The Viewsonic XG270QG is one of a new wave of 27inch gaming monitors that features a new 1ms response time IPS LCD panel, which in theory means it’s as responsive as all but the very latest TN gaming monitors. You also get Freesync and G-Sync support, plus loads of extra features and a premium design, making it a seriously impressive monitor, on paper. And thankfully, it’s mostly impressive in real life too.
Viewsonic XG270QG specs
Screen size: 27inch
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Panel type: IPS
Maximum refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 1ms
Inputs: DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0
Stand adjustability: Height, Pivot, Rotation, Tilt
Adaptive sync: Freesync and G-Sync
Extras: Headphone jack, Secrecy Shields, Carry handle on stand, VESA mount, RGB zones
Viewsonic hasn’t really been known for having the most elegant monitor designs in the past but the XG270QG bucks that trend. The very hefty metal stand has an elegant sweep to it and the wide, flat base has a brushed metal finish and provides a very secure footing.
You also get the ultra-slim bezels round the top and sides and, round the back, the illuminated hexagonal ring is definitely one of the more subtle and attractive RGB zones I’ve seen in a while. There are also lights on the underside of the screen, and when combined the two lighting zones can be used to create a nice subtle background glow to the display. The lighting can be programmed with Viewsonic’s own Elite software or it syncs up with Razer Chroma, Thermaltake RGB Plus or Coolermaster’s MasterPLus software.
The stand, as well as looking good, offers a full range of ergonomic adjustments for changing the height and angle of the display, plus it can of course be removed to reveal a standard VESA mount.
Rather ruining the impressive look of this display are the sight shields. These can be attached to the sides of the display where they provide some privacy and reduce distraction. However, they make the display look silly and are pointless unless you’re using the display at a LAN event. For most people they seem like a needless additional cost.
Considerably more useful is the addition of a headphone stand on the left side, which simple flips up and down at your convenience. There are also two mouse bungies that deploy from the bottom of the screen. One each for left or right handed users. They at first seem too central but actually work well and fit a decent range of cord sizes.
As for connectivity, it’s decent with one DisplayPort and two HDMI video inputs and a three port USB 3 hub. You even get speakers too.
The first big miss step, though, is the onscreen display control. It’s a mini joystick type control that you tap in to bring up the menu or up and down, left and right to navigate the menus, which is simple enough. But the way it ties in with what’s on screen is completely unintuitive. From the main menu you can navigate sideways as you’d expect then tap down to select a sub menu, again as you’d expect, but then to get back out of the sub menu you have to tap left, not up. It seems like a small thing but it constantly caught me out and was immensely frustrating the entire time I used this monitor. Thankfully, although it’s tricky to navigate, it does at least have nearly all the settings you need.
The reason I say nearly is that this display lacks one crucial setting. You see, this display, along with several other similar models such as the hugely popular LG 27GL850, has an extended colour gamut. So instead of sticking to 100% of the sRGB colour space – which is the standard one for PCs – it extends to 140%. What this means is that colours look brighter and more saturated than they should, and while that may sound like a good thing, in reality it’s often not something you want.
Moreover, if you edit images or video, it’s a major problem as you’re no longer working in the standard colour range that you need, making the image look more vibrant that it will on other displays.
Why have monitors manufacturers done this? Well it’s a nod towards the trend for HDR, but an extended colour range alone does not make HDR, and in fact this display doesn’t conform to even the most basic HDR standards.
So, getting back to the menu system, while some displays with extended colour ranges include an sRGB mode that reduces the colour range, Viewsonic hasn’t bothered. There’s an sRGB colour balance mode, but this doesn’t reduce the colour gamut.
What makes this so laughable is that in my testing this display only achieved a contrast of 882:1, which is not just nowhere near HDR levels of contrast, but actually a little below the best of its main competitors that can hit around 1200:1 contrast.
Otherwise, though, this display provides very good image quality, with good overall colour balance, gamma and colour accuracy. And, despite my complaints about the extended gamut, it somehow isn’t as noticeable as I might have expected so you can get away with it for most things. Meanwhile, with this being an IPS panel, viewing angles are excellent too, and while there is IPS glow, I didn’t find it distracting in general use.
Finally, we come to gaming and this is where this display really shines. The combination of a 165Hz maximum refresh rate, 1ms response time and adaptive sync that supports both Freesync and G-Sync, means you get impressively responsive and smooth gameplay in almost all situations. Plus, you get the better image of IPS. There is still a difference compared to 1ms or faster TN displays, but it’s subtle and this display will be fast enough for most. You’ll want to crank the overdrive setting up to its maximum to get the best response, though. A setting that thankfully doesn’t produce too much inverse ghosting.
So, all told, this display is a bit of a mixed bag. The panel is excellent and much of the monitor’s design is too. Gaming performance is also top notch and you get plenty of extra features. But, that lack of a proper sRGB mode is a killer for those that want one display for gaming and work, plus at least here in the UK, this display is way too expensive, costing £670 compared to around £500 for most competitors. If the price comes down, though, it’s still well worth considering.