A few months ago, Katharine reviewed the rather excellent (and catchily-named) MSI Optix MAG272CQR gaming monitor. While it’s not the best 1440p panel we’ve looked at (that honour goes to the AOC Agon AG273QX), Katharine gave it a pretty firm thumbs up thanks to its super accurate screen and high 165Hz refresh rate. At £399, it isn’t bad value, but if you’d rather save £100 and make do with a 144Hz refresh rate, then MSI’s slightly older first gen model of this monitor is now going cheap at Argos.
You can get hold of the MSI MAG271CQR for just £299, which is a saving of £50 off its normal price of £349. That saving does come with a couple of drawbacks compared to its flashier MAG272CQR successor, but for my money they don’t take away from the 25% saving.
First up, this model isn’t HDR-ready like the MAG272CQR, but given Katharine “had a terrible time trying to wrangle [the MAG272CQR’s HDR] into something that didn’t make my eyes bleed”, you might want to add that to the ‘positives’ column. Secondly, as I mentioned above, the refresh rate is a bit lower. While the newer model gets 165Hz, the version on sale here ‘only’ gives you 144Hz. But what’s 21Hz between friends, eh?
Otherwise, they’re pretty much identical where it counts. Each monitor has a 27in VA panel with a 2560×1440 resolution, a 1ms response time and they both have AMD FreeSync support. They’re both curved as well, although Katharine wrote that the curvature was barely noticeable from a normal viewing distance. It may be slightly more noticeable here, as it has a curvature of 1800R compared to the 1500R in our review model.
Other options are available of course, and it’s worth digging through our best gaming monitor guide (and our regularly updated Best gaming monitor deals page) before you checkout. But judging from the specs and Katharine’s experience with the MAG272CQR, you won’t regret making its predecessor part of your gaming setup – especially at under £300.