AOC has launched a big and fast gaming monitor that looks to be a good candidate for esports, driving simulations, and twitch-style gameplay in general. That's because it has a 144Hz refresh rate to go along with a 1-millesecond moving picture response time (MPRT). Support for AMD's first-generation FreeSync technology is part of the package as well.
The new CQ32G1, which AOC announced in September, is a 31.5-inch "frameless" monitor with a curved (1800R) VA panel and a 2560x1440 resolution, otherwise known as quad HD (QHD). If you're unfamiliar with the various panel types, VA screens sit between lower quality twisted nematic (TN) and higher-quality in-plane switching (IPS) displays.
AOC rates the brightness level at 250 nits. That's on the lower end of the spectrum, and well below the minimum 400 nits that would be required for VESA's entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification. To be clear, this monitor does not support high dynamic range (HDR) visuals, hence why it's listed as a FreeSync display and not FreeSync 2 HDR.
While brightness is nothing to brag about, the CQ32G1 has a decent contrast range, according to AOC, which lists the static contrast at 3,000:1 and dynamic contrast at 80,000,000:1. In addition, viewing angles check in at 178 degrees vertically and horizontally. That suggests image quality will not quickly deteriorate when shifting away from the sweet spot, which is one of the advantages of VA and IPS displays over TN panels.
The monitor offers limited ergonomic options. Specifically, users can adjust the tilt -5 to 21.5 degrees, but can't make height adjustments, nor does it pivot or rotate.
As for connectivity, the CQ32G1 offers a generous input selection consisting of two HDMI 1.4 inputs, a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, and a VGA port. It also has a 3.5mm headphone output, though no built-in speakers or USB hub. Monitor speakers tend to be low quality anyway, but the lack of USB ports is a bit of a bummer.
This monitor is all about speed and comparative value, though. There's also a chance it might work with NVIDIA's G-Sync technology, though that has not been confirmed. The only thing we can say in that regard is that it's not among the small sample of FreeSync monitors that NVIDIA has certified as "G-Sync Compatible."
AOC's CQ32G1 is up for pre-order now on Amazon for $395.99 and due to be in stock on February 14. In case anyone is looking for a Valentine's Day gift, this sure beats a box of chocolates!