A Falcon Rises


Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The AORUS AD27QD is a 27-inch, 1440p 144Hz monitor that seems to check all the marks for a great gaming display, making it an enticing proposition for one’s battlestation.

I say “battlestation” because there’s often loads of aesthetic pride when it comes to DIY gaming PCs, and the AD27QD is likely to meet some of those stylistic requirements. Yet the business-end of this monitor delivers great gaming performance and is slim enough for multimonitor setups. There’s even something new in the “gimmicky” features section: a pair of integrated active noise-cancelling (ANC) microphones that may prove useful for some.

The AORUS logo features a falcon, so you can bet that their first monitor takes plenty of inspiration from one. Depending on who you ask, the lights on the rear panel either looks like a pair of outstretched wings or a head-on view of a bird of prey. Those customizable RGB lights are on the stand too, which from an angle also looks like a falcon’s head. It’s all very stylized, of course, banking heavily on one’s approval of aggressive gamer-gear designs.

That stand comes with all the ergonomic adjustments we’ve come to expect, with a full 90-degree pivot and a good 130mm of vertical travel. The swivel only goes 20 degrees either way, less than some other models in this range, though it’s still usable for local party games or competitive match reviews. It sits on twopronged feet which doesn’t take up much space, but it exhibits some monitor wobbling when nudged and has a relatively chunky spine adding to its table depth.

Side bezels and borders measure approximately 0.8- to 0.9cm, thin enough for a multi-monitor set-up. It’s a contemporary look that reserves all the attention for the panel, and rightly so because image quality is respectably good.

The AD27QD supports AMD’s Freesync, is officially NVIDIA G-Sync compatible, and features a 1ms response time for full gaming chops. Onboard enhancements such as Aim Stabilizer helps shuffle it down the competitive FPS route, reducing the movement blur from fast, scoped-in panning and weapon recoil to help gamers hunt and lock onto their targets better.

Interestingly enough, AORUS went for an IPS panel to net the colorconscious crowd out. It’s an 8-bit + FRC (Frame Rate Control) configuration with 95% DCI-P3 coverage which means that graphic design and video editing, a growing trend amongst gaming communities, won’t be a problem here. On the entertainment spectrum, the AD27QD has Display HDR400 certification, though its reported brightness actually exceed the requirements.

That combination of resolution, frame rate, and color is more than enough to have the AD27QD shortlisted for modern gaming needs, and the wide 178-degree viewing angles helps make up for limited swivel range. While there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to blur, flicker, or its excellent response, color does come a little short in the blues and blacks – the former in calibration test images, the latter in dark and high contrast scenes. Like most IPS monitors, backlight bleed and refiections can be somewhat problematic too, so be mindful of your overhead lighting and windows.

Even so, AORUS have upped the appeal with other useful features. Their OSD Sidekick lets you easily tweak monitor settings using a keyboard and mouse (thank you!), while Black Stabilizer improves image quality in most regards. It also has on-screen options for crosshairs and system monitoring, though I’m mostly excited for its Picture-in-Picture support so you can display from two sources at once – great for watching videos and streams while on in-game farming runs, for example.

The AD27QD comes with one DisplayPort 1.2 and a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports to help with that, along with a pair of USB 3.1 ports capable of charging devices. Other connectivity options include a headphone and microphone jack, and a hole in the stand for cable management. There’s no bulky power brick to contend with, either, as it’s sleekly integrated into the monitor.

The built-in ANC microphones kick in when a headset is plugged in, enhancing noise removal capabilities for better outgoing voice chat. I can see how it might be useful in a LAN gaming set-up, but less so at home.

At US$599 (~$813) the AD27QD is an excellent choice for gaming and multimedia use, bringing serious competition to product stalwarts from Acer and ASUS.

Read more at GAME AKIS.com 
My Reading Room
Spot the not-so-subtle falcon motif in its design.
My Reading Room
The built-in ANC feature can be further fine-tuned.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
A great all-rounder that will serve most core gamers on both AMD and NVIDIA platforms.
My Reading Room

By Ade Putra (GameAxis)