Screen size: 27 inch/68.58 cm
Dimensions: 464.57 x 612.37 x 227.36mm (with stand); 367.43 x 612.37 x 73.16mm (without stand)
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Panel technology: VA
Brightness: 250 nits
Contrast ratio: 4,000:1
Supported colours: 16.7 million
Colour gamut (typical): Adobe RGB: 89% NTSC: 85%
Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, D-Sub
Cables included: HDMI cable, DP cable, USB-A to B cable, power cable
The AOC Gaming C27G2AE monitor belongs in a category of monitors some of us thought would quickly take over the world, but like those waiting for an Event Horizon director's cut, it never came to fruition, and very likely never will: curved monitors.
While curved monitors can help you feel immersed in gaming or watching movies, as they help reduce eye strain and create a sense the screen is bigger than it is, they're less than ideal for graphic design or photo or video-editing purposes, because in those cases you sort of need to feel like the screen is exactly as big as it is, plus the warping of the image, however subtle it is, makes it tricky do very detailed work accurately.
However, with the low price tag and realising that many of us don't need pro-level graphic-design monsters on our desks, I was interested in seeing how this AOC gaming monitor would perform, especially as the last monitor I had on my desk was a 32-inch 4K flat-screen behemoth...
I received a loan sample of the C27G2AE (I assume the C stands for 'Curved', 27 for the size in inches, G2 for this being the second generation of this model, and AE for, I don't know, After Eights?), and used it for both work and play over a number of weeks. And while I was indeed impressed with its budget gaming credentials, the shortcomings of its curvature and low creative specs were also felt. But is it good enough to make it onto our list of the best gaming monitors? Let's find out.
AOC has a signature look that it rarely strays from, and stays true to its principles with the AOC Gaming C27G2AE. The thin black frame is accented by deep red accents at the front and the black casing at the back has the same red giving it shape and personality. The bezels on the sides and top are very thin, and the 1500R curvature means that if you so choose, you can set two or three up side-by-side and create a fairly immersive, enveloping gaming experience.
The stand has three spokes on the bottom, and the display is easily clicked into and mounted on it, like every Philips/AOC/AGON monitor I've used. However, while you can tilt the screen here, there is no other adjustment available on this budget model, so no swivel or height adjustment. It's not ideal for connecting things into the notch where all the ports are. Some shuffling, twisting and craning was needed to get everything hooked up to my computer.
The screen controls are more conveniently placed on the front, though, with menu buttons easy to reach and a menu that's easy to navigate.
It looks neat when set up, and while the spoked foot doesn't allow for threading cables underneath it, there's a little hole in the stand itself that can act as a cable tidy instead.
As a budget monitor, the AOC Gaming C27G2AE isn't stacked with advanced features. The panel is a VA one, but the antiglare coating makes the viewing experience very decent for a VA panel, while the resolution maxes out at 1920x1080 and 250 nits, for a PPI of 81, which won't make it viable for advanced, detailed creative work.
However, it does sport a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms moving picture response time, making it a very tempting prospect for some cheap gaming thrills. There are several preset modes available too, including RTS, FPS, Racing, and two extra modes for you to customise with your specific settings, called Gamer 1 and Gamer 2. It's also compatible with the G-Menu software, which you can use to manage all AOC and AGON monitors and peripherals.
It has both an HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 port, along with a D-Sub, line out and 3.5mm headphone out port.
I was pleasantly surprised by the gaming experience when using the AOC Gaming C27G2AE, and it's clear that the limited scope offered by the budget bracket it falls in is put to good use. The 1ms MPRT works really well at reducing blur in any game action, such as racing, RPGs and sports games and colour performance is very impressive too, with strong blacks, very little colour bleeding and a nice balance, despite the relatively low brightness (at 250 nits).
Of course, it being a curved monitor makes it less than ideal for detailed graphic or creative work, but I could use Photoshop for basic photo-editing without any issues, although the 16.7 million colours and relatively low 89% Adobe RGB coverage on offer aren't to professional spec.
It's not the sharpest image either, but one that's completely on par with similarly priced monitors, so that's hardly an area for me to complain about here.
As the spec sheet and performance of the AOC Gaming C27G2AE, this is a budget-category monitor, coming in at £189.97/$239.99 at the time of writing. It's a very decent price for a curved monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate, and discounts do crop up regularly, so you might be able to part with even less money than that with some smart shopping.
Should I buy the AOC Gaming C27G2AE?
If you need a cheap monitor that's geared towards gaming above anything else, and you like curved monitors too, the AOC Gaming C27G2AE deserves a place on your shortlist. It's not the sharpest monitor you'll find, and not the brightest either, but it offers good performance for its budget price, and will allow you to do basic or hobbyist creative work too, thanks to a good colour balance and decent black and contrast levels. It may not be as flashy as some of our best gaming monitors, but it undercuts all of those by some margin when it comes to price, to its credit.