AOC has unveiled new additions to its Agon 5 lineup. Two displays are being introduced at varying price points, yet both feature ultra-fast refresh rates and high-quality panels, one IPS-QD (Quantum Dot) variant and one more affordable VA.
While the duo appears similar on paper, the most enticing of the two is the 27in QHD Agon AG275QZ/EU. Suffice to say, it punches way above its weight class. The use of a Quantum Dot layer above the LED backlight, similar to Samsung’s QLED TVs, allows for heightened colour coverage, with the panel capable of producing up to 1.07 billion colours. Combining this with a 240Hz native refresh rate that’s overclockable to 270Hz makes for a tasty combination, ideal for both content creators and aspiring pro e-sports gamers alike.
Speaking of colours, while IPS is well-known for wide viewing angles and superb colour and image reproduction, high contrast ratio isn’t something you usually associate with the panel technology. In contrast (excuse the pun), recent IPS and QD matchups are receiving a lot of praise, often quoted to rival even the best VA displays when it comes to deep blacks. Bolstering those all-round credentials, AOC claims a colour gamut of 99.9 per cent AdobeRGB, 100 per cent sRGB and 97.5 per cent DCI-P3, so colour accuracy aficionados will take quite a shining to this one. Rounding off, AOC touts 1ms GtG and 0.5ms MPRT response times, all coming together in a flat 27in display size that outputs a QHD resolution.
On the other side of the spectrum, the 27in Agon AG275QZN/EU is a more then capable VA variant with an increasingly common QHD resolution, high contrast, e-sports ready 240Hz refresh rate, plus 1ms GtG and 0.5ms MPRT response times. Both monitors offer adaptive sync compatibility, as well as basic Display HDR400 certification, but the absence of QD technology on the more affordable model limits colour range to 16.7 million colours. An upside to the VA tech is a high 3,000:1 contrast ratio, ideal for dark movie scenes and cinematic game experiences. Overall colour gamut ranges from 89.3 per cent for AdobeRGB, 99 per cent sRGB, and 89.9 per cent DCI-P3.
For a bit of insight, knowing mostly VA panels all my life, a recent visit to a buddy of mine left me quite impressed with IPS, and also a bit envious. The one deciding factor is VA’s tendency to have a sort of baked-in motion blur effect, and after playing on an IPS, I can say without uncertainty that black pixel smudging is totally a thing.
This obviously varies between manufacturers, and the funny thing is, you only notice the difference once you actually start playing on a IPS panel and then you simply can’t unsee it. It’s not a bad thing per say, it’s just something that I would be remiss not to mention. I still love my VA. Besides, to combat this shortfall, the AG275QZN/EU has Motion Blur Reduction (MBR) specific modes, that do work quite well in most cases.
Finally, in terms of I|O, both 5 Series models tout a built-in four-port USB hub rated for USB 3.2 Gen 1 connectivity, two HDMI 2.0 ports, two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, and the increasingly elusive headphone jack also makes a welcome appearance.
Adding sweetener to the pot, besides the accompanying power cable you also get compatible 1.8m HDMI, DisplayPort and USB upstream cables included with the IPS-QD variant while the VA panel comes with all else but a DisplayPort cable. Finally, the included mount is VESA compatible, while the removable stand offers height, swivel and tilt adjustment, as well as cable management routes for that clean clutter-free desk aesthetic.
If you’re looking for a new monitor and cannot decide between IPS or VA and take quite a liking to the Agon 5 lineup, our advice is go for the Agon AG275QZ/EU. Priced at £629.99 it offers the best of both worlds and the latest in QD panel technology.
For those who prefer deep blacks and rich hues with ultra-fast refresh rates, and don’t necessarily want to break the bank, then the Agon AG275QZN/EU, priced at a much more palatable £439.99, is a safe bet.