Curved monitors are fast becoming the default choice for gaming. Certainly, once you've gone curved, it's hard to go back to flat. After all, the earth isn't flat, despite what some people think. MSI's Optix MAG272CQR combines a lot of gaming sweets spots into its curvy panel. It's 27in and has a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, which remains the best trade-off between pixels and frame rates. It also supports 165Hz refresh with adaptive sync, so the key boxes are checked.
After the superwidescreens we have been testing recently, particularly the Philips Brilliance 439P9H, the MAG272CQR feels a bit narrow, although it's still 16:9. The VA panel provides the usual high 3,000:1 contrast associated with this technology, but a modest 300cd/m2 brightness, which will limit the level of HDR available, although this screen is still labelled as HD Ready. The adaptive sync provided is AMD FreeSync and the screen isn't yet on the G-sync Compatible list. MSI claims 100 per cent sRGB and 90 per cent DCI-P3 gamut, which are decent figures if borne out in the real world.
There's a decent array of input ports, including two HDMI 2.0b, a single DisplayPort 1.2a, and even USB-C. You get a USB hub, too, although only with two downstream ports. The analog headphone minijack is complemented by a headset hanger that pops out the left-hand side of the bezel. However, whilst tilting and raising are available, ergonomic adjustment doesn't include swivelling, strangely.
Best of all, this screen costs less than £350. Considering that you're getting a 27in WQHD curved display with 165Hz refresh for that, the price seems very competitive. Read on to find out if MSI has the balance right between affordability and sheer ability.
- Screen size: 27-inch, 16:9 aspect
- Native resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
- Curvature: 1500R
- Refresh rate: 165Hz, FreeSync 2
- Panel type: VA
- Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 (typical)
- Brightness: 300cd/m2
- Response time: 1ms MPRT
- Display inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0b, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2a, 1 x USB-C
- USB hub: Yes, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
- Tilt: 5 degrees forward, 20 degrees backward
- Raise: 130mm
- Swivel: No
- Portrait: No
- Other: Audio output, headset hanger
Retail Price: £339 (inc. VAT)
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