If you have more than one monitor on your desktop and want to free up some valuable workplace real estate, consider replacing it with an ultra-wide monitor like the AOC Q2963PM . This 29-inch display has a resolution of 2,560-by-1,080, a 21:9 aspect ratio, and an IPS panel that offers rich color reproduction. It offers every video port you’ll ever need and is reasonably priced, but it’s not without a few minor flaws; it loses luminance when viewed from a top and bottom angle and it lacks ergonomic adjustability.
Design and Features
The Q2963PM’s massive screen is housed in a matte black cabinet with uber-thin top and side bezels. The side bezels are curve around to the back of the cabinet and the 0.75-inch bottom bezel holds a small shiny AOC logo. There are four function buttons, a power switch, and a blue LED power light on the right side of the cabinet. None of the buttons are labeled but that’s not a problem; pressing any key brings up an on-screen label that uses large icons to describe what each button does.
All of the I/O ports are mounted on the wedge-shaped stand, which has a removable base so you can hang the monitor on a wall using the VESA mounting holes. On the right side of the mounting arm are DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort inputs, while halfway down the arm, just above where it is connected to the base, there is an HDMI input, a DisplayPort output, an audio input, and a headphone jack. The DisplayPort output makes it possible to daisy chain multiple monitors using special DisplayPort Multi-stream cables (not included). The stand has a hinge that lets you tilt the panel forward and backward but there are no height, swivel, or pivot adjustments.
Picture settings include contrast, brightness, gamma, and Eco mode, which is AOC’s name for picture mode and includes Standard, Text, Internet, Game, Movie, and Sports presets. Color settings include red, green, and blue level adjustments, Color Temperature, and Dynamic Color Boost (DCB), which offers green, blue, and skin tone enhancement settings.
The Q2963PM comes with a couple of neat utilities, including Screen+, a screen splitter that lets you split your desktop into different panels, with each panel displaying a different window. All you have to do is drag a window to the selected panel and drop it. Also included is the AOC e-Saver power management software, and i-Menu, which lets you change picture settings using a keyboard and mouse rather than the function buttons. Included in the box are VGA, DVI, and HDMI cables as well as a resource CD. The Q2963PM is covered by a three-year parts, labor, and backlight warranty.
The Q2963PM uses an IPS panel that delivers rich color quality and good grayscale performance. It was able to accurately reproduce all steps of the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test and there was no evidence of tinting in the middle of the scale. Colors were mostly accurate; as shown in the color chart below, reds and blues were nearly perfect (the closer the dot is to its corresponding box the more accurate the color) but greens were a bit oversaturated, which is fairly common among affordable monitors given green’s huge color space. Fortunately, the saturated greens did not result in greenish highlights or skewed colors.
Viewing angles performance was generally good, although there was a slight loss of luminance when viewed from the top and bottom angles. I noticed this with the Dell UltraSharp U2913WM also. The Q2963PM’s 5-millisecond (black-to-white) pixel response handled fast motion video without any noticeable smearing or blur. In fact, this monitor is ideal for watching movies, whether in a separate window or in full screen mode. It offers crisp image detail and the embedded 3-watt speakers are nice and loud, although they could use a bass boost.
The Q2963PM used 33 watts of power during testing while operating in Standard mode. That’s a few watts less than the 29-inch Dell U2913WM (36 watts) and significantly lower than the 30-inch Dell UltraSharp U3014 (60 watts).
If you require a dual monitor setup but don’t have the room on your desktop, the AOC Q2963PM is a good bet. It offers good color and grayscale performance, loads of video inputs, and multiple monitor support. And, it’s reasonably priced. That said, a USB hub would be a welcome addition, as would a height adjustable stand. Both the NEC MultiSync PA271W and Dell UltraSharp 3014 offer multiple USB ports and highly adjustable stand, but you’ll pay significantly more for these features and don’t get the full Ultra-wide, 21:9 screen.
|Native Resolution||2560 x 1080|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p|
|PC Interfaces||Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI, DisplayPort|
|Video Inputs||DVI, HDMI|
|Diagonal Screen Size||29 inches|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc