A slim and stylish display with multiple inputs
£299 FROM AOC, aoc-europe.com features DisplayPort, HDMI and VGA inputs A good-looking display that’s faintly retro and pleasingly futuristic at the same time
AOC’s latest 27-inch monitor is a good-looking display with a native resolution of 2560x1440 pixels.
First impressions are of an unfussy, quietly stylish display; slim, metal-framed, and with a strong stand that’s a single leg of aluminium bent into a half-closed rectangle. It looks faintly retro and pleasingly futuristic at the same time. There are downsides to this voguish appearance; it has a tilt range of no more than 14 degrees, and – like many displays today – there’s no height adjustment option, so if you want it to be higher you'll need to get a stand (but not a VESA mount – there’s no fitting on the back for one of those).
Most of this monitor is a simple slim rectangle, with a slightly chunkier section on the back where the circuitry and ports live. This is where you’ll find a DisplayPort, two HDMI sockets, and a VGA socket for any embarrassingly old tech. It can auto-switch to an active port or let you pick your preference, making this a good choice if you want to use it with, say, a Mac, a PC and a PlayStation.
AOC describes this as a ‘four-sided frameless’ display, possibly aiming to tap into the gamer passion for treating displays like tile-friendly panels to be butted up together. In truth it has more of a micro-bezel; a couple of millimetres of aluminium wrapped around perhaps 5mm of black surround, but the reality is more interesting than this technical description makes it sound. The product does an excellent good job of being physically unobtrusive in your workspace, letting the active display area itself do the talking.
The backlit LED panel handles colour pretty well, although if you want a high-end proofing display this isn’t quite it. Our Datacolor Spyder colorimeter clocked it at over 100% sRGB, but 79% of Adobe RGB; that's very good, but it’s imperfect for use in pro-level design proofing.
It’s no 4K screen, but the 2560x1440 pixel resolution looks sharp. The 16:9 ratio is just a little more widescreen than a MacBook display’s 16:10 shape; at this size it’s a sensible width-height ratio, and the resolution doesn’t demand more GPU horsepower than, say, a modest MacBook can manage.
Next to a tiny power light there’s an all-butinvisible row of icons that run along the bottom of the slim black bezel. Fortunately this doesn’t use touch-sensitive triggers – we've had plenty of problems with those before. Instead, there are physical buttons to press, hidden along the bottom and lined up with those subtle icons. They produce a satisfyingly audible ‘click’ when used, but the placement of the power button is annoying; it’s easy to accidentally turn it off when making on-screen display adjustments.
At £299, this display’s priced pretty well for its class, its styling is far better than most, and it has multiple inputs. On the downside, it has respectable but not industry-leading colour reproduction, and somewhat limited physical adjustment options; there's not much else to dislike. We would happily use it as a day-to-day monitor, but critical proofing work would be better done elsewhere.
It’s not actually frameless, but the slim bezel and angled support give it a sense of minimalist style.