Review: AOC CQ27G2S Monitor – A Gateway Into Other Worlds!

Pixel Perfection

The AOC name, which can be traced back nearly half a century, boasts a rich heritage in designing and manufacturing Cathode-Ray Tube (CRT) screens for PCs. Over the decades, AOC has adeptly evolved with technological advancements, transitioning from CRTs to the production of cutting-edge LCD TVs and PC monitors. This evolution has enabled AOC to offer a diverse range of high-quality products that cater to the varied needs of a global customer base. Their commitment to innovation and quality has particularly resonated within the gaming community, where their monitors have gained significant popularity. Today, we will dive into an examination of the AOC CQ27G2S/BK, a testament to their ongoing legacy of excellence.

My initiation into gaming began way back in the early 80s, a time when the likes of Donkey Kong and Chuckie Egg dominated the conversations of kids in my generation. Those were the days of arcades and home computers, where the thrill of 8-bit gaming was unmatched and every new game felt like a groundbreaking adventure. How times have changed! The gaming landscape has undergone a dramatic transformation since those halcyon days, evolving from simple, pixelated graphics and basic gameplay into a world of stunningly realistic visuals, complex narratives, and immersive experiences that span virtual realities and global online communities.

In the box

Unpacking the monitor should be done ceremoniously, following the instructions provided in the box to ensure a smooth setup process. If these instructions are followed carefully, inside the box you will find the monitor itself, accompanied by a sturdy metal stand that comes in two parts for easy assembly. Additionally, the package includes power cables necessary for operation, and a selection of HDMI and DP (Display Port) cables to ensure compatibility with various devices. Lastly, you will find the obligatory paperwork, which includes warranty information, a user manual, and other essential documentation.

Setting up

Now, being a Mac user, I’ve had to accept the fact that the gaming community is largely Windows PC based. This presented me with my first challenge, how was I going to connect my MacBook to the monitor? My MacBook is equipped with four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports. No HDMI or DisplayPort to be seen. So, having done a bit of research, I purchased a USB-C to HDMI port cable. I was advised that connection to a DisplayPort would be ideal but HDMI is more versatile. For me, economic benefit always takes priority over anything else so I opted for the HDMI solution.

Setting up the stand was fairly simple. It comes in two parts with the main arm slotting into holes and fixing to the base using a screw. I used a screwdriver but you could use the edge of a coin or similar to tighten the connection. The monitor is laid flat with the screen facing down and the arm easily clicks into place using a spring mechanism. Once this is completed, the monitor can be placed upright and admired in all its glory. This is a good-looking monitor, to be honest. It’s curvaceous and angular in all the right places. I admired the curvature of the 27”, 1500R screen for a few moments and hooked up my MacBook to it with the adaptor cable I had purchased. The monitor’s operating buttons are hidden on the underside of the screen. While there are icons debossed in the bezel of the screen, I found it a bit fiddly having to fumble around for the correct one but I guess one could get used to this with prolonged use. I switched it on half-expecting something to go wrong but it didn’t. I was momentarily greeted with the AOC logo which was soon replaced with the familiar design of my MacBook desktop. Yippee!

I continued to configure my Display settings to get the external monitor to play nicely with my MacBook. And that was it. I was “Rocking & Rolling”.

Features

In the Display settings, I could configure the external monitor to be an extension of my laptop screen or act as a “mirror” which duplicated whatever was on my smaller screen onto the AOC. I played with both settings and settled on my preference.

My initial reaction to the picture quality was mixed. I had been so used to the glossy reflective surface of my laptop that the AOC’s matt finish appeared (to me) to be slightly muted. The colours weren’t popping on the AOC as well as on my laptop screen. I have to say that I was in my loft room and it was bathed in lots of natural light streaming in from the windows. If I had the luxury of having my own gaming room or den, I’m sure this wouldn’t be much of an issue.

Up until recently, I was quite content gaming on a flat screen so the prospect of reviewing this curved screen was very appealing. The curvature of this model is 1500R meaning that the curve follows the arc of 1500mm radius. Having a curved screen is supposed to heighten the immersive experience. I guess wearing a VR headset is a perfect example of this as it can potentially offer a complete 360º horizontal and vertical field of view. I found with this 27” offering from AOC that I had to sit fairly close up to the screen to achieve a better immersive experience. Being able to see the surrounding environment of my room in my peripheral vision (if I were to sit further away from the screen), would reduce the enjoyability of the game. However, I suppose for the price point, you do get value for money with this gaming monitor.

This raises another point worth mentioning. While this monitor is aimed specifically at gamers, there is no reason why professionals working on design, engineering or architectural projects can’t benefit from curved screens.

And Finally

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the AOC CQ27G2S/BK is a gateway into other worlds. If this is your first foray into gaming monitors, this model will meet most of your needs. I feel it is more suited for gaming where colour accuracy may not be the prime feature. It handles movement well with a 165Hz refresh rate giving smooth, fluid actions. With a tendency to favor displaying colours at the warmer end of the spectrum, the depth and colour range is something that I got used to over time. Many titles these days, are very moody and atmospheric so I found some details in the shadows were sadly lacking definition. I also feel it’s for single-player use as the viewing angle seems to be optimized for the person sitting directly in front of the screen. Viewing it from the side does result in a loss of picture. Multi-player gamers would benefit from a larger screen with a longer radial arc.

With a wide variety of 27” gaming monitors currently flooding the market, the AOC CQ27G2S/BK is worth considering at such a reasonable price. The AOC CQ27G2S/BK is available to buy from most electronic/ computer retailers. To learn more about this model, check out their website here. Or take a look on Amazon here.

About Author
Chetan is a London-based designer by profession. He is passionate about the role design plays in everyday life whether it's graphic, digital, fashion, product or environmental design. Motivated by aesthetic design, function and the User Experience of emerging and new technologies, products and platforms, he is ever keen to learn, discover and innovate. Although he doesn't consider himself a nerd or a geek, he is a big movie fan and lists Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Shawshank Redemption and… Brewsters Millions among his favourites! Chetan is also an aspiring author and is currently working on his first novel.