AGON PRO AG275QXL #LightsOnLeague
- Manufacturer: AGON by AOC
- Model: AGON 5 PRO AG275QXL League of Legends Special Edition
- Display Type: IPS Gaming Monitor
- Resolution: 1440p (QHD)
- Refresh rate: 165 Hz/170 Hz OC
- Price when reviewed: £399.99
- Supplied by: AOC
AOC AGON PRO AG275QXL Review
Customisation and personalisation has always been a huge market in gaming, and numerous special edition controllers, consoles, peripherals and skins are available. In the monitor space, however, special editions are actually few and far between, which has always surprised me considering the spacious canvas available for customisation. There are a few noteworthy monitors to mention: BenQ makes a Dying Light 2 SE, MSi makes an Xbox SE and a lavish all-red AMD edition, and AOC itself makes an impressive shiny G2 Esports signature edition model. These are all great, but they pale in comparison with the stunning AG275QXL League of Legends Edition.
The AG275QXL is one of AOC’s newest AGON 5 PRO displays that has been treated to a luscious design overhaul inspired by the incredibly popular MOBA, League of Legends. Using the Hextech design inspired by LoL, almost every surface is covered with intricate patterns and, my favourite part, the ridiculously cool RGB stand.
It’s not just style without substance, though. The AGON PRO line of monitors sport high-end features and top-quality panels, meaning the on-screen action should look just as good as the AG275QXL itself. Sporting a 27” 1440p display with a 170Hz refresh rate and excellent gamut coverage, based on my previous experience with AGON PRO displays, my hopes are high for this one.
So, can the AGON PRO AG275QXL live up to its excellent first impressions?
Design and build
The AGON 5 PRO AG275QXL makes a mighty impact when you first see it. From the front, you’re greeted by micro-bezels surrounding the top and sides, while the larger bottom bezel has a printed Hextech pattern flanking the AGON logo in the centre. This is already a nice touch, as most monitors hide away their flashiest elements at the rear, but look below the display and you’ll find the outrageously cool stand.
Not only has the stand got a large League of Legends logo and more of the Hextech design, but it also has my personal highlight, the incredible aRGB that illuminates the entire base. As you’d expect, there are various lighting modes available, including static lighting, sound-reactive and various fill modes, but there is also an awesome League of Legends specific mode that syncs up with the action in-game. Check out the video of the AG275QXL in action:
The very stable stand has a full range of ergonomic adjustments: Height can be adjusted by 130mm, tilted by -5°/+23°, and swivelled 360° (it’s specified as -170°/+170°, but it will spin all the way around). The way it swivels is exceptional; The underside of the stand stays planted, whilst the rest of the stand – RGB base included – rotates around above it. This means that the LoL logo and RGB are always centred in your view.
Sadly there’s not much in the way of cable management. You can tuck all of the wires through the space in the stand but I wouldn’t want anything in the way of the RGB, personally. If you’re using the four-port USB hub, multiple display connections and the QuickSwitch accessory, that’s potentially a large number of wires to keep out of the way, so it’s a shame they aren’t easier to hide.
The menu system on the AG275QXL is the usual AOC on-screen menu, which is intuitive and easy to use, but instead of the AOC red you may be familiar with, it is highlighted in the same dusky yellow (they actually call it gold) as the decorative work and stand. The joystick that controls the OSD, located at the rear-right, is also the same colour, and it’s easy to locate and reliable. You don’t actually need to use it, though, aside from powering the monitor on or off.
AOC has included a QuickSwitch with the AG275QXL, which has also had the League of Legends styling treatment. I use an AOC AG324UXL as my main display and, having become used to the QuickSwitch, I couldn’t imagine not having it. It’s essentially a remote control for your monitor that allows you to operate the monitor’s functions without having to reach behind it. You can access everything in the on-screen menus, including the input selector, crosshair overlay and Light FX quick menus, as well as the preset gamer modes. The only negative is that it isn’t wireless like the controller for the AOC PD27, but a thin cable is a small price to pay for convenience.
Build quality is good, as we expect from AOC, even if there is an overabundance of plastic. The stand and monitor have a couple of creaky panels where the fit could be a little tighter, but overall it has the feel of a quality product.
Connectivity and Supported Resolutions
The AGON PRO AG275QXL LoL has a good selection of connectivity options: 2x HDMI 2.0 and 2x DisplayPort 1.4 inputs are available for display connections, along with a 3.5mm audio out and a USB-B upstream port to connect your PC to the USB hub, which has 4 downstream USB-A ports (including a fast-charge port).
The AG275QXL supports the following optimum resolutions:
HDMI 2.0: 2560*1440 @ 144Hz
DisplayPort: 2560*1440 @ 165 Hz/170 Hz OC
If you want to hook up a gaming console, you can achieve [email protected] on the Xbox Series consoles but the PS5 is limited to [email protected] (until Sony deems it worthwhile supporting 1440p displays.)
Both Freesync Premium and G-Sync are available, so you can enjoy tear-free gaming whatever your GPU vendor of choice, with an adaptive sync window of 48-170Hz.
KVM is supported, though it’s limited to a single device. I had the AG275QXL on our test bench, and it is very convenient being able to quickly hook up different laptops for testing with a single USB and an HDMI cable. Even as part of a dedicated setup, in-monitor USB hubs are very useful, so I’m glad AOC has added one here, too.
A DisplayPort and HDMI are included, as well as a USB-B upstream cable for connecting to your PC, which is required for the USB hub as well as the League of Legends lighting effects.
The AGON 5 PRO AG275QXL is primarily aimed at competitive gamers, but it has excellent gamut coverage and brightness that makes it suitable for a wide variety of users. 170Hz is a good refresh rate to aim for at 1440p, as even though you can get 360Hz+ QHD displays now, they are pricey and require a high-end setup to take advantage of.
The out of the box colour accuracy is good, so you won’t need to change much to get the display looking as good as it can (without calibration equipment, anyway). Within the user-defined colour settings, I reduced the green within the RGB values to 48 which balanced the colours correctly. After testing the various gamma modes, Gamma1 most closely matches the 2.2 curve so this is the best setting to use.
There are several gaming presets that you may want to use, but my personal preference always errs on the side of natural colour temperatures and gamma levels (6500K/2.2 Gamma). Most of the presets significantly alter the colour temperature, introduce banding at higher saturation points and/or wash out the blacks. Although they do what they are supposed to, like the FPS setting that raises black levels to help spot enemies in dark areas, I’m not a fan.
sRGB mode is usable, and the brightness, although locked, sits at 200 cd/m². The white point of 6000K is a touch on the warm side, so further calibration would be required before it’s suitable for colour critical work.
Viewing the UFO ghost test at 170Hz, motion blur is negligible, even with overdrive switched off. In our testing, setting the overdrive to weak produced the best results, as settings of medium and above introduce overdrive artefacts. These artefacts are visible as corona ghosting at the rear of moving objects at medium overdrive and with overdrive set to strong, severe coronas and colour distortion across the leading edge.
With the weak overdrive setting enabled, responsiveness is near flawless, with the AG275QXL handling rapid motion incredibly well. I found the performance to be excellent from 60Hz right up to 170Hz, and thanks to having both FreeSync and G-Sync support, it’s super smooth with no stuttering. For competitive gaming, this is a superb display.
Brightness, contrast and colour
The AOC AGON 5 PRO AG275QXL has above average peak brightness of 380 cd/m², which makes the monitor easy to see in a brightly lit room. At full brightness, this raises the black level to 0.44 cd/m² which is slightly higher than typical for monitors of this brightness, but not unusual for an IPS display. With the brightness at 50% (161.2 cd/m²) the black level is reduced to 0.21, which helps improve picture quality when viewing in a darkened room.
The black to white contrast ratio of 860:1 is a little disappointing and lowers further still as you decrease the brightness. This contrast ratio result shouldn’t be seen as a significant problem, however, as the actual contrast between colours is superb, with clear definition between each step in our contrast tests.
I tested the AG275QXL with the various colour temperature presets, and found the Normal colour temperature setting most closely matched the ideal 6500K white point (6800K at 383nits/6500K at 112.4nits). Brightness, contrast and black levels fluctuated between the presets, with cooler colour temperatures suffering the lowest levels of brightness and contrast. For most users, I’d recommend the Normal colour preset as the best choice, as it presents the clearest whites and most accurate hues.
The out of the box calibration is quite good, and I only needed to slightly lower the green to balance the colours. The average DeltaE of 1.25 (colour accuracy) is acceptable, with only the blue hues throwing out the results. However, to the naked eye, the image looks very good, and this is only likely to be a concern if you rely on your monitor for colour critical content creation or design work. The AG275QXL responded well to calibration, though, with the average DeltaE dropping to 0.31.
Display gamma was very accurate, measuring 2.2 and following the gamma curve exceptionally well.
Gamut coverage and HDR
Colour saturation and coverage are very good. The AG275QXL has high gamut coverage that makes the colours pop and allows images to look vibrant without oversaturation, though because of the higher black levels darker scenes can look washed out. It’s not quite as good as some of AOC’s other monitors for watching movies, but it’s still a very enjoyable display to use. It’s just a shame the contrast ratio isn’t a little higher, as this would elevate this display to the next level.
The panel in the AG275QXL has 10bit (8bit+FRC) colour depth, allowing it to display up to 1.07 billion colours. Gamut coverage* is very good: sRGB has 99.5% coverage and 136.2% volume. AdobeRGB has 87.3% coverage with a volume of 93.8%, and DCI-P3 has 90.2% coverage with a volume of 96.5%
These results are very good, and excellent for a monitor in this price range.
*Coverage is how much of the gamut is covered, whilst volume includes any colour that extends beyond the defined gamut.
HDR performance isn’t great, but it’s about what you’d expect from an HDR400 display. Brightness peaks at 450 cd/m², but the limited contrast range means it never pops in the way a true HDR display can. Of the HDR presets, DisplayHDR looks the most natural but lacks brightness and saturation and looks lifeless. HDR Game is more vibrant but reds in particular are grossly oversaturated, and overall none of the HDR settings looks as good as native SDR.
Viewing angles and uniformity
Brightness uniformity and contrast are slightly inconsistent across the display; Contrast deviation is acceptable, peaking at a maximum of 4.77% at the bottom of the screen, but brightness fluctuates by as much as 56 cd/m² (15%) at the top of the display, which is noticeable to the naked eye.
There is no backlight bleed on the monitor we received, but IPS glow is noticeable in the bottom corners. The high black luminance also makes dark scenes look listless at higher brightness levels, as it just doesn’t have the contrast to balance everything out.
Viewing angles are good, but there’s a moderate loss of contrast as you move up and around the display.
The sound quality on the AG275QXL is alright. There’s a bit of bass missing at the lower end of the audio spectrum that can make the speakers lose a little warmth, and they lack presence when it comes to projection, however, peak volume is very good with minimal distortion and the sound is crisp without being harsh. Music doesn’t sound great through them, but for gaming and light entertainment they are satisfactory.
Pricing and availability
The AG275QXL is brand new, and I have yet to find it available at online retailers, but we know the expected MSRP is £399.99. It’s a lot of monitor for the money, especially with the attractive styling and stunning RGB stand. If you aren’t taken with the League of Legends branding, though, or want something that is more suitable for movie watching or cinematic gaming, you might like to check out the AOC AGON AG273QXL which has a gorgeous Nano-IPS display.
The AG275QXL is a very good monitor with distinctive styling and great colour. If you compare it against other monitors in the £400 range it holds its own very well, particularly when it comes to motion handling and vibrance. The contrast ratio and panel uniformity could be better, but these minor shortcomings are vastly outweighed by the positives, especially if you enjoy competitive gaming. Needless to say, if you’re a League of Legends fan, this is a must-buy monitor.