When it comes to TN monitors, most people will agree that their main merits lie in their affordability and performance. But not all TN monitors can be called affordable – in fact, a number of high-quality gaming monitors use TN panels, as the kind of performance that they offer simply cannot be matched by any other technology available at the moment.
The Asus MG278Q is one such monitor. Not only does it come with a refresh rate of 144 Hz and a snappy response time of 1ms, but it is also a QHD monitor and has some other extra features that performance-minded gamers are bound to appreciate.
The MG278Q is quite tame compared to most monitors of this kind as far as the design is concerned. It sports a simple matte black exterior that’s fairly unremarkable at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, we can see that there’s a lot of sharp angles, though most of the details are confined to the stand.
Now, the stand attaches to a rectangular base, while the angular design, the red highlight, and other details give it that dash of gaming flair. Of course, we’re talking about a VESA stand here, and the monitor is adjustable for tilt, height, pivot, and swivel. Given just how stable and flexible it is, chances are you will find nothing to complain about. But as always, if you need to replace it for whatever reason, any 100×100 VESA stand or mount will do.
|Refresh Rate||144 Hz|
|Color Gamut||75% NTSC|
2x USB 3.0
1x 3.5mm audio jack
So, as we’ve already established, the Asus MG278Q is a 1440p monitor which uses a snappy 144 Hz TN panel. The high refresh rate ensures a fluid gaming experience while the 1ms response time makes the monitor feel very responsive and minimizes ghosting.
However, the two most common issues with TN panels are poor color accuracy and limited viewing angles, and though such shortcomings may be tolerable in a budget $150 monitor, it’s an entirely different story if you plan on spending as much as $500 on a monitor such as the Asus MG278Q.
Now, as far as colors are concerned, the MG278Q handles things quite well (75% NTSC/99% sRGB) and the colors do not look at all as dull as they usually look with cheaper TN panels. Granted, it’s not quite in the same league as IPS or VA panels and it doesn’t make for a good professional monitor, though if all you intend on using your PC for is gaming, the colors will probably be more than satisfactory. Plus, the viewing angles are decent for a TN panel, too, but again – not as good as what you can get with IPS.
Other than that, the monitor is quite bright and can easily go over the specified 350 nits, the panel handles contrast very well and there is no jarring backlight bleed. Overall, the MG278Q boasts a high-quality TN panel which definitely shouldn’t be bundled together with some cheaper alternatives that have come to define this technology for most people.
Just like every other monitor with a high refresh rate, the Asus MG278Q comes with adaptive sync, and in this case, it’s Nvidia’s G-Sync. G-Sync, like FreeSync, has some advantages and disadvantages of its own.
Most importantly, there is Nvidia’s close involvement in the manufacturing process, which is both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, it ensures a higher quality standard, but on the other, it inflates the prices of G-Sync monitors since the OEMs have to pay licensing fees and buy scaler modules directly from Nvidia.
But of course, due to the strict quality control, you can rest assured that G-Sync is implemented properly in every monitor and that you won’t be running into any issues. It works flawlessly in a wide FPS range (unlike FreeSync, which is often limited in this regard) and it also offers some extra features such as reduced input lag and reduced motion blur.
On a final note, though Nvidia GPUs are now compatible with some FreeSync monitors, G-Sync is not compatible with AMD GPUs. As such, if you intend on buying a G-Sync monitor, you will need to have an Nvidia GPU.
Like many monitors in this price range, the MG278Q comes with a set of stereo speakers, each with an RMS of 2W. Granted, this is nothing spectacular, and the speakers are there more as a convenient side feature.
After all, it’s impossible to fit large drivers inside the slim frame of a modern monitor, and you can get better dedicated speakers for under $50. That said, the integrated speakers might come in handy when it comes to, say, watching the occasional YouTube video, but they are grossly inadequate for anything else.
At the end of the day, it’s quite obvious what crowd the Asus MG278Q will appeal to – gamers who prioritize performance but are willing and able to put some extra money towards a quality panel in order to avoid having to deal with subpar visuals.
And in that regard, honestly, this monitor hits all the right spots: it’s got a snappy 144 Hz/1ms TN panel but also boasts a 1440p resolution, thus offering extra fidelity, and it handles colors quite well for a TN panel. Plus, it also comes with G-Sync, which is fitting considering Nvidia’s popularity in the upper mid-range and beyond.
That said, the only two reasons why you wouldn’t buy this monitor (assuming that you can afford it and are actually looking for a performance-oriented monitor) is either if you want to save up some more and invest extra in a 144 Hz QHD IPS monitor so that you can have premium performance and premium visuals in the same package, or if you want to go all out with a 240 Hz monitor.
Otherwise, the Asus MG278Q is among the very best TN monitors that you can get.
What We Loved
- Clean and crisp image with good color reproduction
- Good balance of visuals and performance
- Nvidia G-Sync
- Stable and fully adjustable stand
What We Didn’t Like
- Limited viewing angles
- Relatively pricey