AOC AG352UCG Curved G-Sync Gaming Monitor Review

OSD Setup & Calibration

After our experience with AOC’s OSD joystick on the C400VU8, we had high expectations for the one found on the AG352UCG. Unfortunately, a different design team must have been involved because it isn’t nearly as intuitive. It is the only means of controlling the menu and doubles as a power toggle. That’s an annoying issue because when you press the stick, it turns the power off. There is no OK function. It took us a little time to acclimate and we think there is room for improvement. Press it to turn on the power. Click if fore and aft to control the volume. A left-click selects the video source, and right-click opens the menu. Once the OSD appears, fore and aft correspond to up and down. Right selects and left cancels. Just don’t press it by mistake or you’ll shut the screen off.

Rather than AOC’s usual strip across the bottom of the screen, there is a more traditional rectangle that you can place anywhere. We chose the lower-left corner. Options are few, and the first thing you’ll notice is there is no ULMB feature. We don’t consider this a deal-breaker, because we’d rather use G-Sync, and it’s not the only monitor we’ve seen to omit blur-reduction.

The Luminance menu has the usual brightness and contrast sliders plus a shadow control for low-end gamma. Increasing it helps with dark detail visibility, but we had no need for it. The AG352UCG’s VA panel has no trouble rendering fine shadow detail. You also get three gamma presets, and the first corresponds to 2.2. Four overdrive options are offered, and we found medium to provide the best performance with almost no ghosting. Game Mode has four image presets that alter color and gamma, but we found the best quality in the Off position. We’ll show you how to use the color temp options for best results.

In the color menu, you’ll find a low blue light slider along with four white balance presets. Warm is the default and sRGB is offered, but the best mode is User. It tightens up gamma tracking to perfection and doesn’t really need further adjustment, although you can tweak the RGB sliders for a little better result. We’ll show you that as well.

The OSD is available in 16 languages, can remain on the screen for up to two minutes, and has adjustable position and transparency. If you need a break reminder, a 10-second notice can be set to appear every hour.

The Extra menu has a factory reset, sleep mode (after 15 minutes of no-signal), USB charge (when the screen is in standby), LED color, and LED intensity. Those last two refer to the light bars on the bottom edge and back of the panel. They can light up red, green, or blue and have three brightness levels.

Calibration

By default, the AG352UCG’s Game Mode is off and its color temp set to Warm. This provides an reasonably accurate image, but we observed some clipping in the brightest content. Rather than turn the contrast down, we found that simply selecting the User color temp fixed the problem and kept color close to standard. Further adjustment of the RGB sliders lowered the errors even more. This panel provides a vivid and saturated image with accurate color and excellent contrast, and requires very little tweaking. Here are our recommended settings.

AOC Agon AG352UCG Calibration Settings
Game Mode
Off
Brightness 200cd/m2
73
Brightness 120cd/m236
Brightness 100cd/m228
Brightness 80cd/m221
Brightness 50cd/m210
Contrast
50
Gamma
1
Color Temp User
Red 48, Green 50, Blue 50

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  • ledhead11
    Thanks for the review.

    Not in the market for an monitor but if I was I'd probably get this one. Good size, resolution, and the 100hz is actually a reasonable mark for people with single gpu solutions. At ultra many games can pull down even a 1080ti into the 60-100fps range at a resolution like this.
  • AgentLozen
    Quote:
    If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to add one of these screens to your system, the price/performance ratio has never been more attractive.


    Sounds like this monitor is deserving of an award but it's definitely not there. I suspect that it will pop up in a few hours after a ninja edit.
  • mihen
    I think the issue this monitor faces is quite simple. The price premium on a gsync monitor. I looked at them recently and there is a $200 markup over the FreeSync version. It's just really hard to suggest these monitors when a person is on a $2000 budget for the whole machine when that difference is an entire graphics card tier.
  • jrocksmooth
    As of 11/6/17, Microcenter has this monitor for $799. Fantastic deal for a 35" curved ultrawide 1440p.

    http://www.microcenter.com/product/476971/AG352UCG_35_Agon_LED_Gaming_Monitor_w-_NVIDIA_G-Sync
  • cmsvmylo
    This monitor will probably be my christmas present!
  • simfreak101
    still waiting for the next version of the Samsung CHG90 with DP 1.4; If they can get it to 7680x1440@100hz /w gsync then i would buy that and replace my 3 monitor setup i have right now.
  • Colin_10
    It still baffles me that these things are so expensive, there have been monitors at this resolution/frame rate for a few years now and still we are seeing 800 price points. I obviously don't know anything about the difficulty of manufacturing these things but it sure surprises me that price has remained this high for this long. Monitors seem to be one of those things that just doesn't drop in price. Graphics cards get replaced so fast due to advancements in tech that if you don't want to buy a 1080ti for 700 now, wait 2-3 years and you can get the 1260ti for 200 dollars and it has the same performance.
  • aberkae
    Dell Alienware 34 inch ips gsync display 3440*1440p on sale for $999 plus $75 gift card oc-able from 100hz to 120hz. Fyi
  • rguermas
    Great
  • gaborbarla
    What a great monitor, for a new setup this is great. Sadly it is hard sell for most serious gamers to justify going back from 144Hz to 100Hz. Sure, this is a spectacular looking monitor, it is huge, resolution is decent, curved for immersion and has higher than 60Hz. But 144Hz is a bare minimum for me, and I will only seriously consider it only once it satisfies that target.
  • dark_lord69
    I don't get it...
    Does it suck your d***?
  • Tanquen
    Curved, why distort the picture more and in a way your brain down like? The games are isometric so you’re just squishing the screen in the middle a bit. ??? :(
    1440 and like a foot tall. :(
    21:9 :(
    Wanting a flat 16:10 display in a 32:1 curved world. :(
  • uglyduckling81
    194916 said:
    Curved, why distort the picture more and in a way your brain down like? The games are isometric so you’re just squishing the screen in the middle a bit. ??? :( 1440 and like a foot tall. :( 21:9 :( Wanting a flat 16:10 display in a 32:1 curved world. :(

    Actually it's the opposite to your understanding. If the curve is right and your in the right spot the picture will be true. Same distance to your eyes at all points. With a large flat panel you get a distorted view at any point other than directly in front. Becoming more distorted the further out you go. It's why curved panels are a thing, otherwise the ultra wide format would be quite crappy to look at and use. I'm not sure what the squishing is your referring to but it's not a thing. It's essentially just a flat panel picture but adjusted so you get a truer view of the picture.
  • matthew_258
    hopefully 599$ @ Microcenter...i would wait in that line.
  • hixbot
    I want a high refresh rate, gsync, VA panel for gaming with good contrast. Unfortunately the only manufacturer making gaming VA panels, AUO, (who made the panel inside this AOC display) are only making curved displays. Curved is a dealbreaker for me.
  • cryoburner
    2185404 said:
    It still baffles me that these things are so expensive, there have been monitors at this resolution/frame rate for a few years now and still we are seeing 800 price points. I obviously don't know anything about the difficulty of manufacturing these things but it sure surprises me that price has remained this high for this long. Monitors seem to be one of those things that just doesn't drop in price. Graphics cards get replaced so fast due to advancements in tech that if you don't want to buy a 1080ti for 700 now, wait 2-3 years and you can get the 1260ti for 200 dollars and it has the same performance.

    Except these screens are getting better. A few years ago, gaming-focused VA screens with high refresh rates weren't a thing. If you wanted high refresh rates, you were stuck with TN panels. Since then, high refresh rate IPS screens came out to offer better color accuracy and viewing angles, and now high refresh rate VA screens are bringing up to three times the contrast ratios of TN or IPS panels. Other technologies are being incorporated into these screens to improve image quality as well. Resolution and refresh rate are not the only things that affect the quality of a monitor.

    And of course, prices can only drop so far. Compared to something like a graphics card, significantly more materials go into a monitor, and the cost to manufacture a panel of a particular size and resolution generally isn't going to massively drop from one year to the next.

    Also, graphics cards are not really a very good comparison right now, due to the shortages and price spikes that occurred this year. The cards we have now are more or less the same ones that were released last year, only most of them cost more now than they did then.
  • jasonelmore
    Subpar panel with limited refresh rate. Bring on the 600hz Quantum Dot Gsync Samsung!
  • JakeWearingKhakis
    My monitor is also VA

    Viotek 27" 144hz Freesync 1080p Curved

    I paid $249.00
  • Lutfij
    So no award? :) Good write up and review, keep up the good work!
  • dryslot
    @LUTFIJ That is my question too! I read this entire review and watched it trade punches with the Acer Predator Z301C, yet the Acer received Editor's Choice (isn't that Tom's highest?) while the AOC here received nothing.

    Maybe Acer's Tobii Eye tracking put it over the top? Sure, it has higher refresh at 200hz but it's "only" a 30" monitor at 1080p vs this 35" beast at 1440p.

    I understand that a 30" ultrawide is certainly in a sweet spot for many folks with video cards in the sub 1080 range, I'm one of them with a GTX 1070. And that is why I'm still considering the Acer. But I'm still leaning toward the AOC here which is no more expensive and feels more future-proof with the higher resolution. If I have to upgrade my video card, I'll accept my fate.