AOC CQ27G3S 165 Hz Review: Responsive Gaming, High Contrast and Terrific Value

27-inch QHD VA curved gaming monitor with 165 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR and wide gamut color

(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

The AOC CQ27G3S has plenty of headroom in the brightness department with over 350 nits of measured output. That’s more than enough juice for brightly lit interior spaces or even an outdoor tented environment. While you won’t need all of that for SDR material, it kicks up the HDR quality a notch.

That’s accompanied by super-low VA black levels that almost fool one into thinking the monitor is turned off when showing a full black field pattern. The CQ27G3S’s resulting contrast ratio is a stout 4,267:1 which is above average for VA monitors. It doesn’t get much better than this.

After Calibration to 200 nits

Calibration keeps the contrast ratio above 4,100:1 which is a very good thing. The CQ27G3S is exceptional in this test with its edge over the NZXT. Remember that this is a $250 monitor showing image quality comparable to the very best premium screens.

The CQ27G3S recorded one of the highest ANSI scores in my database. This is the panel’s native contrast without any dynamic features in play. With intra-image contrast this good, it stands out from a more expensive crowd.

Test Takeaway: The CQ27G3S has exceptional contrast for an LCD panel. Aside from a high-end Mini LED or an OLED, you won’t find more dynamic range. That means a more three-dimensional image with high color saturation.

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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.

  • tennis2
    1000R curve = nope.
  • javiindo
    Which is it better? CQ27G3S or CQ27G2S?
  • javiindo
    Is this monitor not from 2020? What's best value on September 2023?
  • Friesiansam
    tennis2 said:
    1000R curve = nope.
    Not only is that too tight for a curve radius, who needs a curve anyway, on a 27" monitor?