Looking for a 27 inch VA monitor that’s not horrible

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Buying a monitor? Please refer to this post before purchasing.


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  • #61882
    Pete.D

    I feel like I’m being really stupid but… I can’t power this monitor? It came with a 3 pin UK kettle plug but there is no socket on the monitor for it? It also came with an EU (or maybe US) wall socket, which then goes into a power bank with a single round hollow pin, for which there is a socket on the monitor, but I can’t connect it to my wall!. So confused. There were no instructions for set up either.

    #61884
    PCM2

    The CQ27G2U uses DC power per the review so you do need to use the ‘power brick’ (AC-DC adaptor that’s included). Confusingly enough the CQ27G2 (North American and Asia-Pacific model) has an internal converter and just needs a single power cable (like a PC’s PSU). It probably came with an EU plug for the cable attaching the ‘power brick’ to your wall socket. UK stock for AOC just comes direct from Europe. You can just buy an EU to UK plug adaptor then plug it into the wall. It’s annoying having to do that and an extra thing to buy, but it’s a simple fix and won’t cause any issues. Just a bit of extra bulk at the wall plug.

    #62069
    micheline

    Hi,

    I read the entire topic few weeks ago, and i spent time learning a lot a stuff on displays, you’re doing a super job here!

    I just want to give a feedback from my purchase.

    I bought 1 CQ27G2U, I couldn’t test all the features but at first look, the display in general looked great.

    Here’s what it looks like when you watch a movie in a dark room (dark but not black).

    Well, I sent it back too. I am really surprised that such expensive screens can be so…imperfect. While my old 24″ Benq Full Hd bought 100€ displays a perfect black panel. However I know that they are cheap for the features, but if it can’t do basic things, there’s something wrong.

    It came out that the screen had major backlight bleed. I precise that I among my expectations, the screen must allow me to watch movies…and it clearly doesn’t.
    So I sent it back, I received another one, and it had the same problem, less important but still, unacceptable.

    Anyway, I searched a bit on google about this problem and there’s a lot of topics speaking about that. But they concern in the great majority curved panels!

    So maybe I should try the flat version of this one. But chose to spend more money and try the AG273QX (flat). I’ll tell you about it. Or maybe I’ll wait 🙂

    #62073
    PCM2

    Hi micheline,

    I’m sorry to see that you had poor dark uniformity on two CQ27G2(U) samples you tried. This issue is certainly not unique to that model nor is it unique to curved monitors. However; it does seem curved VA models are more prone to certain clouding patches. The images you shared with me by email, although overexposed, highlighted strong clouding in patches along the top and bottom edge of the monitor. The image in your post showing the movie scene in a dark room is strongly over-exposed as you can see from the indistinguishable and flooded bright content being shown and also the light from the power LED. Nonetheless, I can still see an issue there and trust your subjective impressions as well. My CQ27G2(U) sample didn’t have this issue – it did actually have faint clouding in the same spots and I’ve seen a similar thing on quite a few curved monitors. You can see moderate clouding in a similar location on the ViewSonic XG270QC I reviewed and on the larger Gigabyte G32QC. They all use curved Samsung SVA panels – or CELLs, with their own ‘custom’ backlight arrangements. But none of these are as poor as your monitors when it comes to dark uniformity.

    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, when I saw a CQ27G2(U) (curved) and Q27G2U (flat version) side by side, the uniformity appeared quite similar on both. This was not easy to assess given the lighting conditions were not under my control and it wasn’t my usual testing environment. But I think it’s fair to say my own CQ27G2U review sample was better than either of them. There is not a large amount of feedback floating about from flat variants such as the AOC AG273QX, Q27G2(U) and MSI MAG272QR – they’re not available in some markets and discontinued in others. The choice and availability of curved models vastly outstrips these, so they’re the ones you’ll hear more about. I’ve certainly received some negative user feedback related to the MAG272QR with respect to uniformity – and other issues such as gamma, which MSI seems to get wrong quite often with their monitors.

    Although comparative data on the flat models is limited, as I mentioned in the first paragraph I still think it’s fair to say they’re more prone to uniformity issues. It just seems all Samsung SVA panels (curved or flat) are reasonably prone to them and I’ve seen similar behaviour from Innolux (flat) VA panels before as well. Clouding is often more noticeable on VA models because the static contrast is much higher – so it stands out more clearly. The ‘splotches’ of clouding the curved monitors seem more prone to can be particularly bad in this respect, I accept that. And I know it can ruin the experience if you’re sitting in a dim room and that draws in your focus. It also exacerbates ‘VA glow’, so it’s something of a double-whammy in that respect.

    I’d therefore say that yes, it’s probably worth trying out one of the flat models such as the AG273QX. I think it’s a great shame there aren’t a greater variety of flat VA models on the market, especially if the curve does indeed encourage worse uniformity. It seems more pronounced on the 27” models compared to larger ones, but know that there aren’t any guarantees with the flat models either. I’d also encourage you to experiment with some lighting behind the monitor (bias lighting) or at least near it if you like to sit in an otherwise dim room. It can make a significant positive difference to perceived contrast regardless of how good the uniformity may be. Even ~3000:1 isn’t enough to give you a deep or inky look to blacks. But this sort of lighting will help with perceived contrast and make dark uniformity imperfections much less noticeable as well.

    #62085
    micheline

    Thank you so much for your detailed answer.

    I think I’ll the AOC AG273QX and I’ll tell you about it. But my purchase’s going to be delayed so it’s not for right now.

    I tend to think that the batman’s sign (as they call it on the web) that the backlight often forms is partly related to the non-uniform constraints that apply on the screen panel, due to the curve. Simple manufacturing issue. This is my personal view of course. If this is at least partly true, I suppose a flat screen will be less prone to the phenomenon.

    My boss recently bought an AOC 27″ IPS full HD for the office, I’m not sure of the reference but I think it’s the AOC 27G2U/BK, it’s the same design as the CQ27G2U. So I naturally did the test in the dark. The screen was indeed showing 2 backlight spots, one on the right edge and the other on the top edge. But nothing comparable in terms of intensity with what I saw on my screens.

    #62689
    GreenJoe

    I just bought AOC Q27G2U (flat version of AOC CQ27G2(U)) and..
    .. I’m still “Looking for a 27 inch VA monitor that’s not horrible” 🙁

    I choose this model because I need monitor:

    1. To work (office stuff – programming, web browsing, etc.) many times in dim/dark environment – I work at late evening/night in room that cannot be brightly lit
    2. To watch movies – only in (almost) dark room (2-3 people)
    3. For casual game playing (mostly indie games, no CS, BF or other fast shooter)

    I would say – importance: 70% work – 20% movies – 10% games

    VA looks like good choice for that. It was either 24” 1080p VA or 27” 1440p VA.. larger is too large for me (even 27” is quite large after 19”, but probably I will get used to it).

    So I choose AOC Q27G2U..
    Two days ago monitor came to me..
    No dead pixels, quite nice gray/black uniformity, colors, suprisingly good (no) backlight bleeding (not noticable until I search for it).
    Freesync works fine (with RX580), even ghosting in games don’t bother me (not a surprise after using VA in last 10 years, I treat it as “build-in motion blur :D”).
    Lowest brightness setting in almost dim room is brighter than I would like, but that was expected after reading reviews, can live with that.

    BUT.. reading webpages is bad.. really bad. (Mod edit: linked pages showing examples deleted by user).

    I read many reviews of multiple monitors and I never (even in reviews here) see any mention about such extreme effect. That’s not “small smearing/trailing” / “hard to notice” / “many people will not see such subtle effect”.. this is very noticeable for anyone that is not blind.
    Text just dissapear or blinking when scrolling. And not only text – any small elements like lines or contrast elements.

    If I see such things on my 14 years old 19” Samsung 193P+ I would think “OK, that’s it.. monitor is dying.. time to throw it to garbage and get new one”.

    Changing monitor settings:

    • any overdrive, freesync on/off, MBR – no difference
    • changing brightness – marginally better at maximum, but then monitor is waaay to bright even at day, everything below 50% is the same
    • shadow control (in other monitors known as “black equalizer” or similar) – when increased from standard 50 to 60, effect is much lower, but only because in such mode, black does not exists only grays – not usable, contrast between text and background is too low for comfort reading

    The only thing that works: lowering refresh rate. Changing from 144Hz to 60Hz make it better, but its still noticable (more than on my old monitor).
    This also explains why I don’t see such effect in games.. my graphic card is not fast enough to provide 144Hz 😀

    After searching in web i see sometimes people with other models have such issues, like Gigabyte Q27QC problem (see videos).

    I can return it and get anything else.. if anything better exists.

    Is there any way to get rid of it or lower this effect other than lowering to 60Hz?

    Is it normal for this model or I just have very bad/broken one?

    If this model has such issues, does other VA models too? Or maybe there is some better?
    Samsung Odyssey G7 maybe have less such issues, but 1000R curve for watching movies by 3 people from 2 meters away.. does not sound like a good idea.
    Any other option (may even be 24” 1080p)?

    #62692
    PCM2

    They are typical VA weaknesses you’re observing due to the much slower than optimal pixel responses where dark shades are involved in the transition. I give clear in-game examples of pronounced weaknesses in the AOC CQ27G2(U) review. You can also see clear weaknesses with the pursuit photographs and again it is made clear they are pronounced and not “slight” weaknesses. I describe things exactly as they are and have put plenty of people off the monitor based on its pixel responses. I don’t sugar-coat things, I make it clear these weaknesses exist and are worth being wary of as well as the fact they will bother some people (and you’re one of those people). The CQ27G2(U) (curved model we’ve reviewed, flat model should be similar) is actually still stronger than some VA models. But here are some quotes from the review for context. If you also watch the appropriate sections of the video review there are some clear demonstrations of these weaknesses, they aren’t hidden and nowhere do I suggest this is something that’s subtle. I also like to embed the responsiveness section of the video review within the written review, as it gives important additional context.

    “With even darker shades brought into the mix, there were more pronounced weaknesses. Outside under a dark sky or shaded interiors, dark painted objects and heavily shaded elements in daylight for example. The trailing took on a ‘smeary’ appearance in places, typical for VA models when observing such content. This trailing extends further back behind the object, has a more significant impact on perceived blur and can stand out as a weakness against much faster pixel transitions elsewhere. There was also what we’d describe as ‘break-up’ trailing, whereby some of the colourful hues contained in the object or background appeared to leach out a bit. Like wetting a page with water soluble ink on it.”

    And this is pertinent to some of the examples you gave where you said text seemed disappear or blink during movement:

    “For intricate mixtures of light and dark, such as a rocky wall with plenty of shadows and indentations or some vegetation, there’s a blending together of shades that essentially makes the textures appear dimmer than when there isn’t movement. Some of these shades will appear brighter when the movement ceases, so alternating between these two states can appear as a sort of flickering.”

    Whilst these are in-game examples, you will see the effects of these pronounced pixel response time weaknesses on the desktop as well. The content is already long enough as it is without repeating examples in a desktop environment. I don’t feel this is necessary as there’s a general understanding that weaknesses exposed on a game running at a given frame rate are going to be reflected on the desktop when running at that same frame rate as well. I appreciate things can manifest differently on the desktop or it can be surprising how clear some of the pixel response weaknesses can be even when browsing around on the desktop. So I will consider some quick desktop examples in future video reviews – you might notice the footer of this website is good for seeing disappearing patterns and text during movement? Try moving the window around when looking at the site footer. You’ll observe these weaknesses or worse on most VA models. The Samsung Odyssey G7 models have their own weaknesses, but they exhibit ‘heavy powdery’ trailing rather than ‘smeary’ trailing. The pixel responses are not slow enough to mask text or other elements with intricate mixtures of light and dark, for example. The AOC PD27 we’re currently reviewing is much stronger than most VA models as well in terms of pixel responses, but I’m not going to say any more about that ahead of the review. They’re rather on the expensive side, though, for your uses plus your sensitivities you should probably consider going for a more affordable IPS-type model instead.

    Assuming you still have the Q27G2(U) plugged in, there is a big favour you could do for the readers of the website and this thread. It would also help ascertain whether the flat model has more pronounced weaknesses than the curved variant. If you could run the UFO Motion Test for ghosting and compare what you see on your monitor at 144Hz to the pursuit photos from the CQ27G2(U) review that would be really helpful. Be aware VA models have a warmup period and it’s best to run the test after the monitor has been on for several hours if possible. You don’t have take any pictures to do this, you can just observe motion on your screen and see how it compares to the pursuit photos of the curved model.

    #62705
    GreenJoe

    Thanks for clarification / confirmation that this is typical VA problem.

    That wasn’t my intention to suggest that you do not write in review about ghosting issues with this monitor.
    My (written) english is not the best, so I do not always can express my opinions precisely.
    Text disappearing was just something new for me, never see or read about such effect before.

    My thinking was like this:

    • I read and watch many reviews / opinions / posts
    • “ghosting” / “trailing” / “smear” is (almost?) always mentioned in context of games
    • Many, many times I hear/read something like “monitor have quite large ghosting, so it will be problem for gamers, especially fast games like CS, BF” or “good monitor for office use, but not for games because of ghosting”

    So i thought: “ghosting is mostly games problem, and in desktop usage is much less noticable, even something that many people won’t see
    This conclusion was wrong, obviously.
    And.. I have (bad) surprise after opening web browser on new monitor.

    Of course, I expected some ghosting/trails behing black/contrast elements when scrolling. Not a big deal. But (almost) disappearing text or blinking part of images.. that was disappointment.
    And.. something I never saw on my 10+ years old VA monitor.

    Now that I knew it’s just how current VA technology works, I will test some IPS for comparison, but consider keeping this one and using it at 60Hz, switching to 144Hz for games.

    “[..] you might notice the footer of this website is good for seeing disappearing patterns and text during movement? Try moving the window around when looking at the site footer. You’ll observe these weaknesses or worse on most VA models. [..]”

    Especially visible on “Privacy Policy and Cookies” link and vertical bar.

    UFO ghosting in my monitor is similar to photos in review. One difference is much brigter trail. In review trail behind red part of UFO is mostly black. In my case its brighter, more like red blur.
    I do some photos with default monitor settings. Using smartphone, so not good quality, but roughly shows how I see it.

    #62707
    PCM2

    Thanks for confirming all this and providing the pursuit photographs. It does indeed appear similar to the CQ27G2(U) based on that, which reflects my (brief) time using both monitors in-game side by side as well. I agree that it can be quite surprising how these weaknesses can manifest on the desktop and the effects they can have. You’ve actually inspired me to give some brief examples of such things in future video reviews of VA models.

    #62840
    Drest

    In your opinion, do you think we will get any new “fast” VA anytime soon (maybe using the samsung g7 panel? hopefully something else that is not that curved? Or is VA slowly dying in the 144+hz segment?

    We have seen a bit better contrast from a couple of recent ips monitors that don’t use lg’s nano-ips, but it’s still way off even the lowest contrast from VA stuff.
    Are micro-led going to solve this issue and turn ips and va problems into “a thing of the past”?

    I want to get a monitor that doesn’t make me upset in some way or another (be it dark smears or horrible contrast and grey blacks) 🙁

    #62845
    PCM2

    We’re reviewing a model using a similar panel right now, the AOC PD27. I’m not saying it’s as fast as the Samsung models, you’ll need to wait for the review for a thorough assessment. But the point is that yes, there is interest from manufacturers in using similar panels to the Samsung Odyssey G7 models. There are competing panels on the way from AUO as well, although it remains to be seen how they perform. Some are 1500R, some are 1000R – nothing flat I’m afraid. I think fancy backlighting technology such as micro-LED will change the dynamics and make IPS models more appealing in terms of contrast, but how quickly that will filter down into something mainstream and affordable remains to be seen.

    #62846
    Drest

    Thank you for the answer!
    I was hoping to see something with less curve – i find 1000R to be too much for any other use but pure gaming.

    The fact you tell me that there’s still interest and that AUO has new VA panels coming out which might “fix” the black smearing that afflicts the technology gives me hope – i much prefer a deeper dark than a wide colour gamut!

    #62860
    PCM2

    Relevant to this thread, our review of the AOC PD27 is now live. And the video review does include some examples of pixel responsiveness weaknesses as they might manifest on the desktop.

    #63588
    pellefant

    Read through the whole thread. Seems i’m in the same position. Just sent back my GL850 after 20 days. Could not deal with the glow. Sure, a bit more contrast would be great but if I could get rid of the glow from the corners during dark scenes I´d be happy with it. Love the colors.

    Don´t understand the aggressive curvature of the G7; same with the AOC PD27, else it seems perfect. I´m more of a flat guy (I think!). Just seems weird when working with documents and texts. I might be wrong.

    So what´s new? Nice to hear some updated thoughts if you guys still read this thing.

    #63590
    PCM2

    Oh yes, the forum is very carefully moderated and I read through everything that’s posted before posts are even accepted. Unfortunately, though, there aren’t really any VA models I could recommend with similar responsiveness to those you listed but with a shallower or no curve. I’m usually quite open to curved monitors as you’ll know from reading our reviews, but I tend to prefer 1500R or shallower if a monitor is curved. Certainly on a 27″ model, at least, where I feel 1000R is excessive and becomes too much a part of the experience. And not always in a good way. It may still be worth trying something like the CQ27G2(U) and seeing how you find the responsiveness and moderate but not extreme curve.

    #63591
    pellefant

    That´s good to hear. You cover most if not all of my concerns.

    I was pretty sold on that CQ27G2(U) until i read about the problems with text when browsing the web and such*. Seems like that black uniformity isn’t great either on that one. I don´t know how bad that is but it has me worried since I was having so much problem with the ips glow from the gl850. Maybe that´s a different story.

    Also I still have 10 series GTX for now so that might be problematic unless that’s been solved.

    And as you said about the G7, for a 27 inch that 1000R seems stupid to be frank. If it was more like the CQ27G2(U) in terms of curvature I’d be looking at that screen right now.

    Thanks for the quick response and you got some good stuff going on here.

    *Mod edit for clarity: this is referring to ‘smeary’ trailing or apparent blending and ‘flickering’ of text into the background, especially in ‘dark mode’ style scenarios. Due to some pixel transitions being particularly slow. Also occurs on the PD27 as demonstrated here, but less widespread.

    #63838
    Leopardi

    Samsung announced flat G7 monitors along with the miniled G9. I’m looking forward to them, especially if it fixes the BLB that has been noted with the G7.

    #63842
    jasswolf

    Jumping in to second the announcement of a flat G7 model as part of Samsung’s March 3rd announcements. I’m not sure having a flat VA monitor is ideal for view angles, but everyone kept asking for it, so here we are!

    Suspect we’ll start seeing some proper price drops on the G7 line-up too, as there’s just too much incoming pressure on the 1440p 240Hz and 4K 120Hz space from OLED (though mostly TVs) and IPS options. Would still love to see a TN option here and there, especially for 4K 120Hz+ because the response times still suck there.

    #63845
    PCM2

    In my experience a curve doesn’t really do much for a 27″ VA model to improve colour consistency from a ‘normal’ distance or overall viewing angle performance. I’m interested in whether they’ll be able to match their fabled responsiveness of the original G7. And whether they’re even using a Samsung panel or something else like a CSOT panel (which so far have shown disappointing responsiveness). Samsung are very much winding down their own panel production now.

    Also, not sure I agree that the 4K IPS-type panels have response times that “suck”, although I agree there’s room for improvement in that respect. The 28″ Innolux TN models (60Hz) actually have worse outlying slow pixel responses, so there’s no guarantee a TN panel would be helpful in that regard. The Odyssey G7s also have slower outliers for very dark shades, even though their average response time is strong. I’ve got high hopes for the upcoming 32″ 144Hz+ models as they use AUO panels and some of their new generation 2560 x 1440 AHVA panels have shown themselves to be very responsive. The 28″ Innolux AAS (IPS-type) panels I’m not so sure about.

    #63856
    GoldstoneVillas

    I am currently using the Gigabyte G27F being a IPS panel. The vibrant colours and brightness kill the contrast ratio and blacks much like the suns heat destroying mars atmosphere. I have recently returned back to Samsung the G5 Odyssey 27″. For the price point £300 I was happy with the screen however the smearing ruined it yet this was advertised as a gaming monitor. Can someone please help ? Looking for a no-minimal smearing VA panel up to £450 for games like Escape From Tarkov and PUBG,

    Thanks.

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