With the AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM we have a device in contention to be one of the best gaming monitors on the market. It uses the latest Mini LED technology, which should mean better brightness and dimming control than many of its rivals.
While it doesn't offer a 4K resolution, this 34-inch screen also has a claim for being one of the best ultrawide monitors around, though unusually for an ultrawide it's flat rather than curved. Which option you prefer is largely going to be down to what you prefer for your use cases.
In this AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM review we'll tell you whether or not the monitor is as good as its specs would suggest. We've also got plenty more buying advice for you, from the best gaming chairs to the best gaming keyboards, to help you fully complete your setup.
AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM: price and availability
The AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM is available to buy now, and it'll cost you around £1,430 in the UK or $1,150 in the US – though check the widgets embedded on this page for the latest up-to-date pricing. If you're doing your shopping in the UK, you can currently go and pick up the AOC monitor from retailers including Amazon and Box.
AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM review: design and setup
The Agon Pro AG344UXM is a big and relatively chunky beast as far as monitors go. You won't need a screwdriver because the base connects to the stand with a thumbscrew and the stand slots into the monitor itself, but you might need a friend to help you get everything set up and positioned. This is a monitor that measures 816 x 598 x 400mm when fully assembled, and it weighs in at a hefty 17.7kg.
As for the overall aesthetics, there's nothing hugely inspiring here: there are some red accents on the stand and back casing, a few strips of customisable lighting on the rear, and a projection of the Agon logo near the base in red lighting (which you can turn off if you want). In general, though, it's all rather angular and plastic – the thick bottom bezel doesn't look the greatest, but the bezels on the other three sides are pleasingly thin.
What we do like about the design of this monitor are the connectivity options that are included: two HDMI 2.1 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 port, and a USB-C 3.2 port, plus USB hub functionality (courtesy of four USB-A ports). There's also a picture-by-picture mode that lets you view two inputs as well, plus a Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) feature so you can swap the same monitor, keyboard and mouse between more than one PC.
There's also a decent level of flexibility here in terms of how the monitor can be positioned. You're able to tilt and swivel it, as well as adjust the height, though it can't be rotated (as is normal for an ultrawide monitor like this). On-screen controls are managed with a small joystick on the back of the monitor on the right, or via a small remote control puck you can plug into one of the spare USB ports.
AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM review: features and picture
In terms of the raw specs, the AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM offers a 3,440 x 1,440 pixel resolution across that 34-inch panel. The IPS LCD screen brings with it Mini LED and a total of 1,152 local dimming zones. Add in a maximum 170Hz refresh rate, a 1ms grey-to-grey response time, and DisplayHDR 1000, and it's an appealing package. There's support for AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync which will please gamers, and for the creatives there's 99 per cent DCI-P3 coverage and 100 per cent sRGB coverage.
As those specs might suggest, this is a monitor that excels at gaming, with smooth, rich visuals – assuming you have a connected PC with enough oomph to power them. Brightness levels are as good as you would expect from a Mini LED panel, topping out at a maximum of 1,000 nits; and while contrast levels aren't as fantastic, we had no serious complaints from playing games or watching movies. In more general use, you get a crisp, stable picture for everything from spreadsheets to websites.
The panel is almost too bright and vibrant straight out of the box, but you can of course heavily customise the brightness and a wealth of other settings via the on-screen display. We didn't notice any problems with tearing or blooming on this screen – with those 1,152 zones really doing their job – and we liked what we saw of the HDR performance as well, with darker and lighter areas of the picture always retaining their details.
We're always glad to see speakers included on monitors, and here there are a couple of 8W ones with DTS support, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. The speakers aren't particularly fantastic, but they do a reasonable job, and it means you don't have to invest in a separate set or always rely on a pair of headphones if you don't want.
AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM review: verdict
The AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM is undoubtedly a top-class monitor, and one that also comes with a top-class price. If it's in your budget range, and you like its styling, then you're not going to be disappointed with picture quality and performance – the Mini LED tech puts it a level above some other options at this size, and we were very pleased with the visuals no matter what we were doing on the screen.
Bear in mind that a lot of ultrawide, 21:9 aspect ratio monitors at this sort of size come with curved screens, so this is an interesting option if you prefer flat screens. You need to consider how far away you're going to be sitting from this screen, and whether or not you want the edges to wrap around your field of vision – great for widescreen games, not so great for spreadsheets, for example.
Otherwise the drawbacks of the monitor aren't major ones – the on-screen menus could use a bit of a polish, and it is a big and chunky device, which you may or may not care about. It's generally difficult to find many complaints otherwise.
There are plenty of alternatives, of course, so it's possible you'll find a better value deal for your particular needs somewhere else. But taking everything that the AOC Agon Pro AG344UXM has to offer, we think it's a monitor to easily recommend.
If you're in the market for a 34-inch ultrawide monitor then the Alienware AW3423DW has to be on your radar: it's curved though, unlike the AOC one, which may tip the balance in its favour, depending on what you're looking for. There are a lot of matching features across the Alienware and the AOC monitors, but you'll probably prefer one design over another, and the Alienware offers QD-OLED tech rather than Mini LED.
The Samsung Odyssey G9 remains one of the leading options if you're looking for a very big, very wide monitor. It pushes the refresh rate all the way up to 240Hz, it's a gigantic 49 inches in size, and it's actually cheaper than the AOC model. Again the technology in the display is different, with Samsung going for its own QLED option rather than the Mini LED offered by the AOC.