IT Pro Verdict
High refresh rate
Colour accuracy can’t match rivals
If you’re a little bit confused by the title of this review, don’t worry, you haven’t accidentally ended up on the wrong site. While the Porsche name is most commonly attached to luxury sports cars, the company also operates a spin-off brand – Porsche Design – which works with various partners on high-end products and accessories.
The company has previously worked on smartphones, laptops and even hard drives, but in this instance it’s turning its hand to monitors, in collaboration with industry mainstays AOC. The Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 is a 27in QHD monitor that aims to add a touch of class to high-performance displays, blending impressive specifications with slick, sophisticated looks.
Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 review: Design
As you’d expect from a company with such an impressive pedigree, the PD27 is certainly an impressive-looking unit. The stand is made from a lattice of chrome-effect bars (supposedly inspired by the roll-cages of racing vehicles) which give the whole thing an appealing space-age aesthetic – and as an added bonus, they also function as a handy built-in cable routing system.
The panel itself, meanwhile, has a gentle 1,000r curve for added immersion, and does an effective job of drawing you in without being so pronounced as to be unwieldy or distracting. It’s relatively adjustable, too, with 30 degrees of swivel, 150mm of height adjustment, and between 4 and 21.5 degrees of tilt.
One somewhat negative element is the 32cm depth, which means that this monitor’s footprint will dominate most smaller desks. The design of the stand also means that it’s impossible to have it hanging slightly off the back of the best, as one could with a flat-based monitor like the Dell P2719HC.
On the other hand, the bar-based design does alleviate the space issue somewhat by making it easier to place the PD27 over the top of existing peripherals like docking stations or cables. Still, we’d advise measuring your desk beforehand to make sure it can accommodate this behemoth.
Size issues aside, this monitor is undoubtedly well-designed and attractive. While it’s not quite as unique-looking as the Eizo Foris Nova, it certainly stands out next to most displays. What’s more, it manages to do so without covering itself in unnecessary RGB lighting or trendy accents, as is frequently the case with gaming-focused screens. There’s some very minimal lighting on the underside of the panel and at the rear of the screen, where the panel connects to the stand, but we’re willing to overlook this as it’s not overly garish or intrusive, and can be turned off if you’d prefer. The stand also includes a small projector that beams either the Porsche Design or Agon logo onto the desk beneath the panel, but this can be turned off too.
Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 review: Image quality
Along with looks, the Porsche name also carries certain associations in terms of performance. The specs are promising; as with most curved monitors, it uses a VA panel, and the 2,560 x 1,440 resolution is nice and crisp. It’s also matte-coated to minimise reflections. Sadly, however, while the PD27 lives up to its namesake in terms of appearance, it’s less of a match for quality.
The panel actually exceeded AOC’s stated contrast ratio of 2500:1, measuring 2815:1 in our tests, and the 240Hz refresh rate means that everything looks buttery smooth, while the 519cd/m2 maximum brightness is downright blazing. It also boasts VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification and a 0.5ms response time, as well as overdrive features for boosting gaming ability.
Things were less rosy, however, when we turned to colour accuracy. The measured colour temperature was around 7900K – some way off the 6500K ideal – and AOC’s claimed 119% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut and 89% Adobe RGB coverage couldn’t be replicated in our calibrator tests.
Instead, it managed to cover 86% of the sRGB colour space and 66% of the Adobe RGB gamut, along with a Delta-E of 2.14. That was in the monitor’s ‘Normal’ mode, but oddly, switching to the dedicated ‘sRGB’ mode actually lowered its accuracy results to 81% for the sRGB space and 58% for Adobe RGB.
These scores aren’t completely atrocious, but there are hints of oversaturation across the board and although the monitor isn’t unpleasant or off-putting to use, it means it’s unsuitable for design work, or anything where accuracy will be a priority. Uniformity was strong, though, with a maximum variance of around 5% in the corners of the screen.
Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 review: Ports and features
Ports are a similarly mixed bag. There’s a USB hub with a pair of USB 3.2 gen 1 ports for connecting external devices, headphone and microphone jacks, and a pair of both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 ports, but there are no USB-C inputs to speak of, so if you’re looking for single-cable docking solutions, you’ll have to invest in a third-party peripheral.
On the other hand, the PD27 also features a pair of inbuilt 5W Dolby DTS speakers, which are surprisingly capable. As you’d expect, the bass isn’t hugely powerful, but they output a decent volume, and sound is clear and unmuddied, with solid midrange and defined treble. They’re excellent for video calls, and will even be suitable for movies and video content, provided you’re willing to overlook a slightly weedy low-end.
Special mention goes to the on-screen display, which includes an array of options for fine-tuning the colour profile, HDR response and more. While the OSD menu itself is a little overdesigned, it’s functional and well laid-out, and the joystick used to control it is a delight; although it’s located on the rear of the panel, it’s easy to locate by touch alone and makes flicking around the menus supremely simple. For even more quick-fire controls, it also comes bundled with a wireless control pad that lets you quickly flip between different presets or cycle through menus.
Finally, AOC offers a solid three-year warranty, which gives a nice level of peace of mind should anything go wrong with the monitor.
Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 review: Verdict
The prestigious Porsche name attached to this monitor implies a level of quality and performance, but although the design is undeniably eye-catching, the Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 falls short in terms of horsepower. It’s nothing like as accurate as the similarly-priced Eizo FlexScan EV2760, for example, which makes it a poor fit for creative professionals.
What’s more, the distinctive stand – while attractive – makes it larger and less adjustable than many rivals. Between this, the lack of USB-C connectivity and the high asking price, it’s not a great option for office workers either. It’s packing a number of impressive features, including a high refresh rate, lots of customisation options and surprisingly capable speakers, but these aren’t enough to make up for its shortcomings.
It certainly has appeal as a statement piece for executives looking to impress with visual style, but when the rubber meets the road, the Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 just can’t keep pace with its rivals.
Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 specifications
|2,560 x 1,440
|Screen refresh rate
|2x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.4
|1x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x 3.5mm microphone jack
|2x 5W Dolby DTS speakers
|2x USB 3.2 Gen1, USB-B
|4° to 21.5° tilt, 150mm height adjustment, 30° swivel
|606 x 322 x 590mm
Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.
Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.
You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.