There is no question that curved ultra-wide displays have become more attractive to gamers seeking maximum immersion in their favorite titles. The extra width, coupled with the wraparound effect provided by the curve, is hard to give up once you’ve experienced it. It offers a significant advantage as well. By encompassing more of the player’s peripheral vision, he or she can enjoy maximum situational awareness. We’ve heard some gaming competitions have even banned them because they give players an edge over their 16:9-equipped competitors.
The consideration then comes down to price and speed. The AG352UCG is less expensive than most monitors in the class, but it will still reduce your bank balance by around $900 at this writing. And you can get more speed from a 16:9 flat panel, running at a higher refresh rate, that costs less. But don’t forget about that contrast ratio. Only a small handful of gaming screens offer a VA screen, and to us, that’s a major factor in any purchase decision.
There are plenty of curved ultra-wide screens with adaptive-refresh and 100Hz. But most of them are IPS, which means you’ll see 1000:1 contrast at best. The AG352UCG weighs in at 1700:1 (sequential) and 1900:1 (ANSI) after calibration, which is higher than nearly any gaming monitor we’ve tested. Add to that an honest 100Hz, G-Sync, and accurate color, and it becomes harder to find a better display.
There are a few ultra-wides that promise faster refresh rates, but they also give up pixel density in the bargain. Reader comments have shown us time and time again that resolution is important to buyers. AOC has listened to users and provided a great balance between pixel density and speed with a 3440x1440 display.
Our complaints here are few. As much as we love OSD joysticks, the AG352UCG demonstrated that they’re not always awesome. Turning off the power every time one mistakenly presses the stick gets old quickly. Plus, it isn’t nearly as intuitive as others we’ve worked with. And without a change to the color temp preset, gamma is off by enough to cause visible clipping. Luckily, that fix is as easy as changing the preset to User.
In addition to its other attributes, we feel the AG352UCG’s build quality and styling is a cut above AOC’s already high standard. The solid-aluminum stand and premium mechanism rank with BenQ and NEC for quality. That’s something we rarely see. We also like the LED accents on the panel’s edge and back. A soft colored glow makes for a nice effect in dark rooms.
There are a lot of curved ultra-wide gaming monitors to choose from right now. AOC has always been a reliable vendor of quality products that represent good value. While still a premium product, the AG352UCG will save you a few bucks over the competition.
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