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AOC AGON AG493UCX: Game-changing technology that transforms productivity

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This incredible gaming monitor might also change the way you work

How many products get described as game-changing, and how many of them actually deserve it? The AOC AGON AG493UCX earns it literally. On the one hand, its epic scale, gaming features and high resolution will transform the way you game forever. On the other, its connectivity and advanced productivity features could do the same for the way you work. Whether you’re playing, streaming or creating content, it’s one of the strongest displays around.

This isn’t by accident. AOC has been the world’s number one in gaming monitors for over a year. The latest market figures from Context put it in first place for Q3 2020 with a 27% market share, keeping it in the same lead position it’s held since Q3 2019. It’s clear that the AGON AG493UCX is a product of insight, experience and advanced technical skill, giving more ambitious gamers and content creators exactly what they want from a big screen monitor in 2021.

Let’s start with the screen. It’s massive, with a 49in diagonal that delivers nearly 1.2 metres of horizontal real estate. Combine that with a jaw-dropping 32:9 aspect ratio and an 1800R curvature, and you’ve got one incredible immersive display that seems to wrap around your vision. Within that space, the dual QHD resolution gives you pin-sharp images across 5,120 horizontal pixels and 1,440 pixels vertically, bringing out all the detail in today’s high-definition textures and cinematic action.

This display is perfect for driving games and flight sims, as you might expect, but just as powerful in intense action games. Nothing beats a screen this big and with this resolution for making you feel right at the centre of the action. Plug in your favourite surround headphones and you’re there, in the game.

But while size matters, this screen has more to offer. With a 550cd/m² maximum brightness and VESA DisplayHDR 400 support, it can give you the searing highlights and richer, deeper dark tones that make the art design and lighting of today’s games sing, helped by a 3000:1 static contrast ratio and a colour gamut covering 90% of Adobe RGB. VA panels are known for their excellent contrast and punchy presentation. Even with SDR titles the colours pop.

Just as crucially, the AGON AG493UCX is built for high-refresh-rate gaming. Not only does it have a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, but it supports FreeSync Premium Pro technology to minimise latency and provide low frame rate compensation, so that you get a smooth, tear-free image even at the native resolution with HDR turned on. With a 4ms grey-to-grey response time, blur won’t be an issue, either. As long as your graphics card can handle the pace, you’ll get the smoothness and accuracy for rock-solid, seamless action – and the frame rate to compete at the highest levels.

Transforming productivity

Yet even this is just one part of the story. Combine that 49in size with that 32:9 aspect ratio and dual QHD resolution, and you’re effectively looking at two 27in monitors side by side in one seamless panel, and this opens up all sorts of opportunities. With two HDMI 2.0 ports and two DisplayPort 1.4 connections, you have everything you need to hook up multiple PCs or even consoles, with a picture in picture mode to share the screen between them, or with the picture-by-picture mode display them both side by side. You can even connect via USB-C in DisplayPort Alternate Mode, delivering a high-resolution signal from your laptop to the screen over just the one connection, while charging the laptop’s battery using USB Power Delivery.

And the AGON AG493UCX takes this one step further. It has three USB 3.2 (Gen1) inputs and can operate as a USB hub, moving 4K video files between PCs and/or storage devices at speeds of up to 5Gbits/sec. What’s more, it has an integrated KVM switch, enabling you to plug in a keyboard and mouse and switch between two different PCs in an instant. Hook up headphones to the headphone output or use the built-in 5W stereo speakers and you have everything you need.

The applications are obvious. You can stretch a single PC’s output across the whole screen area, giving you incredible scope to run even the most complex and demanding creativity or productivity applications, where you can see the whole timeline of the project at once. You can have a working desktop in one half of the screen while you devote the other to the latest, greatest game. If you’re serious about streaming, you can have your streaming setup on the left-hand side and your gaming setup on the right, switching KVM control between them at the touch of a button. Or you can capture from a gaming PC or console in one part of the screen and monitor and tweak the capture in the other. Once the capture’s done, you can switch to use the whole screen space to edit, add effects and titles, then refine.

What’s more, you’ll struggle to find a better screen for game development: you can code or design and test what you’re working on, all without switching screens.

The AGON AG493UCX launched in December 2020 with an RRP of £899, and while that puts it towards the high end of ultra-widescreen monitors, it goes further than most in terms of features, specs and overall performance. Is this the ultimate gaming screen? Well, that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

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