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Asus MG28UQ 28-inch Ultra HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor Review

Asus MG-series has always represented a solid value alternative to its premium ROG products. Today we’re looking at the MG28UQ, a 28-inch Ultra HD monitor with FreeSync.

Brightness & Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs.  Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

We finally have six Ultra HD monitors with adaptive refresh in our database and they’re all represented here today. The recently-reviewed Acer Predator XB271HD and XB321HK, along with ViewSonic’s XG2700-4K stand for the IPS category. The remaining screens use TN parts and include Acer’s XB280HK and AOC’s U2879VF.

Asus claims a max output of 330cd/m2 for the MG28UQ but we couldn’t measure a value higher than 275. Perhaps if you turned the contrast slider all the way up, but that would clip detail and destroy white point accuracy. Nonetheless, the panel is plenty bright for typical indoor environments. The anti-glare layer maintains a solid image even when sunlight is coming in the window.

The max black level is mid-pack, though none of these screens will be setting any contrast ratio records. They’re all pretty close in performance.

Contrast is a tad low for our taste, but the other two TN screens fare worse. The top three IPS panels offer greater dynamic range and image depth but that comes at a higher price.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

The backlight doesn’t have to go quite this low. There aren’t too many instances where you’d want to play games or do anything else at an output level of 33.5961cd/m2. To raise brightness to 50cd/m2, move the slider to 11.

The black level tracks with the overall backlight intensity so a third-place finish in this test doesn’t mean better contrast. As you’ll see below, that is fairly consistent.

Contrast remains reasonably constant for all the monitors in the group. It’s rare that we see more than a 10 percent variation throughout the backlight’s range for any modern display.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

We had to reduce the contrast slider just a little to improve grayscale tracking and that hurt the calibrated black level. For maximum dynamic range in an Ultra HD monitor, IPS is clearly the better choice. TN offers speed and value but at the sacrifice of image depth.

We could improve this number a little if we turned contrast back up or engaged the ASCR (dynamic contrast) feature. 753.6:1 is the MG28UQ’s native result. If image depth is a deal-breaker for you, IPS is the better choice. The monitor with the best balance of price and contrast performance is the ViewSonic.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

The ANSI test demonstrates that the MG28UQ is a well-made panel, and it actually measures a little higher than its sequential result which is rare. IPS is still the tech to beat though. While the difference is small, contrast is the metric we consider most important when choosing a monitor. Even a little more can make a visible impact on image quality.

  • lugi20
    60 hz gaming doesn't appeal to me at any resolution. 1440p at 144 hz or better is really the sweet spot at the moment. I wish companies would focus more on that for gaming.
    Reply
  • QWERASZX
    28" 4K is just a waste to time and money go for the 32" or 40" and be done with it
    Reply
  • QWERASZX
    ultra wide aspect is nice but jesus ppl there your eyes beg borrow and steal your way to IPS or simmilar stop wasting your time on TN i still have every IPS display iv owned for the last 15 years even an old 19" sony medical display.... NOTHING ---- Nothing else matters video cards come and go but your eyes will only ever degrade Treat them nice although LGs new 65" oled is really contrasty
    Reply
  • rwinches
    So the AOC is the the 'best deal' at this point in time as 4K @ 60 is what current graphics cards can manage. It comes factory calibrated. You could buy three for a little more than the price of one of the others.

    Not ready to change my triple AOC 24" 1080 @ 144 setup just yet though. I do want freesync, but so much new tech is on it's way so...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/aoc-u2879vf-28-inch-4k-uhd-freesync-monitor,4575.html
    Reply
  • sillynilly
    You get what you pay for . . .
    Reply
  • whitelightsaber
    How long is it going to be before I see the 32 inch 1440p 144hz 1ms ips monitor I have been dreaming of??
    Reply
  • f-14
    3800 pixels @60hz = $185, not a penny more.
    Reply
  • picture_perfect
    18415465 said:
    60 hz gaming doesn't appeal to me at any resolution. 1440p at 144 hz or better is really the sweet spot at the moment. I wish companies would focus more on that for gaming.

    18416803 said:
    So the AOC is the the 'best deal' at this point in time as 4K @ 60 is what current graphics cards can manage. It comes factory calibrated. You could buy three for a little more than the price of one of the others.

    Not ready to change my triple AOC 24" 1080 @ 144 setup just yet though.

    18417442 said:
    How long is it going to be before I see the 32 inch 1440p 144hz 1ms ips monitor I have been dreaming of??

    Ditto. Manufacturers push 4K because it generates more revenue. It doesn't matter we the consumers pay more for a worse experience. They figured out nobody wanted 3Dtv. Maybe someday they'll figure this out: 4K still not ready for prime time.

    Reply
  • ledhead11
    For those who haven't had time to spend with one. Cinema 4k(4096x2160) w/ 10 bit, I have a LG MU 31", color is something to experience. I have an Asus 278q(1440p 144hz) 8 bit color depth. I love it but I can definitely see a difference in the spectrums. For fast I love my Asus, but to look around and take it all in the LG rocks.

    Bottom line, its not just about FPS. We need a 4k, 10bit, 144hz and that will take DP 1.3 or DP 1.4.
    Reply
  • zthomas
    I got a acer g-sync 28.. price is about the same.. they sorta look alike to.. these new monitors will up your gaming .. and skills too..
    Reply