All the trimmings
Of all the Stealth-fighter-inspired PC hardware designs of the past 10 years, the ROG Swift PG278Q is one of the finest. It's just so very... Nighthawk-like, with a little bit of VW GTI-style red trim thrown in for good measure. If you plan on raiding Baghdad at night and then doing some autocross, there's no better monitor for it than this one.
Seriously, lots of folks try for an interesting design, but few execute as well as Asus has here. The bezels surrounding the screen are way less than a centimeter wide and make the monitor look much sexier than it has any right to.
The monitor's enclosure and stand combine to give you just about everything you'd want in terms of flexible positioning. The screen can tilt from 5° downward to 20° upward and swivel left or right up to 60°. The display can also pivot 90° into a portrait orientation, as shown above. The height is adjustable through 120 mm in the default landscape orientation, as well.
If none of that will suffice, the stand is attached to the back of the monitor via a standard VESA mounting interface. Detach the base, and you can attach the monitor to the custom mount of your choice.
If you do switch to a custom mount, you'll be missing out the glowing red ring around the included base. Its brightness throbs and decays according to, uh, something. Doesn't exactly seem to be the display's content, exactly, but hey, pretty lights.
The PG278Q's inputs are spartan, to say the least. There's an input for the power connection (from the external brick) and a DisplayPort connector. This thing doesn't support DVI, HDMI, VGA, or picture-in-picture, and there aren't even any cheesy speakers included for basic audio. The only extra perk is a USB 3.0 hub that accepts one input and supports two outputs. As far as extras go, that's not a bad one, I suppose.
Menus and such
Quick confession: I pretty much hate monitor menus and controls. They're all clumsy, and they're all different. Somehow, the button placements have managed to get even more awkward over time, too. That's why the control scheme on the PG278Q comes as a truly pleasant surprise.
The whole setup is anchored by that single eraser-nubbin type control stick at the top of the button stack. One may push down on it to invoke the on-screen menus and to select menu items, and the directional control allows one to navigate through the choices. This single control button does everything that an array of five or more buttons might do on the average monitor—and it's ridiculously easy to use by comparison.
The menu system in the ROG Swift PG278Q is fairly simple, in part because of a smart and logical layout—and in part because it's not packed with a rich feature set. Thing is, pretty much everything you'd want to adjust is represented. The only big omission I've noticed involves color temperatures; there's no sRGB mode, just "normal," "warm," "cool," and user mode. Some of the simplicity comes from the fact that this monitor doesn't have multiple input ports to manage. However you slice it, though, the thing is a joy to use compared to your average monitor.
Below the ThinkPad-style control nubbin is the exit button, which you'll need for getting out of the menus. Beneath that are a couple of gimmicky controls that aren't part of the main setup. The upper one invokes a "GamePlus" feature that will place a transparent crosshair overlay in the center of the screen, I guess in case your game decides not to do that for you. It can also place a countdown timer in the top-left corner of the screen, with times ranging between 30 and 90 minutes. Both could be useful features, I suppose, but I dunno. Somehow, I've gotten this far without them, and my PC can run lots of software to do similar things when needed.
The button below that is the Turbo control, which lets the user toggle between 60, 120, and 144Hz refresh rates. It kinda-sorta works, but I'm never sure I can trust it to set the G-Sync mode properly and such. I expect Asus put this button there for folks who just don't understand much about their PCs and want to be sure they're getting the fastest possible refresh rate. At least it can easily be ignored.
|The TR Podcast 185: Honey, I shrunk the Fury||0|
|Friday Night Shortbread||53|
|Run, gun, and murder aliens in 3D Realms' Bombshell||21|
|Light and shadow play together in Calvino Noir||4|
|Go pro with Razer's Wildcat Xbox One controller||8|
|CliffyB returns to the FPS scene with LawBreakers||22|
|There can be only one Headlander||7|
|Deals of the week: Asus' Strix GTX 970 and more||17|
|Chrome will soon block Flash ads and auto-playing background media||36|