AOC Agon PD32M monitor — huge, impressive and clunky

AOC Agon PD32M monitor —  huge, impressive and clunky

AOC Agon PD32M monitor —  huge, impressive and clunky

A massive behemoth of a 4K display, the AOC Agon PD32M gaming monitor is a beast of epic proportions. For PC gamers who desire a huge display and aren’t too concerned about perfect image reproduction, this is a solid pick for a 32-inch display.

Designed to take advantage of top-of-the-line gaming PCs, the Porsche-designed PD32M is a 4K 144Hz display that can display the absolute best combination of graphics and performance modern gaming can muster. It’s designed to be a premium experience bolstered by a large display and, while not perfect, it does make games look fantastic. It’s no OLED, and its colour profiles tend to oversaturate, but it’s clearly impressive.

At over £1,500, the PD32M’s biggest feature is its incredibly bright HDR capabilities. While other monitors offer basic HDR features, this Porsche Design beast is rated for Vesa Display HDR 1400-nits. Furthermore, the display is capable of reaching a peak brightness of 1600-nits.

When pushed to its brightest, the AOC Agon PD32M is eye-searingly bright, scorching the retinas if you sit too close. In fact, the display is so bright, that we doubt you’ll ever want to push the screen to its absolute max, especially if you’re using the device at a desk. After all, at 32-inches, the screen could easily be used as a living room TV, even if that’s not its primary purpose.

Alongside its bright display, the monitor includes pretty much every port you could hope for. Not only does the display boast the top-of-the-line DisplayPort 1.4 for pristine PC gaming, but also two HDMI 2.1 ports for PS5 and Xbox Series X. There are also four USB 3.1 ports and a USB port as well.

Straight out of the box, the PD32M offers a crisp 4K image that’s compatible with any modern device you throw at it. However, the display does need a large degree of fine tuning for perfect image reproduction as its massive brightness often skews on the side of major oversaturation. While it is possible to bring the image closer in line with what the colours should be, it will require a fair amount of fiddling. It doesn’t help that all of the device’s offer widely different — all incorrect — colour settings.

Nevertheless, the monitor is perfectly suited to what it’s marketed for: playing games. During our testing, we played a large variety of titles on the display, taking advantage of its glorious 4K picture and its 144Hz playback, and it was as beautiful as it sounds.

At 4K, 120fps, Halo Infinite looks stunning on the PD32M. After a deep colour settings change, the monitor allows for crystal clear visuals without any degree of smearing. For competitive games, such as Apex Legends or Modern Warfare 2, the monitor perfectly allows you to see every minute detail they have to offer.

Furthermore, movies also have the ability to look fantastic on the screen. If you’re watching 4K Netflix or, even better, have pristine 4K Blu-Ray discs, films look as good as they possibly can outside of an IMAX screen.

This leads into, by far, the worst part of the monitor, and an issue that plagues many of its kind: interface and controls. Surrounding the good display is a horrid, clunky settings interface that gates options behind a large number of mini-menus. Made worse by an unresponsive, fiddly control nub at the back of the massive display, finding some of the device’s myriad options is often a headache.

Much like the Philips Momentum 279M1RV, the PD32M features rear LEDs that react to audio. However, unlike the 279M1RV’s impressive Ambiglow alternative, the Porsche Design’s version is not only weak, but also only responds to audio. Unless you’re in a very dark room, the weak LEDs are barely noticeable when they’re working. There’s also a small projected logo on the base of the monitor’s large stand.

In another minor feature, the monitor offers two headphone stands on either side of the display. Pulling at a recess on the sides of the monitor releases the small stand, allowing you to dangle a pair of headphones on top.

The AOC Agon PD32M is a fantastic display, but small niggles hold it back from fulfilling its potential. As a gaming monitor, it excellently combines 4K and high framerate support with the brightest HDR support we’ve seen on a 32-inch display. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help to fix the issues found elsewhere such as its awkward menus and poor LEDs.

While it’s certainly not one of the best gaming monitors around, the 32-inch AOC Agon PD32M is far from a disappointing display. The Porsche-designed panel is an impressively-sized MiniLED monitor, but it has enough issues — as well as a monsterous price tag — to stop it from being an easy recommendation.

For over £1,500, the gaming monitor is a hard sell as it is. With the issues that it has, it’s even harder to recommend. As expensive as it is, you’d expect better quality LEDs, a polished user interface and accurate colour profiles built in, but you do not get them here.

Nevertheless, the AOC Agon PD32M is a solid display with enough faults to be disappointing. If you like its look, and you have too much money to burn, you’ll enjoy its gorgeously bright screen, but there are obvious drawbacks to the device that simply hamper what could be a fantastic monitor.

A beautiful 4K 144Hz display with incredible brightness, this gaming monitor lacks polish behind its screen.
Gaming Monitor
PC Gaming
8 out of 10
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