Curved screens are really starting to come of age for gaming. We are seeing more and more of these, in many different sizes, and the latest to grace the KitGuru testing table is the AOC AGON AG322QCX. It's pretty sizeable at 31.5in, but unlike many larger screens it's still packed with features to please the serious gamer.
The AG322QCX plots the middle ground for a screen this size. It could have been 4K, but that's not always the best option for gaming as it will necessitate very hefty graphics to drive this resolution at acceptable gaming framerates. The 2,560 x 1,440 resolution takes some advantage of the large diagonal without compromising on resolution. However, this isn't the usual TN panel we find in many gaming monitors. Instead, MVA technology is employed, promising good colour and contrast, but not the low response that is TN's secret weapon.
Instead, grey-to-grey response is just 4ms, similar to IPS panels. Contrast is a healthy 2,000:1, although the 300cd/m2 brightness rating is rather mediocre. On the plus side the maximum refresh is a healthy 144Hz, and AMD FreeSync is supported so the screen can dynamically change its refresh to match the frame rate that the graphics card is actually delivering.
You also get the very handy separate control puck we have seen with other AOC AGON monitors, so you don't have to reach for awkward buttons on the screen itself to make adjustments.
The port allocation is generous, with two DisplayPort 1.2 connections and two HDMI 2.0, plus even VGA. There's a USB hub, although this only has two ports and they are around the rear. You also get not entirely weedy built-in 5W speakers, and there's even a handy little fold-out hook to hang headphones on. There is a full range of adjustments, with swivel, tilt and height available. You can't rotate into portrait mode, but that wouldn't make sense on a curved screen anyway.
So there's already a lot to like about the AG322QCX just from the specification, and not a lot to worry about. The sub-£500 price is quite reasonable for a screen this size too. So let's find out how it does under closer scrutiny.
Screen size: 31.5-inch, 16:9 aspect, curved
Native resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Panel type: MVA
Contrast ratio: 2,000:1 (typical)
Response time: 4ms Grey-to-Grey
Display inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.2, VGA
USB hub: Yes, 2-port
Other: Headphone jack, microphone input, built-in 5-watt speaker, headphone hook, external OSD controller.
Retail Price: £469.99 (inc. VAT)
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