UK price (as reviewed): £309.00 (inc. VAT)
US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable
When buying a monitor, it helps to narrow your focus to key elements. Screen size is an obvious one, and picking the optimal resolution/refresh rate for your intended use is important too. On those three variables, the AOC C27G2ZU comes in at 27”, 1080p, and 240Hz, the combination of which makes its gaming aspirations clear already. A 240Hz refresh rate is the main contributor to that assessment, and with a retail price of £300 the C27G2ZU also can safely call itself one of the most affordable 240Hz options on the market, so let’s find out if that comes with any obvious sacrifices.
We reckon 27” is a near-perfect size for gaming; it fills your visual field well without putting the corners and edges too much into peripheral vision. At this size, it’s common to get a 1440p resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate, arguably the optimal balance of sharpness and speed. With this screen, however, AOC has a whopping 240Hz refresh rate, which is great for high-FPS gaming but comes here at the cost of resolution. 1080p at 27” carries a low pixel density, and this lack of sharpness is noticeable in day-to-day tasks with more static images. The fluid motion of gaming means it’s less of an issue there, but it’s important to be aware of that limitation from the outset.
Importantly, the refresh rate is not only high, it’s also variable – a must-have feature for gaming really. The adaptive-sync range of 48-240Hz is easily wide enough to ensure Low Framerate Compensation (LFC) can be used, so screen tearing should be eliminated even if your frame rate is below 48fps. With these credentials, the screen qualifies as FreeSync Premium in AMD terminology, and although it isn’t listed in Nvidia’s G-Sync database, AOC has confirmed it is compatible with Nvidia G-Sync cards as well.
The AOC C27G2ZU is also a curved screen – another key feature to be aware of. It can be quite divisive, and it’s perhaps better suited to ultrawide monitors than regular 16:9 ones, but AOC has implemented a very mild curve of 1500R, which is very quick and easy to adjust to.
The panel type here is VA, which tends to offer great blacks and a solid contrast ratio (the claimed figure here is 3000:1, which is much higher than the default 1000:1 on many TN and IPS types). The downside is that VA panels aren’t the fastest and are prone to ghosting. The claimed response time of 0.5ms MPRT sounds impressive but is not a figure that has much real-world significance. The peak brightness is said to be 300cd/m2, which is fine for a non-HDR screen such as this one.
Onto the product itself and setting it up is very easy. The stand slots straight into the back of the screen, where you’ll find VESA 100 compatibility if you have a wall or desk mount. The stand then secures to the base via a single pre-fixed screw.
Once assembled, there’s a pleasingly low amount of wobble. Everything feels secure and build quality on the screen itself is solid. Aesthetically, the red highlights may be off-putting to some, but they’re pretty restrained, and the main point is that bezels around the screen are on the slim side.
The stand also offers good adjustments. The left and right swivel is a tad limited at 30° either way, but given that this is a curved screen most users will opt for a head-on angle anyway. It also means there’s no need for a pivot mechanism, as portrait mode with a curved screen would be bizarre. The tilt and height adjustments are both plentiful, so setting the screen up properly for your own environment should be fine, especially as the dimensions are low for the size of screen: 613mm (W) x 228mm (D) x 399-529mm (H).
Connectivity is strong, too. The screen comes with two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.2 (adaptive-sync works for AMD cards on both, and only over DisplayPort for Nvidia). 1.8m cables are provided for both connections, and be sure to account for the external power brick in your setup.
All connections are down-facing, and they include a 3.5mm jack to hijack the audio away from the paltry 2W speakers and also a four-port USB hub serving up USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds (AKA USB 3.0). Note that you can find the SAME screen without speakers or USB ports as the C27G2ZE for £270.
The menu is entirely button-based, so there’s no intuitive joystick, which is our preferred method. Nonetheless, you eventually get used to it, and the layout is logical. The available colour/gamma/overdrive settings are all present and correct, along with the usual selection of presets designed for specific game modes that you can experiment with.
December 11 2020 | 17:30