As of yet, the cheapest 144Hz 4K monitor is the AOC U28G2XU. The U28G2XU isn’t a particularly fancy monitor, which is to be expected at this price. Although it has a straightforward and minimalist design, any build quality flaws are not particularly concerning. With one DisplayPort 1.4 input and two HDMI ports, connection possibilities are also respectable. Still the DisplayPort 1.4 input, however, can support 4K at 144Hz; as the HDMI inputs are only HDMI 2, they can only support 60Hz at this resolution.
Additionally, a 4-port USB 3.2 hub is included. The power source is internal and connects through an IEC C14 (kettle lead), eliminating the need for an obtrusive power brick. There are also two 3W speakers provided, and they sound okay. Additionally, there is a headphone jack, which although lacking the refinement of higher-end sound equipment, sounds clean and undistorted.
Although it doesn’t quite have the same effect as a 32in screen like the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX, this 28in screen’s extra inch of diagonal measurement over a 27in panel is nice when dealing with such a small resolution. Meanwhile, the overall quality of the images is very good. The contrast ratio is noticeably strong, measuring 1,105:1 in our tests, and viewing angles are kept wide by IPS panel technology.
The display’s colour gamut can be extended up to 86 percent DCI-P3 (or 120 percent sRGB), but it can also be limited back to 100 percent sRGB in sRGB mode, which limits brightness to 50 percent (150 nits). There should be no need to change any of the settings because, whether or not you prefer to have more vibrant colours, this display produces an excellent colour balance (you get a 6,484K colour temperature and 2.24 gamma). Poor panel uniformity, which causes the display’s brightness to dip by up to 19% at its edges, is the only drawback.
AOC U28G2XU review: Design & Features
The AOC U28G2XU is decidedly conservative in comparison to other gaming-related devices. It is virtually entirely devoid of obtrusive graphics or frills, has a black and dark red pattern, and does not have any LED illumination. It looks so unremarkable that it would go in just well in an office.
The stand design was the first thing I noticed that intrigued me because it avoids the obvious drawbacks of offering good stability by compromising the work area. Although the two projections don’t extend very far in front, the majority of stability is produced there. Additionally, a curve in the vertical support structure makes it possible for the gaming monitor to approach a wall quite close thanks to the smaller rear feet.
Even though the support arm’s hole for cable management is all that exists, the support has good movement. The 90-degree turn into portrait mode requires a vertical translation of 130mm, which is both possible and necessary. The foot of the U28G2XU enables some twisting adjustment without taking up and moving the display. It may be tilted forward by 5 degrees and backward by 23 degrees. The panel’s centre section has all of the video inputs, while the USB hub is located to the viewer’s right and the power outlet is on the left. Since there is no cover over the inputs, everything is still quite accessible.
With a single USB-B uplink line and four USB-A downstream ports, this design offers one of the nicest USB hubs I’ve seen. Each of these USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports has a maximum shared bandwidth of 5Gbit, and one of them is coloured yellow to signify that it is intended for charging the connected devices. This design has five buttons on the front right underside, which I’ll discuss in more detail later. I had anticipated a joystick-controlled OSD.
AOC U28G2XU review: Display and Performance
A 28-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 144 Hz refresh rate, and enhanced response time of 1 ms is featured in the AOC U28G2XU. The maximum backlight intensity is 400 cd/m2, and, like other IPS panels, the contrast ratio is 1000:1. Although this model may achieve HDR 400 standards, we are all aware of its performance limitations.
Due to the close proximity of the pixels, which results in a higher density per square inch, 4K panels of this size are exceptionally sharp. While this is excellent for video games and movies, some users might object that it makes it more difficult to read or browse because the letters appear smaller. Scaling can help with this, but it isn’t always effective across the board with apps and game.
For a gaming monitor, the AOC U28G2XU delivers more than 100% sRGB and about 88% DCI-P3. Although not perfect, the default accuracy’s deltaE average of 1.51 is sufficient for gaming. With the exception of a few places where the saturation is too much, the screen appears balanced and lively. The AOC U28G2XU’s deltaE average was reduced by calibration to 0.67, which is what you’d see on a prosumer monitor arms. To achieve a score that is comparable to this, you will need to use a colorimeter. Since most people can get away with a few adjustments and colorimeters aren’t exactly inexpensive to begin with, this isn’t necessary for gaming.
The AOC U28G2XU’s backlight could only produce 302 cd/m2 at 100% brightness, however at 60% brightness, the contrast peaked at 931:1. Some dark scenes could appear a little washed out due to the screen’s inability to produce deep blacks. This is a well-known drawback of IPS panels, so your best bet if you want to get around it is to choose VA or spend more money on OLED. The AOC U28G2XU’s panel uniformity was great because there were no backlight leaks or clouding problems. There were some irregularities in the backlight’s distribution, however they are largely undetectable while playing games. Since IPS is more susceptible to it and there are tolerances to take into account, this could vary across every monitor.
AOC U28G2XU review: Price and availability
The AOC U28G2XU makes UHD gaming accessible to gamers on a tight budget at one of the most affordable price points for a high refresh rate 4K gaming monitor I’ve seen. Given the great 4K entry choice, it is simple to overlook the small price concessions. In essence, this lowers the price but makes the AOC U28G2XU less HDR-friendly. In order to compensate for the poor contrast ratio that IPS monitors like this one tend to have, AOC chose to use dynamic contrast, and it does a passable job of it.
Additionally, the viewing angle is very outstanding. All in all, this monitor offers excellent image quality for the money. Only HDMI 2.0 connectors are available on this display, which limits its refresh rate to 60Hz in 4K. DisplayPort 1.4 caps at the same resolution and 120 Hz. you can buy this product AOC’s official store.
The AOC U28G2XU makes UHD gaming accessible to gamers on a tight budget at one of the most affordable price points for a high refresh rate 4K gaming monitor I’ve seen. Given the great 4K entry choice, it is simple to overlook the small price concessions. Katie would much prefer watch a fight between Intel, AMD, and Nvidia than watch sports.
The issue with this 4K screen and any other designed for gaming is that finding a powerful enough video card to operate it will probably prove to be more difficult and expensive than simply purchasing the AOC U28G2XU.
AOC has no influence over it, however gamers who wish to upgrade to 4K gaming must understand that without a powerful GPU, lowering all the settings to get playable frame rates defeats the purpose of the higher resolution. These remarks vary by title because some games work smoothly at 4K on relatively low-end GPUs while others struggle even with the most powerful video card running at maximum settings.
A console would be a more affordable choice for gamers, but using one for gaming comes with an additional restriction due to the HDMI 2.0 connectors. Again, it depends on the games you play and how important high frame rates are to those games.
Given the limited number of 28-inch 4K screens that are currently on the market and the high cost of those few, the AOC U28G2XU appears to be a wise choice for those looking to go beyond 1440p pixels. This design features a helpful USB hub, a flexible stand, and good performance.