Preview of AOC Agon AG251FZ
Cutting-edge is and always has been a relative term. Just a few months ago, the PC gaming world revealed at the capability of certain high-end products to go past 144hz, the gaming monitor market’s current industry standard. Top manufacturers have offerings capable of 165hz to 180hz refresh rates, and the benefits they bring are either minimal or highly subjective. In the recent months and weeks, these competing companies have separately announced another step up to monitor technology regarding refresh rates. Products with 240hz capabilities are slowly popping up from these’ companies labs with a common goal; to revolutionize what we consider “cutting edge.” AOC announced its latest 1080p offering, the AOC Agon AG251FZ. It’s a 25-inch, full HD gaming monitor that promises native support for a 240hz capability, along with 1ms response times to further enhance the gaming experience. This scorcher is aiming for an early 2017 release along with competitor representations of this new tech, so let’s take a closer look at what this sexy piece of tomorrow has to offer with our first impressions.
AOC Agon AG251FZ Specifications
- Screen Size: 24.5 Inches
- Resolution: Full HD 1080p
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: Twisted Nematic Film (TN)
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Response Time (Gray to Gray): 1 Milliseconds
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Brightness: 400 cd/m²
- Built-In Speakers: Yes (2 x 3 Watts)
- Stand: Height: Yes (5.12 inches)
- Stand: Tilt: Yes – 3.5°/+21.5°
- Stand: Swivel – Yes -20°/20°
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (100×100)
- Connectivity: HDMI x 2, DisplayPort x 1, DVI x 1, D-Sub x 1, 4 x USB 3.0, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Weight: 14.33lbs
- Dimensions: With stand: 22.31” x 21.46” x 8.59″
Design and Features AOC AG251FZ
While the general gaming populace prefers gaudy or extreme physical looks, AOC decided to go with a sleek and professional appearance without compromising a show of its gaming pedigree. The AG251FZ sports a streamlined appearance with thin bezels somewhat unnoticeable when the monitor is turned on. A bold Agon logo can be seen on the bottom part, along with the OSD button labels. The cabinet sports a matte black color and texture that borders on looking like it’s dark gray. At a glance, the monitor looks like it should fit a more professional vibe or ambiance, rather than the explosive gaming and entertainment presence its specs offer. The rear of the cabinet showcases the product’s most distinct physical feature in the form of a reverse red chevron. A USB 3.0 Hub is present on the right-hand side which includes USB 3.0 ports and an audio jack for convenience, plus a handy headset hanger that swivels out for your cans or can fold back in if you plan to have other displays standing next to this monitor. You can also read our review of AOC G2460PF .
The stand included in the package has an aluminum or titanium color and texture, which exudes elegance and prestige a professional product usually includes. This mechanism allows for an acceptable amount of articulation and is quite sturdier once positioned when compared to the previous iterations of older models. Cables can go through the slit in between the two posts, and when looking at the top part, a carry handle is also present in case you want to lug this sexy thing around. Moving this beast around is easy since this product weighs a lot less than previous 27inch monitors, but the overall build quality does not look like it is compromised. The adjustment points are also marked with incremental dimension labels, for easy reposition of the display. To top things off, the stand detaches to reveal 100 x 100 VESA mounts for aftermarket options.
Performance and Features
The AG251FZ sports a Full HD 1080p panel with 16 million colors, 1ms response time and 1000:1 contrast ratio. There is nothing special since this is a newer product except for one other spec not found in currently available monitors. This model is capable of a 240hz refresh rate, almost twice as fast as the current mainstream gaming monitors available now. So far, we have seen competing models from Asus and BenQ, but as of the moment, there are no real world benchmarks or comparative tests on how each performs. But from a single glance against a 144hz monitor, you can see some level of improvement in regards to the smoothness of the image, especially in fast moving situations. The 240hz refresh rate is ideal for twitch-aimers who rely on quick side swiping to aim and shoot and the jumping and “strafey” players. In these mentioned circumstances, the difference is slightly noticeable. But in normal circumstances, as the video plays along, the movements appeared to be slightly smoother than the 144hz display, but the difference is too small to notice and consider. Blurring and stuttering are still present, but somehow appear to have minimized as the images render on the screen. We cannot say for certain if this entirely accurate, since all of the perceived benefits may be subjective or part of a placebo effect the product induces into the mind.
Aside from the blazing refresh rate, this monitor is also Freesync certified meaning it can utilize AMD’s variable refresh rate technology to control tearing and stuttering in situations where FPS is dipping by a considerable degree. In some graphic-intensive titles such as Battlefield 1, 240hz is quite impossible to reach for a lot of GPUs even in 1080p at max settings. If you are a casual gamer more into eye-candy than rapid refresh rates, having ultra settings may prove to have varying FPS results especially in intense situations in-game. This facet is where Freesync comes into play if you have an AMD video card. AOC also includes a Low Input lag mode in the OSD to alleviate additional latency coming from using Freesync or other situations, so as to keep the monitor as fast as it could while gaming. Aside from these features, standard eye safety options are also present including blue light filter modes and flicker-free operation.
The AOC AG 251FZ is shaping up to be a top competitor in the 240hz segment as we speak. The design veers away from the usual gamer-centric aggressive styling that competitors are utilizing in their respective representations for this segment, and we consider that to be a good thing. Classy and streamlined always outlasts the fad looks and judging from the specs AOC advertises for this model, we can consider this product to have a touch of future-proofing so it could find a longer time of usage than a 144hz display. Even if this monitor still has a 1080p TN panel, the 240hz refresh rate still has a long way to go before the current gaming market, and situation catches up to it and renders it obsolete. As it is, we are only scratching the surface on this technology, and most of the computer hardware available to mainstream users are struggling to catch up. From what we have seen, 240hz offers only a slight advantage against 144hz, and results may vary from person to person. We all have different levels of quality in vision, after all.
As for the benefits of buying this monitor, that depends on you. If you already reached gaming nirvana with 144hz, then probably spending the extra cash to upgrade to a 240hz monitor may seem like a waste of a lot of money. But coming from an old 60hz, monitor, this product is a great upgrade. As far as we have seen, this model is rearing to have a $450 price tag, which is quite a good price considering that BenQ and Asus are offering 240hz monitors which aim at a $500+ price point at this time. Most of the 240hz monitors about to become available list a seemingly identical spec sheet, so if you look at the performance per dollar aspect, you may get more with the AOC AG251FZ along with a none offensive and sexy look.