Last month I reviewed the AOC AG241QX. The very short version is that I was impressed by both it’s panel and it’s design and looks but found it a bit smaller than I’d prefer. I wondered out loud in my verdict if its bigger brother – the AG271QG would be my ideal fit and over Christmas the AOC gods delivered a screen for me to try out.
I’d assumed that the AG271QG was just like it’s little brother and a very quick look makes it seem like it is. Similar stand, the same resolution and very similar specs and as a whole it’s true. There are a couple of things removed – no external control I’d praised in the AG241QX and less connection options but arguably the most important part of the screen – the panel has gone from good to excellent.
Lets talk about that panel. It’s an IPS 144Hz AHVA panels that will overclock to 166Hz and has a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Until recently most screens that could go up to that high of a refresh rate were made with TN technology which has significantly worse color reproduction and viewing angles. The AG271QG isn’t the first IPS screen that goes up to that refresh rate but it’s certainly among the first few. Why does this matter? In short it’s how fast the monitor can redraw everything on the screen. The faster the refresh the smoother the picture. For TV 60 or 120Hz is enough as there’s no interaction between you and it. For gaming the faster the refresh the better the movements on the screen correspond to your hand’s commands.
That’s all very technical but let me shrink it down. Apart from a few screens that use shortcuts that have their own drawbacks the AG271QG has among the the fastest refresh rate panel you can buy and it shows. This is one of those things that doesn’t really make sense until you see it but once you do you’ll wonder how you gamed without it.
Retailer: Amazon +
Price: ±£ 615
Included Cables: HDMI, Displayport, 3.5mm audio, USB 3.0 Cable, power cable.
AOC, “Admiral Overseas Corporation”, was founded in Taiwan in 1967 and is now part of TPV Technology Limited, a PC monitor manufacturer who ships around 15 million monitors worldwide per year.
The AG271QG is a very strikingly designed monitor that exudes gaming – from the red accents to the all metal base and the flip down headphone hook. All the controls are on the bottom right of the screen and are fairly standard both in their use and the menus they bring up. They’re clickable switches with a good actions and include a physical on/off switch.
The stand is flexible from an ergonomic point of view and rotates, tilts and drops with a surprisingly light finger push. While you could put it on an VESA mount on it it would be a disservice to the stand for most people. It’s not the best designed from a cable management point of view but I was able to make the three cables follow down it’s back despite not being able to hide them. Power comes via a proprietary connector on a decent length cable that unfortunately goes to a very large power brick.
Connectivity is limited to HDMI and Display Port 1.2 – this isn’t a knock just a result of the monitor being GSync compatible and will serve most users well.
There are two upward facing 2 watt speakers which serve in a pinch but I’d not want to use full time but AOC have gotten around this by putting 3.5mm headphone and mic sockets along with a USB port on the right side of the screen which (along with the headphone hook above them) I found perfect for hanging a headset which removed the need to use the small speakers. Along with that headset USB socket is another right facing USB socket that has FastCharge and two more downward facing USB 3.0 ports on the back of the screen.
Environment & People
Energystar 6 , TCO certified , EPEAT No, Energy Class C
The AOC AG271QG is available on Amazon for £636 and from Scan at £578 (plus delivery). Lets be honest – this isn’t a screen you buy if you’re feeling your budget pinched. The screen’s high refresh and 144GHz panel (without overclocking) and the added GSync chips are expensive and the monitor is priced inline with it’s competitors. I was able to find similarly specced monitors for around £20 less but conversely could find the same spec for one or two hundred pounds more.
Monitor Size: 27″ or 59 x 33cm
Screen proportions: 16:9
Max resolution 2560×1440 at 165Hz
Colors: 16.7 Million
Input: HDMI and Display Port
USB: 4x USB 3.0 including one FastCharge
Power: 45W on, .5W standby
Swivel: -20 /20
Tilt: -3.5 – 21.5
Height adjustability: 13cm
Weight: 6.8kg (including stand)
Kensington Lock: Yes
Vesa: Yes 10 x 10 cm
Warranty: Three Years
The monitor is a high specification display unit and to get the best out of it you’ll need a high power NVIDIA graphics card of the right type that supports G-Sync, a generally powerful PC with the right drivers and the right game or software. Without this you’ll still have a beautiful looking monitor but you won’t get the best out of it.
If you have an system with a Adaptive or Free-Sync compatible card (usually from AMD) the AG271QX would be more appropriate.
Usually when I write a Verdict I try and stay relatively balanced about a product. Most things only work for one target audience and if the target audience is too big then the result isn’t as good. In reviewing the AG271QG I’ve got an issue – I’m the target. I’m a PC gamer with a nice powerful NVIDIA powered gaming machine and the monitor takes what I’ve already got and supercharges it. It’s brilliant.
The problem is that it’s so supercharged that there’s a big cost for that and those extra capacities need a system that can support them and won’t be much use anyway to most people. In short – if you’re an PC gamer who uses a recent Nvidia graphics card and you’re looking for something both stylish and as well specced as possible it should be at the top of your list. Essential for gamers.
The review is based on the AOC Agon AG271QG Monitor kindly provided by AOC. This article was first published on the 5th of January 2017