Brightness & Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing are covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
Ultra-wide monitors represent the top end of the gaming display pricing spectrum, but the new 25” 16:9 high-speed panels are also commanding a premium. We’ve included Acer’s XB252Q along with the Z301C 30” and XB382CQK 38” screens. We're also adding the Asus PG348Q and LG’s 34UC79G to the mix.
ULMB requires some extra horsepower in the brightness department, and the only monitor here that has enough is the XB252Q. That’s not an issue for the AG352UCG since it doesn’t have blur-reduction. Its claimed output is 300cd/m2, and our sample beats that comfortably with over 343. You’ll never have trouble seeing a nicely saturated picture even in brightly lit rooms.
With an AMVA panel, the black level is exemplary and only bested by the Z301C, and only by a small margin. This is the key to VA technology’s superior contrast. Some monitors we’ve tested can top 5000:1, but our curved ultra-wide examples are closer to 2500:1. It’s still more than double the best offered by TN or IPS.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
AOC has chosen to take minimum brightness down past the useful point at a dim 28.8939cd/m2. To set output at 50nits, click the slider up to 10. This isn’t a big deal for most users, but if you want to achieve a precise white level, the control is a bit too coarse. Each notch represents around 4cd/m2. The black level is where it should be, meaning that contrast stays consistent at 2243.7:1.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
After making a few changes to the image controls, we found that contrast had been set too high by default. This showed up in our gamma tests, and we could see some detail clipping in bright areas of the picture. Selecting the User color temp fixes this issue, but it exacts a cost in contrast—26% to be exact. It sounds like a lot, but remember that we’re still well above what’s possible from a TN or IPS panel. And now we can see all the detail present in the source content.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
ANSI contrast is a more real-world indication of a monitor’s true image depth, and the AG352UCG puts up a superb number. Only a few monitors we’ve tested can boast a better result in this test. And it has now edged out the Predator Z301C. If you value contrast in a gaming display as much as we do, you won’t find much better.
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