Getting the most technology within this price range is a challenge, but it’s one that AOC has achieved without any single thing feeling like a compromise. Superb colour reproduction right out of the box, albeit the backlight is a little high, but that’s easily turned down. The hood is a nice added value, and the OSD, input options, and underlying technologies of the panel are all excellent too. You don’t have to be a competitive gamer or a professional video editor to enjoy the benefits of this monitor either, it’s just a great monitor with a rich feature set and a surprisingly reasonable price, making it a great entry point for those wanting a more enthusiast-focused display.
There’s no shortage of truly awesome gaming monitors right now, but there’s always room for more! Especially the new AOC AG273QXP, which promises a few nice tricks that certainly make it stand out from the crowd. AOC is one of the leaders in high-performance gaming monitors, but their latest one really looks like it’s finely tuned to excel, with exceptional colour reproduction, a high refresh rate, and interestingly, a built-in hood to help shield the screen from reflections. What’s more, it does all this for just under £300, and that’s certainly enough to grab my own attention.
The AOC AG273QXP is well equipped for every type of gaming out there, as well as being ready for content creators thanks to a combination of a high refresh rate and excellent colour reproduction from its 10-bit panel. It has a lightning-fast 1 ms response time, a 170 Hz (however some parts of the product page and retailers have it listed as 144 and even 165 Hz) refresh rate, and FreeSync Premium Pro giving it a solid base-level performance. It’ll reproduce sRGB Coverage @ 133%, Adobe RGB Coverage 98% and NTSC coverage at 94 %. That’s the same as 104% DCI-P3, and if all that was utter nonsense to read, it means that the colours on this monitor should be pretty sublime, with a nice extended range.
Nano IPS: Nano IPS technology involves nanoparticles which are applied to a LED backlight of an IPS-panel display. These particles absorb excessive light wavelengths in order to increase the colour gamut of a display.
170Hz: A 170Hz refresh rate, well over twice the industry standard of 60Hz, makes games run smooth as silk. Realize the potential in your graphics card. Forget screen tearing and forget motion blur. Feel your reflexes become one with the action. Never look back.
1ms: 1ms response time equals speed without the smear for an enhanced experience. Fast-moving action and dramatic transitions will be rendered smoothly without the effects of ghosting.
Freesync Premium Pro: Enjoy the best quality visuals even in fast-paced games. The AMD FreeSync Premium Technology ensures that the GPU’s and monitor’s refresh rates are synchronised, which provides a fluid, tear-free gaming experience at the highest performance. The AMD FreeSync Premium features a refresh rate of a minimum 120Hz, decreasing blur and sharpening the picture for a more life-like experience. The LFC feature eliminates the risk of stutter in case the frame rate drops below the refresh rate.
Display HDR 400: Even the lowest level of High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature poses a significant upgrade to common monitors. The peak luminance of 400 cd/m² enables your display to hone the picture quality with a manifold colour spectrum and more diverse contrast
Screen Shield: The built-in AOC Screen Shield eliminates shadows and glare from external light sources for optimal visibility of your in-game action.
“The AOC AG273QXP is the perfect gaming monitor for any genre. Its 27” flat panel displays stunningly lush and realistic colours thanks to its new Nano-IPS technology. On top of that, 1 ms response time and 170 Hz refresh rate convey action on screen faster than ever before” – AOC
A Closer Look
Without a doubt, this is a stunning looking monitor. It’s part of their more premium and gaming-focused AGON range, which all have that same slate grey and brushed aluminium finish, with a few hints of red and some RGB for good measure. It’s a classic formula for gaming hardware, and it still works well enough.
The monitor has nice slim bezels on all sides, not ultra thin, but they’re certainly not a burden either.
There’s a slightly thicker bezel at the bottom, but again, it’s still pretty slim overall.
In the middle, is a small AGON logo in red, which isn’t too distracting, and other than that, there’s no other obvious branding from the front.
The rear of the monitor looks freaking awesome, with a really clean and futuristic design. It’s mostly a smooth back with lots of softened curves. There’s a ring of ventilation towards the middle and a ring of RGB lighting around that.
Up at the top, there’s a gorgeous AGON logo,
The stand is pretty robust and fairly significant for a 27″ monitor, but thankfully, its weighted base and clever ergonomics mean that it doesn’t actually protrude much from the face of the panel, so it doesn’t take up too much space. As you can see, the monitor stand allows for a nice level of adjustment level.
Furthermore, it supports portrait modes, so just give it a twist, and you’re good to go.
There are a few extra tricks here too, with a pair of built-in headphone stands; there’s one on each side.
AOC promised truly impressive colour reproduction, and I’m happy to say that the AOC AG273QXP really delivers on that promise. The vibrancy is something to behold, and certainly something I cannot demonstrate through a photo on your own computer screen. However, while this is going to add to the level of what you see in your movies and games, it’s a boon for content creators too and well suited to accurate video and photo editing.
The panel is sublime to use in general, with the excellent colour accuracy being complemented by an accurate gamma scale and very little deviance in the grey ramp.
Sure, this will tickle the hearts and minds of the enthusiasts who know this stuff, but for your end uses, it’s easy to say the picture is jaw-dropping regardless of how knowledgable you are of the technologies behind it.
Then, of course, we have the built-in hood. I love a monitor with a hood, I really do, and it’s a shame they’re not more common! They help cut the glair off the screen and really focus your vision on the screen. It’s like putting blinkers on a horse in a way, and it feels more cinematic to me.
For gaming, the higher refresh rate, fast 1ms response time, and the inclusion of FreeSync Premium Pro all work together in harmony to display fast-moving action cleanly and accurately. If you’re an FPS gamer, this really does tick all the right boxes. That being said, I’ve been playing GTA Online, just having that clarity while you shred through the city in fully upgraded Insurgent Pick-Up is a blast. I should know, it’s how I spent most of this morning.
At 27″ the screen is a good size. Coming from my 4K 60Hz 32″ monitor, you would think that the reduction in size and resolution would feel like a downgrade, but certainly not, at least while I’m gaming. The increased refresh rate and colours look cleaner and there’s just so much more information hitting my eyes beyond pixel count.
For editing work, it’s a great monitor to use. Sure, the 4K panel I’m used to is handy for video editing, as I have more information on the screen. However, for colour grading and processing of higher frame rate footage, the AG273QXP wins hands down. For those who like to stream their games and create gaming related content for platforms like YouTube, it has a lot to offer to both the gaming experience and the content creation sides of the process.
At 27″ and 2560 x 1440 there’s a good pixel density here, so daily web browsing is pleasing enough, and you can comfortably have two windows side by side and still have them easily readable.
How Much Does it Cost?
Amazingly, AOC has the MSRP for the AG273QXP 27″ 170 Hz Gaming Monitor set at just £298.99. Sure, that’s not exactly pocket money, but this is a pretty serious piece of hardware, and while not “cheap” it’s certainly an attainable price. To think this level of features and hardware were locked behind a significantly higher price bracket just a few years ago. There are higher resolution and even higher refresh rate models out there, however, at 2560 x 1440, with a great panel and colours, and 170 Hz, it’s fair to say this monitor is likely more than enough for most enthusiastic gamers and spending more for an even more extreme model may be overkill.
It’s yet another victory for AOC today, and frankly, I’m starting to sound sycophantic, but that’s no bad thing if they want to keep letting me test really awesome gaming monitors. This new one of theirs is certainly one of my favourites for AOC, and while they do have better monitors in terms of features and performance, at this price range, this one really is exceptional value for money.
Great for Gaming
I’m not an eSports champion, and actually, I wouldn’t even call myself a particularly competitive gamer either. I casually play GTA Online, I trade and do daily dungeons in ESO, but otherwise, I play a lot of retro stuff these days. That being said, gaming on this monitor is still a treat. Both the online games that I play support a higher refresh rate, and at 2560 x 1440, you don’t need the latest flagship GPUs to hit respectable frame rates. Even when it does dip, FreeSync Premium Pro is there to smooth things out and help keep screen tearing to a minimum.
I watch a lot of movies, or at least, my average is about 8 per week, and I actually watch a fair few of them at my desk, as I have a pretty sweet setup here and it’s comfortable. So, having a monitor with a wide colour gamut and HDR support is certainly welcome. Chucking on Leon the Professional was a blast, not only because it’s a great film, but it has some really nice colourful and gritty scenes and this monitor really brought them to life. Sure, I’d like all this on a 4K panel too, but that’s going to cost more. However, that’s not enough to detract from the stellar performance.