Aorus AD27QD Hands-On: A Gorgeous Display with Cheating Software Built-in

LAS VEGAS — It seems like you can't go anywhere at CES 2019 without being surrounded by new gaming monitors. Tucked away at the back of a Gigabyte showroom lit only by RGB was the Aorus AD27QD, a high-end gaming monitor designed to give you an advantage over your opponent.

Credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide)

The Aorus AD27QD is a 27-inch, 2560 x 1440-pixel IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 1 millisecond response time. Aorus says the panel can cover 95 percent of the DCI-P3 color space, which is the primary metric used by the film industry.

MORE: The Best Gaming Desktops Available Now

The Aorus AD27QD looked gorgeous in the brief time I got my eyes on it, with the large panel exhibiting saturated, accurate colors and excellent viewing angles. I should mention that I only got to see the display in a dark room, so we'll have to wait for a review unit to find out how it fares in brighter conditions.

Credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide)

There are slimmer 27-inch monitors than the AD27QD, but few are as sexy. Its curved back glows with multiple RGB lights, and the overall aggressive look should suit most gamers. The monitor is practical as well, with pivot, swivel and tilt motions as well as height adjustment.

But what impressed me most about the Aorus had nothing to do with its display quality, but, rather, that a number of unique software features are built directly into the monitor. This allows gamers to overlay important information on the screen without running into compatibility issues or taking away resources from their desktop. These features are why Aorus is calling the AD27QD a "tactical monitor."

Credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide)

A customizable reticle for first-person shooters, frame-rate tracking, CPU/GPU monitoring and a countdown clock can be opened straight from the monitor using hotkeys. Some of these aides would normally be flagged as cheating techniques because they give gamers an advantage, but on the AD27QD, there is no way for games to tell when they are being used.

Credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Tom's Guide)

There's also a noise canceling feature in the Aorus monitor that blocks out all sounds but the voice on the other end of your chat. The feature worked surprisingly well in a brief demo. When turned on, I could hear only the Aorus rep I was playing with, even when he blared music and slammed down hard on his mechanical keyboard.

We'll let you know how the AD27QD performs in real-world testing once we receive a review unit, but so far so good.