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AOC CU34G2X Curved Gaming Monitor Review: Speed, Immersion and HDR

The speed you need, but HDR’s lacking.

AOC CU34G2X Curved Gaming Monitor
(Image: © Shutterstock, AOC)

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. We cover brightness and contrast on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

All the monitors in the CU34G2X comparison group support HDR with edge backlights and max brightness that ranges from 350 to over 500 nits. Panels are a mix of VA (AOC Agon AG493UCX, Aorus CV27Q, Dell S3220DGF) and IPS (Aorus FI27Q, BenQ EW3280U). 

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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 Our CU34G2X sample came up short of its claimed 300 nit output level, topping out at 232 nits. This is bright enough for SDR content though you won’t want to use this monitor in a super bright environment. Luckily, it produced good black levels that are on par with the better VA panels here. Resulting contrast is 2,394:1 with default settings in place. This is solid performance but not the best among our comparison group. 

After Calibration to 200 nits

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Our calibration (see our recommended settings) consisted only of lowering the brightness setting to 200 nits. We didn’t make any other changes because we couldn’t improve upon the CU34G2X’s color accuracy in the User Color Temp mode. Regardless, black levels were quite good, and contrast was a tick higher at 2,428.3:1.

With excellent screen uniformity available, the CU34G2X also posted a solid ANSI contrast score of 2,257.7:1. You can see from all our test results that VA is by far the best panel tech for native dynamic range. Until you get into monitors with full-array local dimming backlights, which you’ll find in the best HDR monitors, this is the best way to get deep blacks on a budget. 

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

  • DookieDraws
    I thought for sure I had already read a review on Tom's for this monitor, not long ago. Hmmmmmmmmm. I've also been looking at this monitor very hard lately. But there are others I'm looking at as well. This seems to be a well like monitor, from what I have read around the web.
    Reply
  • colson79
    Some of the quotes make me laugh. Such as

    "While the best VR headsets still provide a greater sense of sensory deprivation, a curved 21:9 screen manages to capture much of that feeling without a bulky apparatus on your head"

    I have a widescreen monitor and a VR headset. While I love widescreen monitors they don't even come close to the impressiveness of VR. Not even a little bit.
    Reply
  • MaCk0y
    It seems all the stock for this monitor went to reviewers. I bought this monitor in February and I think I won't get it before next year.
    Reply
  • cchant00
    did I miss it or were the recommended settings not listed?
    Reply
  • MaCk0y
    Monitor arrived. :)
    Reply