AOC 27G15 180 Hz gaming monitor review: Impressive performance numbers and great value

27-inch VA FHD gaming monitor with 180 Hz, Adaptive-Sync HDR and wide gamut color.

AOC 27G15
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Our HDR benchmarking uses Portrait Displays’ Calman software. To learn about our HDR testing, see our breakdown of how we test PC monitors.

Many budget monitors merely pay lip service to HDR in that they process the signals but don’t offer any better image quality. The 27G15 is an exception. Not only does it have four HDR picture modes, but you can also turn on an emulation for SDR content. That is a rare thing for any computer monitor. The signal will switch between SDR and HDR automatically if you use the DisplayHDR mode.

HDR Brightness and Contrast

The 27G15 doesn’t offer higher brightness or contrast for HDR content. However, since it already renders over 4,400:1, the impact is there. It’s enhanced by saturated color and accurate luminance tracking. There is no dynamic option available, but in practice, I found the 27G15’s HDR to be satisfying, if not gasp-inducing. It’s more than competent.

Grayscale, EOTF and Color

The secret to the 27G15’s HDR quality is its accurate grayscale, EOTF and color tracking. The grayscale chart has no visible errors and the EOTF sticks close to the reference line. It rides a little under, meaning shadow and mid-tone areas are slightly darker. Since highlights are still bright, this creates a little extra perceived contrast. In other words, HDR looks better than SDR.

HDR color tracking runs to over-saturation, which is typical of the HDR displays I’ve tested. The points are linear, which means there is no loss of detail. Anything encoded in the original content will be visible throughout the brightness range. The HDR picture is more colorful than the SDR version. The 27G15 does a passable job with Rec.2020 color as well by meeting or exceeding the saturation points up to around 85%.

Test Takeaway: The 27G15 has surprisingly good HDR quality for the money. I’ve tested plenty of budget displays that support HDR but do nothing to improve the picture. The 27G15 is an exception to this. Though it doesn’t have a dynamic option, its HDR image is definitely better than SDR, which is also excellent. A picture this good for $140 is truly impressive.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • javiindo
    It's actually on sale for 130$ on amazon. The big problem with AOC great monitors is availability. I don't see them in Europe :-(
  • Gururu
    thanks for review, helps me a lot
  • javiindo
    Gururu said:
    thanks for review, helps me a lot
    If you really want to be thanksful, use the affiliate link if you buy it ;-)
  • radosuaf
    AG275QXN is the 27-inch one from AOC to get :)