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AOC U28G2XU Review

By Edward Chester. Posted

The AOC U28G2XU is the cheapest 144Hz 4K display we’ve yet seen. As you’d expect for this price, the U28G2XU isn’t a particularly flashy monitor. Its build is simple and minimalistic, but not to the point we’d be concerned about any build quality failings. The stand offers height, pivot, rotation and tilt adjustment, as well as a 100 x 100mm VESA mount for using alternative stands.

Connection options are decent too, with one DisplayPort 1.4 input and two HDMI connectors. However, only the DisplayPort 1.4 input can handle 4K at 144Hz – the HDMI inputs are only HDMI 2, so they’re limited to 60Hz at this resolution. You also get a 4-port USB 3.2 hub, and the power supply is internal and uses an IEC C14 (kettle lead) connection, so it doesn’t have an annoying power brick.

A pair of 3W speakers is also included, and they don’t sound too bad. In addition, there’s a headphone jack, which sounds clear and undistorted, if lacking the finesse of higher-end sound devices.

This 28in screen’s extra inch of diagonal measurement over a 27in panel is welcome when working with such a fine resolution, although it doesn’t have quite the impact of a 32in screen, such as the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX. Meanwhile, across the board, image quality is generally excellent. The IPS panel technology keeps viewing angles wide, while contrast ratio is notably high, measuring 1,105:1 in our tests.

The display has an extended colour gamut of up to 86 per cent DCI-P3 (120 per cent sRGB), but this can be reduced back to 100 per cent sRGB in sRGB mode, although this fixes the brightness at 50 per cent (150 nits). Whether or not you choose to have more vivid colours, this display produces a superb colour balance, so there should be no need to adjust any of the settings (you get a 6,484K colour temperature and 2.24 gamma). The only letdown is poor panel uniformity, with the display dropping in brightness by up to 19 per cent at its outer edges.

The stand offers height, pivot, rotation and tilt adjustment, as well as a 100 x 100mm VESA mount for using alternative stands

As for gaming, this display doesn’t set any response time records, but it doesn’t suffer from any distracting smearing or ghosting. Meanwhile, the jump up from 60Hz to 144Hz at 4K is immediately noticeable, even just on the Windows desktop, making for some wonderfully smooth, pin-sharp gaming.

Adaptive sync (FreeSync and G-Sync) support is included too, so you can eliminate tearing and stuttering in most scenarios, plus there’s a backlight-strobing blur reduction mode to further increase the snappy feel. However, using this comes at the expense of adaptive sync.

If there’s one problem, it’s this monitor’s on-screen display (OSD) control system. The controls consist of five tiny buttons on the underside of the screen’s edge and they’re fiddly to use. It’s a struggle to find the right button when you start, and then it’s all too easy to hit the wrong one or tap the power button and turn off the whole display. Thankfully, the menus themselves at least have all the options you should need.

Conclusion

Bringing the world of 144Hz 4K gaming to a new low price, the AOC U28G2XU is a compelling proposition for those seeking the next level in image clarity and gaming performance. Its fiddly OSD controls and slightly iffy panel uniformity can’t detract from what is otherwise an excellent monitor at this price. The main problem for it at the moment is a lack of available stock in the UK, but this is a great 4K monitor to consider when it reappears on the shelves.

Verdict
An excellent-value display for people seeking 4K gaming at a high refresh rate.

Price
£568 inc VAT

Scores
Image quality 26/30 | Gaming 24/30 | Features | 18/20 | Value 18/20 | Overall 86%

Fast and sharp
+Low price for 4K at 144Hz
+Excellent out-of-the-box image quality
+Plenty of features

Slow and dull
-Poor edge uniformity
-Only 60Hz for HDMI inputs
-Fiddly OSD controls

Spec
Screen size 28in
Resolution 3,840 x 2,160
Panel technology IPS
Maximum refresh rate 144Hz
Stated response time 1ms
Max brightness 370cd/m²
Backlight zones 1
Stated contrast ratio 1,000:1
Adaptive sync FreeSync and G-Sync-compatible
Display inputs 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2
Audio 2 x 3W speakers, headphone output jack
Stand adjustment Height, pivot, rotation, tilt
Extras 100 x 100mm VESA mount, 4-port USB 3.2 hub

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