• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Display Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1440
  • Connectivity: 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Audio Out, 1x USB 3.0
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz (165Hz overclocked)
  • Response Time: 4ms
  • Viewing Angle: 178°(H), 178° (V)
  • Dimensions: 624.4 x 532.4 x 250.4 mm
  • Weight: 7kg
  • Pros:
  • Very smooth video quality in games
  • Great build quality
  • Cons:
  • Must know how to calibrate colours
  • Expensive

Smooth Visuals

When 144Hz monitors first appeared, the visual fluidity it can deliver astounded many. But can our physical eyes tell the difference when the numbers go higher? We’re not sure, so we tested ViewSonic’s new 165Hz-capable monitor – XG2703-GS – to see how much that extra bit of refresh rate would help.

The XG2703-GS is a 27-inch gaming monitor with relatively thin bezels surrounding its matte anti-glare IPS panel. Most of the monitor’s body is covered with a matte surface as well, with only a few plastic parts that add colour (green) and accent. To go with its larger size, ViewSonic has equipped it with 1440p resolution for a crisp video quality.

Physically, the XG2703-GS has fantastic build quality. It has a solid base and sturdy stand, which does make it quite heavy. The stand also has a cut out for cable management, while at the back there’s a pull-out holder that can be used to hang your headset. Plus, the stand can actually be removed, which then allows you to VESA mount it instead.

On the XG2703-GS, you get the full range of ergonomics typically found on high-end monitors. Its base allows it to swivel, while the stand makes it possible to tilt, rotate and adjust its height. As a result, it’s easy to adjust the monitor to suit your preference.

For a monitor that has rotation, a feature that some graphic designers and photographers like to use for their work, the colour accuracy for this IPS panel out of the box isn’t great. However, it has sRGB colour profile and 6-axis colour calibration, so colour accuracy can be fixed after some tweaking.

Out-of-the-box performance for professionals aside, the XG2703-GS is amazing for games. Not only is 27-inch much larger than the more commonly purchased sizes, the high refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC feature combine to eliminate all forms of screen tearing. In addition, its 1440p resolution provides very sharp visuals for those who prefer video fidelity over the extra frame rates. There’s also a built-in speaker that’s passable, so you don’t need a dedicated desktop speaker.

The buttons for the on-screen display are not in the ideal spot, but are not hard to reach and are easy enough once you get used to them. Using this, features like anti blue light and overclocking the monitor to 165Hz is possible. However, it’s very hard to tell if the extra 21Hz makes any visible difference, so your mileage may vary.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Super-fast refresh rates, high 1440p resolution, and a large screen size makes this an excellent gaming monitor – provided you’re willing to break the bank.

(previously published in issue March 2017)

ViewSonic XG2703-GS