The AOC CQ27G3Z combines 240Hz 1440p performance and extended contrast at a sub-$400 price point. It’s currently one of the cheapest options in its category, but it also uses VA instead of IPS, which is usually pricier but desirable. Let’s take a deeper look to know if it can punch above its price point and give the premium options a run for their money.
AOC CQ27G3Z Specifications
- Screen Size: 27 Inches
- Resolution: 2560 x 1440 QHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: Vertical Alignment (VA)
- Refresh Rate: 240 Hz
- Response Time: 1ms MPRT
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Brightness: 300 cd/m²
- Built-in Speakers: None
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot– No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes 100 x 100
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x 2, HDMI 2.0 x 23.5mm Jack x 1
- Dimensions With Stand (WxHxD): 23.82″ x 20.9″ x 9.5″
- Weight: 13 lbs
Design and Features
The AOC CQ27G3Z follows the G3 series aesthetic, which gives it a slightly more modern look than the G2 offerings. The monitor has a matte black finish with more discrete red accents, so it still looks like your typical gamer-centric display. It has a bezel-free design, but the screen still has inner borders like most modern offerings.
It’s a likable pick for the majority since it’s not too big, even if it offers an expanded resolution. The monitor only needs 9.5 inches of depth from your desk, so it is not as intrusive as other curved displays, which take up a foot or more. The fully-assembled device weighs 13 pounds, so it’s still light enough to move around or pack with you to gaming events.
Build quality is as solid as what we’ve seen on AOC’s very reliable gaming products. The plastic chassis is thick and sturdy, plus there were no defects that are sometimes present on budget offerings. The included stand is firm and stable, but it can still lightly wobble if you nudge its corners accidentally.
One downside with the AOC CQ27G3Z is it uses OSD buttons, unlike the G2 models, which often had joysticks. They are not as easy to use as the latter, so calibrating often will take more time and effort. However, it’s not a deal-breaker this time since the monitor is priced well below the standard bracket for its class.
The stand included with the package offers tilt, swivel, and height adjustments for your convenience. Pivoting wasn’t included, but that’s understandable since curved displays were not designed to be used as portrait screens. You can use VESA mounts with this model, but it is only necessary for something like a multi-monitor setup.
The AOC CQ27G3Z’s connectivity layout also got cut out to help with the manufacturing cost and retail pricing. It has two slots each for DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, but its only extra inclusion is a 3.5mm jack. Other monitors have USB ports to help with cable management, but it’s okay to not have them if a display product is more affordable.
You also don’t get speakers with this model, but that’s okay, considering that it’s a budget model. It’s also ideal to use headsets for immersive monitors since they will help you focus on your games by drowning out unwanted noise.
Display and Performance
The AOC CQ27G3Z sports a 27-inch curved VA panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms boosted response time. The backlight has a 300 cd/m2 output while the contrast is listed at 3000:1. This model isn’t certified for HDR, but that doesn’t matter a whole lot anyway since the monitor isn’t equipped for it.
1440p and 27-inch panels are a match made in heaven since the perfect balance between sharpness and legibility. It’s easier to read and browse on it versus a 4K variant since you won’t need scaling. Its GPU requirements are also more manageable, so it’s easier to reach that 240Hz limit with at least the top 3 GPUs from AMD or Nvidia.
The AOC CQ27G3Z covers 100% sRGB and 93% DCI-P3 for stunning colors in games and movies. However, its default accuracy is dismal, with a high deltaE average of 3.71. It looks more oversaturated than neutral, but some gamers like it that way since it doesn’t make gaming visuals bland.
Calibrating it reduced the deltaE average to a more amicable 1.74 without reducing its extra vibrancy. Images will look a bit more balanced, but buying a colorimeter for gaming and just to get a result like this isn’t worth it. We recommend going with an IPS or even a prosumer variant if you are into editing or content creation.
The AOC CQ27G3Z’s backlight reached 322 cd/m2, which is plenty for daily use in both dark and well-lit environments. Its contrast peaked at 3788:1 at 35% brightness, so it’s capable of deep blacks, unlike its IPS counterparts. These do not mean that it’s capable of excellent HDR performance, but at least night scenes look more convincing.
Panel uniformity for the test sample wasn’t the best since there were light leaks at the top edge of the screen. They become noticeable in dark scenes, but it is not as bad on white or full-color backgrounds. This is common on curved monitors, but there are better units out there with fewer or no symptoms at all.
The main weakness of the AOC CQ27G3Z is its slower pixel response time due to its use of a VA panel. Blurring and persistence still happen in fast and contrasting transitions, like when a jet streaks through the night sky. Utilizing its overdrive helped a bit, but setting it to its maximum level only made it worse with overshoot.
The AOC CQ27G3Z is compatible with both FreeSync and G-Sync, so you can always enjoy tear-free gaming. Dual VRR compatibility is essential now, so you won’t have to change the monitor when you switch GPU brands. Its input lag sits at 3ms at 240Hz, so it’s very fast and suitable for competitive games like Valorant.
Thoughts on the AOC CQ27G3Z
The AOC CQ27G3Z is a decent pick if you want both higher refresh rates and resolution at a fraction of the price. The $400 monitor works great for both competitive and immersive gaming so you will get your money’s worth out of it. We wish it had more connectivity options and better flexibility, but it is too much to ask.
However, once again, it is not the most perfect gaming monitor out there since it had to see some omissions to reduce pricing. We’re okay with its lack of creature comforts, but we’d like to see better factory calibration at least, just like with the older AOC monitors. It’s a decent buy if you are only after solid gaming performance, but there are better options for mixed-use.
- Excellent Price
- Suitable for E-Sports
- Superb Contrast and Saturation
- Poor Color Accuracy
- No USB Ports
About the Author: Paolo has been a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since junior high. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations; he believes that 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.