swift OLED running for years to come.

Alienware 34 QD-OLED Recording Notice.The Alienware 24 QD-OLED gives similar burn-in notices. Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

If anything, the burning issue is the layout of the WRGB subpixels. This is an issue that appeared on the Alienware 34 QD-OLED and the LG UltraGear OLED 27, and it boils down to text clarity. In short, there is a bit of fringing on the text due to the extra white subpixel.

That’s not a problem for me, even on a 27-inch 1440p screen that’s pretty close to my face. However, this is definitely something that comes down to preference, and may be a problem if you’re looking at text all day. As for me, I have no problems with text clarity and use the Alienware 34 QD-OLED every day to write articles.

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The best of both gaming worlds

Forza Horizon 5 on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The HDR experience on the ROG Swift OLED 27 is fantastic, especially in cinematic titles like Cyberpunk 2077. It goes beyond great HDR due to the low response time of OLED. Asus claims it’s 0.03 milliseconds, and while the monitor is closer to 0.2ms, that’s still one of the fastest response times you can get from a monitor right now.

Even the fastest LCDs are only 1ms. Combined with a 240Hz refresh rate, you get exceptional motion clarity that can only be matched by esports displays like the Alienware AW2524H. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Forza Horizon 5 they look fantastic with HDR on, and the ROG Swift OLED is fast enough to compete in games like Overwatch 2 and Valorant.

Counter-Strike Global Offensive on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

In addition to motion clarity, the monitor supports Adaptive Sync, which allows you to use G-Sync with Nvidia GPUs and FreeSync with AMD GPUs. Asus includes a few extra settings, like a frames per second (fps) counter, a timer, and preset genres, but I suspect they won’t be a selling point for most users.

The gaming experience on the ROG Swift OLED is one of the best you can buy right now, combining the excellent motion clarity of an esports monitor with the world-class HDR performance of an OLED. It’s only matched by the Alienware 34 QD-OLED and the LG UltraGear OLED 27, and Asus has a few key areas where it’s made improvements.

Should you buy the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQDM?

Cyberpunk 2077 runs on Asus ROG PG27AQDM.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

We’ve already seen what a 27-inch OLED gaming monitor can do, but the ROG Swift OLED 27 builds on a design LG cemented with higher brightness and a more robust feature set. Color accuracy is killer right out of setup, but hopefully Asus can further address the color issues with future firmware updates.

Among the two 27-inch OLED monitors we currently have, this one is the one to buy. However, the Alienware 34 QD-OLED still poses a formidable threat to the ROG Swift OLED 27. The Alienware monitor has better color performance before calibration, and is roughly the same price Asus charges. Between the two monitors, I’d still go with the Alienware, but it’s easy to justify the Asus if you don’t like the 21:9 aspect ratio.

There’s no doubt that the ROG Swift OLED 27 competes with the best gaming monitor you can buy right now. However, it’s important to remember that OLED isn’t for everyone. As impressive as it is for both cinematic and competitive gaming, if you find yourself primarily working on a desktop computer, an LCD screen will serve you better.

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Categories: GAMING

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