The AOC Agon AG273QCX, which we have here on the test, was announced back in 2017, but release to market is postponed until January 2019. We believe that the main reason for the new technology implemented by this monitor is to bring users closer to two seldom compatible specifications with the addition advanced features. To begin with, this is a 27-inch QHD resolution monitor, that is 2560 x 1440 pixels. We think this is an ideal resolution with respect to the screen dimensions, especially when we still include a graphics card that should be triggered.
VA panel and 144 Hz screen on the new AOC AGON monitorThe key specifications that the AOC has combined are the VA panel and the refresh rate of 144 Hz. If you’ve ever been interested in screen technology, you will know that VA panels have superior contrast over IPS and TN panels, giving a much more live display of color on the screen. Black color, though not really black as on the OLED panel, is much better than, for example, the IPS screen, where it becomes gray easily noticeable, especially when playing in the dark. The VA panels really have a superior image, but they are not without fault. Responsivnes is slower than TN and IPS panels, so players do not prefer them in FPS titles because of a sharper image during fast motion. AOC therefore uses a 144-hz display that responds much faster to changes in content on the screen and will satisfy all but hardcore players. Some VA panels, especially those with faster responsiveness, have a shortage of light when viewed from the corner. As the screen is large, it often means that viewing edges in the center of the screen will be darker than the middle of the screen. That is why manufacturers use curved screens. With a 1800mm radius all parts of the screen are more or less directed towards the user, thus avoiding the effect of lower edge illumination.
FreeSync 2 technology
Only with such performance we are already talking about a solid gaming monitor, but in 2019 the AOC has made sure to bring new technology to the sun. Specifically, the monitor has VESA HDR 400 certification and supports FreeSync 2 technology. The HDR400 certification means that the screen can be lit up to 400 dots on a smaller screen area (for example, when in sunlight). FreeSync 2 slightly increases the range of frequencies that this technology supports on the panel. So far FreeSync has always had a smaller frequency range than the competition and its utility is often questioned. Version 2 sets the same standard range as the competition, so this monitor has the ability to adjust at 48 Hz and up to 144 Hz, which is an excellent frequency range.
Recall that HDR is full of very vague standards that are not too harmonized. The problem is that the monitors might reach a certain brightness level, but with the colors rising and the brightness of black, so the color range, or contrast, remains the same. The real HDR should keep almost invisible black and lift only bright aspects of the image. This requires complicated backlighting and is used only on the most expensive screens. The AOC does not implement that solution, but thanks to the VA panel it still has a greater contrast than the others. Keep in mind that the darker parts of the screen become greasy and fade when you maximize the screen. On the other hand, Windows recognizes it without any problems and HDR mode is dropped by one click in Windows and one in OSD.
This is in any case, given the price, an excellent display that will impress many players if they have enough hardware to run it. Fortunately, Nvidia will soon also support AdaptiveSync technology.
Model: AOC AGON ag273qcx
Overall rating: 4.6/5
Refreshment: 144 Hz
Panel type: SVA
Diagonal: 27 ”
Contrast: 3000: 1
Additionally: HDR, FreeSync2
Plus: New technology, brightness, VA panel
Minus: massive rack, unnecessary LED backlight