AOC has a reputation for building world class gaming monitors. Now, they’ve just launched a new line of Agon Pro panels designed to offer a degree of performance reserved for players competing at the highest levels. These monitors offer extremely high refresh rates and extremely low response times in order to ensure that the player experiences the least amount of ghosting and motion blur possible. One of those monitors is the AOC AGON Pro AG254FG.
AOC sent us this 24.5” IPS panel so that we could give it a fair and unbiased review. We enjoyed the larger AOC C32G2ZE when they sent it to us in the past, so we were eager to take a look at this new panel and see if it ranks among the best 1080p monitors.
Zoom In: Specs
- Resolution: 1920x1080p
- Panel Size/Type: 24.5” Flat IPS
- Refresh Rate: 360Hz
- Response Time: 1ms
- Brightness: 400 nits
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
- Ports: 2 HDMI 2.0, 1 DisplayPort 1.4
- G-synch + Nvidia reflex analyzer
- Two 5w speakers with DTS
- Mic in and 3.5mm headphone out
- Screen shield
- Vesa certified
- 130mm height adjustment
- Agon logo projector
- G-Menu software
- Price: $649.99
Unboxing and Build Quality
Let’s start with what’s in the box. The AGON Pro AG254FG comes with instructions, the panel itself, a stand, screen shield, power brick, HDMI 2.0 cable, DisplayPort cable, a USB Type-A to USB Type-B cable, and a controller. Assembly is completely tool-less and can be done in just a few minutes.
The monitor itself looks very nice. It has black trim with some red accents on the back. There’s an RGB strip along the bottom and three on either side of the back. These are set to rainbow as default, but can be modified through the monitor’s built-in software to a variety of other colors and patterns. There is also a ¼” bezel around the edges of the screen.
The stand allows for a wide degree of flexibility. It offers 130mm of height adjustment as well as the ability to tilt, swivel and pivot the monitor, meaning gamers should be able to get the monitor in just about any position they want. On top of all that, the stand also comes with a built-in projector that casts the image of either the word Agon or the Agon logo onto the desk below. Needless to say, this is incredibly gimmicky, but some fans may enjoy it. The panel is also Vesa certified, in case they would prefer to mount it.
There is a small control stick on the back of the monitor to navigate the built-in menu, but the included controller attachment plugs in via a miniUSB cable and allows players to more easily navigate this menu on the fly in order to switch settings in game. It can also be used to switch between inputs if you wish to attach consoles to the monitor as well.
Color and Picture
AOC is known for image quality in its monitors, and the Agon pro is no exception. While it is only a 1080p resolution monitor, the brightness, color and vibrancy of the image coupled with the screens smaller size makes the picture crisp and clean. Its brightness goes up to 400 nits and it has a static contrast ration of 1000:1. Luminance and color can also be fine-tuned through the built-in menu, and there are several low-blue light options for reducing eyestrain.
It uses an IPS panel, which are typically known for offering faster response times, wider viewing angles, better contrast ratios, and better color accuracy. This means they are also ideal for any photo or video editing work. The included screen shield also helps to reduce any potential glare that players might encounter despite the anti-glare treatment the panel already has, although I didn’t find myself needing it during my time with the monitor.
I should note that the model we received did come with a single dead pixel. This should be covered under AOC’s warranty, but it was disappointing to find on such a high-end monitor nevertheless.
Most of the other features this monitor offers can be found on other, much cheaper products. The main reason you might want to spend big money on the AGON Pro AG254FG is for the gaming performance. This monitor has a super-fast, 1ms response time and an incredible 360Hz refresh rate. That means gamers with a sufficiently fast graphics card may be able to produce as much as 360 frames per second. In addition to the general specs, there are also several features included that were designed to give the player an edge.
First of all, this monitor comes with both G-Sync and Nvidia Reflex Analyzer. Screen tearing can occur when a monitor refreshes more frequently than a GPU can produce frames. G-Sync prevents this by making the monitor “lock-step” with any Nvidia graphics card so that they are completely synchronized. Nvidia Reflex is a system that analyzes and reduces latency, specifically between the display and peripherals like the mouse and keyboard, allowing for even faster reactions from players.
Then there are the options available in the software. There are several pre-built game modes: FPS, RTS, Racing, G-Sync Esports, as well as three customizable gamer profiles. Then there is a built-in reticle for shooters, Shadow Control, QuickSwitch LED, Overdrive and a frame counter. All of this adds up to a monitor that is built to fine tune the most reactive experience possible for FPS gaming.
Is the AGON Pro AG254FG worth the money?
The AGON Pro AG254FG is an amazing piece of hardware, but it costs a whopping $649.99. That is definitely on the expensive side. Alienware, Asus, Acer and MSI all make similar products that started at similar prices when they launched. They are all 24.5” 1080p IPS panels with 360Hz refresh, 1ms response, G-synch, and Nvidia Reflex — except now they can all be found for hundreds of dollars under MSRP. The Alienware AW2521H is currently going for $379 at the time of writing.
The AGON Pro is an excellent monitor, but the gap in price makes it hard to recommend at this point in time. Perhaps it will brook more consideration should the prices of these monitors equalize.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The AOC AGON Pro AG254FG is a well-built 24.5” 1080p IPS monitor. It is designed for competitive FPS gaming that requires the fastest reaction time possible. It’s priced competitively with the MSRP of other monitors in its class, but they have since dropped in price, making the AGON Pro an expensive option right now.
- Incredibly fast refresh rate and response time
- Nvidia G-Sync and Reflex offer unparalleled latency reduction
- Great image quality, brightness and color accuracy
- Significantly more expensive than leading competitors
- Controller is not wireless
- Red accents may contrast with RGB