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AOC’s new 280Hz gaming monitor has an astoundingly low price

Also packing a GtG response time as low as 1ms and a 4000:1 contrast, AOC's new 27-inch gaming monitor offers a lot for its $200 price.

aoc c27g2z3 bk 280hz gaming monitor

The latest AOC gaming monitor has just been announced, in the shape of the C27G2Z3/BK, a new 27-inch, curved display with a massive 280Hz maximum refresh rate and hefty 4,000:1 contrast ratio. Potentially ideal for those looking to balance gaming performance with high-impact, high-contrast visuals, it offers plenty for its low price.

While we will have to wait to test the AOC C27G2Z3/BK properly before determining if it’s one of the best gaming monitors for its price, it certainly has plenty going for it on paper.

The most obvious big feature here is the 280Hz refresh rate. It still doesn’t feel like that long ago that 240Hz was a rare and premium feature but now we’re hitting 280Hz on a display that’s priced at just £199 (~$200 before tax). There are displays available on the likes of Amazon that offer 240Hz for less than this price, but few that push that bit further to 280Hz.

Admittedly, that extra 40Hz – a mere 17% increase – is going to result in a very subtle difference in how fast the monitor feels, but technically the difference is there.

The other big feature here is the 4,000:1 contrast of this VA LCD panel. That’s four times higher than the contrast you typically get on IPS or TN LCD panels, and it means you get deeper-looking blacks and a generally punchier image that’s ideal for creating a more atmospheric feel in games and movies.

aoc c27g2z3 bk 280hz gaming monitor front

The downside to displays using a VA LCD panel is that it’s generally the slowest responding type of LCD panel, which can result in fast motion producing a smeary, blurry image. However, AOC claims the C27G2Z3/BK has up to a 1ms grey-to-grey response time with a 0.5ms motion picture response time (MPRT) rating, both of which suggest that this blurring shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

The latter MPRT figure is achieved thanks to this display also boasting a strobing backlight mode. This can reduce the appearance of blur by rapidly flashing the backlight on and off in time with the refresh rate, creating the feel of a display that responds quicker. That may sound like witchcraft, but it actually does work really well in our tests, and doesn’t make the display visibly flicker.

One likely downside of the backlight strobing is that you won’t be able to use it while also engaging adaptive sync (the monitor is compatible with Freesync and G-Sync). That’s where the display will sync up its refresh rate with the frame rate of your graphics card to ensure there’s no image tearing or stutter. With no mention of an ability to enable both these features at once, you’ll probably have to choose between a faster-feeling response with image tearing, or the smoother look and feel of adaptive sync.

The display includes a height-adjustable stand with 130mm of travel, plus it can tilt up and down and rotate left and right. Of course, you also get a VESA mount for using alternative monitor arms.

Meanwhile, the design of the display is basic. There’s a matte black plastic finish for most of it, but with red highlights on the bottom bezel of the panel and around the base of the stand’s stem.

The AOC C27G2Z3/BK will be available from late June 2024. We’re yet to confirm which regions will get the display – with this announcement focusing on the UK market – but this display or a similar variant will hopefully be arriving on US shores too.

In the meantime, you can check out our AOC Agon Pro AG275QXM review to see our most recent AOC gaming monitor test, or click the link above to find AOC’s currently available 240Hz, 27-inch, VA display that costs just $180.