Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: The Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 nails the basics: it has excellent colors out of the box, the design feels premium, you get a lot of options to tweak the color balance, and the 165Hz refresh rate makes it a great choice for gaming. It isn't ideal for HDR gaming, but aside from that, you are getting a fantastic overall monitor.
Premium design with minimal bezels
High-quality IPS panel with 165Hz refresh rate
Vibrant picture quality that's calibrated out of the box
Includes HDR400 and works with NVIDIA G-Sync
Plenty of customization options
HDR isn't as good as rivals
Not compatible with VESA mounts
Limited global availability
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Xiaomi is primarily known for making the best Android phones, but the Chinese manufacturer has ventured into dozens of categories over the last five years. From rice cookers to routers, robot vacuums, laser projectors, and TVs, Xiaomi offers a smorgasbord of products, and one area where it is gaining momentum is the gaming segment.
Xiaomi rolled out its first gaming monitor at the end of 2019, a 24-inch 1080p option that's aimed at the Chinese market. The brand also released a 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor, and launched it in global markets last year. Xiaomi is now introducing a new monitor in this series, and there's a lot to like. The Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 is a 27-inch QHD monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate panel, minimal bezels, and a rotating stand that makes it easy to swivel.
Best of all, the monitor has HDR, a feature that was missing on the ultrawide monitor last year. There's overwhelming choice if you're in the market for a gaming monitor right now, so let's see how Xiaomi's latest offering fares in this category.
Xiaomi Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27: Price and availability
Xiaomi unveiled the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 on July 26, and the monitor is slated to make its debut in European markets shortly. At this moment, it isn't listed on any of Xiaomi's regional sites in European, but you can pick it up from third-party resellers like Banggood. The site has two options for Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27: a unit from its HK warehouse is €305, and there's also availability in its EU warehouse, and that costs €330 but promises faster delivery.
Now, even though Banggood is selling the monitor in the EU and Hong Kong, you won't be able to pick it up in the U.S. Switching the region to the U.S. shows a "product not available" page, and right now, there's no way to get your hands on the monitor in the country.
Xiaomi Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27: What you'll love
The Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 follows in a similar vein as earlier launches by Xiaomi in this category. The design is decidedly mainstream, and unlike gaming monitors from ASUS, Acer, and Gigabyte, you won't find RGB lighting or aggressive styling. That said, the industrial design works in favor of Xiaomi's monitor — it ends up looking modern without being ostentatious.
Another factor in its favor is the ultra-thin bezels on three sides. There is still a chin at the bottom, but the skinny bezels on the sides contribute to a sleek profile, and the power and menu buttons are housed at the bottom to the right. They're definitely easier to access here than on Xiaomi's ultrawide monitor, where they were located at the back.
Round the back, there's a magnetic cover that hides the ports. In terms of connectivity, you'll find a DisplayPort 1.4 port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a USB IN port to power the two USB 3.0 connectors that are located to the right of the magnetic cover, and an AC in. You'll also find a 3.5mm audio jack that lets you plug in wired headsets. Xiaomi bundles a DisplayPort connector and a USB IN cable to power the two USB 3.0 connectors.
A highlight on the design front is the stand; it is made out of metal, and the square base ensures it stays planted on a table. The anodized aluminum finish gives it a sleek look, it has a cutout for easy cable routing, and it's straightforward to attach the base plate to the stand itself. The stand has extensive tilt and swivel options; you can increase and decrease the vertical height, rotate it horizontally, or even tilt it 90 degrees and use the monitor in portrait mode.
Like the ultrawide monitor, the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 has a lot of customization options. You'll find six presets — Standard, ECO, Game, Movie, Low Blue Light, and sRGB — and you can either change the presets or take granular control by switching to the Standard mode and adjusting the color balance, hue, brightness and contrast levels, contrast ratio, luminance levels, and much more. You can also adjust the response time between four settings, with Normal enabled out of the box, and UltraFast letting you take full advantage of the 165Hz refresh.
HDR is disabled out of the box, so you will have to manually go into the settings and enable the mode. The Adaptive Sync feature is similarly disabled by default, but once you enable it, you can leverage NVIDIA's G-Sync to minimize screen tearing and latency. The monitor doesn't show up in NVIDIA's G-Sync compatible list and there's a message in the NVIDIA Control Panel that it hasn't been validated, but I used it with an RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 and it worked just fine.
The Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 features an 8-bit 27-inch IPS panel with a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution and a refresh rate that goes up to 165Hz. It offers the VESA HDR400 standard and goes up to 400 nits of maximum brightness as a result, and covers up to 95% of the DCI-P3 and 100% of the sRGB color gamut. The panel has a matte coating to prevent glare.
The monitor is calibrated out of the box, and there's a card enclosed with the package that says it has been set up with a Delta E (dE) score of 0.6 in sRGB mode. I wasn't able to test the dE scores, but in day-to-day use, the monitor is fantastic. I used it primarily in Standard mode, and it delivered vibrant colors with more than adequate brightness levels and the best black levels I've seen on a gaming monitor to date.
I switched to this monitor from Xiaomi's 34-inch ultrawide gaming monitor, and there's no contest between the two; the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 has significantly better colors and viewing angles, and a lot of that has to do with the IPS panel. The downside with IPS panels is a slow response time, but with the monitor able to go down to 4ms in the UltraFast setting, this isn't a problem.
Overall, gaming on the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor has been an absolute joy. I played a dozen hours' worth of Valorant, built a lot of factories in Satisfactory, and got started with Red Dead Redemption 2, and it was thoroughly enjoyable on the monitor. The 34-inch ultrawide isn't a bad monitor, but it doesn't measure up to what Xiaomi is offering here. Even against other QHD IPS gaming monitors, the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor held its own — I tested it against the VG27AQL1A, and it had better colors and contrast levels in SDR mode.
Xiaomi Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27: What needs work
Even though the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 complies to the HDR400 standard, it doesn't make any tangible difference in day-to-day use — if anything, it detracts from the overall experience. With the feature enabled in Windows, you'll see an automatic reduction in brightness and less vibrant colors, with specific zones lighting up instead while gaming to create that HDR look.
When pitted against ASUS' 27-inch VG27AQL1A (a 144Hz QHD monitor with HDR400), the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor clearly came out second-best, with visuals lacking the brightness and vibrancy that characterizes HDR gaming. It just isn't worth the effort to have HDR enabled on this monitor; it objectively makes games look bad, with overly saturated colors and blown highlights. HDR plays better with video content instead, with saturated colors and deep blacks.
And if you're looking to use the monitor with a VESA mount, you're going to need an additional bracket. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker to most, but if you're already using a monitor arm, you will need to take that into account. Finally, limited availability of the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 means it's still hard to get a hold of the monitor in most regions.
Xiaomi Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27: The competition
If you're looking for a gaming monitor for under $500, there's plenty of choice. The $370 ASUS VG27AQL1A continues to be a solid option a year after its release: you get a QHD IPS panel with 144Hz refresh rate, it works with G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, and it slots into a VESA mount if you need to mount it on an arm. The downside is that the stand doesn't have the same tilt and swivel features as the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor.
LG's UltraGear 27GL850-B is also a reliable alternative in this segment. This 27-inch gaming monitor also has a QHD IPS panel with a low latency, and it has HDR10 colors and a refresh rate that goes up to 144Hz. It works natively with NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, has an aggressive design, and a stand that lets you use the monitor in portrait mode.
Xiaomi Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You're looking for a gaming monitor with an IPS panel
- You want a monitor with 165Hz refresh rate
- You need integration with NVIDIA G-Sync
- You want vibrant colors and a high level of customizability
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want a monitor for HDR gaming
- You need a monitor that works with an existing VESA mount
The Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 delivers the basics in this segment: you're getting a high-quality IPS panel with a 165Hz refresh rate, 4ms response times, excellent colors out of the box, a sleek design, and a stand that lets you tilt and swivel the monitor with ease. If you're in the market for a gaming monitor and need one with great colors and a high refresh rate, you'll love what Xiaomi is offering here.
4 out of 5
The biggest drawback of the monitor is HDR gaming; it just isn't on par with other options in this segment, and that's a letdown. That said, colors in SDR are fantastic, and you're not really missing out by not being able to use HDR. If you're willing to overlook that particular omission, the Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 is a standout choice in this category.
Xiaomi Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27
Bottom line: The Mi 2K Gaming Monitor 27 doesn't really miss out when it comes to the basics. You're getting one of the best IPS panels in this category, and colors are calibrated out of the box. With a 165Hz refresh, fast 4ms response times, and NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility, this is one of the best gaming monitors in the mid-range category.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.