High-framerate monitors have hit the mainstream PC and eSports market in a huge way — so much in fact that it seems like every credible manufacturer has jumped on the bandwagon with vigor. ViewSonic is an example of going all-in with their own ‘ELITE’ brand of gaming monitors, specifically this ELITE XG270QG 144Hz Gaming Monitor, the next top choice within the lineup. A solid all-rounder with the all right perks thrown in.
The fledgling marquee is about a year old and in that time I was fortunate enough to experience the XG350R-C, an ultrawide flagship monitor that came off as a white elephant without costing as big of a fortune compared to its contemporaries. My review was incredibly positive with just a few caveats, and the XG270QG appropriately fits right below in the hierarchy with a general emphasis on practicality and QHD/1440p resolution. Apparently, ViewSonic is ready to strengthen their growing lineup.
Nothing Too Crazy
It looks like, well…a 27-inch computer monitor, albeit a slick-edged one. The exterior is a blend of minimalist design, functionality and some rear speakers if you need them. The display when paired with the two-piece aluminum base stand can swivel left and right 145º, angle up and down, raise/lower, and even rotate 90º for vertical orientation. The appearance is relatively subdued aside from rear headphone holder that can be tucked away, and all the branded Elite logos cleverly placed on every removable piece. ViewSonic also gives you side hoods that can be mounted on each end, sort of like blinders to help you concentrate on the screen itself.
You won’t have a problem with connectivity either with one HDMI (v1.4), one DisplayPort 1.2, a 3.5mm audio jack, three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and one Type-B USB port. This is typical ViewSonic fare and you shouldn’t go wanting for popular dual-monitor arrangements, or options to separately power mice and keyboards. One important thing to note is that if want those refresh rate enhancements you can only enable them through DisplayPort, which I’ll discuss later.
The rest of the body covers the expected motifs of neon-inducing ‘Elite RGB’ lighting array that predominantly shines from the rear panel and underside of the front bezel, which can either be seen as cool or distracting depending on your mood. Personally, I don’t mind the rear lighting and each section can be toggled for rainbow, breathing, or sequential stack patterns. You can’t turn off the bottom or rear lights individually, which feels like a questionable oversight. A silver lining is you are able sync the colors to match peripherals from Cooler Master, Razer and Thermaltake, you will need to download additional software and directly connect to your desktop through the Type-B USB port, though.
Another signature feature from the XG350R-C that returns is the signature joystick menu controller, which is meant to eliminate redundant buttons and provide a more intuitive and singular approach to navigation. I harped on about this setup on that monitor where I said it was a good effort and did grow to like it, but comes with a learning curve, probably to the point that you’ll want to configure options and presets beforehand. Luckily, the XG270QG now has separate quick access and power buttons to alleviate confusion if you just want to turn on the monitor and jump into the action. Ultimately, it’s a solution to a problem that the joystick controller made for itself, and a little of that remains on the XG270QG.
Nano IPS and Matte Display: Best of Both
Right out of the box, image quality of the XG270QG is exactly what you’d expect and everything you could possibly hope for in an upper-mid tier gaming monitor. ViewSonic wisely decided to incorporate IPS Nano Color technology with a matte screen surface, meaning you’re treated to excellent color representation and sharp edges, without settling on poor off-center viewing angles. This alone makes a world of difference as bolder hues withstand appearing dull and eliminates the glare effect prominent on glossy screens; something that everyone has come to loathe over the years.
Another reason why the XG270QG image is so strong has 98% DCI-P3 color profile classification for near-uniform accuracy, of course games look fantastic but digital artists benefit from reduced guesswork as well. On top of the default settings you can improve things based on viewing type, game mode presets such as FPS, battle royale, MOBA, console, and movies are nicely dialed in quick options – or simply customize the picture yourself and play around with dark boost or adaptive contrast.
All of this sounds good but the XG270QG further legitimizes itself with a 1ms GTG response time, high-refresh rate with overclocking (100Hz/120Hz/144Hz/165Hz via OC), and adaptive display synchronization with Nvidia G-Sync technology. By PC gamer standards, this is one of the nicer monitors, and it works well with some requirements. For instance, you’ll be relying solely on the DisplayPort input in order to reap the benefits of refresh rates higher than 60Hz or G-SYNC. HDMI on the XG270QG feels almost like a formality since you only get a DisplayPort cable when unboxing.
Gaming with Higher Hz and G-SYNC
When playing Need for Speed Heat, Devil May Cry 5 and Gears 5 the difference in visual fluidity was immediate and seamless, if a little processed for eyes not used to seeing 144Hz on a regular basis. If you play a ton of Rocket League or Fortnite then you’ll know that any method to reduce of eliminate input lag is important to serious players, even still you have the ability to overclock the XG270QG refresh rate up to 165Hz through the display option while 144Hz is enabled. The OC unlock only bumps smoothness maybe just a notch to the naked eye, but eSport fanatics will still appreciate it for competitive play and action-oriented titles.
Another point is the G-Sync, which is an internal capability (not unlike AMD FreeSync) that removes screen tearing, by allowing the display to variably adapt to the refresh rate (VRR) of discrete graphic driver. In short, the monitor is designed to work in unison with your GPU in place image scalers that common monitors utilize. If it sounds complicated, all you really need to know is that it’s meant to provide the best gaming experience at higher frames without unpleasant graphic anomalies that often comes with GPU bottlenecking.
However, you’ll need to own a recent GeForce card since it is semi-proprietary, and what I mean is that you can try pairing Radeon-based GPUs with the XG270QG to see if anything good happens — I didn’t have one to test but from brief experience this ranges from passable to nothing-at-all when bringing other AMD-derived graphic components or consoles like the Xbox One X into the mix — so keep that in mind. I have a Gigabyte RTX 2070 Gaming OC and overall results were exactly as advertised with no issues of screen tearing, even after a few hours playtime with the games previously listed.
In nearly every way that matters, ViewSonic’s ELITE XG270QG 144Hz Gaming Monitor is fantastic value for the money, even though it’s still finding itself among a growing field of goliaths. With everything from a crisp 1440p screen, high-refresh rates, RGB lighting and display syncing made for Nvidia GPUs, this monitor ticks every box for enthusiasts and even professional gamers to drool over. Admittedly, it’s not that much cheaper than the company’s own top-of-the-line XG350R-C, but ultrawides aren’t for everyone and the XG270QG does come better equipped in other ways. This is premium stuff for a premium experience.