MSI MAG 271QPX QD-OLED Gaming Monitor Review

The MSI MAG 271QPX is almost an unthinkable monitor. It’s $750, which isn’t cheap for a gaming monitorbut is cheap for an OLED or QD-OLED gaming monitor. And yet not only is the MSI MAG 271QPX using this technology, but it’s also using one of the more recent 1440p/360Hz QD-OLED panels, like that found in the Alienware AW2725DF. It’s even cheaper than the AOC Agon Pro AG276QZD was at the time I tested it last year, and that monitor runs 33% slower and has subpixel issues that this monitor avoids. With performance, value, and a shiny new panel on deck, the MSI MAG 271QPX is shaping up to be one of the best value gaming monitors around, so let’s see if it proves itself worthy.

MSI MAG 271QPX – Design and Features

Despite its promise of visual splendor, the MSI MAG 271QPX is a bit of an understated monitor. It looks about like any other MSI monitor from the front, with a flat, 27-inch panel, modest bezels around the display, and a little chin with MSI’s logo on it. Around back it has a plastic mound housing much of the hardware, and it sports a somewhat sports-car-esque design, but it’s not ostentatious and there’s not a spec of RGB lighting around back. The most the monitor does is show off a bit of how thin the QD-OLED panel is by having it stretch out beyond the plastic housing by a few inches.

While discussing the build, I think it worth noting that, for the MSI MAG271QPX QD-OLED, it’s actually critical that you take off all of the plastic wrap clinging to the chassis. On the rear, the wrap actually covers up some of the vents. Failing to remove it could result in the monitor overheating.

The stand also doesn’t give off major gamer vibes. It has a wide, flat base that doesn’t take up too much space and conveniently provides most of that space back because it’s easy to set things on. The stem of the stand is a bit beefy, but includes a handy cable route through its middle. You also get full flexibility from the stand with a decent height range, plenty of rotation, the option to spin it into portrait mode, and some tilt adjustments. It’s about as flexible as monitor stands get without going for something exotic, and it’s what we’d expect to see on a premium monitor.

The MSI MAG 271QPX has three buttons right under the centerline of the monitor, tucked behind the MSI logo. One is for power, one (the “G Key”) provides a shortcut to one of four settings (Refresh rate, info, Night Vision, or Optix Scope), and the third is a joystick that makes navigating menus easy and can provide four more shortcuts to various settings. Some users may find use in some of these features, like Optix scope (which creates a magnified window at the center of the screen) or Night Vision (which boosts the brightness of dark details to make them easier to see, although also reducing contrast in the process)

For connectivity, the MSI MAG 271QPX has variety but could have done more. Display connections are great, with one DisplayPort 1.4 port and two HDMI 2.1 ports all capable of delivering a full 1440p/360Hz signal to the monitor. There’s also a USB-C port that can do the same while providing 15W of power to a connected device. Sadly, there are no USB-A ports to let this monitor serve as a hub for peripherals.

Of course, it’s little surprise some of the things MSI has omitted from the MAG 271QPX. It had to cut corners somewhere to bring the 360Hz QD-OLED panel down to that $750 price.

MSI MAG 271QPX – Testing

The MSI MAG 271QPX is an impressive monitor. With all stock settings, it delivers 100% coverage of the sRGB color space, 96% of AdobeRGB, and 99% of DCI-P3. Its brightness in this setting only peaks at 161 nits, but you still get the deep black levels that give it punchy visuals. The 6500K color temperature is also a little more gentle on the eyes than some cooler monitors. Bumping the display’s brightness up to 100% doesn’t hurt color significantly, only dropping AdobeRGB coverage by 1%, but it raises the brightness to 248.9 nits. Best of all, the MSI MAG 271QPX doesn’t show signs of Auto Brightness Limiting technology at play for desktop usage with these settings.

Also impressive is the stock color accuracy. The monitor achieved an excellent average dE of just 1.22 and not a single color exceeded a dE of 3, making this a monitor you can rely on for colorwork where getting colors right is paramount. That only improved with the display set to 100% brightness, albeit slightly.

With HDR enabled, the display was able to output 457 nits for a 10% window and 268 nits for a 100% window. The display has two HDR modes, though. Those measures came in the DisplayHDR True Black 400 mode. A Peak 1000 mode didn’t make a difference for 10% and 100% windows. But did let a 1% window reach 873 nits and a 4% window reach 828 nits, whereas the DiplsayHDR True Black 400 mode kept small highlights from reaching such high levels.

MSI MAG 271QPX – Gaming and Performance

Precise measurements paint a pretty good picture for the quality of the display, but it’s when you turn to gaming that you get to really enjoy everything that it offers. The MSI MAG 271QPX hits the clarity sweet spot with 1440p on a 27-inch panel. And unlike some earlier OLED and QD-OLED panels, it doesn’t noticeably suffer from color fringing as a result of its subpixel layout. Small text and fine lines appear plenty sharp for all use cases.

The QD-OLED panel can rip along at 360Hz and keep clear motion thanks to both VRR support – frame rate and refresh rate sync to avoid screen tearing – and an ultra-fast pixel response time, making even the fastest action appear crisp and smooth while playing. Fending off enemies coming from every direction in Overwatch 2, the extra speed helped me keep pace with the action. Where some monitors might see the frantic camera spins smear the visuals, making it hard to track enemies, the MSI MAG 271QPX renders it all quite well.

Of course, all the while, the MSI MAG 271QPX provides that stellar gaming performance alongside the stunning visuals it can achieve. Tearing it up in Helldivers 2, all the leering red Automaton eyes and glowing yellow Terminid sacks shine out splendidly, especially if playing on a night map which sees the MSI MAG 271QPX’s deep black levels really come into play.

That visual quality can carry over outside of games as well. Connecting the monitor to a streaming stick and outputting audio to a pair of desktop speakers, the MSI MAG 271QPX can serve as an excellent display for movies and TV. It supports HDR, and puts on a great show for cinematic content. In Dune 2, the blue eyes of the Fremen pierce through all the yellows and tans of the sandy world. That sand is crisp and glistens with a satisfying HDR pop. And when Dune 2 takes a trip to the black and white Harkonnen homeworld, the QD-OLED panel really gets to show its depth.

MSI does include a few features to keep the QD-OLED panel healthy, including a subtle but noticeable pixel shifting. This can make for ever-so-slightly uneven side bezels that may distract some users. More troublesome is that after a stretch using the monitor, it will pop up a large suggestion window right in the center of the screen to ask you to run it through a panel refresh, which takes several minutes. That’s no good if you’re in the middle of a game, movie, or conference call. And if you accidentally select Yes, your monitor is going dark for a bit. This feature can be turned off, but you’ll want to remember to manually start the tool every now and then. It’s still an all-around excellent-looking display and has the speed to make it a superb gaming monitor, but OLED and QD-OLED do have some upkeep that users need to be aware of.

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