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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse review: a right-handed pro gamer’s dream
6:00 pm | May 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Two-minute review

Along with the gaming keyboard comes the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse, which has been specially developed and tested with professional gamers in mind to make it one of the best gaming mice available – and possibly one of the best mice in general. It's a massive upgrade from the Alienware AW720M with reduced weight, better feet, and improved specs.

The DPI is still at 26,000, mainly because there is little point in increasing such an absurdly high spec. However, it features both 4KHz wireless and 8KHz wired polling rates, 0.25ms and 0.125ms response time, respectively, which is a significant leap over the 1KHz polling rate (1ms response time) of the Alienware AW720M. 

The PFTE feet are additive-free and attract far less debris while moving much smoother. It still retains the previous model's ability to move over a wide variety of surfaces, which is something plenty of other gaming mice can't achieve.

An odd change is the removal of the 3D-sculpted thumb grips from the AW720M. With both sides being completely smooth now, the Alienware Pro mouse is much more susceptible to sweat, which makes it slippery during intense gameplay or if your hands sweat easily. Another odd change is the removal of the magnetic charging adapter, which was a much simpler option for recharging your mouse.

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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)

It features magnetic-force keyplates that prevent the keys from sticking, which is absolutely vital for pro gamers who rely on button accuracy and performance during intense competition. Thanks to its much-improved weight, now just under 0.13 pounds, combined with higher polling rates, the mouse responds much faster and with much less effort required to move it.

There is one glaring downgrade between the Alienware AW720M and the Pro Wireless, though. The latter lacks buttons on the right side, which means the Pro Wireless is no longer ambidextrous, excluding an entire market of people who would be able to use it. 

Ambidextrous mice are already difficult enough to find, and the AW720M was an excellent option. But the Pro Wireless removes that option, adding plenty of quality-of-life improvements but essentially gatekeeping them from left-handed gamers. This also has the drawback of removing buttons that the Pro Wireless sorely needed.

As for battery life, according to Dell, it's 32 hours at 4KHz polling or 120 hours at 1KHz polling. That is impressive, but it's a downgrade from the AW720M's 140 hours at 1KHz polling. And like the previous mouse, this one has an indicator that signals when the battery is low. The AW720M featured an Alienware logo on the front, but, the Pro Wireless moves it onto the side as a tiny light. Moving it was a good call, as your hand can no longer cover it, but the light is so small it's difficult to notice.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Price & availability

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $149.99 / £149.99 including VAT / AU$248.60
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse is very expensive, costing a whopping $149.99 / £149.99 including VAT / AU$248.60. This is a price increase of at least $20 from the Alienware AW720M - understandable considering the work developing it and all the new features it comes with. And the fact that this is a premium gaming mouse for professional gamers.

However, the pricing does make other mice more appealing, like the Razer Deathadder V3 Pro or MSI Clutch GM51. The former is $149 (around £149 / AU$279), and the latter is $99.99 (around £83 / AU$148), both much cheaper while offering solid gaming performance in their own right. The Deathadder V3 Pro in particular is easily one of the best gaming mice on the market.

The Alienware Pro Wireless, like most Dell products, has excellent availability. It's available in the US, UK, and Australia, as well as several other regions.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Specs

Should you buy the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

You're left-handed
Unfortunately, this mouse shed its two right buttons, making it completely inaccessible to left-handed gamers.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse: Also consider

How I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse

  • I spent about a week testing this mouse
  • I tested it for gaming and productivity work
  • I used it extensively in both a home and office environment

I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming mouse both at home and in an office environment, seeing how well it functioned in gaming and productivity. Its gaming performance is especially important, so I used a wide variety of genres to see how reactive it is. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Alienware Pro Wireless is a gaming mouse that's meant for extensive use over the years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards while maintaining maximum comfort levels.

I've tested a wide range of mice, mainly gaming, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard review: made for the pros
3:00 pm | May 11, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Two-minute review

Alienware has released its Pro line of both gaming keyboards and mice, focusing on making it as appealing as possible to professional gamers. In fact, they were both tested by pro gamers Team Liquid to ensure just that. The Alienware Pro gaming keyboard truly feels like a product made for such a demographic, thanks to its much smaller yet sturdier body and high-quality switches.

Like many of Alienware's other accessories and PCs, the Pro gaming keyboard comes in two colors: Dark Side of the Moon and Lunar Light. While the black keyboard is surprisingly beautiful thanks to the RGB lighting, the standard is the white model that not only stands out aesthetically but is truly enhanced by the LED lighting. The Alienware Command Center software is easily accessible and can be used to customize the color effects and most other keyboard settings.

Unlike other Alienware keyboards, which tend to be lighter, this one is much heavier and sturdier, weighing nearly two pounds. It's shocking, considering it's made with 47% post-consumer recycled plastics. It also has a long silicone strip on the underside of the chassis, which prevents it from moving around. You really have to use significant force to do so, which is ideal for intense gaming sessions.

Due to its status as a professional gaming keyboard, I tested it out in a wide variety of genres, including first and third-person shooters, platformers, action, RPGs, and more. It's incredibly stable, the keys are responsive with a good travel distance, and the switches are easy to activate. 

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closeup of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard keys

(Image credit: Future)
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back of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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closeup of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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closeup of Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

One of the standout features of the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard is that it no longer features Cherry MX mechanical switches. Instead, Dell has developed its own switches specifically for this Alienware keyboard. The switches are hot-swappable 5-pin PCBA and are compatible with most other 3 and 5-pin switches - in case you want to switch them out for other brands.

The actuation force is only 40g, which is quite light and well-suited for hardcore and especially professional gaming, as it puts almost no strain on your fingers to press down on each key. The stem is also made of POM (Polyoxymethylene) material, meaning you avoid the often grating sound of keys rubbing against each other, adding to that extra light and almost floaty feeling when typing. Thanks to the sound-dampening silicone layers, the clean clicking sound of the switches is enhanced even further.

It's shocking how high-quality these switches are - Dell has truly knocked it out of the park. The efficiency of this TKL design is also a pleasant surprise as it manages to fit in media and arrow keys in a compact size.

The keyboard's connectivity is also great, with three ways to connect it: Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, and USB Type-C wired. Having these options is incredibly important depending on your needs for the keyboards, with wired the best option for hardcore gaming with no latency, while wireless and Bluetooth are solely for portability.

Battery life is also pretty solid, with about three days of life using the RGB lighting and, according to Dell, up to 798 hours with lighting turned off on 2.4GHz wireless.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Price & availability

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $199.99 / £190 including VAT / AU$328.90
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard is incredibly expensive, costing a whopping $199.99 / £190 including VAT / AU$328.90. Of course, considering that this is a premium keyboard developed for professional gaming, the pricing makes sense. That said, this is not the keyboard to get if you don't need top-of-the-line quality and performance.

Compared to cheaper mechanical keyboards like the MSI GK50 Elite TKL starting at 64.99 (around £55/AU$100), there are other solid options for those who need it. There's also the Razer Huntsman V2 TKL, which will set you back $160 / £160 / AU$260. It's a great and slightly cheaper option as well if you're not in the market for keyboards tailor-made for professionals.

The Alienware Pro Wireless, like most Dell products, has excellent availability in the US, UK, Australia, and several other regions.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Specs

Should you buy the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

You need a more budget-minded keyboard
Bottomline, this keyboard is extremely expensive. If you need anything cheaper, it's best to wave goodbye and let it pass.

Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard: Also consider

How I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard

  • I spent about a week testing this keyboard
  • I tested it for gaming and productivity work
  • I used it extensively in both a home and office environment

I tested the Alienware Pro Wireless gaming keyboard in a home office environment, seeing how well it functioned in gaming and productivity. Its gaming performance is especially important, so I played a wide variety of genres to see how reactive it is. I also carried it around in various bags to test its portability.

The Alienware Pro Wireless is a gaming keyboard meant for extensive use over the years. I made sure to quality-test it to see if it held up to those standards while maintaining maximum comfort levels.

I've tested a wide range of keyboards, including mechanical and membrane ones, and understand how to properly rate and test them out to ensure that they reach a certain level of quality.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Opal Tadpole webcam: A gorgeous design with a Sony mirrorless camera
9:10 pm | May 1, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Peripherals & Accessories Webcams | Comments: Off

Opal Tadpole webcam: Two-minute review

The Opal Tadpole is an incredibly capable webcam that is well-engineered and beautifully designed. The video quality is respectable, but my lasting impression of the Tadpole was not to do with the sensor's capabilities but rather that it just felt really good to use. All of this is due to the thoughtful and well-implemented design, as well as the minimalist feature set. This should come as no surprise, considering the Opal co-team has history with Google, Uber, and Jump.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

The Tadpole, as the name suggests, is small. At only 3.5 x 4.5 cm, the unit itself sits neatly and unobtrusively at the top of any laptop screen. When I first started using it, a few people initially asked me what on earth it was, but after a while, the device just faded into the background. So, if you’re after one of the tiniest webcams on the market at the moment, then your search is over.

The small size results in an overall weight of less than 50 grams, so there’s no chance of any unnecessary strain being applied to your screen hinge. This also makes it a dream to transport around, but more on that later.

Rather than a magnetic mount, the Opal team has opted for an adjustable clip. This means that the whole unit is either on or off, rather than having a permanently located mount. I personally prefer this implementation, because there is no chance of me losing any individual parts and thereby rendering the whole piece of kit useless.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

The range of the clip is 35 degrees, which was more than adequate for my Macbook Pro and is indeed perfect for almost all laptops. One of the concerns I initially had was about damaging my laptop. I didn’t want to scratch my metal back or crack the glass of the screen. I therefore gave the clip a good look before applying it to my laptop. After seeing that the clip was primarily made of silicone rubber, I proceeded to mount it. In reality, I needn’t have been concerned. The rubber ensures that the laptop is well protected.

The build quality is high, with a painted aluminum front and an anodized aluminum back. Despite not being the most expensive webcam on the market, the Tadpole certainly feels as premium as the best. Chemically strengthened glass will help with longevity although, for obvious reasons, I didn’t test how robust the glass was.

The cable, which measures 55cm in length and 3.7mm in diameter, is woven for greater durability. I love a woven cable, so that’s a win for me. It’s just the right length for attaching to a laptop, and thanks to the magnetic end, it can be looped around your wrist as you move between meetings. Even though I appreciate the design feature, I didn’t find much use for this type of portability. 

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

Moving away from the design and build quality, I’m sure you're interested in knowing about the camera itself. Generally, it’s pretty good, although not as good as the built-in webcam on my MacBook Pro 2023. As a result, I’ll inevitably stick with that, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many people who would benefit from this type of webcam - after all, many laptops have sub-par 720p webcams or no webcam whatsoever.

The Sony IMX582 RS sensor does a fantastic job of producing clean video with minimal noise, even in the shadows. Color replication is strong, with vibrant colors chosen over and above a flat profile. The image therefore pops nicely, which is exactly what you want when appearing in front of others at a meeting or when video-calling your parents.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

The f/1.8 lens is made up of six elements and is able to let in a significant amount of light, something that is particularly noticeable when using it in low light. Unfortunately, the dynamic range that is supported by the lens and its sensor is not quite wide enough. It was a real shame that during my meetings I had to put up with bright backgrounds, such as windows, that were almost completely blown out. It’s understandable that cameras like this would struggle here, but the Tadpole struggled more than I would have liked to see.

In terms of resolution, the 48 MP image is binned to 1080p, which is more than enough for most laptops. For most people, there is little point in spending more on a 4K webcam when it will make almost no difference to the visual experience - that territory is more for professional online content creators.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

As important, if not more so, is the quality of the audio. One of the biggest challenges to providing good audio from a webcam is that they’re often omnidirectional and therefore pick up way too much background noise. Some webcams overcome this by using noise filtering, but Opal has landed on a completely different solution. 

By using a directional microphone, the Tadpole captures only what is directly in front of the camera. The solution, in essence, creates a tunnel through which sound is funneled. As a result, any sound that doesn’t travel down this tunnel isn’t heard. It’s a genius little idea and puts the results in the hands of engineering rather than leaving it to programmers to work out.

This directional microphone does a pretty good job, with almost all low-to-medium level background noise removed. It didn’t work entirely in a crowded room but was certainly better than omnidirectional alternatives.

Another audio feature is the ability to mute calls with a single tap of the integrated capacitive button on the USB-C cable. This is a nice little feature to have, though I certainly wouldn’t buy the webcam because of it.

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

One of the biggest selling points of the Tadpole is its portability. It is small, lightweight, and packs neatly into a purpose-made carry case that looks like a yoyo. The case is built well and allows the cable to neatly protrude out the side, doubling up as a loop for carrying. Simply put, this is one of the best carry cases for a webcam that I’ve ever seen. The magnetic clip makes it quick and easy to take in and out, with just enough strength to ensure it doesn’t accidentally fall out.

The Opal Tadpole is one of the best options in the mid-range webcam space. It delivers better quality than the super-budget alternatives but lacks additional features that are seen in the more expensive and premium webcams. Video quality is more than good enough for most situations, although it does sometimes struggle to deal with bright light sources. The directional mic is a nice feature that does a good job of cutting out a reasonable amount of background noise. Overall, the Tadpole is a very capable webcam.

Opal Tadpole webcam: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $129 (about £105 / AU$200)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? US with worldwide shipping

At $129 (about £105 / AU$200), the Opal Tadpole sits in the middle between the super-budget Logitech HD Webcam C310 and the eye-wateringly pricy Elgato Facecam Pro. The former lacks good image quality and feels a bit cheap in the hand, whereas the latter delivers amazing 4K video at 60 fps - for a high price.

If you want to compare like for like in terms of price, then the Tadpole is only a little more expensive than the Logitech C920, which wins the status for 'best overall' webcam in our best webcams buying guide - though it lacks the unparalleled portability of the Tadpole. 

For the asking price here, you get decent video quality and some nice features, including single-tap muting. If you're after something a little better than the cheapest options on the market, then the Opal Tadpole is a respectable choice.

The Opal Tadpole ships worldwide, with associated shipping costs. For the UK, that is set at an additional $8. The yo-yo case also costs an additional $19, but it's worth the price in my opinion.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Opal Tadpole webcam: Specs

Should you buy the Opal Tadpole webcam?

Opal Tadpole webcam

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want one of the best-looking webcams

Opal has absolutely nailed the design of the webcam. It not only looks smart on top of any laptop but also clips securely in place even when you need to move your laptop around.

You want a travel webcam

The Tadpole packs down into a small and lightweight hard carry case, which not only protects the webcam but also makes it easy to transport around.

You want an intelligent microphone

The Tadpole comes with a direction microphone that captures only what the camera can see. Some webcams achieve this through noise filtering, but Opal makes it happen with engineering.

Don't buy it if...

You want a 4K webcam

The Opal Tadpole records 48 MP, which is fixed at 1080p. Considering this will be the display resolution of many laptops and standalone desktop monitors, it won't necessarily be an issue for you, but serious content creators may want more.

You want the cheapest webcam

The Tadpole is far from expensive, but there are cheaper alternatives around, especially if you just want something that is no thrills and just going to get the job done.

Opal Tadpole webcam: Also consider

How I tested the Opal Tadpole webcam

  • I used the webcam for my video calls
  • I tested its general performance as well as its special features
  • I made sure to test it under a variety of lighting conditions

As soon as it came through the door, I was keen to get the Opal Tadpol webcam out of the box and hooked onto my laptop. Everything about the design and functionality oozes quality, so I wanted to get it setup as soon as I could.

After a few minutes of getting it up and running, I spent time in video calls to test it's many features. I also made sure to give it a good run around in different lighting conditions, including bright and low-lit rooms.

With a few neat features, I also checked those out so I could determine the degree to which I would use them on a regular basis. I also used the carry case to help me transport the webcam around. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW review: no-nonsense esports performance
9:38 pm | April 25, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Mice Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Two-minute review

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW is a no-frills wireless gaming mouse intended for high-level esports play. It trades flashy specs and extraneous features for supremely reliable performance and comfortable ergonomics, making it easy to recommend if you’re searching for a plug-and-play mouse specifically for use in competitive first-person shooter (FPS) titles like Counter-Strike 2. For everyone outside of that niche, however, the high asking price and plain design mean that you’re likely to be better served by more mainstream options.

A wireless version of the existing Zowie EC2-C, which is a popular pick for professional FPS players, the Zowie EC2-CW sports a highly ergonomic right-handed asymmetrical factor that fits in your palm like a glove. It remains impressively comfortable over extended periods of use, which is especially important if you’re going to be undertaking lengthy practice sessions.

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

While I personally experienced the highest level of comfort with the medium-sized EC2-CW, there are also two additional models available: the EC1-CW and the EC3-CW. The EC1-CW is longer and wider and the EC3-CW is a little shorter. Each version differs by a few grams in weight but is otherwise identical in terms of features. I suspect that the EC2-CW is going to be the best option for the majority of players, but it's still excellent to see alternatives for those with bigger or smaller hands. That said, there isn’t a single model that is suitable for left-handed users at the moment which is a disappointment.

Although manufacturer BenQ declined to offer any exact details regarding the construction materials and components used in the mouse, making them seem like some kind of closely guarded trade secret, it’s safe to say that the exterior is made of a smooth black matt plastic. This means that I also can’t say for sure what kind of micro switches are used for the main buttons, but can vouch for their satisfying level of actuation depth and ability to provide accurate, clean inputs. The mouse also features two additional buttons on its left side, which are both generously sized and fit well under the thumb thanks to their slightly curved shape. 

The scroll wheel is made of a rubberized material, with pronounced ribs. Scrolling uses a careful notched motion that requires a fair amount of force to turn, which took me a little while to get used to. In the long run, however, the more precise controls proved extremely beneficial and helped prevent any unfortunate accidental weapon-switches in even the most high-intensity moments of ranked Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

Hidden just below the scroll wheel are three miniscule white LED lights. These illuminate while the mouse is receiving power, denoting the current charge level on a scale of one to three. It's a useful way to keep track of your remaining battery life which is quoted to last roughly 70 hours - a figure that I found was generally accurate no matter my choice of settings. On the underside of the mouse, you will find the mode switch (which alternates between wired and wireless mode), a report rate switch button, and a DPI switch button. LED lights positioned alongside intuitive labels show your current report rate, which can be switched between 125 Hz, 500 Hz, and 1000 Hz. 

There is also an RGB LED denoting your current sensitivity, which can be raised to a limit of 3,200 DPI. This is quite a modest figure, ten times lower than the 32,000 DPI of other premium mice like the Logitech Pro X Superlight 2. While this might be a dealbreaker for some, most professional Counter-Strike 2 players actually tend to favor a sensitivity as low as 400 DPI or 800 DPI. Handily, both a 400 DPI and 800 DPI mode are built-in - an essential addition when there is no available companion software meaning the mouse is restricted to its range of out-of-the-box presets. 

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

Another area where the Zowie EC2-CW appears to be behind the competition is in its relatively hefty weight of 2.79oz (79g). This is higher than many other wireless gaming mice at this price range, but seems to be a considered choice rather than an oversight. Playing at 800 DPI, the weight lends a fantastic level of precision that would simply wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise. Accidental movement is almost impossible, helping you keep your sights on target in titles where one pixel of inaccuracy can cost your team the win. A replacement set of adhesive skates is also provided in the box, ensuring that you can keep the level of friction consistent if the set that comes preinstalled begins to wear out.

Even though the mouse can be charged through a front USB-C port using the lengthy cable packed in the box, which is also used for wired play, it comes packed with its own compact charging dock. The mouse connects to the dock through two metal contacts on its underside, easily slotting into place. In addition to providing easy charging, the dock doubles as a wireless receiver, reducing the potential for signal interference by drastically cutting down the distance that would be present with a traditional wireless dongle. I've suffered from the occasional signal dropout or odd moment latency using other wireless mice via a wireless dongle, but did not experience anything of the kind with the Zowie EC2-CW with its wireless receiver. 

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

It’s a fantastic inclusion on the whole, especially when you consider that it’s quite compact and easy to fit into your setup. Although using the wireless receiver is definitely the way to go, a more conventional USB receiver and dongle extender are also included here giving you plenty of options. 

If you have the budget to spend and truly value reliability and performance in competitive FPS titles above leading specs and a flashy design, it’s easy to recommend the Zowie EC2-CW. If that’s not you, however, be sure to check out some of the top alternatives listed later on.

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $119.99 / £129.99 / AU$179
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Zowie EC2-CW costs $119.99 / £129.99 / AU$179. It is readily available in the US, UK, and Australia either directly from BenQ or via third-party retailers like Amazon. Although this is very much a high-end price tag, it comes in slightly cheaper than some of the leading alternatives such as the ASUS ROG Harpe Ace Aim Lab Edition, which costs $139.99 / £139.99 / AU$189.

Given the more modest specs of this mouse, you’re definitely paying a large premium for the ergonomic shape and wireless receiver. If you’re willing to compromise on the wireless connectivity, you can pick up the wired Zowie EC2 for just $44.99 / £64.99 / AU$99 which boasts the same fantastic design. If you are set on a wireless gaming mouse, however, the comfort offered by the Zowie EC2-CW definitely makes it worth considering even at this lofty price.

The BenQ Zowie EC2-CW gaming mouse on a colorful mousepad.

(Image credit: Future)

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Specs

Should you buy the BenQ Zowie EC2-CW?

Buy it if...

You value ergonomics above all else
By far the most compelling aspect of Zowie EC2-CW is its ergonomic design, which is incredibly comfortable in the hands. With three sizes to choose from, you’re likely to find the perfect fit.

You don’t mind a plain design
The Zowie EC2-CW looks about as understated as they come, which could be quite appealing if you’re tired of the RGB-laden aesthetic of much of the competition.

You want a dock
The wireless receiver not only cuts down on the potential for signal interference but also doubles as a convenient charging dock, making it easy to keep the Zowie EC2-CW topped up with juice.

Don't buy it if...

You’re left-handed
The Zowie EC2-CW is asymmetrical and designed exclusively for right-handed users. With no left-handed option available at the moment, this is one to avoid if you need a left-handed mouse.

You want more impressive specs
Although it performs fantastically, the Zowie EC2-CW doesn’t have particularly impressive specs on paper. If you want the highest possible DPI or the lightest weight, consider other options.

BenQ Zowie EC2-CW: Also consider

How I tested the BenQ Zowie EC2-CW

  • Tested for three months
  • Tested with top esports titles
  • Used daily for both work and gaming

I spent three whole months using the Zowie EC2-CW as my main mouse. This meant daily use for productivity tasks and internet browsing, plus a lot of gaming.

While I predominantly focused on PC esports FPS titles like Counter-Strike 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, I also played plenty of other games. This included lots of nefarious scheming in Evil Genius 2, a playthrough of The Caligula Effect: Overdose, some Team Fortress 2 with friends, and more. I made sure to test the mouse using its wireless receiver, in addition to its wireless dongle and a wired USB-C connection.

As a hardware writer at TechRadar covering gaming hardware, I have no shortage of hands-on experience with gaming peripherals. In addition to maintaining our guide to the best mice for CS:GO and CS2, I’m a dedicated FPS player with an almost embarrassing number of hours spent in all the latest and greatest titles.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX review: a keyboard for the sophisticated gamer
7:17 pm | April 23, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Keyboards Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: One-minute review

Asus’ ROG Strix Scope II RX is nothing short of impressive. It’s the perfect culmination of clever design decisions and the latest precision switches, and is arguably one of the best-looking keyboards on the market right now. All the bells and whistles are there that you’d expect, and it doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to performance either, with impeccably accurate and rapid linear optical switches.

It’s not flawless, however. It lacks the 8,000 Hz hyperpolling that we’ve seen across a number of competing keyboards, even at this price point, and the fact that the majority of its configuration options are still tied to Asus’ Armory software is a detriment.

Don’t get us wrong, it works - you can tweak things there, but it’s very much a one-and-done experience. Armory still lacks the finer software polish of some of its rivals from the likes of Razer, Steelseries, Corsair, and Logitech. Despite this, it's still a truly stellar piece of hardware that is difficult not to recommend.

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Price & Availability

  • How much does it cost? $140 / £150 (around $210 AUD)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

Asus’s ROG Strix Scope II RX comes in at just shy of $140 / £150 (around $210 AUD) at retail, although you can find it for less than that, particularly around Prime Day and Black Friday. The cheapest we’ve seen so far is around $110 in the US. In the UK it typically hovers around the £150 mark or so. 

That’s a pretty sweet investment for what you’re getting. There are very few keyboards that match it on price, spec-for-spec, with NZXT’s Function 2 and Razer’s Huntsman V2 and V2 Analog being the only boards that come to mind.

Corsair has its K70 RGB Pro as well, priced similarly, which does feature some more advanced hyperpolling features, but it lacks optical switches, giving the ASUS Rog Strix Scope II RX a significant edge in that arena.

  • Value: 4.5
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
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The Asus ROG Strix II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Design

  • Incredible aesthetic style
  • Full-sized keyboard
  • Sound-dampened optical switches

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX is something else. This is one clean-looking board. Composed of a mix of sandblasted aluminum and plastics, the overall design is stunning. Each key switch is an optical RX linear variant of Asus’ own design, complete with a square-mount design, central RGB LEDs, and an incredible amount of sound dampening thrown in the mix.

It’s those RX switches that are the real stars of the show though. With a 1ms response, and a 100 million key switch life cycle, the top-line stats are impressive enough, but the stability provided is second to none. These are clean, quiet, and incredibly reactive to your touch. In use, it’s unlike anything we’ve tested to date. That’s no doubt thanks to Asus pre-lubing each and every switch on the board. Combine that with the in-built sound-dampening foam as well, and you’re very quickly on to a winning combo here.

Each switch itself has a transparent housing, with a small red accented scissor mechanism inside. The RGB LED sits in the middle, giving it a very unique look. When in use, and set to white, there’s a fleck of red that sparks out at you, providing a very unique look to the overall feel of the board.

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Outside of the switches, there’s an integrated media scroll wheel, along with a dedicated “multi-function” button as well, that swaps the scroll wheel’s control between the different modes. You can control volume, media playback, keyboard brightness, and a third option configurable in Asus’ Armoury software. All of which are clearly highlighted in the small LED illumination above the arrow keys. There’s a number of function keys built into the board as well. Although they’re not exactly out of the ordinary.

All the keycaps are PBT double-shot by design, and Asus also includes an additional ROG-style spacebar for you to swap out instead (if you don’t like the stock standard one). Connectivity is handled by a single USB C to USB A cable, and there’s multi-point adjustable feet in the back of the board, to help elevate the unit as well, if you need to.

  • Design: 4.5

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Performance

  • USB connection only
  • Incredibly smooth RX switches
  • Hamstrung by software

We’ve already waxed lyrical about just how good these switches are to use. The RX switches come pre-lubed, and feature an impressive 1ms response time as well. Asus is keeping fairly tight-lipped on all the details here, but they feel about as easy to actuate as a Cherry MX Red, but far quicker on the press. Travel distance seems to be somewhat shallower too, similar to a low-profile switch, but with far less tactile response.

Stability is impressive, and the sound-dampening removes practically every errant ping or mechanical sound you’d otherwise expect to hear. We’re using the RX Linear variant here, so there’s far less audible feedback than with the Tactile version, but there’s still that tell-tale feedback you’d expect to hear if you bottom the key switch out, however, it’s a far softer, far more muted affair than what you’d see from some other competing boards on the market.

For the price, this board is stunning - and it easily keeps up with and often surpasses the likes of Corsair’s K70 and K100 boards, even giving Razer’s excellent Huntsman V2 a run for its money. Just bear in mind that it's not wireless, so you'll need a free USB port to connect it.

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The one area that does let it down somewhat however is software configuration. Armory Crate is just incredibly clunky to use. Even a basic install or update takes far too long to get on your machine, never mind navigating to the keyboard options in the app itself. It’s incredibly tedious, and a bit of a shame, particularly given how smooth Asus's own AI Suite is by comparison.

Combine that with the constant barrage of Asus Wallpaper, and login requests to access all the features, and it’s considerably off-putting as an end user. That said, although less sophisticated than its rivals, it’s still plenty usable. With lighting, multi-wheel control, and macros all easily configurable once you’re in the right place, and once you’re done with your initial setup, you can close down the program and head on out of there. There are no hardcore device settings or game-by-game auto-switching profiles to think about (although Asus does include up to 6 profile configurations if you include the default one).

  • Performance: 4

The Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX gaming keyboard photographed on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Should You Buy the Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX?

Buy it if...

You want an incredible typing and gaming experience
The RX linear switches are phenomenal. Combine them with an impressive sound-dampening design and you’re on to a winning combo.

You love that ROG design language
The ROG Strix Scope II’s aesthetic is nothing short of awesome. The mix of metals, plastic, and impeccable RGB lighting really makes it stand out from the crowd.

Don't buy it if...

You need wireless connectivity
The ROG Strix Scope II RX features USB wired connectivity only. If you need Bluetooth or Wireless you’re better off looking elsewhere.

You want a TKL-style board
The Scope II RX is a full-size board only, although Asus does have a similar Scope II 96 wireless that’s a touch smaller - though without those RX switches.

You need 8,000 Hz Hyperpolling
Unfortunately, the Strix Scope II is limited to the standard 1,000 Hz hyperpolling. So if you’re a serious competitive gamer, this might not be the board for you.

Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX: Also consider

If our Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX review has you looking for other options, here are two more keyboards to consider...

How I tested the Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX

I used the Asus ROG Strix Scope II RX for several days, replacing my usual at-home desktop keyboards (and now I'm a bit reluctant to let it go). I used it for everything I would normally do: typing documents and responding to emails, with some gaming sprinkled in there to get the full experience.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2024

Gigabyte GS32QC review: an exceptional value for a 1440p gaming monitor
12:00 pm | April 3, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Gigabyte has earned a stellar reputation for providing quality gaming monitors at an extremely approachable price like the M32UC and the Gigabyte GS32QC continues that tradition. 

At $239/£251.99/AU$334.40, potential buyers will get a solid 31.5-inch display that also provides a curved 1440p screen resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. Expect a 1ms response time alongside the ability to overclock the display to 170 Hz for more in-game performance. 

Beyond that, its price point also provides display features ranging from covering 109% of the sRGB color space to AMD Freesync Premium. There are even HDR capabilities, though there will be some serious settings maneuvering to get color accuracy just right, as the monitor's default settings are really flat. 

Through its price point, there are some obvious sacrifices. This includes a design that prevents posability of the monitor; especially for those who need a specific viewing angle. Then there are other missing things like a lack of internal speakers and USB connectivity. Again, at this price point, those issues are excusable. That doesn’t mean that the gaming monitor is a no-frills package. It’s quite far from it. 

The GS32QC does have some significant extras that’ll impress game enthusiasts outside of performance. Extras like crosshair overlay and aim stabilizer are satisfying, but on the other hand, Black Equalizer does more harm to image quality than good. 

HDR image quality is flat-out horrible by default but can look somewhat decent if some color correction settings are changed. Alongside PC gamers, multi-console gamers have a few HDMI ports for good measure outside the singular DisplayPort. Thankfully, SDR image quality is good for this price.

Gamers on a sub $300 budget in need of a 32-inch 1440p display with a high refresh rate and extra gaming-centric features should look no further. The Gigabyte GS32QC does enough magic to compete with some of the best gaming monitors that sell for twice its price. Just be mindful of the caveats as one manages expectations. 

Gigabyte GS32QC: Price & availability

A Gigabyte GS32QC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The Gigabyte GS32QC is priced at $239 (£279.99, AU$469) and is available now. Potential buyers in the U.S., UK, and AU can purchase the gaming monitor through Gigabyte’s purchasing portal, which will take you to various retailers in your region that sell the monitor where you are. 

For a 31.5-inch gaming monitor with a 170 Hz max refresh rate, there aren’t a lot of rivals in its class, but if the $239 is too much, users can get the 32-inch AOC C32G2 1080p monitor that has a similar refresh rate and can be purchased for $209. Though it doesn’t have any HDR capabilities, it has better posability. Another good alternative is the 27-inch Monoprice Dark Matter 27, which you can get for just over $200. 

  • Value 4.5 / 5

Gigabyte GS32QC: Specs

A Gigabyte GS32QC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Gigabyte GS32QC: Design

A Gigabyte GS32QC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Setting up for the Gigabyte GS32QC is pretty easy. Considering it’s also around 13 lbs, maneuverability makes the process even simpler. All users have to do is connect the stand to the neck via pre-installed screws and both to the monitor rear. The simplicity of putting the GS32QC together relates to the generally boring all-black plastic design. Don’t expect any aggressive angles or RGB lighting. This gaming monitor is meant solely for functionality. That also lends to the inputs located on the back panel. 

On the right near the neck is the power port that thankfully doesn’t require a battery pack. On the far opposite side to the right are two HDMI ports, a sole DisplayPort, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is perfect for PC gamers who own multiple consoles as well. Considering the price, it makes sense for extras such as external speakers and USB hubs to be absent. Just understand that this is a true plug-and-play machine.  One of the most significant design flaws is the fact that the GS32QC can only tilt up and down. This means there isn't any height or tilting to the side. 

A small nub at the bottom of the lower bezel serves as the power button in addition to in-display controls. Holding the nub for several seconds will turn the monitor off and on. Making color changes, changing inputs, and adding crosshair overlays among others are done by clicking in the nub and going from there.

  • Design 3.5 / 5

Gigabyte GS32QC: Features

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A Gigabyte GS32QC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS32QC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS32QC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Though it would have been nice to have G-Sync compatibility, the Gigabyte GS32QC does offer FreeSync Premium which is compatible with the best graphics cards from Nvidia anyway. Considering the gaming monitor is geared toward enthusiasts and more esports gamers, it's a respectable variable refresh rate solution to be offered at this price. 

It doesn’t hurt that the display is HDR-compatible, too, though making changes or using features through the OSD menu controlling nub can be a bit cumbersome; especially when in the middle of a game. Having OSD software in Windows that can streamline whatever personal touches or changes need to be made is a better way to go. 

The GS32QC does have three main game assist functions that will help gamers gain an advantage. The most obvious are the handful of crosshair overlays which work fine when playing games of Call of Duty, Fortnite, and other first-or-third-person shooters. 

Then there’s the aim assist that reduces motion blur in speedier games like F1 2023. Be mindful that it won’t work if the refresh rate is below 100Hz and if FreeSync is activated. One way to avoid using aim assists altogether is by turning in-game motion blur off. 

Finally, there is an on-screen timer which works wonders for speed runners.  

  • Features 3.5 / 5

Gigabyte GS32QC: Performance

A Gigabyte GS32QC on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Taking a gaming-first approach, the Gigabyte GS32QC leans more on technical performance than overall image quality. PC gaming rigs that are powerful enough to reach high frame rates in games like Doom Eternal, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, Fortnite, and the like will run fine on the gaming monitor. 

Don’t expect any lag or legacy issues even when FreeSync is turned on. Games run fine and having assists like crosshair overlays helps with hitting targets in shooters. Anyone with a budget rig between 1080p and 1440p native resolutions should find the GS32QC a nice buttery smooth start. 

General SDR image quality is more than solid for this type of budget gaming monitor. Contrast is fantastic at 3500:1 and the monitor makes the most of its 300 cd/m2 brightness. 

Colors are bold and crisp while blacks are deep. Visuals pop appropriately when playing more visually arresting games like Alan Wake II. One thing users might want to avoid though is using the Black Equalizer, which causes more harm than good when it comes to image quality. However, it won’t matter much for those who are more concerned with winning than image quality anyway.

The biggest thing that holds back the Gigabyte GS32QC is the HDR. Toggling HDR in Windows monitor settings lends a flat and drab image. The only way to slightly fix that is through GPU color settings. 

Using creative software like Adobe Photoshop and Premiere, color correction was pretty much impossible. This means that creatively-minded gamers are probably going to either stick to SDR settings or look elsewhere completely. 

Having a curved VA monitor does create issues with direct lighting sources like lamps and sunlight nearby since this causes glaring issues that aren’t necessarily an issue when playing in a dark to dimly lit area.

  • Performance 4 / 5

Should you buy the Gigabyte GS32QC?

Buy the Gigabyte GS32QC if..

Don’t buy it if… 

Also Consider

How I tested the Gigabyte GS32QC:

My two weeks with the Gigabyte GS32QC were split between business and pleasure. During the day, the monitor was used during general tasks including Google Docs, Asana, and Adobe Suite. 

Adobe Suite software including Photoshop and Premiere Pro were used to look into color correction and to test image quality. To test video capabilities, various YouTube videos were played to get a play of image quality as well. As a way to test streaming and input capabilities, various picture-in-picture modes as well. 

I played competitive games to test out the performance of the monitor, including Fortnite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. To test image quality, I played Hogwarts Legacy and Alan Wake II, among other titles. Tests for general tasks and gaming were done in both SDR and HDR modes. 

I’ve spent the past several years covering monitors alongside other PC components for Techradar. Outside of gaming, I’ve been proficient in Adobe Suite for over a decade as well, so I know a good monitor when I see one.

  • First reviewed April 2024
Gigabyte GS34WQC review: a good curved gaming monitor for a great price—with caveats
7:00 am |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

Gigabyte has consistently been making gaming monitors primarily focused on the budget PC Gaming experience and the GS34WQC successfully leans into the ultrawide tier. The 34-inch 1440p display comes with a 120Hz refresh rate in addition to the ability to overclock to 135Hz. Performance aside, SDR image quality is quite stunning and looks great. 

Then there’s an incredibly reasonable feature set that comes with various gaming assists such as crosshair overlay. Though there’s a nub to make various in-display settings changes, the GS34WQC can also be personalized through the OSD Sidekick app. For variable refresh rate solutions, the monitor comes packed with AMD FreeSync Premium to combat potential screen tearing. 

For $329(£388, AU $549), this gaming monitor makes more than enough sense for PC gamers who want an ultrawide display that won’t break the bank. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be any sacrifices to pack all of this into that price point. 

One of the most glaring issues is its HDR implementation. Even with changing settings through software or in-display, image quality is only going to look slightly average. To be honest, it’s best to avoid HDR on the GS34WQC altogether. Then there are some design problems that come in the general aesthetic alongside set-up. 

Like other modern Gigabyte gaming monitors, some assists like Black Equilizer and Aim Stabilizer do more to hurt overall image quality than help in any way. PC gamers looking for more extras like speakers and USB capabilities are going to be a bit disappointed. Anyone with a solid 1440p rig looking to play games in the 120 frame rate range may walk away satisfied; more so if they also have PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The Gigabyte GS34WQC offers a quality PC gaming experience at the cost of things that individuals in the price range probably won’t care about. 

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Price and availability

A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Available now in U.S. UK and AU territories, the Gigabyte GS34WQC retails for around $329(£388, AU $549) depending on where one shops. Though available on Amazon, the gaming monitor can be grabbed at various stories depending on where one resides. In the U.S., the monitor can be purchased at Best Buy, UK residents can find it at Currys and Australian citizens can find it at MSY. 

Considering the price, the GS34WQC is one of the most affordable 34 inch ultrawide gaming monitors available. RIght now on Newegg, the monitor can be purchased on sale for $289 which adds even more to its value. Users looking for a bit more extras can pay around $10 bucks more for the Dell 34 Curved Gaming Monitor that also comes with a healthy selection of USB ports. Meanwhile, the significantly more expensive AOC CU34G2X at $450 provides better HDR capabilities in addition to USB ports. 

Value:  4 / 5

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Specs

A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Gigabyte GS34WQC Design

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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Like other Gigabyte gaming monitors, don’t expect the GS34WQC to do much in the looks department. The all-black matted material feels more acceptable in a classroom or library than next to an RGB desktop. Again, the GS34WQC is more about function than everything else. 

When it comes to maneuverability out of the box, the 18 lbs gaming monitor doesn’t feel unwieldy. Set-up is where some of the problems with the design began to show up. A singular attached screen connects the stand to the neck. However, those who don’t read the monitor may run into some issues in the next steps. 

The four screws already come taped to the neck that connects to the display. Be careful not to remove the tape without catching them because they will fall and can potentially get lost. Even more so, the packaging doesn’t come with a small screwdriver so users are responsible for securing the display themselves. Both height and tilt can be adjusted on the gaming monitor too.

There are a handful of ports available to get started including one DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, 3.5mm headphone, and power jack. Power goes directly through the display so users won’t have to worry about a larger powerbrick. The port selection is respectable and will definitely satisfy gamers with at least two consoles. Switching between inputs is pretty easy through the nub as well. Considering the low price for this ultrawide gaming monitor, this is good enough for a multiplatform gaming set-up alongside a gaming PC rig. 

Gamers who want extras like external speakers and USB hubs for connectivity are going to have to look elsewhere. Considering the max refresh rate output is 120Hz and 135Hz when overclocked, this is for lower-powered 1440p gaming rigs. 

  • Design 3.5 / 5

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Features

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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

The Gigabyte GS34WQC isn’t necessarily feature-rich but does have a handful of tools to improve a user’s gaming experience. When it comes to variable refresh rate solutions, having AMD FreeSync is a great addition; even for users who have Nvidia GPUs. Then there is HDR capability but we’ll explain why it's not very good in the next section. 

Those who don’t want to fiddle with the nub for settings outside of input can definitely give the OSD Sidekick app a shot. Though the app works well, it’s really a matter of preference in regards to usability. Users can make color changes in SDR and other display options but it’s also for toggling various game assists. 

Three primary gaming assistance features are designed to provide gamers with a competitive edge on the GS32QC. Foremost among these are the various crosshair overlays, seamlessly enhancing gameplay in titles like Call of Duty and Helldivers 2, as well as other first or third-person shooters. 

Additionally, there's the aim assist, effectively reducing motion blur in fast-paced games, though it's important to note its inoperability if the refresh rate falls below 100Hz or FreeSync is activated. To circumvent the need for aim assists entirely, players can opt to disable in-game motion blur. Finally, there's the on-screen timer, a boon for speedrunners seeking to optimize their performance.

  • Features 3.5 / 5

Gigabyte GS34WQC: Performance

A Gigabyte GS34WQC gaming monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

 PC gamers with lower-to-mid-range rigs should feel more at home with the Gigabyte GS34WQC than more expensive gaming monitors. What the display does well is make good on its native 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. Playing fast-paced online shooters like Helldivers 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III was a blast in addition to running exceptionally well. Add AMD Freesync Premium into the mix, it’s clear that the GS34WQC can run with the big dogs at similar settings. As mentioned earlier, the monitor is suitable for multi-platform gamers as well considering both Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 can deliver a max frame-rate output of 120Hz. 

When it comes to image quality, the GS34WQC is wonderful when running in SDR. Colors are bold and crisp with just the right amount of brightness. Blacks are deep and the contrast ratio looks pretty good. Just stay far away from the Black Equilizer which needs to be bumped down considerably. The game assists are supposed to make visuals clearer in darker spaces when playing a game but that can ruin emersion and can simply be fixed through in-game brightness settings. More visually arresting games like Alan Wake II and Cyberpunk 2077 look as well as they perform on the GS34WQC if one’s rig is up to snuff. 

Just leave HDR completely alone on this gaming monitor. By default, HDR looks really washed out and flat. The monitor loses a lot of the colorfulness and lushness that SDR provides. Blacks look a bit too bright as well. Even when tinkering with settings, it's hard to get color accuracy. With that said creatives who use Adobe suite software like Photoshop and Premiere Pro might want to leave HDR alone when using the GS34WQC. It’s simply not good for gaming, creative work, or general computing tasks. 

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Should I buy the Gigabyte GS34WQC?

Buy the Gigabyte GS34WQC if… 

Don’t buy it if… 

Also Consider

How I tested the Gigabyte GS34WQC

During the day, I used the Gigabyte GS34WQC for general computing tasks that revolved around using sites including Google Docs, Hootsuite, and Asana. Now and then, I would have to create graphics and cut video clips as well. There were also times when I took a break to watch videos on YouTube alongside other social media platforms. 

For gaming, I tested out the monitor's performance by playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer alongside the current popular game of the moment, Helldivers 2. To test out overall gaming image quality, Forza Motorsport (2023), Alan Wake II, and others were played. All games played were tested in both SDR and HDR modes, for good measure. 

I’ve spent the past several years covering monitors alongside other PC components for Techradar. Outside of gaming, I’ve been proficient in Adobe Suite for over a decade as well, so I know a good monitor when I use one.

  • First reviewed April 2024
BenQ PD2705UA review: a photographer’s dream monitor
8:00 pm | March 17, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Comments: Off

BenQ PD2705UA: Two-minute review

Unless you’re looking for a super-fast monitor for competitive gaming, there's very little to fault with the BenQ PD2705UA. It’s a fantastic display, whether for work tasks  or those jobs that require greater accuracy such as photo and video editing.

While 27 inches may seem small when it comes to shopping for the best monitors, it will be the perfect size for those not wanting to be overwhelmed by their display. In fact, it has all the makings of the best 4K monitors for most people, with any issues I’ve had with the BenQ PD2705UA pretty minimal. 

For instance, the sound quality isn’t anything to shout about; but then I've yet to come across a monitor that has really delivered in that realm. Plus, you can always use a set of speakers.

When it comes to what makes this monitor special, I have to start with its ergonomics, specifically the PD Ergo Arm. Instead of the usual stand, it clamps onto the lip of the desk for incredible stability. From there, you can swivel the monitor to either side by a massive 275 degrees. Its tilt is a bit more modest at five degrees down and 30 up, although I don’t find it to be too bothersome. More interestingly, it’s very easy to pivot the screen 90 degrees into portrait mode – perfect for coders.

A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Also worth mentioning about the Ergo Arm is the fact that cable management is built right into it for a very clean-looking setup.

Port selection impresses, too, with HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-C options. The latter is particularly welcome; I no longer need a dongle to plug in a MacBook, plus it comes with charging to keep that MacBook juiced up during use.

There’s also a USB-hub with KVM capabilities, so you can use the same keyboard and mouse no matter the source – and while this isn't a new feature, it’s implemented well here. Again, that USB-C shines insofar that you don’t need an upstream cable connected to that computer to use the KVM feature. Unfortunately, there’s only one upstream cable included, despite the inclusion of two ports. As such, if you want to use the KVM feature between an HDMI and DisplayPort source, you’ll have to invest in an extra cable.

As far as controls are concerned, they’re situated on the monitor's back-right corner and consist of three buttons and a joystick. Using them to navigate the OSD menu is about as straightforward and intuitive as it gets. However, BenQ also includes a hotkey puck with a dial for some easy manipulation, which can be customized in the OSD menu.

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A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

The display itself is a 27-inch IPS panel with a 4K resolution at 60Hz. Unless you want total immersion, which I think is more important for gaming over anything else, it’s actually the perfect size. And, with 99% Rec.709, 99% sRGB color coverage, it’s vibrant enough for any media and can handle any color work you need to complete.

While it’s plenty bright at 250 nits, its 350 nits peak in HDR is only adequate. It’s nice to have, but I do wish HDR was a bit better. However, considering this is a sub-$600 monitor with so much going on, I’m not surprised.

There are some additional features that really add to the experience, though, with two that photo editors in particular will appreciate. First, there are a number of color modes (specifically: Animation, CAD/CAM, Darkroom, DICOM, HDR, Low Blue Light, M-Book, Rec.709, sRGB, User) for different situations, so you can adjust the color coverage and temperature for your work or for matching your laptop’s screen – the M-Book to match an Apple laptop’s XDR display, for instance.

The second is an extension of those color modes. Specifically, you can split the screen between any two color modes so that you can see what your work will look like on different screens. 

Additionally, Picture-In-Picture and Picture-By-Picture are available with the BenQ PD2705UA. My only issue with either is the fact that it takes a bit of work to adjust each source’s resolution manually to fill the screen, although that’s probably more of an issue with Windows than with the monitor.

As mentioned before, the BenQ PD2705UA comes with two 2.5W speakers. It isn't particularly loud, there’s little bass, and it can sound a little boxy. However, it will do in a pinch, if need be. That said, I'd recommend using the monitor with a set of external speakers, especially for any audio work when working on video. 

A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

BenQ PD2705UA: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $549.99 / £549.99 / AU$739
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia

A price tag of $549.99 / £549.99 / AU$739 could be considered pricey; but if you consider all that the BenQ PPD2705UA has to offer, it’s more than reasonable. Especially if you have an awkward setup and are in need of its ergonomics or want good color coverage.

Consider, for instance, the LG 32UN880, which has been around for a few years already. It’s still priced higher, even though we reviewed it back in 2020. At the time, it went for $699 (£599, AU$1,203) and now seems to hover closer to $630. Of course, it's bigger at 32 inches and has a similarly useful ergonomic arm, not to mention top-notch color coverage (or 4K resolution). However, the cable management and range of KVM implementation on the BenQ PD2705UA is better.

This BenQ model is just a bit cheaper than the BenQ PD2706UA I reviewed last year priced at $629.99 (about £503.60, AU$932.65). And, as far as I can tell, the PD2706UA is just a bit brighter with a focus on its DCI-P3 color coverage. 

  •  Price: 4 / 5 

A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

BenQ PD2705UA: Specs

A BenQ PD2705UA monitor on a desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Should you buy the BenQ PD2705UA?

Buy the BenQ PD2705UA if...

You need a great screen for photo editing
With 99% sRGB and Rec.709 color coverage, not to mention that sharp 4K resolution, accuracy of photo editing work won't be an issue with this monitor. 

You care about ergonomics
The Ergo Arm stands above typical stands in more than just a literal way. It can turn in all sorts of directions, making it perfect for those who have an awkward setup or want to put their monitor in portrait mode.

Don't buy it if...

You want a high refresh rate
If you’re looking for a high-refresh-rate monitor, this isn't for you. It’s capped at 60Hz and is meant for creatives and worker bees, not competitive gamers.

You’re on a budget
While the price is good for those who need such a monitor, technically it still can't be classed as cheap. Of course, for editing work, you’re better off saving up for a monitor such as this over opting for a cheap model.

BenQ PD2705UA: Also consider

If my BenQ PD2705UA review has you looking for other options, here are two more monitors to consider...

How I tested the BenQ PD2705UA

  • Used regularly for a week
  • Tested with multiple sources
  • Tried out all the features

I used the BenQ PD2705UA regularly for a week. While I did play some games on it (which went very well), it was mainly used as intended. I tried multiple sources and used the various features to see how well they worked, especially the KVM and various color modes. I also played around with the Ergo Arm to assess its limitations.

Having used this monitor, it’s clear that it’s meant for professionals and creatives, particularly photographers, who want a great monitor that doesn’t break the bank.

I’ve tested a lot of tech gear over the years, from laptops to keyboards and speakers, and so have been able to use my expertise to deliver an honest and fair opinion, not to mention a critical eye, to any product I test. 

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

BenQ PD2705UA: Price & availability

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS review: performance gaming on a budget
12:00 pm | March 14, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: One-minute review

1440p on a 27-inch panel is arguably still the best choice for mainstream PC gaming. It's also cheaper than ever, with even high-refresh options dipping below $200. In that context, the new Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS doesn't immediately look like a bargain.

For sure, it's cheaper than the equivalent model from Asus's premium ROG range. But at around $300 it's still a fair bit more expensive than entry-level screens that tick the 1440p, 27-inch, and high-refresh-rate boxes.

Then again, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS does have a pretty strong spec list with which to do battle with the very best gaming monitors. Beyond the 1440p, 27-inch thing, you get 180Hz refresh instead of the 144Hz more common to cheaper models, plus 1ms GtG response. That later figure implies this is probably an IPS rather than VA panel, and that is indeed the case.

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

What's more, it comes with HDR400 support, and thus can achieve 400 nits peak brightness. HDR400 is the lowest level of HDR compliance, so you have to be realistic about what this kind of screen can achieve. But it's better than no HDR support at all.

Then add in USB-C with power delivery and a stand that adjusts every which way, not to mention the fact that this is a monitor from one of the best brands in the gaming business and you have a very attractive overall proposition. Sure, it's not the cheapest 1440p panel out there. But it's pretty reasonably priced and very promising on paper.

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Price & availability

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $299 / around £325 / AU$450
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US at the time of writing

At $299 in the US, and likely around £325 in the UK and $450 in Australia (pricing in those two territories has yet to emerge at the time of writing) the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS isn't the cheapest high-refresh 1440p panel out there.

Still, it's pretty competitive given the specs, including a 180Hz refresh from an IPS panel, and the fact that it's from Asus. If you want cheaper, you could try the Gigabyte G27Q, which is also an IPS panel but only hits 144Hz.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Design

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Fully adjustable stand
  • Premium build quality despite the relatively low price
  • HDR400 rating, but no local dimming

As a member of the more affordable Asus ROG Strix range, as opposed to the more premium ROG Swift line, it's perhaps not a huge surprise that the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS isn't decked out with a zillion RGB lights. However, you do get a high-quality and fully adjustable stand, including height, tilt, swivel, and pivot into portrait mode.

Generally, it looks and feels a cut above more affordable 1440p options. That extends to the connectivity, which includes not only DisplayPort and HDMI, but also USB-C with power delivery.  If the latter is an impressive inclusion at this price point, the catch is that you only get 7.5W of power delivery. So, you can forget keeping a laptop juiced up in a single-cable scenario, that's not enough power.

Instead, Asus envisages that you'll use it to charge your smartphone, for which there is a slot on the front of the stand base. That's just about plausible, but it's not a really clear-cut advantage over just plugging your phone into the wall. If the stand did wireless charging or the USB-C interface did a lot more than 7.5W then the utility on offer would be a whole lot better.

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS Key Specs

Panel size: 27 inches
Panel type: IPS
Resolution:  2560 x 1440
Brightness: 400 nits
Contrast: 1000:1
HDR: HDR400
Pixel response: 1ms
Refresh rate: 180Hz
Inputs:  1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB-C with 7.5W PD 

Beyond the 1440p and 27-inch basics, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS offers a very solid set of specs. You get 180Hz refresh, which is plenty for all but the most serious esports addicts, plus 1ms response times. That's about as good as it gets for an IPS gaming monitor and this panel is comfortably faster than cheaper models based on VA rather than IPS screen technology. For tangibly better response, you'd need to speed nearly three times as much on an OLED monitor.

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

As for HDR, there's DisplayHDR 400 certification, which means 400 nits brightness. There's no local dimming, so this isn't a true HDR display. However, with a claimed 97% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space, this is a fairly high-fidelity monitor. 

Yes, there are higher-specification gaming monitors, including 1440p models. However, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS's spec ticks all the important boxes for a great gaming experience.

  • Design: 4 / 5

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Performance

  • Factory color calibration is excellent
  • Solid SDR visuals in HDR mode
  • Incredibly snappy response times

This is a beautifully calibrated monitor. The colors are pitch-perfect and there's oodles of visual pop. This is a vibrant, punchy, and accurate display.

If that all applies to the default SDR mode, the HDR mode is even better. But perhaps not for the reasons you might expect. As an HDR400 panel with no local dimming, there's only the most basic HDR support on offer. But it's the way SDR content is handled in HDR mode that actually most impresses.

In short, this is the closest an affordable HDR-capable LCD monitor gets to perfect SDR calibration in HDR mode. All too often this class of entry-level HDR monitor makes a mess of SDR content in HDR mode. That means you have to keep jumping back and forth between modes depending on content type. But with this Asus Strix panel, you can leave it in HDR mode all the time. It's so much simpler.

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Another highlight is pixel response. This is as good as IPS gaming monitors get for perceived pixel response, it's really, really sharp and clear. Even better, in the OSD menu you can choose from no fewer than 20 levels of pixel overdrive. If that sounds like overkill, and it is really, it means you can strike exactly the balance between outright speed and overshoot that you are willing to tolerate.

In truth, even with the overdrive maxed out the overshoot and inverse ghosting are pretty mild. In fact, the only real demerit in the response department is that the ELMB or Extreme Low Motion Blur mode only slightly improves subjective response and does so like all other ELMB modes, by crushing brightness to the point it's hard to imagine why anyone would use it.

Anyway, short of an OLED monitor for about 2.5 times the money, you'll have a hard time spotting the extra speed from more expensive 1440p panels. Even here in 2024, 1440p on a 27-inch makes a lot of sense for mainstream gaming. You get plenty of image detail but without the debilitating GPU load of 1440p. So, you don't need a $1,000 graphics card to get the most out of this display.

At the end of the day, the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS isn't the cheapest high-refresh 1440p panel out there. But it is a clear cut above lesser alternatives when it comes to everything from speed to accuracy and all-round visual pop.

The only obvious flaw is the fairly pointless USB-C interface with such limited power delivery (and the gimmicky phone slot in the stand, if that bothers you). But that aside, this is just a really nice gaming panel with great specs for a decent price. Highly recommended.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

The Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS gaming monitor on a white desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS?

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also Consider

Asus ROG Strix XG27ACS: Report Card

  • First reviewed March 2024
AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK review: A solid performer for a reasonable price
12:40 pm | March 6, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Monitors Peripherals & Accessories | Tags: | Comments: Off

AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK: Two-minute review

It’s gotten to the point where you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a generally solid gaming experience. That’s certainly where AOC is positioning their latest panel, the catchily named AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK, which brings with it the ideal combo of panel size and resolution – 2560 x 1440 strewn over a 27-inch screen – alongside purposeful looks and a generally great image for reasonable money in today’s economy. 

There’s quite a sea of options at this more affordable price point, but the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK offers a lot for a good price, and may well just be one of the best gaming monitors out there in its price bracket.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK is perhaps a little non-descript compared to some similarly-priced gaming monitors, opting for a simple but effective black plastic chassis with flecks of red on the stand and underside of the bottom bezel. This is typical for AOC monitors and makes this panel look as if it’s a successor to the AOC display I use day to day. 

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Its simple design pays off, as it’s a good-looking monitor, with thin bezels helping it to look reasonably modern. A weight of 5.5kg gives it some nice heft, and it feels well-made, considering the price. The stand on offer is practical, offering solid adjustment with tilt, height, and swivel, but not rotation - arguably given the slight 1500R curvature. This is also a VESA-compatible panel if you want to opt for wall mounting or on a desk clamp with a mount, as opposed to the bundled stand. 

It’s also easy to put together with a tool-less construction. Instead, the CQ27G2S/BK uses a screw-in stand that attaches to the panel especially conveniently, making life easy. If you’re like me and have a small phobia of manual labor then putting together AOC’s candidate is a doozy.

As for inputs, the CQ27G2S/BK features a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports and a singular DisplayPort 1.4 option, as well as a headphone jack. Given the more affordable price point, I’m not too worried about the lack of more modern accoutrements such as any USB ports, although they would have been nice to have.

There are built-in speakers, although they aren’t the best, sounding thin overall with little in terms of bass and top-end. The saving grace here is that the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK features a 3.5mm earphone jack so you can connect up external speakers, which would be preferable.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Apart from the actual panel itself, the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK doesn’t offer much else in the way of additional features. The big thing here though is its on-screen display (OSD). While offering plenty of features to play around with including dedicated gamer modes as well as a handful of HDR modes you can enable, it isn't easy to navigate. It takes a few seconds to move from menu to menu, and the buttons on the bottom right offer very little in the way of assistance with function and direction. A joystick would have made things a lot easier.

In delving into the actual panel, the CQ27G2S/BK utilizes a 27-inch VA panel, complete with a 2560x1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. There is support for VRR with AMD FreeSync, although Nvidia GPUs are supported with adaptive sync, and there's a vague semblance of HDR with support for DisplayHDR 10. 

In testing, the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK provided some excellent image quality. It provides decently bright images with a measured peak figure of 242 nits while offering pretty deep blacks and solid contrast that actually exceeds AOC’s own quoted 4000:1 by a little bit. Its 6900K color temperature is solid for a monitor of this price too, as is its SDR color accuracy. 100% sRGB coverage means it displays all the colors needed for mainstream work and play as accurately as possible while 90% DCI-P3 means it could handle more specialist workloads if you wanted to.

AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK Key Specs

Panel size: 27 inches
Panel type: VA LCD
Resolution:  2560 x 1440
Brightness: 250 nits
Contrast: 4000:1
HDR: HDR10
Pixel response: 1ms
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Inputs:  2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 3.5mm headphone jack 

In enabling HDR though, it’s where AOC’s more affordable mid-ranger falls over. It becomes a much more washed-out and overall less enticing picture. Its 80% sRGB and 59% DCI-P3 color space coverage mean that the CQ27G2S/BK isn’t at all suitable for HDR workloads, and you should stick to working in SDR.

However, it’s important to note that this isn’t necessarily a panel designed for color-sensitive workloads, and for gaming in SDR, it was excellent. The combination of a 27-inch screen and 1440p panel offered solid detail over a great size for my desk, while the 165Hz refresh rate ensured output was smooth. Playing CS:GO at a high frame rate felt especially responsive while using it for day-to-day work and running my Football Manager 2023 save felt sharper. 

The moderate 1500R curve helped to provide a tad more immersion in FPS titles, and allowed me to focus more on firing at bots in CS:GO (I refuse to play online, I don’t want to get smoked!). That curvature was also welcome for filling my eyesight for day-to-day working, and while it may seem like an odd thing to say, the CQ27G2S/BK helped to immerse me in what I needed to get done. When rewatching the last series of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel on Prime Video, the curvature helped there, and viewing YouTube videos was solid too.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? £220 (US model $290, about AU$425)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Currently available in the UK

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK appears to be a UK-exclusive panel, being priced at £220 - at least, this exact model. A virtually identical monitor - the AOC Agon Q27G2S - is available in the US for $290 (around AU$425). It sits well amongst some of the best high refresh rate monitors we’ve looked at in the past, such as our top choice, the Gigabyte Aorus CV27Q, and other similar specced options.

The CV27Q, despite now being a slightly older panel, matches well against AOC’s latest option with the same screen size, resolution, and refresh rate, although offers a quicker response time of 1ms, but a worse contrast ratio at 3000:1 compared to AOC’s 4000:1. 

Perhaps the next nearest competitor to the CQ27G2S/BK is an option from the brand 'X=', a spin-off from UK retailer AWD-IT. Their X=XRGB27WQ offers a virtually identical spec sheet to AOC’s choice with the same resolution, screen size, and resolution. It gets a little brighter than the CQ27G2S/BK with 350 quoted nits and offers an IPS panel as opposed to VA. That’ll run you £230, although you are banking on trusting a lesser-known brand.

Other options from the likes of Dell are going to cost at least £100 or so more than the CQ27G2S/BK, making it a rather great value-for-money choice in its category.

The AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK photographed on a desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK?

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Also Consider

 AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK: Report Card

How I tested the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S/BK

  • Spent nearly two weeks testing
  • Used for gaming, photo editing, watching videos and day to day work
  • Tested using a colorimeter for testing overall image quality

During my time with the AOC Gaming CQ27G2S, I used it as my main working monitor, using it for day-to-day work writing articles and editing images with Photoshop. I also used it to watch streaming content on Disney+ and Prime Video after work, as well as playing a variety of games

This is a monitor primarily designed for gaming, hence my testing in eSports titles such as CS:GO, where you’re more likely to feel the benefit of the panel’s 165Hz refresh rate. Its excellent color accuracy also makes it suitable for productivity and generalist workloads, as opposed to using it for more specialist tasks.

As someone who has a few years of experience writing reviews and testing all sorts of monitors, I’ve got the right tools to help you through the minefield of whether a monitor is actually any good or not. You can trust me to take everything into account to help you make the right buying decision.

  • First reviewed March 2024
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