MSI Optix MAG272CQR Review
The needs of the consumer are somewhat different to the needs of us as reviewers. Yes here at OC3D we're enthusiasts and that means that we're just as much fans of products and hardware as you are, and when we've finished testing things within an inch of their life we relax by.. using our PCs. So the lines are blurred, but still what makes this a pleasure is when a product has either something new it brings to the table, or is especially brilliant or particularly terrible. Products such as the MSI Optix MAG272CQR sit in that 'excellent for you/difficult for us' ground of being very good and doing exactly what you would expect it to do, as well as you would expect a product from such a big name as MSI to do. It makes it quite difficult to write about.
Let's start with the design.
The stand has long been a weak point of any monitor. For reasons we never understood a lot of manufacturers treated stands as an afterthought, either being flimsy or having almost no adjustment potential. Having a screen at the right height and angle is vital for your posture and comfort given the long hours we spend in front of them. Thankfully the market has moved towards producing good quality stands by default and the Optix is no exception. There is a tremendous amount of height adjustment available and enough tilt that everyone from Peter Dinklage to Patrick Ewing will be able to find a placement that is comfortable.
This comfort is aided by the curvature of this particular panel. Whilst with televisions curves are a gimmick, on a monitor, particularly once you move into the 27" or above bracket, it is surprising how much it improves your quality of life. You don't realise how far away the edges - start button and system tray - of your screen are until they have been brought a little closer to you with the aid of the curve. Given that our eyes are round and the way we view the world is, it makes perfect sense and really helps your game envelope your world. After testing this all of our regular flat displays looked convex by comparison. It is especially beneficial if you're running a multi-monitor setup as the continuous curve gives a pseudo IMAX effect.
Image quality is the most important element of any display and the rapid advances in modern panel technology mean that almost any offering from a known brand will be of good quality and the MSI Optix range is no exception. The sweet spot resolution of 2560x1440 gives you excellent image quality without demanding a seriously expensive graphical setup to maximise your frame rate, and the 165Hz refresh rate can be the difference between topping the leaderboards and being in the middle in those less graphically demanding games that are so popular. It's very nearly three times more responsive than someone playing at 60FPS, which gives you a massive advantage.
With a price tag around £400 the MSI Optix MAG272CQR is a hell of a lot of quality monitor for a very mid-range price, with a wealth of features and QoL enhancements that make it a pleasure to use.