Unpacking the Features of the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM Monitor

The new AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM is the latest hero of this revolutionary display technology, the mini-LED gaming monitor. With its 27-inch IPS display, 1440p resolution, 240Hz refresh rate, and a whole lot more, it looks like a gamer’s dream.

As for the mini-LED component, it uses full-array local dimming with 576 zones. Also boasting DisplayHDR 1000 certification and a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits is the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM. That’s so absurdly, ludicrously powerful that it’s laughable.

It has a 240 Hz refresh rate and a 1 ms reaction time, therefore it may be added to our guide to high frame rate monitors. And it looks like this won’t just be an absurdly brilliant panel; it will also be a lightning-fast one. The sum of its parts is greater than its parts. DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1, and USB-C (with power delivery) are all included, rounding out a full set of interfaces.

This panel accommodates gamers who prefer PCs or consoles, or who want to play on both. With the addition of some gamer-friendly extras like an RGB lighting system with a logo projector, a built-in KVM switch, and a hook to store your headphones, you have fully-featured gear for serious gaming.

Priced at a whopping $1,049 (or £999), this is no joke. Here in this market segment, 4K displays are commonplace. The AG274QZM better be a top-notch 1440p computer if it’s going to cost that much.

Unpacking the Features of the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM Monitor
Unpacking the Features of the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM Monitor

Previously, we covered some relevant stories about another monitor, which you may find by clicking on the links below-

Design & Features of the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM Monitor

The AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM is a high-quality gaming monitor that looks and feels like any other premium model. The monitor’s clean design takes cues from the Asus RoG lineage, down to the RGB lighting and logo projector. One cannot deny that AOC’s Agon brand has become more upscale.

You can adjust the height, tilt, swivel, and even turn it into portrait mode, so it’s not just aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional. While the plastic case may not inspire confidence that this is a $1,000 or £1,000 monitor, the feature set is complete.

The 27-inch IPS panel has a fast 240Hz refresh and 1 ms response time, and that’s the bare minimum. The 576-zone mini-LED lighting, however, is the real show-stopper. The DisplayHDR 1000 certification AOC obtained guarantees that this screen has a minimum luminance of 1,000 nits. The reported maximum HDR brightness is 1,200 nits, and the maximum SDR brightness is 750 nits, which is already quite bright.

Along with the might comes to pinpoint accuracy. Based on testing by AOC, the panel achieves 97% coverage of the DCI-P3 digital cinema color space. It also has excellent connectivity, which is a major plus. DisplayPort 2.1 and USB-C, which can supply up to 65 watts of power, are both available for use with a personal computer.

Admittedly, a gaming laptop needs more juice than 65W can provide. Nonetheless, a USB hub and KVM switch are included, allowing you to hook up a laptop alongside a traditional gaming desktop. Because of its 2,560 by 1,440-pixel native resolution and two HDMI 2.1 connectors, the AG274QZM is a great alternative to monitors for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Accessories such as a slide-out hook for storing headphones and a professional-grade cowl that snaps over the screen to block out light are nice touches. The latter is unusual for a game screen, especially one with this much brightness. You don’t have to make an effort to fit it.

Unpacking the Features of the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM Monitor
Unpacking the Features of the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM Monitor

Performance of the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM Monitor

The AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM’s character can be summed up in one word, and it’s not a good one: calibration. An improved calibration of this screen is essential. The first thing that strikes you is the too-warm color scheme. The default color temperature is “warm,” Even after switching to “normal,” whites retain a little reddish tinge. The AG274QZM’s lightning-fast speed will be the next thing you notice. Pixel overdrive is turned off by default because this is one of the few game displays that has little use for it. Very little fuzziness or streaking is seen.

When overdrive is on, inverse ghosting and overshoot become more noticeable at higher settings. The two passive modes, however, produce lightning-fast reactions. This is as fast as LCD technology has gotten recently, and it’s astounding. When you add in the 240Hz refresh rate, the quickness and responsiveness are superb.

The AG274QZM is an excellent choice for players of competitive online shooters like CS: GO and Fortnite. The 1440p resolution provides an excellent compromise between visual quality and frame rates, and the 750-nit rating suggests that it is exceptionally punchy in SDR mode.

Actually, the advantages of 4K in terms of in-game detail and sharpness are quite negligible at this panel size, but you’ll definitely feel the disadvantages in substantially lower frame rates. The only drawback of 1440p is that upscaling methods like Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR doesn’t work as well with it as they do with 4K. To get the most out of your AG274QZM, you should run it at native resolution. However, that is much more practical with 1440p than it is with 4K.

However, enabling HDR introduces a myriad of issues, so we can only call it “mostly decent” so far. To begin, the Windows desktop displays the typical anomalies associated with any local dimming solution. Compared to other mini-LED monitors, the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM holds up fairly well. Still, you may observe the various zones’ responses as you reposition windows within them.

Mini LED monitors, like this one, tend to look bulky, thus for everyday use, it’s best to switch to SDR mode or disable local dimming. The problems with the algorithms managing the different areas become much less noticeable in-game and on-screen. However, it is clear that the panel is not capable of reaching those promised 1,200 nit highs due to the HDR calibration.

The HDR performance of the AG274QZM is disappointing in terms of raw brightness while viewing either downloaded or streamed HDR content, such as games like Cyberpunk 2077. This is true across all HDR modes, not just DisplayHDR, Gaming, and Movie.

On the other hand, deeper tones are rendered with excessive vigor thanks to a too-aggressive backlight algorithm. Oversaturation and loss of shadow detail result from excessively dimmed zones in certain spots. Again, this is an issue with a number of mini-LED screens. In the end, calibrating a mini-LED backlight is a very challenging task. One could think that 576 regions is quite a lot. If you’re using a 1440p display, though, that equates to one zone for every 6,400 pixels. Some sort of give and take is inevitable.

Overall – Should You Buy the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM?

A panel technology with per-pixel lighting control, such as OLED, would always perform better in HDR. Even so, the monitor’s mini-LED illumination looks and feels like a first try. Backlight calibration is an area where AOC could use some work.

There’s room for improvement in the panel’s fundamental calibration, too. It seems like the factory set the color temperature a little too warm. It’s too bad, considering the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM boasts some of the greatest pixel response we’ve seen in any LCD monitor and a lot else to offer gamers.

Also, its connectivity features are among the best available. In addition to being a great all-around compromise for gaming, the 1440p resolution and 27-inch screen size are both superb. You don’t need a graphics card that costs $1,500 to play this game at a playable frame rate, and there’s plenty of detail to go around. The AG274QZM has several redeeming features, but it’s hard to recommend it at this price. The minimum requirement is a thorough recalibration of the entire system.

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