An affordable display for gaming enthusiasts

Sep 30, 2018 11:27 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
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The AOC C32G1 is a curved monitor that will exceed your expectations both regarding quality and price, but you’ll have to make a few compromises along the way.

When people think of a gaming monitor, they don’t usually think about AOC, but they really should. There are quite a few companies out there that make affordable hardware, and AOC is definitely one of them.

Of course, when you’re picking a gaming monitor, you’ll want everything with a cherry on top. You’ll probably need 144Hz, 4K support, GSync, HDR, and a curved display, with all the trimmings. If it has headphones support, it’s even better. And then you check the price, and you realize that it’s more expensive than you’re recently built PC.

It’s easy to see why people might want to compromise in some respects, and it’s up to you to decide where you want to save some money. The most obvious solution is to drop the 4K resolution, which is still slightly out of reach for most people, but it’s also the most significant compromise, as I’m going to explain later.

Design

I’m not exaggerating when I say that AOC C32G1 looks really, really good. The thin bezels and the minimalist stand complement each other. It’s has a dark grey color, with a thin reddish line at the bottom.

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The buttons are not visible and placed on the bottom of the display, on the righthand side. The nice thing is that there is nothing to distract you from the slims bezels, except for the light indicators, but those are unavoidable.

The stand itself is very spartan, and it does its job. It has a little hole in the middle that allows for some minimal cable management, and you don’t need any kind of tools to attach it to the display itself. The back of the display also features support for 100x100 VESA wall mounting.

Features and usage

There are a few essential features that are worth mentioning for AOC C32G1. Let’s start with the most obvious one, the curved display, which has a 31.5-inch size. The 1800R curvature might be a little bit confusing for people that don’t know anything about this technology, so we’ll explain it a little.

First of all, the R in 1800R stand for radius, which means that the total curvature is 1800mm. In fact, it’s the top limit for curved displays. Translated, it’s the maximum curvature for a display, which should be ideal for a gaming experience.

The downside is that users are not going to have a great viewing experience from further away, but that shouldn’t be a problem since it’s a PC monitor, so you’re not going to stand too far away. TVs, for example, are using 3000R or even 4000R for curvature, which ensures a much better viewing experience from afar, but it’s not going to be ideal from a shorter distance.

And there is the matter of preference. Even if you can make a case for being better for PC monitors, the 1800R variant is not going to please everyone. Some users will find the monitor to have a much too pronounced curve.

It’s also important to mention another important aspect of the AOC C32G1 monitor. It’s marketed as using a WLED VA display, but it’s not all the different from every other LED monitor out there. WLED is just a marketing term which stands for White LED (White Light Emitting Diode), and it’s pretty much the same as a regular LED.

On the other hand, VA stands for vertical alignment, and this is actually different. Most displays are using IPS, which stands for In-Plane Switching, but this AOC is using VA. Vertical alignment has much better contrast and black uniformity, but a smaller optimal viewing angle. Like most stuff out there, there is a compromise.

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The main reason for choosing VA over IPS is that AOC C32G1 can be considered mostly a gaming monitor, so it’s much more likely that users will need various profiles and settings. You will notice significant differences between the standard sRGB setting and the gaming profiles. That extra contrast leeway is important.

Also, since the maximum resolution is 1920x1080, that means that it’s actually a standard 16:9 ratio, which might not be evident right away. The curvature and the size of the display makes it seem like it’s wider, but it’s not.

AOC C32G1 comes with a VGA port, a DisplayPort 1.2, and two HDMI 1.4 ports. If you’re wondering why there are two HDMI ports, I can give you the perfect example. I connected both my PC and a PlayStation 4 to the display, and switching between them is easy. And this is just one scenario where you will need multiple ports. Since HDMI is a digital connection that also carries sound, users will also find a headphone jack on the back.

The last thing on the list is the OSD that provides all the necessary customization options a user might need. It’s a nice design, with clear instructions. There is a lot of information shown with the OSD, and you will need to fiddle with the values until you find what you need. AOC also packed a couple of utilities on the CD, providing access to some of the values from Windows 10. There is no support for Linux or MacOS.


The Good

If you’re getting the AOC C32G1 monitor for gaming, you’re not going to be disappointed. The enhance contrast, the curvature of the display, and the various color and brightness profiles are making a real difference.

We also have to consider the fact that it comes with multiple ports, which come in handy when you’re connecting various sources at the same time. And I also have to mention the minimal bezels and spartan design, which helps users to better experience the content. Although, I must say that more and more monitors are now using this type of design, and it’s quickly becoming the norm.

The Bad

The biggest issue, by far, is the low resolution of the display. At 31,5 inches and FullHD resolution, you’re going to notice it when using the operating system. The text in Windows 10, for example, is terrible, and if you look close enough, you’re going to see individual pixels. I'm not even mentioning video with high contrast. It's a mess.

What I can say is that it’s something that you can get used to. I took me a couple of days, but I eventually started to ignore it. Furthermore, the monitor only swivels on a single axis, up and down. Moving it side to side will require users to rotate the entire monitor, with the base. It’s annoying, and it’s the kind of problem that shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

Conclusion

Despite the problems that stem from the FullHD resolution on such a big display, AOC C32G1 is a great gaming monitor, and that’s evident when you first play something. It also sports a 1ms response time, which eliminates all types of ghosting.

But, even if I might not have liked how things looked in Windows 10, I actually loved the monitor in games. And, after I used it for a few days, I went back to my old 24-inch monitor, and everything now looks tiny and terrible. I think that I now need a large, curved monitor in my life. I'm pretty sure that the everyone will feel the same after they’ve used the AOC C32G1, even for just a day.

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