Brightness & Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs.Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
A 27" monitor strikes a great balance between screen area and footprint, making it awesome for gaming. Today’s group is made up of such displays. All offer QHD resolution except the Acer XB271HK, which is Ultra HD. In addition to our review subject, we have Asus’ PG279Q and MG278Q, Dell’s SE2717H, and AOC’s G2770PF. Adaptive refresh is standard fare as well with both AMD and Nvidia represented.
If the AG271QX offered a backlight strobe (it doesn’t), it would have more than ample output to overcome the light reduction. Instead, take the Agon to your favorite sun porch or brightly-lit office to play. You’ll still see a sharp picture with decent punch. As a TN display, it doesn’t have the contrast of a VA panel, and it comes up a tad short of the others here too at 935.8:1. That’s due to its elevated black level of .4041 at the maximum brightness setting. Dynamic range can be stretched with the DCR option, but that will introduce some clipping and image pumping. Better to follow our calibration suggestions to maximize gamma performance. That results in a really good looking image.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
The backlight drops a little below the useful point at its lowest level. To dial in 50cd/m2, set the slider to 4 when playing in a completely darkened environment. Your eyes will thank you after a couple of hours of fragging. Contrast drops a tiny bit here too but not enough to cause concern. Performance is consistent at every backlight setting.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
Thanks to RGB sliders that begin at center range, we actually gained a bit of contrast from calibration. This is a rarity in our experience and it moves the AG271QX up to third place in the group. It’s possible one could tell the MG278Q from the others in a side-by-side comparison, but the top five screens will look identical to the naked eye. We’re still dreaming of that QHD resolution VA monitor with adaptive refresh and 144Hz, but alas, it doesn’t exist yet. This new Agon will fill the bill pretty well however. We’re satisfied with its image depth.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
ANSI contrast stays within a whisker of the sequential number which indicates quality parts and construction. The AG271QX has not cut corners in the hardware department. This result is aided by our sample’s superb field uniformity which measures higher than almost any other monitor we’ve tested. Check out that result on page five.