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AOC Agon AG272FCX6 Review

AOC has delivered a slightly better version of its classic AG272FCX gaming monitor, now with a greater frequency range, and at an even more competitive price. Find out more in our full review.

Should I Buy The AOC Agon AG272FCX6?
Not a major advancement from the design it replaces, the AOC Agon AG272FCX does offer great value for money and a sturdy display platform for the keen gamer.

It's curved, has FreeSync, Full HD, 1ms response time and a 165Hz refresh rate.

Price When Reviewed
  • Unavailable
AOC makes a very wide range of displays that cover almost every niche but is especially active in the gaming peripherals sector, and the new Agon AG272FCX6 has been built for gamers that want a curved display, variable sync and a little gaming pizzazz.

But does it offer enough compelling features at the right price, with so many curved 1080p panels now available?

Price
The MSRP of this monitor in the UK is £299, although most retailers are asking a little premium above that level.

We found it as low as £306.06 (including delivery) at one online retailer, but some are asking closer to £320 for them, including Amazon. The closest model we can find on Amazon US is the Agon AG273QCX which is $299.

The MSRP is about the same price as the Samsung LC27FG73FQUXEN, a very similar but only 144Hz capable design. And, much cheaper than the Asus ROG STRIX XG27VQ, which has an MSRP of £429.99 and normally costs close to £380.

It’s worth noting that the predecessor AG272FCX design cost £380 at launch, making this monitor roughly 20 percent cheaper for what is a higher specification design. The winner here is the customer, undoubtedly.

Design & Build
What we need to say first is that on initial inspection the AG272FCX6 isn’t a radical departure from the original AOC AG272FCX design, that appeared nearly two years ago.

Outwardly they use the same stand, and the case looks remarkably similar too.

They’re both 27in curved VA panels mounted on a substantial support arm system that’s mostly metal, allowing the screen to be rotated and tilted, but not twisted. AOC equipment is generally sturdy, and the structure here is built to last.

The downside of making a stand and panel combination using this much metal how heavy it is. The documentation states 4.9kg unpackaged, and 7.4kg packaged. But the monitor and stand alone came in at 7.7kg when we used a luggage scale with it.

Thankfully, the designers created a carry handle on the very top of the support arm to help pick it up. As without this feature, it would be very challenging to move it once assembled. Even with the handle, we should warn about trying to pick up this unbalanced weight with a single hand and trying to place it away from you across a desk, as the upper-body strength needed to do this safely is significant.

The stand has a wide, 30-degree arc of swivel and a generous -5.5 to 29-degree tilt, but sadly no twist to enable portrait mode. What it does have is a large hole that can be used to gather cabling before it connects to the panel, but it makes no real effort to hide or even tidy them.
Most of the other external features are borrowed directly from the prior AG272FCX, including the LED lighting effects, hook for headphones and the input selection that has dual HDMI with single DisplayPort and VGA.

There is also a USB hub, ideal for reducing the number of cables needed to travel to the PC from the desk.

Specs & Features
The critical specifications of this design are that the natural resolution is 1080p (1920 x 1080), and it can operate that at 165Hz and a 1ms response time.

This panel is a FreeSync complaint, enabling those who use AMD video cards to enable the variable sync technology to avoid the visual choppiness associated with inconsistent frame rates.

The 165Hz rating is a boost from 144Hz in the original AG272FCX, and along with a faster GtG response time, these are the major differences between this design and its predecessor.

Like its predecessor, AOC includes the ‘QuickSwitch’ control device with this screen. A small hexagonal shaped control pad connected to the screen by a short cable and a modified USB connector. While we’d accept that this makes navigating the OSD marginally easier than screen mounted buttons, the drawbacks to this device is how it contributes to even more tabletop clutter.

Ironically, AOC has also made it and the on-screen menus entirely superfluous with the excellent G-Menu software tool included on a CD. Using this software is much easier, and it provides much the same control without needing the proprietary device or screen menus.

One of the easy adjustable features that G-menu can adjust is the LED lighting, placed in four stripes on the panel pack and two elements under the front edge.
These can be green, red or blue colour alongside three levels of brightness control, as with the prior design. If AOC used three LEDs of each colour in each location, surely it would have been easier to use RGB ones, and then allow any colour to be defined? Maybe in the next version.

We’ve not massively swayed by colour illuminations on gaming screens, especially when the majority of those in this design aren’t visible to the person using it.

One aspect that we appreciate is that AOC often puts better speakers in its screens than many display makers, and the 3W ones in this design are workable if you just want some sound.

Picture Quality
In our testing of this panel, we noticed a few peculiarities with respect to contrast results.

These came out as much lower than the 3000:1 static contrast that AOC claims, but conversely, the screen never appeared to lack contrast in the way that the results inferred. We think this is an issue of the calibrator and not representative of the display technology in this design.

Colour representation is less ambiguously good, with 99% of sRGB represented in the gamut, and 91% of the AdobeRGB range. The colour and luminosity uniformity are also strong, but the overall brightness falls a little bit short of the 250cd/m2 quoted level.
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Like most gaming screens, this isn’t one built for use in bright sunlight, but it could have been made marginally brighter, we think.
The results, quality of construction and price makes the AG272FCX6 is a perfectly good monitor for general use and one that might interest a gamer wanting a curved panel with a good frequency range.

And, how interested you might be in it will be entirely dictated by the specification of your gaming platform because those who have a monster system will be looking for a display that is a higher resolution than this panel supports.

However, if you don’t own a graphics card that cost as much as the rest of the computer but can deliver 100+ frames per second at 1080p resolution, then this might be a more appropriate investment.

Verdict
The performance results, quality of construction and price makes the AG272FCX6 a great gaming monitor for those wanting a curved panel with a decent frequency range. It's also a perfectly good monitor for general use, too.

It doesn’t cost much more than a flat 27-inch VA panel of this specification, and the curve makes gaming marginally more immersive especially with FPS titles.

It's limited to Full HD, so bear this in mind if you want to game at a higher resolution. However, it's likely that you'll be better off gaming at 1080p with the combination of 100+fps framerates and the 165Hz refresh rate.

The styling is either appropriate to specific tastes or less endearing, but you can turn the lights off if you find them distracting. And, we’d leave the QuickSwitch gadget in the box, and use the software control options instead of messing with the OSD using that.

Overall, this design is a worthy successor to the AG272FCX with a higher specification, more features all mounted on the same excellent stand. And, to seal the deal, it’s cheaper so there's very little to dislike here.

Specs
  • Curved 27-inch Display
  • 1920×1080 Resolution
  • VA Panel
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • 1ms Response Time
  • 165Hz
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, VGA
  • Other Ports: 2x USB 3.0, Audio Line-Out, Mic Jack
  • Built-in Speakers: 2x3W
  • Brightness: 250 cd/m2
  • Static Contrast: 3,000:1
  • Dynamic Contrast: 50M:1

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