It’s no secret by now that we’re a kind of advocate for AOC monitors. The models we’ve seen over the past couple of years have been nothing short of amazing, with the usual abilities to combine decent gaming specs in resolution and refresh rates with very competitive prices. And its pretty much the same with the AOC C27G2ZU that we’re taking a look at today. It’s a 27-inch gaming monitor with a 1080p resolution and a whopping 240Hz refresh rate that costs just over £300, making it one of the cheapers 240Hz monitor on the market.
But it’s 2020, and there’s going to be questions surrounding its resolution for sure. A 27-inch monitor at 1080p on paper does seem a little lackluster, as people are generally striving now to hit those 1440p resolutions, and of course with nVidia releasing their new 30 series range graphics cards, it does to be honest with you feel like AOC are being left in the past. But to be perfectly honest with you, it’s not a problem. Sure, when you’re gaming and things are zipping around the screen and it’s fast pased, you’re not going to notice the lower DPI of a 1080p resolution. But when you’re doing desktop work, like looking at websites, photo editing, or office based tasks, then sure, it looks a little dated now. Whatmore though, the panel is compatible with AMD Freesync, and they’ve even anounced that the adaptive sync tech is compatible with nVidia cards too. It also has a frequency range of 48Hz – 240Hz.
The AOC 27G2ZU gaming monitor is curved, which is supposed to keep the edges of your screen in your peripheral vison to heighen immersion. And for the most part it works well, and suits the gaming aesthetic, and as it’s only a 1500R curve, it’s very slight anyway. What is more impressive though is the VA panel that’s sitting in front of you. Okay, it’s not as vivid or as contrastly as an IPS display, but it can definitely still hold its own by offering decent black levels, a claimed 1000:1 contrast ratio although measuring the contrast with our Datacolor Spyder it’s closer to 1120:1 at a 100% brightness.
Speaking of colour, during our testing we found that the AOC C27G2ZU hit 100% of the sRGVBB colour gamut which is definitely advantageous for gamers and casual users as this is what you’re going to be generally using for your time with the monitor. However, for any designers out there or people who are needing a monitor for colour work, it’s not the best option. It measured at 85% of the AdobeRGB colour space, 82% of the NTSC colour space and 91% of the DCI-P3 colour spectrums. All decent scores, I don’t want to take that away, but it’s still not as accurate as some professiional grade monitors. The same with its Dela-E score. With an average of 0.92 in our testing, colours can be said to be pretty accurate, with an unfortunate downfall in the blue/teal colours which is where the average score loses out. Display uniformity is also pretty decent too, which is usually a big downfall in monitors on the cheaper end of the scale, but lose out in the corners where you can see there is backlight bleed, which means you could start seeing washed out colours.
Its biggest downfall though is the fact that ghosting can be an issue with a VA panel, and during the UFO test it can be pretty noticable. Inside of games though, where there’s action on the screen, it’s again not really noticable. Its claimed response rate it sitting at 0/5ms MPRT which is alright, but it’s not really anything to shout home about. And lastly, the monitor hits a 300nit brightness, which for this non-HDR monitor, is perfectly fine. After all, this is bare bones gaming right here, and there’s no real fancy frills, except maybe the black stabilizer inside of the menu which is there to brighten shadowy areas inside of games.
But all of this is wrapped up into what I can only describe as a gamer-targeted design. The monitor is black, but there’s flashes of red dotted around the product, most noticably on the stand and around the legs, but there is that staple red streak across the bottom of the front frame. While we’re here, I want to point out the bezels. They’re pretty skinny. The rear of the monitor has a couple of red streaks on there, but you’re never going to see it when your monitor is on your desk.
The stand itself just clipped into place to the back of the monitor, which I love as it’s so easy to set up, and it alo swivels up to 30-degrees, it has a generous tilt and can be raised up and down on its stand too, which gives gamers a chance to get their monitors to a position they like, although chances are you’re going to be sitting head on anyway due to the 1500R curve. AOC have yet again decided to go for a several button setup to traverse their slightly complex menu systems, and unfortunately have ignored several pleas from us to change to a more innovative joystick setup, but once you’re used to it, it’s not complex.
There’s also a decent amount of ports on the back too. You can find a DisplayPort 1.4 as well as two HDMI 2.0s. There’s a port for your headphones to bypass the built-in 2W speakers which quite frankly are pretty naff anyway, and also a small four port USB hub with USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds. All cables are included to get you going as well, so there’s not too much need to go out and buy extra cables, unless of course you need them longer than 1.8m.
With gaming though, results of that 240Hz refresh rate are immediately noticable, with more focussed eSports titles like CS:GO and Valorant looking even more fluid, compared even to monitors that can hit a 144Hz refresh rate. Even the mouse on the desktop moves with a lot less trail that you can expect from lower refresh rate monitors.
One thing I will point out is that there is a built-in ‘Overdrive’ setting, which aims to improve the ghosting as much as possible. We found Medium to be the best balance as anything higher seems to lead to obvious issues. And as I said before, it’s very noticable inthe UFO ghosting test which is a shame. But this does come down to the fact it’s a VA panel. It’s a trade off for better colours over the duller looking TN panels. However, being the casual gamer I am, ghosting isn’t really a huge issue for me with the AOC C27G2ZU.
The AOC C27G2ZU is a fantastic monitor, and again, I’d like to say that AOC have smashed it out of the park. If it wasn’t for its obvious ghosting issues, it might be one of the best monitors out there for those on a budget who also want to hit those blistering refresh rates. You’ve got to ask yourself though, is a little ghosting going to be a massive issue for you? For me, it’s not. I’m not hugely sensitive to the fact. The other downfall is the fact the monitor is only 1080p. For gaming, this isn’t much of an issue. But for desktop work, it’s always nicer to have that shaper image with a larger pixel density. But I can’t take anything away from AOC. They’ve done a fantastic job with the C27G2ZU. Plus if you want the same monitor without the USB ports and speakers, then you could go for the C27G2ZE instead which costs around £2770 online.