For the price, the AOC Agon AG405UXC offers superb value, and is an obvious choice for anyone wanting a large widescreen monitor for home and gaming use.
- Superb value for money
- USB-B and USB-C connectivity for full KVM support
- Impressive colour accuracy
- Colour gamuts could be wider
- Some smearing and ghosting apparent in testing
- A lot of monitor for the moneyHas an impressively low price for a 40-inch 144Hz 3440 x 1440 IPS gaming monitor
- Six-port USB hub for full KVM functionalityFeatures six USB ports including four Type-A, one Type-B and one Type-C
- Outstanding colour accuracyIt may only have one industry-standard colour profile but the Delta E colour accuracy is a near-perfect 0.83
If I had to pick an optimum size for a large gaming monitor, I’d go for something with a 40-inch, 21:9 panel with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 and a refresh rate of at least 144Hz.
That’s big enough, wide enough, and fast enough for a truly immersive and high-quality widescreen gaming experience without being so big and wide that you need to rearrange parts of your house to set it up in an optimal position.
Traditionally, that’s the sort of specification that doesn’t come cheap, but AOC has pulled a blinder by putting its new Agon AG405UXC on sale for just £570 (currently not available in the USA). For that, you get the spec I’ve just proposed with an IPS panel, a comprehensive range of I/O ports, remote control and a brace of decent loudspeakers.
Design and Features
- A simple and compact design for a 40-inch display
- The 5W speakers produce a good sound
- Comes with full remote control
AOC hasn’t tried reinventing the wheel or gone for flashy aesthetics with its Agon AG405UXC, so you get an unadorned black plastic cabinet with a retractable headphone hook on the left and a screw-on stand bracket that can also take a 100 x 100mm VESA mount. The cabinet is solid, creak-free and surprisingly slender at just 40mm thick.
Being a 40-inch monitor, the Agon AG405UXC is not exactly small or light, but at 11.88Kg (9.53Kg without the substantial metal stand) and 944.1 x 627.7 (max) x 312.4mm, it’s not so large or heavy that it can’t be easily housed on an average-size desk.
The stand allows for 150mm of height adjustment, along with 30° of swivel to left and right and tilt between -5° and + 23°. There’s no pivot action, which is hardly surprising given the cabinet’s width and the stand’s height.
The top and side bezels are just 10mm wide, while the chin below the screen is 25mm deep. AOC has used the chin well by placing the five control buttons on it facing the user rather than on the reverse side of the cabinet.
Not that you will have much cause to use the panel buttons, because you also get a well-made remote control. The remote is a little slow, however, and suffers from a narrow IR beam, so you need to point it deliberately at the bottom right corner of the cabinet for it to work.
The menu system is one of the more intuitively arranged that I’ve encountered on a gaming monitor, with everything divided logically into six main menus. The only peculiarity about the menu system is that sometimes you must press the right arrow to open a menu rather than the OK button, which would seem the more obvious action.
Around the back of the Agon AG405UXC, you will find an excellent selection of I/O ports: Alongside two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort 1.4 video inputs, there is a Type-C port supporting 90W PD charging and DP Alt Mode video, a Type-B 3.2 Gen 1 upstream data port, and four USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 downstream ports.
As always, it would have been better for at least two of those USB-A connections to be on the slide of the cabinet for ease of access, but that’s a criticism that can be levelled at the majority of monitors.
It all makes the Agon AG405UXC a very versatile monitor with full KVM support, so you can use the same keyboard and mouse with two connected PCs and have enough USB-A ports to connect all your peripherals. The KVM functionality is enhanced by the presence of a dedicated KVM selection button on the front of the monitor.
To make the best use of all the display real estate, the Agon has both PiP and PbP functions, so in the latter, you can run two 1720 x 1440 images side by side.
The two 5W speakers buried inside the Agon AG405UXC do a more than decent job producing 80.2dB(A) from a pink noise source at a 1m distance. They are pretty tuneful too, the soundscape underpinned by solid bass with plenty of detail in the upper ranges.
The sound can sometimes get a little boomy, probably due to the plastic construction of the cabinet, but there’s no inherent distortion, even at maximum volume levels. I’m writing this while listening to the new Everything But The Girl album Fuse on the Agon at maximum volume, and it’s resting pretty easily on the ear. If you prefer an external sound solution, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack on the back by the I/O ports.
- Near-perfect colour accuracy
- Decent HDR performance for a mid-price IPS
- Motion handling is good rather than great
If I were to rank monitors by £ per inch, the Agon AG405UXC would almost be a budget display, coming in at £14.25/inch or the same as a £385 27-inch monitor. You would probably expect basic competency rather than anything more for that sort of money, but the new Agon does much better than that.
It’s worth stating from the get-go that the AOC Aegon AG405UXC isn’t the sharpest monitor around, 40 inches at 3440 x 1440 gives you a pixel density of just 93dpi. That’s not an issue when you are gaming or watching Netflix, but if you are looking at a spreadsheet at 100% scale, pixelation can be an issue. Scaling Windows up to 150% is the simple cure, but the low DPI is worth keeping in mind if you plan on doing serious office work and want as much content on screen as possible.
When it comes to core metrics, Agon has the bases well covered. Maximum SDR brightness is 361nits, but in HDR mode, that jumps to 486nits which is more than sufficient to earn the panel its VESA DisplayHDR 400 certificate. The SDR contrast ratio came in at a solid 1361:1 thanks to a low black luminance level of just 0.19nits.
Despite not having a Mini LED backlight or a super-high VA contrast ratio, HDR performance is surprisingly good, suggesting that AOC has devoted some thought to how the panel presents an HDR10 signal.
Switch Windows into HDR mode, and many cheaper IPS panels look like a washed-out, overly bright mess, but the Agon manages to present a perfectly acceptable image, so you can leave it in HDR mode permanently if you don’t want to switch back and forth.
The AG405UXC switches into HDR mode automatically when you make the change in Windows and features four HDR modes, HDR10 and HDR Picture, Movie and Game, so you can fine-tune the image to suit the content.
The colour gamuts were pretty much what I expected at this price point, with 99.2% sRGB, 84.9% DCI-P3 and 75.5% Adobe RGB. That is perfectly acceptable for a gaming monitor. What surprised me was the Delta E variance when the monitor was in sRGB colour mode. The figure of 0.83 was superb for a big, relatively cheap IPS gaming panel.
You do have to forgo some brightness in sRGB mode, the maximum dropping to 263 nits, but that’s a small price to pay for what is, for all intents and purposes, perfect colour accuracy.
Motion handling is the least impressive aspect of the AG405UXC, with some blurring to be seen in the Blur Busters UFO test, which no amount of fiddling with the Overdrive or MBR menus did much to reduce.
Again though, for the price, I’d say the motion handling was perfectly acceptable and pretty much what I expected, given the 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms GtG response time. What issues there are can’t really be seen in actual gameplay.
When it comes to VRR adaptive sync technology, the AG405UXC is only certified for AMD’s FreeSync Premium, but it worked perfectly well with Nvidia’s G-Sync when hooked to my system.
Should you buy it?
You want a great value 40-inch gaming monitor: There’s just no arguing with the value of the Agon AG405UXC. Even a barebones 40-inch IPS gaming monitor would be good value for less than £600/$600, but the Agon also has a full KVM USB hub and a remote control. It’s a bargain and then some.
You want perfect motion handling: Motion handling is not as good as you’ll find on some more expensive monitors, and the pixel density of 93dpi is no match for a 4K 40-inch display, but if you want a 144Hz 4K display, you’ll need to pay much more.
Given what you are getting for your £570, poking holes in the AOC Agon AG405UXC seems a little pointless. In terms of size and resolution, obvious competition comes from the likes of the OLED Evnia 42M2N8900, which is a superb monitor but one with a price tag three times as high as the AG405UXC!
For the money, the AOC Agon AG405UXC is a highly competent big-screen gaming monitor with an excellent array of I/O ports and decent speakers. The extremely high level of colour accuracy in the sRGB colour mode is the icing on the cake and makes the Agon usable for jobs that require a good degree of colour accuracy. I was impressed by the quality of the HDR image too.
Motion handling could be a little better, but what you get is absolutely reasonable for the price. Similarly, moving some of the USB ports to the side of the cabinet would help with user convenience but would probably have an impact on the cost of manufacture; that’s a reason monitor manufacturers tend to group all the ports together. As a package, the AOC Agon AG405UXC is highly recommendable. Check out our Best Gaming Monitor list for even more options.
How we test
We use every monitor we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by using it for both everyday tasks and more specialist, colour-sensitive work.
We also check its colours and image quality with a colorimeter to test its coverage and the display’s quality.
We use our own expert judgement for image quality
We used it as our main monitor for at least a week.
We used a colorimeter to get benchmark results.
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AOC has three gaming brands, AOC Gaming, Agon and Agon Pro, each brand being more expensive and feature-laden than the one below. The middle Agon brand offers capable gaming monitors at a very reasonable price.
AOC is one of the world’s premier monitor brands, along with the likes of Philips, BenQ and Samsung, to name but three. Admiral Overseas Corporation (AOC) was founded in Chicago, USA, as the Asian arm of the Admiral Corporation but was established in Taiwan in 1967.