A Performance Monitor at a Reasonable Price
Looking for a gaming monitor that can deliver pure speed without lag? The AOC Agon AG273QCG could serve you well. While it may be a costly monitor, it’s far from the most expensive, and it offers a hefty amount of value despite its potentially eyebrow-raising price tag. Let’s get into it.
Gaming monitors have a tendency towards the garish, and while no one would mistake the Agon for a boring office monitor, it’s relatively muted in its design. The red trim base is exciting without being overly garish, and the bezels surrounding the top and sides clock in at 0.33 inches, making them barely even present. While the bottom bezel is significantly larger, it’s still modest in size, and it shouldn’t get in the way of your enjoyment. But turn this monitor on and its gaming origins become clear. The rings occupying the back house LED lighting, and they can be customized to suit your style through the use of multiple configurable presets. It may be a bit much for some players, but it can fortunately be deactivated entirely.
In lieu of traditional buttons, a joystick beneath the bottom bezel is used to navigate through the Agon’s physical menus. It’s an elegant alternative to the often unwieldy interfaces that many monitors use, and the stick itself is generally smooth and responsive. A ring around the joystick can also be customized with LED light settings.
Of course no one is buying a monitor for the light show, and the Agon justifies its pricing with its impressive graphical specs. This Agon 1440p monitor makes use of a TN panel – the fastest option in the industry. The results are a slick and smooth refresh rate of 165 Hz and a negligible response time of a single millisecond. Considering this monitor supports a 2560 x 1440 Quad HD resolution, that’s some truly impressive performance. Of course, how much value you get out of that performance is going to depend on the quality of your machine. Especially noticeable is the color quality. While this is a trait that tends to underperform on TN panels, the Agon actually avails itself well.
Nvidia G-SYNC is rapidly becoming the standard for mid- to high-range monitors, so it’s no surprise that Agon supports it. But it needs to be said, and you can rest easy knowing that screen tear will not be an issue. The curved design ensures a greater level of immersion in any gaming experience, and the QHD support ensures that you’ll get a well fitting picture even in games that are designed for FHD.
Sound quality is something that’s often overlooked for gamers, and AOC has taken some sensible measures to round out your aural experience. Dual 2W speakers are built right into the sides, and they make use of DTS audio tuning to create a theater-grade environment. They perform well above what you’d expect to find in traditional monitor speakers. That said, the visuals are still the star of the show here. If you want a soundscape that matches the immersion of the video, you’ll probably want to bulk them up with some additional speakers. But they deliver modestly impressive audio quality on their own, and they’d be a great complement to a more sophisticated surround sound system.
If you prefer a more controlled sound experience (or simply have noisy roommates), the Agon has you covered there as well. A 3.5mm jack allows you to plug in a pair of headphones or a headset for multiplayer gaming. A headset hanger is even built in so your cans will always be comfortably within reach.
Rounding out the experience are a few helpful and convenient quality of life features. Different genres of game demand different video settings to really make the most out of the experience, and AOC Game Mode allows you to get the most out of your gaming without having to dig deep into the settings menu. Preset configurations are tailored for specific genres like FPS, RTS, MMORPG, and racing. Shadow Control, meanwhile, lets you easily adjust the contrast settings to prevent washed out imagery or ensure that you can see everything hidden in dark environments. The Agon also includes a Blue Mode with four filtering modes that can reduce headaches and eye strain during longer sessions. It’s designed to create a more therapeutic experience without sacrificing color.
AOC has additionally offered a few physical conveniences as well. The ergonomic and dial-adjusted monitor stand can be easily tilted, pivoted, or rotated to suit your posture and height and prevent physical discomfort while playing. The Agon also comes with a convenient carrying handle.
The ports available in the AOC Agon may be simple, but they’re more than enough to get the job done. The single 1.2 DisplayPort is to be expected as it’s the primary standard for PC to monitor connections, but the HDMI 1.4 input is a nice addition. It adds an extra level of functionality that allows the Agon to double as a screen for your video player, gaming console, laptop, or any number of other devices. Just keep in mind that you can expect some quality deprecation as a result. The refresh rate drops to 60 Hz when using an HDMI cable.
Four separate USB 3.0 ports rounds out the connections here. That’s hardly a revolutionary addition, but they are plentiful. There’s enough space to hook your mouse, keyboard, and webcam into your monitor while still leaving one slot open for a backup device or for charging your phone. All of the ports on the monitor are downward facing. It’s not the most convenient design choice, but you likely won’t be plugging and unplugging your devices all that regularly.
The AOC Agon bears a hefty price tag, but it has weighty specs to match. But when you consider it in terms of how much you’ve spent on your gaming rig, it could actually be a sensible investment. Budget priced or lower mid-range computers won’t be able to really take advantage of its notable strengths, but this is a monitor perfectly tailored for killer gaming machines.