AOC Agon AG322QCX 32-inch curved 144Hz gaming monitor review
Back in summer we took out the AG272FCX for test run. However, its larger sibling was also doing the rounds. Finally, the AG322QCX came back home. Instantly, it was sent over to GadgetyNews to find out if it was any good.
The Agon AG322QCX and the 27-inch AG272FCX both were released in May 2017. For £340 back in July, we quite liked the 27-inch curved gamer.
Now, the AG322QX is available for another £100.
It certainly looks a lot of monitor for your money, but does it do the job?
Well, it should do. It is loaded with a 2560 x 1440 resolution curved 31.5-inch screen, AMD’s FreeSync adaptive refresh rate technology, and a 144Hz refresh rate.
Let’s check it out.
AOC Agon AG322QCX design
Three sides of the display feature minimal bezels with the bottom portion of the monitor being a tad chunkier. Here you’ll find a red printed AGON logo. Directly below that logo you’ll find a jog button. This allows you to turn the monitor on and off, as well as navigating the settings menu.
Another detail worth mentioning here are the two LED light strips. You can choose the strips to be red, green, or blue. This creates a neat effect when gaming in the dark. To be honest, that bottom bezel looks better in the dark and this will suit most gamers.
Additionally, there are yet more LED strips around the rear. The brightness of this illuminated winged design can be tweaked to your liking. Personally, I dig the back and underlighting which I have set as blue, just in case you cared.
Whilst around the rear, you’ll find an array of I/O ports. Here you have two HDMI ports, two DisplayPort connections (required for both FreeSync and 144Hz refresh), and a VGA port. Rounding things off are 3.5mm mic and audio hookups.
Additionally, there are three USB 3.0 ports which are nicely located at an angle just to the side.
The sturdy metal base offers swivel, height, and tilt adjustments. It all feels quite solid but you do have to still screw the back-plate into the monitor.
As now expected, you get a handy flip-out headset holder on the right-side of the monitor.
AOC Agon AG322QCX performance
As mentioned earlier, the AGON AG322QCX uses a Vertical Alignment (VA) panel. This panel type generally offers better contrast and viewing angles than Twisted Nematic (TN) panels. They can also produce better response times than In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels.
This 16:9 display boasts a 4ms response time. Although, like many VA panels, this can be a tad misleading, but I’ll get in to that later.
The screen itself has an anti-glare coating which does a great job of deflecting errant sunlight. It also boasts a 2000:1 contrast ratio, which is more than decent. Finally, with the 300 nit brightness, it all adds up to the AG322QCX being able to project a well-balanced image.
There’s also a set of internal speakers in the AG322QCX, but like most monitor speakers, you’re better off with a headset. The audio quality overall is pretty poor.
Under the front edge of the monitor is a JOG button for quick access to the on-screen display menu. I am now used to these and, to be honest, it works well. Each direction opens up a sub menu for things like setting the colour of the monitor’s LED strips or changing pre-set “game modes.”
The menu itself, beyond those quick selections, can prove a little tricksy but I’ve had enough AGONs through here that I am now approaching expert level. However, should the monitor button prove to be too fiddly, AOC has also included a remote puck that connects to the monitor via mini USB. The remote does actually make the experience of navigating the menus easier, since you’re not constantly hitting the wrong button.
The colours in ‘normal’ mode look pretty decent to me. ‘Game mode’ tends to oversaturate, I am guessing to make the colours ‘pop’ more.
AOC’s Shadow Control setting, which intends to fight some of the blending of black tones on VA panels, does a good job and is easy to tweak.
Contrast is pretty good. There was some blending between darker tones and black backgrounds in games such as Doom. However, I did find that adjusting the Shadow Control remedied this somewhat.
Colour quality fared much better than I was expecting in comparison to the blacks. Additionally, greyscale imaging is also pretty much spot on.
The viewing angles on the AG322QCX are impressive, no doubt assisted by the 1800R curve and the 31.5-inch screen size. I was really happy to see that colours remained consistent when moving my head left to right. Moreover, I witnessed no backlight bleed. This is not uncommon for VA panels. Stepping back and looking for that tale-tale errant glow coming from the monitor gave me nothing. So, if AOC’s quality checks are on point, this is good news – otherwise, I may have just been lucky with this review model.
A quick blast on the UFO ghosting test page did reveal a noticeable blur trailing behind moving objects on a darker background. Lighter backgrounds were less noticeable, but ghosting was still present.
The inclusion of FreeSync adaptive refresh is handy if your rig is rocking a compatible AMD graphics card. However, I am an NVIDIA GPU-user so am unable to comment on the anti-screen tearing skills.
Saying that, the monitor did still perform well with my ZOTAC GTX 780 AMP! with gameplay smooth and good looking despite some slight blurriness spotted in Project Cars. I did enjoy the immersive experience created by the steep curve of the monitor and it 32-inch stature.
Unfortunately, in titles such as Left 4 Dead and Doom, the dark scenes did highlight the nagging ghosting. Again, this may be resolved by the magic of FreeSync but, on my rig, this took away some of the enjoyment.
As a workhorse, my other half was jealous of the amount of real estate this monitor has. She is a historical researcher and often needs maps and other documents open at the same time. I have to agree with her, even my writing and occasional video editing was made much easier with the AOC AGON AG322QCX.
However, as mentioned in other curved monitor reviews here, editing photos can prove a little tricky, especially when trying to ensure the image is level. You will find yourself relying more on grid-lines than your own eyes.
AOC Agon AG322QCX review conclusion
The AOC AGON AG322QCX looks impressive and is really competitively priced especially when you take in to consideration its host of excellent features such as FreeSync and that 144Hz refresh rate. Additionally, all that is wrapped in a 32-inch curved monitor.
The immersive performance is only slightly marred by the blurry ghosts of your in-game enemies.
Price and availability
You can buy the AOC Agon AG322QCX from Amazon for £435.