AOpen is a relatively new brand in the world of consumer electronics. If you’re like me, this may be the first time you’re hearing of them, but they’ve been making PCs and displays for enterprise for more than twenty years.This review is focusing on their 32HC1QUR 32-inch monitor (See it at Amazon). With a 1440p vertical resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync support, and curved VA panel, it’s remarkably similar to the MSI Optix MAG 321CQR gaming monitor IGN reviewed earlier this month. It has a little less flash but comes to market at a surprisingly affordable $359.

AOpen 32HC1QUR – Design and Features

The AOpen 32HC1QUR features a 2,560 x 1,440 (2K) resolution screen running at a native 144Hz. This makes it the coveted “144/144” often discussed in e-sports circles as the sweet spot for modern high resolution gaming. It also uses a VA panel, which produces better colors and richer blacks, as well as improved viewing angles compared to more common TN panels often used in gaming displays. The downside is that the panel is rated for a 4ms response time instead of the 1ms often quoted on gaming monitors with TN panels.

The use of a VA panel is important because it pairs perfectly with the improved visual clarity of the 2K resolution and high refresh rate. Side-by-side with a TN panel like the Acer Predator XB2, the AOpen 32HC1QUR clearly offers richer colors, though, interestingly, when compared against my VA-packing Viotek GN32DB, the colors appear slightly washed out. I’ve reviewed nearly a half dozen similar VA monitors in the last two years and this was the first time I encountered such a need for calibration out of the box. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to fix through the OSD, but I’m disappointed it’s necessary. The blacks, however, were deep with no backlight bleed or hotspotting. Contrast is definitely a high point of the 32HC1QUR.

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