AOC CQ27G2 Monitor Review
The AOC CQ27G2 is an excellent, value-priced gaming monitor, that uses VA technology, delivers 144Hz, offers both kinds of Adaptive-Sync and excellent contrast for both gaming and productivity. Highly Recommended.
- The best contrast in a 27-inch display
- Very accurate color
- 144Hz refresh rate
- FreeSync and G-Sync support
- Accurate sRGB mode
- No USB ports
- No built-in speakers
The AOC CQ27G2 is the latest 144Hz gaming monitor that’s created for gamers who want a responsive, curved monitor without compromising much on picture quality. Much like the Samsung C27F398 we reviewed in early 2019, AOC’s panel of choice is based on vertical alignment (VA) technology.
In this AOC monitor review, we emphasize the fact that VA is meant to merge the best of both worlds by offering the best contrast ratio, good picture quality and a fast response time – albeit, with a few limitations.
Headline stats include 144Hz refresh, 1ms response, color gamut area coverage of 120% sRGB and 89% of Adobe RGB. Support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync (built-in) are also in the mix, but at this price point, G-Sync support is the compatible variety.
That’s still quite a few important boxes ticked. It’s a 1440p panel, so it puts less load on your graphics subsystem. It won’t drain your bank balance so much either – at just under $300, this AOC looks like a pretty appealing proposition for a high refresh 27-inch curved gaming monitor.
AOC CQ27G2 Specs
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Design & Features
The CQ27G2 has a 1500R curvature with a three-sided borderless design. Of course, you shouldn’t take borderless entirely literally, but the monitor’s thin bezels don’t take up much room on your desk. In fact, its 27-inch panel occupies the same amount of space as a chunkier 24in monitor.
It has a triangular stand that raises the display by 130mm and provides -4° to 21.5° of tilt and 34° of swivel adjustments. If this doesn’t suffice, you can mount the monitor on a 100 x 100mm VESA compatible stand.
Like its other AOC gaming siblings, the case is black and red, which give sit a somewhat aggressive gamer look – a good thing, given the target audience.
Its OSD can be accessed via the buttons on the lower-right edge. The menus let you adjust the panel’s basic settings – response time and select color profile. It also allows you enable AOC’s Bright Frame feature, which lets you manually adjust the brightness and contrast ratio of a select portion of the screen.
For connectivity, there’s a VGA port, DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 1.4 ports. There’s no USB hub and no speakers, although, if you need to channel sound through the AOC CQ27G2, you can plug your headphones into its 3.5mm jack.
When reviewing monitors, contrast is always our top consideration, and any display with a VA panel already has an advantage. You’re at least sure of double the dynamic range of an IPS or TN screen and sometimes triple, like the CQ27G2. While it doesn’t include HDR, but with the recommended settings for AOC CQ27G2, it delivers a very high contrast ration over 3600:1 right out of the box. It is a bit less bright than most of the competition, rated at 250 nits but its kickass black levels more than make up for that.
This is a curved monitor, but you’d barely notice when looking at it. Unlike the 1800R curvature on the Sceptre C275B-1858RN, our review panel has a very gentle curve at 1500mm with 16:9 aspect ratio. In practice, the curve neither enhances nor detracts from the image. Gamers, though, will find the curve useful.
Used as a general use monitor, this 27-inch curved gaming monitor strikes a good balance of size and usable screen area. It doesn’t take up a lot of room on the desktop but offers plenty of space for documents, and the thin bezel and low-price means putting two screens together is reasonable and can be done without breaking your bank. Again, its contrast makes it a great choice for all kinds of tasks.
For gaming, it delivers a punch with excellent color reproduction, high contrast, fast 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate. For instance, on Tomb Raider and its tropical world of jungles and caves, the AOC CQ27G2 best settings maintains 130-140 fps for most gameplay and peaks at 144Hz. Detail was set to maximum, and you can’t easily see the difference between the CQ27G2 and a 4K IPS screen, and the 3400:1 contrast will make any image look sharper.
The same experience is replicated on Call of Duty WWII. VA technology produces sufficient technology to make anyone forget HDR, and it will take a much more expensive monitor with a full-array local-dimming backlight to see better image quality than this.
You can achieve perfect smoothness by turning on the backlight strobe in the Game Setting Menu, but that will result in occasional tearing, as adaptive-sync must be turned off. For fast-paced action, blurring is not a distraction and motion resolution will remain crisp. However, we recommend sticking with FreeSync or G-Sync.
With so many choices available in the 27-inch QHD gaming monitor category, it’s hard to pinpoint the best display. Performance metrics are very close among 144 and 165 Hz screens, and almost all of them offer adaptive sync and extended color. Lately, many of them are packing HDR but we don’t find that reason enough to buy. With edge-array backlights, you need a good dynamic contrast feature to make the most of HDR and a handful of screens include that.
Even with the many available choices, the best examples in this category are VA panels like the AOC CQ27G2. For just under $300, you get lots gaming speed, accurate extended color and terrific contrast. The design is great, and AMD FreeSync makes the best of your graphics card. What more could one need?
AOC left out a few other things that honestly, we did not miss – it does not support HDR signals, it leaves out a lighting effect, USB ports and built-in speakers. But in all honesty, none of these features will enhance or compromise your gaming experience.
What this 27-inch panel does include, is the best contrast we’ve seen. Only a handful of other VA monitors have higher contrast ratios that are above the CQ27G2, and it has extended colors that covers nearly 83% of the DCI-P3 gamut.
Some few other displays cover more but they aren’t as accurate as the AOC. And if you want the most accurate sRGB mode, this AOC offers the best spot-on color and grayscale.
For the absolute best value and performance, it’s hard to beat the CQ27G2. If you’re shopping for a gaming display and have narrowed your search for a 27-inch QHD monitor to VA panels, the AOC CQ27G2 should be at the top of your short list. It’s our newest Editors’ Choice for 27-inch gaming monitors.
AOC CQ27G2 27" Super Curved Frameless Gaming Monitor QHD 2K, 1500R Curved VA, 1ms, 144Hz, FreeSync, Height adjustable, 3-Year Zero Dead Pixel Guarantee
2 used from $292.98