The AOC AG273QZ offers a never-before-seen 240Hz QHD panel for lightning-fast performance with an upgrade to visual quality which discerning gamers will love. 1440p monitors used to be limited to 165Hz, pointing competitive gamers to opt for 240Hz 1080p variants instead if they wanted a snappier screen. The AOC AGON AG273QZ bridges that gap, but let’s check out how it looks and performs under scrutiny.
AOC AG273QZ Specifications
- Screen Size: 27 Inches
- Resolution: 1440p QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: Twisted Nematic (TN)
- Refresh Rate: 240Hz
- Response Time: 0.5ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 400 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 5 Watts)
- Stand: Height -Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (100 x 100)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x 2, HDMI 2.0 x 2, USB 3.2 x 4, 3.5mm Audio Jack x 2 (Mic In/Headphone Out)
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 24.15″ x 22.14″ x 11.40″
- Weight: 18.52 lbs
Design and Features
The AOC AG273QZ follows the AGON aesthetic closely, but it’s now sleeker since the metallic wing design on the rear has disappeared. The chassis is finished in matte black that is matched with a stand that has a titanium gray finish. The display is bezel-free on three sides to give the user a maximized view of the ongoing action.
This model isn’t the largest we’ve seen, but the stand requires almost a foot of depth from your desktop. The tri-prong design of the base doesn’t fully contact the area it covers, but its tips could still be intrusive if you have a deep keyboard of a lot of peripherals. Streamers who have stream decks and whatnot will have to rearrange to accommodate this monitor due to its design and dimensions.
The AOC AG273QZ is a flagship monitor, so no expense is spared when it comes to build quality. The monitor’s fit and finish are top-notch since there are no cosmetic defects or uneven gaps on every corner. The plastics used feel sturdy, while the metal stand provides excellent stability and a sense of security that the product will not easily topple over.
There are two ways you can manipulate the AOC AG273QZ’s functions with ease, starting with a centrally located joystick at the bottom bezel. You also get a controller with this model that gives you access to some presets and an even easier way to navigate the sub-menus. Both have LED lights, but only the joystick’s bulbs are RGB.
You also get pop-out headset hangers on the sides with the AOC AG273QZ so you can neatly stow your headset or other peripherals when it’s not in use. Frankly, this feature is unessential for gaming monitors, but it adds more value to an already attractive product.
The AOC AG273QZ has more RGB around its back in a ring configuration around the VESA attachment point. This feature can be controlled via the OSD which has several patterns and settings to choose from so you can set the mood. The light color syncs with the OSD joystick’s bulbs, but both aren’t bright enough to provide beneficial effects such as bias lighting for eye comfort.
The stand included with the AOC AG273QZ is made of cast aluminum like most of the AGON monitors, so it’s quite durable and attractive at the same time. Its mechanism includes tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments, so getting a comfortable view is possible. You can also swap this part out with a VESA stand, but we think it diminishes the good looks of the product.
The AOC AG273QZ has plenty of options when it comes to connectivity, starting with pairs of DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 for video inputs. You will also find 4 USB 3.2 slots and a mic input and speaker output on the layout at the rear of the chassis. Take note that only the DisplayPort slots will support the full refresh rate, while the two HDMI 2.0 connectors are limited to 144Hz.
The AOC AG273QZ has a pair of 5-watt speakers which can get loud when turned all the way up. The audio quality is acceptable for videos and music, but we reckon most will still prefer headsets or a separate combination of PC speakers. But we always love built-ins that are better than the usual 2-watt pairs since you don’t completely forget that your monitor has them in its chassis.
Display and Performance
The AOC AG273QZ boasts a 27-inch TN panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, 240Hz native refresh rate, and 0.5ms response time. The backlight goes up to 400 cd/m2 to enable VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, but contrast is still limited to 1000:1. This model uses a specialized TN panel, but we know many will be disappointed with that fact due to the screen’s main weaknesses.
QHD or 1440p is more suited for 27-inch screens than 4K since the pixel density isn’t too crowded which results in an extra sharp output. Small objects are still legible without scaling while games are noticeably crisper and well defined. The GPU requirements will jump considerably from 1080p, but its easier to get high frame rates since you can turn down a few graphics settings such as AA in this resolution.
The TN panel in the AOC AG273QZ is quite surprising starting with its 120% sRGB coverage which is next to impossible for the panel tech. The default color accuracy could be better since its delta E average reaches 3.1, but many gamers won’t know the difference. The screen is too warm for regular use, but that’s because the default OSD setting sits at the Warm preset.
There are a few ways you can make the AOC AG273QZ’s screen color-accurate, starting with using it’s sRGB preset which improves dE to 1.4 but drops coverage to 91%. You can also tweak the OSD manually to get a palatable dE of 2.2 or use a colorimeter to drop the dE further to 0.9. These are excellent results for a TN panel which is always the butt of jokes when it comes to color quality.
The AOC AG273QZ can also exceed its brightness specification with its 430 cd/m2 maximum which is too much for extended use. However, contrast is dismal at 810:1 at 20% to 30% brightness, resulting in poor black luminance. The screen can sometimes look grayish when displaying dark images or when it is used in the dark.
Panel uniformity could also use improvement since there is a bit of clouding on the bottom quadrants when a black or dark image is displayed. Its cause by light leaks along the bottom bezel which further emphasizes the AOC AG273QZ’s limited contrast ratio. This aspect can change with other units since there are manufacturing tolerances to consider.
The AOC AG273QZ is a very responsive monitor thanks to its uniquely high refresh rate and the properties of TN panel technology. Blurring is almost unnoticeable, but you can use the monitor’s Medium overdrive setting if you still see a few bits here and there. Setting this feature too high will result in overshoot, so it’s completely unnecessary.
You can also use the AOC AG273QZ’s MBR feature which describes its backlight strobing capabilities. The strength of the strobing can be adjusted with a slider that has increments of 1 to 20, but you only need to go up to 10 to get the optimal level. Take note that this feature will lock out the product’s Adaptive Sync capabilities and add a slight penalty to the brightness level.
The AOC AG273QZ is a FreeSync gaming monitor with a whoppingly wide 48Hz to 240Hz functional range and LFC. It’s also G-Sync compatible which comes in handy since you will need the most powerful GPUs available to get the most out of the product. Input lag sits at just 2.5ms at 240Hz with Low Input Lag mode active, making this the fastest 1440p monitor we’ve seen to date.
Thoughts on the AOC AG273QZ
The AOC AG273QZ is indeed lighting-fast and your best option if you want crazy refresh rates combined with a sharper resolution. This model’s responsiveness and input lag score can only be rivaled by other 240Hz models like the Acer XV273 X, but those are still stuck with the 1080p resolution. The monitor also sports a gamut coverage that you will not find with TN-based displays, although it needs a bit of tuning to get a more balanced look.
We love the design and the novelty that the 240Hz 1440p screen on the AOC AG273QZ brings to the table. But our main nitpick with it is its dismal contrast which pulls down its other image qualities such as its fantastic color range. The AOC AG273QZ is a fantastic gaming monitor if you want the fastest QHD display available, but you have to live with the weaknesses of TN technology.
- 240Hz QHD Screen!
- Extra Wide Gamut for a TN Monitor
- FreeSync and G-Sync Compatible
- Plenty of Extra Features
- Very Fast Response Time and Low Input Lag
- Low Contrast
- Factory Calibration Needs Improvement
- Limited Availability (At the Time of Review)
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.