To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
We have a large group of 27-inch QHD gaming monitors to choose from for comparison to the XG27AQ. All are IPS except the 240 Hz AOC PD27 which is VA. From Gigabyte comes the M27Q, Dell provides its S2721DGF, MSI brings the MAG274QRF and Acer, the XV272U-KV. The IPS screens all run at either 165 or 170 Hz.
To get maximum output from the XG27AQ in SDR mode, you must use its Scenery mode. The default option, Racing, tops out at around 350 nits. sRGB delivers 170 nits max. For a typical indoor environment, any picture mode will provide enough light.
Black levels are mid-pack in this group but resulting contrast is the best, by a hair, of the IPS panels at 1158.4:1. We’ve noticed that some of the latest Fast IPS panels are a bit down on contrast but the XG27AQ is not one of them. It beats many other IPS monitors in this test.
After Calibration to 200 nits
Calibration maintains a solid black level but the XG27AQ slips one spot in the rankings. The contrast ratio is still over 1000:1 which is always a win for an IPS monitor. ANSI contrast is also solid at 1037.8:1, among the best of IPS. If you turn on Dynamic Dimming in the Image menu, the static ratio goes up to over 23,000:1. Shadow detail becomes a little hard to see but the overall effect is very good.