When building a PC there’s a couple of things to take into account: Firstly the rig itself and secondly the monitor you’re going to be running.
The second one is very important to me. While a lot of people see the monitor as an oversight, I build my rigs around the monitor itself.
Let’s face it, you can have all the power in the world in your rig, the fact is you will achieve none of it unless you have the right monitor to help show off its potential. So when AOC got in touch and asked if we wanted to test their top-of-the-line gaming monitor, the AGON AG271QG, we couldn’t help ourselves.
AOC have always specialised in monitors and pride themselves on been able to supply a monitor for any situation. Just take the blurb from the official website: “Ever since AOC was founded half a century ago, we have been specialising in display technology. It is our goal to provide you with a great display experience, whatever your specific needs.”
To make a statement like that you know the AOC means business. Don’t get me wrong, I had some reservations at the start of this review and I’m sure you’re asking the same. Can an IPS monitor really live up to my gaming needs? AOC’s new line of gaming monitors including the AGON AG271QG and the AGON AG271QX surpass the 60Hz refresh rate thanks to the inclusion of GSYNC and FREESYNC. The only difference is if you’re using an NVIDIA or AMD graphics card.
Our review today will be the AG271QG since our test rig is running an MSI 1080 gaming x.
● Monitor size: 27 inch
● Response time: 4ms
● Panel type: IPS
● Refresh Rate: 165 Hz – G-SYNC
● Resolution: 2560 X 1440 PX
● Ports: DisplayPort 1.2 / HDMI 2.0 / Headphone out/ microphone
The AGON AG271QG is stunning straight out of the box. From the front facing components like the V stand dressed in silver and made of solid metal to the back of the casing where AOC have gone wild with the design features. The stand has a hefty weight to it but it is definitely needed to support such a sizable monitor. The backplate has a massive streak of red in the shape of a V which all but engulfs the back of the screen and also houses the pivot point for the front panel. AOC have done their homework; the pivot for this model can be both horizontal and vertical meaning this is perfect for those of you out there wanting to support 3 screens for gaming or rendering. The rest of the back plate is matte black and sports the AOC logo embossed in silver. The monitor is full of nice finishing touches. One which I haven’t seen anywhere else is the integration on what AOC call the Ergo dial meaning there is a dial on the main stand and the pivot itself allowing you to remember the exact location and angle you had your monitor set to. Though this might be a gimmick, I found myself using it more and more.
Another little feature which again I haven’t seen in any other model of gaming monitor is a little plastic lever that can be pulled out from the right side of the monitor to reveal a headset stand. While I have to say this seemed a little flimsy in testing, I still found myself using it. Yes it’s a tiny little black lever and I know it doesn’t matter but I’ve grown fond of it.
With the Ergo dial and the headset stand you can tell AOC are taking their range of gaming monitors very seriously. They are definitely looking outside the box when it comes to design itself, take the headset stand for instance; who of us out there just leave it on the desk hanging from one earpiece. I know I have. What if your monitor not only held the headset but also had enough ports on it to charge it at the same time? Plenty of technologically advancing doors open with this seemingly gimmicky addition.
This leads me nicely into the connectivity part of the review. The AGON AG271QG has more than you will ever need with 4 USB outputs, a HDMI and Display port. While testing I had my PC and PS4 both hooked up to the monitor. I would have liked to see one more HDMI slot for the Xbox but that’s just me being pedantic and if I’m honest a little lazy.
Moving on from the design of the AG271QG to what really counts; the performance. Again I was a little dubious about the panel itself, having always used a TN monitor for the superior refresh rate, would an IPS really keep up with my gaming needs?
Thankfully AOC have decided to use a 4ms panel in the AG271QG and you would have to be really focused on your gaming to notice. So needless to say on occasions, I noticed. Mostly when playing Rocket League or COD the odd flutter occurred but nothing that made me revert back to my TN. In fact, thanks to the IPS panel, my games really stood out. The colour saturation is something even the best TN panels struggle with along with the viewing angle itself. All my games looked vibrant and deep no matter where I was sitting or the angle I was sitting at. There was very little to no washout from the colouring thanks in part to AOC’s game colour feature which allowed shadows texture and detail. Something a good TN could only dream of.
The test monitor we were sent showed no dead pixels and even outperformed its own factory settings. It delivered 80% adobe RGB with 100% RGB and a contrast ration of 840:1. The contrast could have been better and definitely something to think about if you’re looking to use this monitor for design purposes.
The Panel itself is amazing considering it has a 4ms refresh rate and supports 165Hz and with the results above it is almost unbelievable for an IPS monitor.
Thanks to its amazing visuals, colour saturation and the shear performance the monitor has to offer the power consumption rating only granted a “C”. However, let’s be honest with each other who really cares? If you’re in the market for such a power hungry monitor, your rig will trounce the 48 watts this monitor requires at full brightness.
Thanks to the fact AOC have integrated G-SYNC into the panel screen, tearing is a thing of the past and the fact this is an IPS monitor viewing angles and colour saturation is at a premium. Games really come alive. I’ve already mentioned shadows and the detail and textures within them something the top-of-the-line TN panels keep away from.
The AG271QG also has built in speakers supporting 2 watts and while these are a little blurry in their sound output they are still better than most on the market.
The integration of the headset stand and Ergo dial really sets this monitor aside from the rest on the market today. The menu system is however a little disappointing. Clunky buttons lie under the main panel and support very little in terms of features which is something I feel AOC will need to work on in the future. While it’s not a major flaw, with the cost of this monitor you would have thought a little more time would have been put into it especially when taking into consideration the rest of the build quality.
AOC have done the remarkable and made an IPS panel that is truly game worthy but they haven’t stopped there. Integrating G-SYNC and the build quality on show that you would expect from the big boy like ROG and the ACER predator. there are a couple of gripes that are stopping me from telling every gamer in the world to buy an AG271QG.
The biggest hurdle is the price; £549.99 at the time of the review. This is a massive price tag that most gamers will find hard to swallow. Yes the monitor in my eyes is worth every penny, but when you stack up the lack of gaming related features that other rivals are offering and the fact that the power supply is huge and external to keep the width down on the monitor itself, is it worth it? The menu system also needs a little reworking.