AOC CQ32G1 Review
The AOC CQ32G1 is a gaming monitor that promises to do it all. However, its pricing means it won’t push your PC budget to breaking point, and AOC says it will manifest for casual and competitive gamers, who need a curved design, rapid response and stellar physical design. Much like the Alienware 25 we reviewed late last week, AOC’s panel of choice is also based on vertical alignment (VA) technology.
In practice, VA is meant to merge the best of both worlds (IPS and TN) by offering excellent contrast ratio, solid picture quality and fast response time – but there a few limitations.
AOC CQ32G1 Design
The CQ32G1 monitor has a 1800R curvature with a three-sided borderless design. Of course, when we say borderless it shouldn’t be taken entirely literally, but the monitor has very thin bezels that don’t occupy much room on your desk. Its 32-inch panel takes up the same amount of space as a chunkier 27-inch monitor.
It is supported by a triangular stand that raises the display by 130mm and provides -4° to 21.5° of tilt adjustment. It lacks height and swivel adjustments, should you need more, the monitor can also be mounted on a 100 x 100mm VESA compatible stand.
The case is black and red, which gives the AOC CQ32G1 an aggressive gamer look – not a bad thing at all, given the target audience. Connectivity comes in way of a two HDMI port and a single DisplayPort input. There’s no USB hub and it lacks speakers, but if you want to channel through it, you can plug your headphones into its 3.5mm jack.
OSD is accessible via buttons on its lower-right edge, where the menus let you adjust the panel’s response time, select a color profile and enable AOC’s Bright Frame feature through which you can adjust the brightness and contrast ratio of a particular portion of the screen.
AOC Monitor Performance
When it comes to image quality, the AOC CQ32G1 is a toss in the sand – and, surprisingly, its results are particularly conducive for enthusiast gaming. Take the contrast and brightness levels. The VA panel’s black level of 0.06 nits is fantastic – one of the best you’ll find at this price point. It’s deep enough to deliver huge depth to color across the whole range.
The contrast ratio of 3000:1 is incredible too, but quite standard. Still, it works with the black level to create crisp tones with plenty of depth at every point. That can only be good for games.
Those figures are excellent, and the brightness level of 300 nits is a bonus. It doesn’t leave the screen looking dim, something you’d ordinarily bump into on panels with 265 nits that get horrible when trying to play games in particularly bright situations. For both, it won’t be an issue if you’ll be playing in a dark room, then it won’t be a concern, but it’s something to remember.
Sure, the native QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and support for AMD FreeSync technology count for a lot, especially on modern titles. The gaming experience is made better with the inclusion of FPS, racing and RTS modes, though none are viable. And those are the few missteps that contribute to a monitor that somewhat falls short of having the true capabilities for true competitive gaming.
When you give the monitor a spin with the excellent Battlefield 1, it truly lives to its gaming moniker. This is a hectic multiplayer game that rally benefits from a good monitor, and the AOC CQ32G1 delivers in leaps. The game graphics are amazing, and they really shine on the CQ32G1’s large and high-resolution screen, while the curved screen delivers an immersive view of the battle field and the surrounding carnage.
However, Battlefield 1. Like many other modern games, correctly identified the unusual aspect ratio, and configured the interface and game graphics accordingly. The pre-rendered cut-screens remain at the same aspect ratio, meaning you’ll get a bit of black bars down either side of the screen – this also happens when you watch movies full-screen.
Not a deal-breaker, though. It’s a small price to pay for such an immersive gaming experience, and thanks to AMD FreeSync features, along with the wide aspect ratio, this monitor can really give you a competitive edge when playing, especially if fired by a strong supported graphics card.
If you’ve got enough desk space, a powerful graphics card, the AOC CQ32G1 is an excellent investment as a gamer. It’s a huge monitor that will fill your field of view, and if you love being immersed in your games, this might be the right monitor worth considering.
It’s also a damn great monitor when you’re not gaming, with the 2560 x 1440 resolution giving you plenty of comfort when using your PC for work. However, it’s in gaming where the monitor truly shines with good color reproduction, fast response time and smooth frame-rates courtesy of FreeSync.
Of course, to use FreeSync you need a compatible AMD FreeSync card, however, even if your current PC doesn’t have that feature there’s still a lot to like about the AOC CQ32G1, making it an excellent gaming monitor for gamers on a shoestring budget.
AOC CQ32G1 31.5" Curved Frameless Gaming Monitor, Quad HD 2560x1440, VA panel, 4 ms Response Time, MPRT, 144Hz, FreeSync, DisplayPort/HDMI/VGA, VESA
2 used from $291.45