For a TL;DR jump to the conclusion at the bottom.
I got the monitor yesterday and spent a decent amount of time trying it out in several different games. I could only get the variant with speakers and paid roughly a 1000 Euros, including VAT. Below are my initial impressions. Please bear in mind that because this is my first modern TN panel, I cannot really say anything about the difference to other high-end monitors with low response times. Also, even though I would consider myself an enthusiast, I am by no means up-to-date on all the technical aspects of current panels. So expect this to be a less technical and more practical description.
I will primarily compare the monitor to the ASUS ROG PG279Q, which I have used for the past few years.
Unboxing And Assembly
The monitor came in a very simple brown box, as they are typical for many Lenovo products. I found it kind of pleasant that they completely refrained from using all typical hallmarks that are usually present everywhere to show that something is indeed a Gaming product made for serious Gamers. This is also true for the monitor itself, which has a very nice simple and sleek design. The build quality is also excellent. While other monitors like the PG279Q often have stands made out of a lot of plastic, the Y27GQ comes with a sturdy metal one, which makes this thing stand rock solid on the desk. Unfortunately, the stand is so big, that I had to move the monitor back a little, because it didn't quite work with my previous setup.
The assembly was simple and included nothing out of the ordinary. I would like it though, if more manufactures would use an approach similar to the PG279Q, where the monitor can be stored in the box without the need for any assembly at all.
I initially had some trouble getting the colors to not look weird. The original configuration was too bright for my taste and showed a somewhat washed out image. I then tried the "Relative Gamma" setting with a value of +0.3, which brought the image a lot closer to the PG279Q. I am pretty sure this is still not optimal yet and with a little bit more tuning may even surpass the ASUS monitor in terms of colors. This was the point where I definitely wished that there was a proper review with recommended settings, done by people who know what they are doing. For the PG279Q I just used a tweaked set of settings from the TFTCentral review and it looked great.
The OSD is controlled by the typical four buttons in front of the bezel, which are definitely a lot more fiddly to use than the little joystick on the back of the PG279Q. Although you usually don't use the OSD that much after the initial setup anyway, it still is a step down from the ASUS monitor in this regard.
Another problem was that Windows did not provide a proper driver for the monitor out of the box and instead detected it as a 'Generic PnP Monitor', which prevented G-Sync from being turned on in the Nvidia control panel. Contrary to the PG279Q, where the usage of G-Sync is shown by the red power LED, with the Y27GQ you have ensure that the the OSD indeed shows 'Nvidia G-SYNC MODE' instead of 'Normal Mode'. However, this was easily fixed by manually installing the official driver from the Lenovo page here
After fixing the colors, the first game I tried was Quake Live
, and yes, this is a new level of smooth! Playing it at a perfectly capped frame rate close to 240 is just an awesome experience. The PG279Q is already a great monitor, but here you can clearly see the differences in reaction time and refresh rate. Where before on fast turns enemies would turn into a green blur, now they remain crisp and clearly distinguishable from the background. As great as it is, I have to stress though, that for a game with simple visuals, such as Quake, there really is no "magical" experience. If you already have a decent 144hz monitor, you can somewhat extrapolate what you would get with the Y27GQ.
Another game that I was really looking forward to try out was Rainbow Six: Siege
. Because I didn't get to upgrade my CPU yet, I have this currently locked to 120 FPS and I was really curious to see how much games benefit from the faster panel when not taking advantage of the 240hz refresh rate. And damn, this is where it is obvious that the quality differences are not just because of the higher refresh rate of the Y27GQ alone. Since there is a lot more graphical detail in Siege compared to Quake, the difference in clarity is much more apparent. Textures, objects and enemies that used to be blurry when running and peeking around corners are now crisp and easy to distinguish from the environment. It is also way easier to follow what is going on when multiple things happen at the same time. Additionally, the game also feels a lot smoother, despite running on the same frame rate as before. Overall, this is a significant improvement both from a visual as well from a gameplay point of view.
I also tested multiple other games, which showed a similar improvement in quality.
Just out of curiosity, I also tried a little bit of Ion Fury
. Funnily enough, the modified Build engine of that game has trouble maintaining a stable frame rate above 170 on my system. I want to say that even this kind of game benefits from the screen, because it makes the pixel art style more clear, but to be honest I am not sure without having a direct comparison. But it definitely also looked great.
I didn't pay much attention to the speakers at all before ordering and expected them to be integrated ones, similar to many other monitors. However, the speakers are actually part of a separate module, which has a gap in the middle so it can be assembled to the bottom of the stand. Using the module is entirely optional and the package also includes a cap to close the top opening, so the module can be used as a stand-alone. Contrary to what I assumed, the module does not use the DP or HDMI audio signal, instead it has to be connected to the monitor, which then has to be connected to the PC via USB. This is because the module is actually a dedicated USB sound card, including a headphone jack.
Since the speakers of most monitors, including the ones from the PG279Q, are usually terrible, I was kind of astonished to find out that these ones are actually quite decent and deliver clear audio up to a comparatively high volume, albeit being a little weak on the bass side. This was a very pleasant surprise, since there are some occasions from time to time where I can't or don't want to use headphones. Whether they are really worth what Lenovo charges extra though is hard to say.
Finally, I have to somewhat disagree in regards to the noise of the fan, which for me is clearly noticeable and, in my opinion, is the main downside of the Y27GQ. Even though I don't have a silent setup, it definitely exceeds the noise of my PC when on the desktop. If you are a person that is sensitive to noise, this might be a deal breaker for you.
However, when gaming, the noise actually blends in with everything else that is coming from the PC and is much less obvious. Additionally, since the kind of PC that is able to take full advantage of this monitor is difficult to get silent anyway, I think most people interested in it will not be bothered by it too much. Still, I wouldn't might if they were able to mitigate the issue at least a little bit.
I was looking for an upgrade in terms of image clarity and reduction in blurriness, while not losing too much in terms of colors compared to the PG279Q. I also wanted to keep the WQHD resolution, which pretty much ruled out most/all previous monitors in this category, which were usually restricted to 1080p and/or 144hz. In this regard, the Y27GQ is definitely an improvement on all fronts. The fan noise is a bummer, but I think I can live with it considering the benefits of the screen.