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New gaming monitors galore from AOC and Philips!

KitGuru has been invited to Valencia, Spain, where AOC and Philips both announced a huge number of new monitors. We've already covered Graphic Pro, AOC's new series aimed at professional users, but here we are very much focused on gaming displays – from high-end OLEDs to budget VAs (and much more!) all on show…

In a press event just a stone's throw from Playa de las Arenas, we heard from Cesar Acosta, Regional Product Manager for Gaming Monitors, who lifted the lid on several new screens from AOC and Philips Evnia, all targeting slightly different audiences. To keep things simple, we'll break down the new AOC screens first, and then see what Philips had on offer.

Pictured: AG246FK

We'll start fast, and I mean that literally, as we were shown a new range of Agon Pro screens, offering up to 540Hz refresh rate if you opt for the TN-based 24.1in AG246FK, and that's alongside a claimed 0.2ms grey-to-grey response time (though we know manufacturer-claimed GtG response times don't mean a whole lot these days!). There is also an IPS variant, the 24.5in AG256FS, which is a touch slower at 390Hz refresh and a claimed 1ms GtG response time.

Both are obviously targeting the esports audience with their speed and 24in screen sizes, while they sport compact stands to minimise desk space, something that can be critical for gamers who use low-sensitivity and need to make fast, sweeping mouse movements. Both are said to offer 100% sRGB coverage and come fitted with a pair of 5W speakers, alongside 4-port USB hub. Availability is set for July, with the 540Hz model hitting the market with a €699 MSRP, while the 390Hz IPS option at €449.

Pictured: Q27G4X

In the AOC Gaming range – AOC's middle-tier family – the G4 series is getting a massive expansion. The first G4 monitors hit the market earlier this year, but a total of seven new displays were announced. There's two new 27in FHD screens in the C27G4ZXE and C27G4ZXU, both offering Fast VA panels with 280Hz refresh rates – the main difference between the two stems from the fact the C27G4ZXE lacks an adjustable stand and USB hub, and is accordingly €20 cheaper at €219, compared to €239 for the C27G4ZXU, available in July and August, respectively.

There's also a trio of new QHD screens offering 180Hz refresh rates, with two being 27in – the Q27G4XN and CQ27G4X, while there's also a 32in CQ32G4VE model. The latter two sport Fast VA panels, while the former is a regular VA. All three still claims 1ms GtG response times, though I remain skeptical of such figures, and pricing ranges from €239-279, with availability from July.

On top of the hardware announcements, AOC also unveiled a new OSD system for its AOC Gaming monitors which you can see above. To my eye, this is a big improvement of the fairly unimpressive OSD menus we have come accustomed to from AOC over the years, so I look forward to taking a closer look. Additionally, AOC is adding a new feature called MBR Sync which allows users to enable MBR (motion blur reduction via backlight strobing) at the same time as adaptive sync. I asked and this is not an implementation of G-Sync Pulsar, but rather AOC's own in-house tech, akin to ASUS' ELMB Sync – we look forward to finding out how it performs!

Pictured: 34M2C6500 (left) and 49M2C8900L (right)

Moving onto Philips Evnia, the company was straight in with the announcement of two ‘new' QD-OLED monitors. I say new with inverted commas deliberately, as first we were treated to a couple of refreshes. The first is the 34M2C6500 that continues to use the same 1st gen QD-OLED panel as the 34M2C8600 I reviewed last year, including the same 175Hz refresh rate and 34in 3440×1440 resolution. The key differences – and what makes it a 6000-series product, not the higher-tier 8000 series – are its lack of speakers, USB-C and KVM functionality. But, that also means it is coming in cheaper, with a €799 MSRP instead of the €899 price tag that accompanies the 34M2C8600, so it could be worth considering if you want to save some cash by giving up a few extra features. The 34M2C6500 is also noteworthy for its dark grey design, instead of the white we have come to expect from Evnia, and availability is slated for June.

The other refreshed model is the 49M2C8900L which uses the same 2nd Gen QD-OLED panel as the 49M2C8900 I reviewed in February – and make no mistake, with a 49in diagonal and 5120×1440 resolution, it is quite something! With the new L suffix, Evnia is denoting the fact that this is now a 144Hz refresh option, instead of the 240Hz of the original model. Apart from that, and the fact it has HDMI 2.0 ports instead of HDMI 2.1, everything else appears to be identical. Those two spec reductions will save you €200, as the new model will retail at €999 from May.

Pictured: 32M2N8900

Evnia is also announced two new, actually new screens as well, based on 3rd Gen QD-OLED panels that first debuted at CES earlier this year. This means a 32in 4K 240Hz model, the 32M2N8900, as well as a 27in 1440p 360Hz model, the 27M2N8500. There are a number of screens already on the market using both of these panels, so I did raise an eyebrow when AOC said availability of both these displays wouldn't be until Q3 2024, which does feel a bit late. However, pricing appears to be good, with the 4K model at €1199, and the 1440p option at €799, so hopefully that will still be competitive later on this year.

Pictured: 27M2N5500 (left) and 32M2N6800M (right)

We also got a first look at the new Evnia 3000 and 5000 series, with the company expanding its lineup with more affordable options. In total nine new screens were announced, though we only got to see two in the flesh (as pictured above.) The gist of it is the 3000 series now offers a variety of FHD screens, from 23.8in to 27in, all using IPS panels and 180Hz refresh rates, priced from €159-199 depending on the size and stand ergonomics. Availability for these is set for May and June.

The 5000 series is the next step up, with the 27M2C5200W offering a 280Hz FHD Fast VA panel, while the rest of the series deliver 180Hz QHD or WQHD (ultrawide) displays. The 3440×1440 34M2C35500L sounds particularly interesting given its refresh rate, Fast VA panel and price-point of just €359 – coming in July, that could be one to look out for if you are in the market for a new ultrawide gaming monitor that won't break the bank.

Though not updated at the time of writing, the full line-up, including all tech specs, can be found on Evnia's website HERE.

But wait, there's more! As a bonus announcement, Evnia also revealed the fact that it will be the world's first monitor brand to offer compatibility with Microsoft's Dynamic Lighting, a hardware-agnostic way of synchronising RGB lighting across devices from directly within Windows. Apart from the fact that it will only be offered on 6000 and 8000-series screens that support Ambiglow and have a USB hub, we don't know a whole lot about this integration yet, but it is certainly good news and I look forward to seeing how it works in practice.

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KitGuru says: I think I will be seeing monitors in my sleep tonight, but thanks to AOC and Philips for hosting us at their press event – if there's a particular model that caught your eye, do let us know in the comments or on Facebook!

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