Great value gaming performance with style.
- Manufacturer: AOC
- Model: AG273QX
- Supplied by: AOC
The Agon AG273QX is the new version of a wicked monitor we previously covered, the AG273QCG.
There are a few differences and improvements between them, and as you may have noticed, the newer version we are testing here is a flat-panel, as denoted by the lack of a C in the model number (the AG273QCX is available, too). However, the biggest and most significant difference is the use of a VA panel over the TN panel utilised in the old model. This has enabled the AG273QX to achieve much better contrast, with deeper blacks and wider viewing angles. In addition, we now have 10-bit colour depth (8-bit+frc) and the resulting vibrancy when paired with the VA panel is instantly noticeable.
These changes make for a huge improvement in the visual quality of the monitor. The true blacks and sheer depth of colour make everything look vibrant and alive. It’s such a significant difference when switching back to a TN panel that it has left me wanting to replace every screen in my house with VA panels.
Freesync Premium Pro is a welcome feature on this panel: Premium Pro combines Freesync 2 functionality with Display HDR400 certification. While it is never going to be as good as a FALD-equipped HDR1000 panel, it puts in a very respectable performance, with excellent contrast aided by the proficient VA panel. Freesync 2 application works very well here. Screen-tearing was eliminated, and performance was super-smooth even with significant variance in frame-rates during intense on-screen action.
Factory calibration is excellent, with the AG273QX achieving 98% sRGB coverage and just over 87% of the DCI-P3 range. With a little tinkering, we managed to achieve 99% sRGB coverage and 89% DCI-P3. Such a negligible improvement bodes well for those who desire an accurate picture but don’t have the tools or know-how to do it themselves, and out-of-the-box performance is more than adequate for most users. Max luminance is rated at 400cd/m2, however, in testing we recorded a maximum brightness of 452cd/m2, with an excellent black level of just 0.20cd/m2.
Next is the overall design; Sharing the design cues from its predecessor, the AG273QX has a borderless frame, with a modern, clean aesthetic. On the rear of the monitor, there is a fully customizable RGB ring which ties in with the front control knob lighting and can be customized to your liking with various modes and brightnesses, such as water waves, flash, gradient fade, and motion point, which can be further customised with either set colours, rainbow effects, or a user-defined mix. I find myself still wishing it was a touch brighter, though, as even in a dark room with next to no light there is only a faint glow projected behind the monitor. Bearing in mind it does not affect the monitor’s use or performance in any way it’s of little importance.
The rear of the panel is host to the downwards-facing inputs: there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, and two DisplayPort 1.4 now, a welcome improvement over the singular ports from before. Four USB 3.2 (Gen 1) ports, a microphone input and a headphone output round out the connectivity options, while a pair of five-watt speakers are added for your convenience. Despite being small, they produce decent quality sound for an in-built option, but as always, they can’t match the performance of a decent set of desktop speakers or a quality headset, so factor this in when considering your purchase. Lastly, the stunning 3D AGON badge returns, adding a premium touch to the monitor.
For the most part, it has stayed very similar to its TN panel fitted predecessor. The one big difference is, however, the stand:
Rather than the relatively small footprint of the previous stand, the AG273QX has a large, robust metal stand that has an extremely large footprint. This makes it extremely stable, but it does take up a significant amount of space. This alleviated somewhat by having the legs arching up so that they only have three points of contact with your desk, so there is some space under the monitor that I used to place my stream deck and the monitor control panel.
Despite its large footprint, the design makes it less impactful on your desk space, but I do struggle with how far forward the monitor is forced to be due to the stand. Even when it is moved as far back as it can go on my desk, the protuberance of the rear of the stand meant it was still a touch too close for my taste. That is an entirely subjective issue, but it is worth considering.
New for the AG273QX is the controller unit that functions as a more convenient OSD navigation than the knob found on the monitor A circular pad connects to the monitor through USB and can be placed anywhere you would like. It features a central ‘OK’ button, four directional buttons and three surrounding buttons for quick access to the preset custom gamer profiles. You will also find a light-up ring around the edge of the control unit, which is illuminated red. While it would be preferable to be able to program this lighting to match the RGB on the monitor, I have not been able to find any information to suggest you can change it.
Moving on to specs the AG273QX is in the big leagues, boasting Quad HD resolution, a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms G2G response time. This all adds up create to an amazingly smooth and responsive experience, and places it perfectly for use in competitive environments. Indeed, the AG273QX is one of the best performing monitors I have had the pleasure of using.
The AG273QX is an absolute pleasure to use, and the display quality and performance is brilliant. The beautiful aesthetics and numerous quality of life improvements over its predecessor, combined with a very palatable retail price of around £400, means it’s hard to beat on bang for your buck,