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AOC C27G2U/BK review: Fluid 1080p gaming on a budget

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £240
inc VAT

A great entry-level 1080p gaming monitor with more features than you’d expect


  • Good stand
  • USB hub
  • Colourful 27in panel


  • Motion handling isn’t great
  • OSD controls are fiddly

The AOC C27G2U/BK (or C27G2 for short) is a member of an exclusive club. There aren’t all that many gaming monitors out there that can be had for under £250 and even fewer that pack a 1080p resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate into a curved 27in frame.

This immediately puts the C27G2 in a great position. Gamers on tight budgets with entry-level gaming rigs or even last-gen consoles will no doubt be eyeing this monitor hungrily.

There are, of course, caveats – after all, every budget monitor has to make sacrifices to keep costs low – but on the whole, I’m confident the C27G2 is worth the comparatively minuscule outlay.

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AOC C27G2U/BK review: What do you get for the money?

The AOC C27G2U/BK costs £240, although stock issues have caused the price to fluctuate. For the money, you’re getting a 27in VA monitor with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, a refresh rate of 165Hz, a 1500R curvature, a quoted response time of 1ms G2G and both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync support.

The version of the C27G2 on test here has a four-port USB-A 3.0 hub with one USB-B 3.0 upstream port alongside two HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.4 and one VGA input, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack. The stand provides 130mm of height adjustment, 30 degrees of left/right swivel and 23 degrees of backwards tilt. In the box, you’ll find DisplayPort, HDMI and USB-A to USB-B cables, plus setup guides.

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AOC C27G2U/BK review: What does it do well?

The AOC C27G2 is cheap, but in terms of build quality and design it’s actually very impressive. The bezels are narrow and the panel itself is nice and slim at 73mm. The four-legged base isn’t too intrusive and provides a solid foundation that keeps wobble to a minimum unless you’re really hammering the keys.

Frankly, I expected less at this price, and that’s particularly true of the stand itself, which delivers more adjustability than some of its more expensive rivals, including the £330 Gigabyte G27QC and £279 HP X27QC. The four-port USB hub is similarly generous. In fact, between the commitment to keeping you in good posture and the unusually generous connectivity, the C27G2 acquits itself well as a general productivity monitor, which isn’t something that could be said for either the Gigabyte or the HP.

The monitor’s OSD is rudimentary but easy enough to make sense of, with tabs for gaming, luminance, image, colour, OSD, Picture Boost and extras (input select and auto-off timer). You can adjust red, green and blue gain as well as gamma and colour temperature and, among other things, there are toggles for Adaptive Sync, MBR, Overdrive, Low Input Lag, HDR Effect and DCR. The latter automatically adjusts brightness and contrast depending on the input. HDR Effect and Picture Boost add little of value, however.

Let’s move on to the most important aspect of any gaming monitor: performance. It’s largely a good showing from the C27G2. Out of the box, this monitor produced 123.7% of the sRGB colour gamut, which equates to 87.6% of DCI-P3 and 85.2% of Adobe RGB. That’s a surprisingly wide gamut for such a cheap panel.

Accuracy is about as good as you’d expect, with an average Delta E of 2.66 when tested against sRGB and 2.23 against DCI-P3. These aren’t mind-blowing results but anything under three indicates that inaccuracies in colour reproduction will be near-impossible to spot by anyone other than professional content creators.

Thanks to the VA panel, the C27G2 produces a static contrast of 2,857:1 out of the box; not quite as good as the Gigabyte or HP monitors but a decent result all the same. Brightness, meanwhile, tops out at 256cd/m² and, while this is objectively not a sensational figure, it’s still good enough for office use, as long as you’re not sitting in direct sunlight.

Anecdotally, the C27G2 is good for casual gaming. The wide gamut equates to vibrant colours and the high contrast to dark shadows, producing a pleasing overall image. It’s clearly not going to be a match for a high-end 4K gaming monitor or a purpose-built esports display but, if you’re a new PC gamer looking for something that will make the most of your entry-level to mid-range gaming PC, the C27G2’s combination of 1080p resolution and 165Hz refresh rate fit the bill nicely.

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AOC C27G2U/BK review: What could be better?

That said, there are issues with the C27G2’s panel – as you’d expect from such a resonably priced product. While the VA technology produces a great contrast ratio it also creates a noticeable amount of ghosting. Cranking the Overdrive settings up to the maximum (level three) mitigates this somewhat but introduces a little bit of inverse ghosting to brighter scenes.

You may also notice more than the normal amount of motion blur if you’re playing a game that requires a lot of snappy movements such as a shooter. That said, I’m not convinced that pixel response times are as noticeably bad as some reviews have suggested. On a monitor with bad pixel response, shaking a window rapidly in Windows or even scrolling down a page produces obvious smearing, which didn’t happen here.

AOC has included MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) technology, which when set to its highest level (20) noticeably reduces the amount of blur but introduces a hefty amount of ghosting. There is a fourth Overdrive setting called “Boost” which switches both Overdrive and MBR to their maximum settings, but it produces a bizarre-looking (albeit blur-free) image with heavy inverse ghosting. Ultimately, the C27G2’s cheap VA panel simply isn’t meant for esports.

Outside the panel, I have very few issues, but I must mention the OSD controls. The buttons are arrayed along the bottom edge of the monitor, which means you’re already fumbling a bit to find them, but it’s compounded by the fact that the symbols indicating which button does what are nigh on illegible. Essentially, you’ll spend a lot of time pressing the wrong button and – as I often did – switching the whole thing off by accident.

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AOC C27G2U/BK review: Should you buy it?

The AOC C27G2U/BK isn’t perfect, but it’s unfair to judge a £250 monitor by the standards of high-end models. I wouldn’t, therefore, recommend that gamers with beefy PCs or next-gen consoles buy the C27G2, nor indeed is this a monitor for aspiring esports professionals. In both cases, you’re looking at spending at least twice as much if you want a monitor that caters to your needs.

This is a budget gaming monitor through and through, and a good one at that. If you’re just starting out in the world of PC gaming, or you’ve blown your budget on LED-lit water cooling, the AOC C27G2 is proof you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy smooth, colourful 1080p gaming with a few thoughtful extras thrown in.

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